SLOWING DOWN (AND THE STORY BEHIND THE TITLE OF "WANDERING")
"Wandering", original 36"x36" oil painting on panel with finished edges, by Whitney Heavey
I love the bumper sticker: NOT ALL WHO WANDER ARE LOST.
Not all wandering feels good though. I'm someone who's mind and focus wanders a lot, I mean a LOT. "Squirrel!" (did you get that? If not, click here. ) Lately, it seems a good deal of my "wandering" is on my electronic devices ..from figuring out MailChimp, to responding to email, to looking for a new rug, to catching up with friends and followers on social media, to checking weather, updating website, managing my giant collection of photos, to checking out new apps, the news, recipes for Thanksgiving, etc etc. This kind of wandering often makes my head spin. I'm exhausted just thinking about it!
Detail of painting, "Wandering"
When I titled this painting "Wandering", I was thinking of the kind of wandering that we do in childhood, often when in nature, the kind of slowing down and moving along with no real sense of time or agenda. I can have this kind of experience when I'm painting in the studio, especially at start of painting versus when I am finishing a painting when the pressure to finish makes it a task instead. I especially feel this sense of wandering when I'm out in nature, in particular, near the ocean like the salt marsh in the painting above. The sounds of the birds, the smell of the salt, the light on the water always give me a sense of restoration. I often get this feeling when walking my dog, Millie, which yes, has a purpose but, if I'm not pressed for time, can be more zen like. Just the other day, it was sunny after a several gray days, and while walking Millie, I was able to stop and be present enough to just watch a bright red leaf float through the blue sky. It was amazing to watch it meander on it's journey to the ground. I truly felt relaxed after that short escape.
If you want to see this painting closer, click here.
To me, this kind of wandering isn't lost at all. It's really the place that I need to be more often. I'm trying to figure out a way to wander in my everyday life...whether that means, being in nature, looking at art (in person versus online), working in my sketchbook (where the result doesn't matter), meditating, journaling, etc.
Millie enjoying the view
What's your favorite place or time to wander? As we enter into the busy holiday season, I wish you more time to wander, more time for nature, more time for making and enjoying art, more time for peace, more time for family and being present to experience all that is good!
Millie enjoying the view
One of my favorite spots
To see this spot in action click here.