The Leaves Are Dancing Oil on linen 36 x 36 cm
I have just come home from a really enjoyable drinks party and I am writing this BLOG to fill in time, because there is a party going on next door, I am a bit hyped from the party I've been to, my children are quietly reading and...well this is perhaps not a serene activity...one child is playing death and destruction games on her new X Box 360 which we bought on sale at the massively exhausting post-Christmas sales. She was given a Harvey Norman gift voucher which went towards her new obsession.
Anyway, here I am filling in time. Luckily I have a new a painting to show off. This is inspired by one of the small works on paper I produced whilst on holidays at Noosa just recently. I wrote about these 'playful' works a few BLOG posts ago http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com/2009/12/holidays.html So, where does the title come from you may ask?
When my eldest daughter was about 2 years old she was gazing out at the trees and bushes surrounding our house. There was a gently breeze. My daughter looked at me and said, 'Mummy the leaves are dancing.' She was perfectly right too...the leaves were dancing. Have you ever watched the breeze pick up the small branches and leaves of gum trees? It is, as if there is a secret musical rythm. It is, as if whispers of sound and movement gently pick up the branches making the leaves reverberate and quiver with small bounces and jives. The leaves move in a twisty, curly way revealing their soft yet silky coloured surfaces. I particularly love the way Box Gum leaves, which are almost circular, move with the air currents. Light glistens off their shiny dark green surfaces sending silvery twinkles across otherwise hot landscapes. I really love Box Gums and planted many of them in my country garden. Oh...and Sheoaks...when the wind pushes through the Sheoak's spiny leaves a wonderous, lilting, etherial sound is made. That's why I planted them in large clumps or spinies. The sound was amplified.
So, why do children notice such small but truly beautiful things, events and happenings and adults tend not to? I marvelled at my young children's ability to notice beauty and fun even in what seemed the most barren of places. And...the next question is....when do we lose this inate ability to notice the small and seemingly un-noticeable rythms of life? I suppose it is somewhere between noticing and getting an X Box!!!
But, artists notice things that others may not. And, these things need not be real or of this world, because artists are attuned to patterns and rythms of all kinds. I imagine artists with small antenna all over them, picking up every frequency of seen and unseen movement or sensation. When I say 'artist', I am thinking of the full range from visual, to musical, dance, film, writers and so on.
I read in Daniel Pink's wonderful book 'A Whole New Mind' that some medical schools in the US are providing their students with art appreciation classes, because even just looking at art teaches people to notice... nuance, detail, pattern etc...and ask questions! Students re-ignite what they may have 'lost' in the process of growing up ie: actually seeing what they are looking at. I gather medical students gain insights into what they don't notice by learning to notice...learning to look and see [again].
So, like most parents I have very fond memories of my children when they were very young and the delightful and poetic utterances they made. But, these utterances are important because they remind us to re-aquaint ourselves with the wonder of discovery through truly 'seeing'. I mean this 'seeing' in the fullest of senses from literally seeing with eyeball and pupil to also 'seeing' with our mind's eye.
Of course, regular readers of my BLOG will recognise that this new painting can also be my much loved transcultural/religious tree-of-life with all the meaning it holds. As an achetypal symbol, the tree-of-life can help us re-aquaint ourselves with the nuances of perspective. It can penetrate pre-conceived and easy assumptions by suggesting to us to 'remember'. I believe it is a remembering of a shared human consciousness...it we take notice!