How could it only be a year?
I noticed some foundational cracks around me just about a year ago. But being 50 years old I've seen them before and have a personal foundation in a God that has walked many rough roads with me before. My theology expanded and grew in directions this year for which institutional frameworks are much too limiting for.
When the foundation fails everything fails with it. My family and I watched it all dismantle and crumble this year. But after the storm it is interesting to see what remains.
My youngest daughter and I are now back in Salem, the home I moved to when I was 12 and seem to continue to return to. I've discovered a root system here that was a truer foundation, with people, trees and place that have welcomed me home.
This fall I'll be working at Queen of Peace and Blanchet, a place where this protestant has found a rich and beautiful view of God and been able to embrace the lessons of Mary that were thrown out in the religious structures I grew up in.
I've continued to draw and finding mixed media a good place for my mixed emotions of this last year. This is one of the first summers I haven't run summer camps and I'm enjoying oodles of travel with my daughters. My oldest and I drove to Carmel and I spent three days soaking up art and conversation. My youngest and I traveled to New York and Virginia learning, art, and history. After reading "Ninth Street Women" this spring it was wonderful to tromp the streets of Chelsea and the West Village". Discovering the missing women of the Modern Art movement has been enriching. Not sure I'll finish the 800 page book, but what I have read has greatly expanded my understanding of art, modern art and the roots of feminism.
My third trip was this weekend and all three of my daughters accompanied me to Montana and the homestead of my maternal grandfather. Log cabins, piles of rust and history, and family that have our knees, noses and laughter. Driving home along the east side of Washington and down into the Gorge, I am awestruck that I get to live here. Here in the midst of the desert that is beautiful and stark and that flows into the valley that is lush with green and trees and water.
This is where I live and where I paint. This landscape holds my stories and our stories. The stretched out flat desolate land where tumble weeds roll across the road, the powerful flow of the Columbia, the ancient cliffs of the gorge and the rolling grass seed hills of the valley. These images are language for me that are truer than words.
Some artists paint to make art, or make a pretty picture or to render an image of nature. I paint to think, pray and speak. Colors, forms and line communicate so much better than words for me. My art is my voice and my heart and grounded in technique and discipline that I'm always working on.
I'm not an extroverted artist personality that shows off the magic of art technique on YouTube or Instagram. Though to be honest at times it feels that would be easier....I'm an introverted artist that speaks through her paintings, using the images and metaphor of nature and color.
This is what I know. It is simple without "tags" or "links" or "boomarangs". It is my life.
Thanks for joining me.
and yes more current updates are on Instagram @Julie_Jeanseau
I am a teacher, a mom and an artist. I have my BA in Arts Education from U of Oregon and my MS in Curriculum and Instruction from Portland State. I've been teaching for 25 plus years in a variety of settings. Teaching private lessons, in community centers and as a classroom teacher. This has given me a wide view of teaching art and what it does for our lives and our students. I have found creating to be a place that we can all meet, find our humanity and surrender to process.