Who doesn’t like to get away? When I don’t feel like taking time away, that’s exactly when I need to really go the most. Getting away and taking that plunge towards what is beyond your current comfort zone or pattern takes a dose of courage. Moving beyond that stuck feeling is the type of challenge that is chock full of experiences, relaxation and a pleasing feeling that can rarely be put into words. That is why a seemingly simple get away can be like a great escape and adventure. Experiencing art is that same sort of challenge. When a person feels like they don’t need to experience art, they are most in need of the benefits associated with a great escape with art. It’s so wonderful and challenging at the same time. The art creator, art educator, art student, and art collector all experience what we are all capable of; we all share this adventure called art. It’s the great escape. It’s the type of escape that leads to a place where you are able to find growth and refreshment deep in your soul. It’s essential.
For years I enjoyed working as a mural painter for my own company by the name of Custom Artworks and Creative Solutions. I made a sign and postcards to send the message to clients that read, “Transform and Escape with Mary Jennings”. I loved making spaces that created great new space and swept you away. On some level, I would like to think that my fine art does a bit of that as well. When I teach, I am making a pathway for each student to follow. This path lead them to experience the great challenge and joy that goes with the creation of art, but also gives them the connection to what they like about the art they see around them. I teach my art students how to see, not just how to create art.
At times we don’t always know what we want, but we most always know what we don’t want. We know we don’t want problems. In contrast to that, I love to begin my adventure into creating art with looking for a “problem”. That’s where the fun always begins. My artwork is my response to an observation or a feeling. I am hungry to “get it”. The best part of “getting it” is when one creation leads to another and another. I have a broad range of materials I work with and never begin with considering the material before making the observation. I look a the subject and determine the best media and techniques to use to capture the essence of the moment or object best. My style might fall under the category of representational. It may include drawing, watercolor, acrylics or oil paints. Although a number of my works are through requests and commissions, I do make collections of other works featuring landscapes, figurative, abstract, and mixed media. I used to fret about my choice to work in a variety of styles and materials. It was helpful to hear from a world renowned European Faux Finisher and Decorative Artist that his type of art was not considered art but considered trade. Trade held in the highest esteem by the people who recognized the abilities and skill needed to be a decorative painter. They have to paint all variety of subjects on all variety of surfaces using all variety of techniques. They are universal. This was a relief to me. It helped me to calm the fact that I was not one kind of artist. I love that I am able to apply the same ability to see the world around me into many works of art. Understanding the role universal artist, I am also more at ease with my experimentation with blog writing, stand-up comedy and even master gardening. I see it all as one. These are ways I respond to what I see. It’s one big and great escape.
For me, the best thing about being an artist is being part of inspiration and creativity for myself and others. I love experiencing it myself while creating, bringing it out in others while teaching and making it available to collectors through my work. Being an artist is good work.