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  • Writer's pictureQinghong Wei, PhD

Mother Nature's Art School

Last Sunday, the wonderful ladies from our local library came to visit our little Starry Farm. After playing with all the lovely animals, we sat down on the front porch, snacked and chatted. Mary Ann, the librarian, has also raised farm animals for many years. She gave us a lot good tips on farming, welcomed us again to the community, and then she said, “This place will change you.”

Like a bell, her words ring in my heart. Yes, I already see changes in me, and in my art. I have not been able to put in as many hours painting as I was in the city. Life on the mountain farm means spending lots time to take care of animals, vegetables, flowers, trees, water, housing, land, wildlife… The list goes on. But all this work doesn’t feel like chores, but they make me happy. I just want to keep at it. And the nature around us is so beautiful and awe-inspiring. We just want to be with it and in it all the time.

So with all this, I have had much less time painting. I agonized over this a bit because I knew all the “accomplished” artists advise to spend as much time painting as possible. But I also noticed something unexpected. Even I had less time practice the technique, my art is becoming more alive. My life has been so enriched and it flows out to my paintings. All the challenges I have gone through rewarded me with greater inner strength. I notice that when I paint, I have a clearer awareness on what’s happening in my mind and how that translates onto the paper. I have a stronger sense of knowing of my true ability, so I had less self-doubt holding myself back, but more energy to move forward.

Even I had much less time painting, I love what I am painting even more. The learning grows in a deepened way..

This new experience re-affirmed what genuine art making is. It is an integration of spiritual awareness and technical excellence. When my soul continues her evolution, my art will grow, in liveliness and truthfulness. In the meantime, I feel more passionate to improve my technique, and let it be the conduit for to express the genuine loving being within.

This is what I have learned attending Mother Nature’s Art School for the first three months. Gratitude.

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