To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ROOTED OR UPROOTED ? - BACK to Scribble Doodle Window

My own experience, which began as "a cool idea" to downsize, became a wake up call, when so many boxes packed, got the label "to give away." And after giving away eight big garbage bags of clothes, my closets are still bulging! Now I wonder where I stowed it all away in my house??
This experience of changing houses has taught me one lesson among many:
being uprooted.

Downsizing could be a scary experience, or be turned into taking the opportunity to change one's ways. Our past ways may be the most comfortable, but are not necessarily the best way!

This tree has so many roots! I just hate to think what all it would take with it, if it would be uprooted. When one pulls on one root, it effects other roots, and it effects the soil in which it has been planted in. Trees have roots and they have branches and leaves. Trees are like people. When they are uprooted, it almost always takes a time of adjustment.
Isn't this a symbol of what is happening, almost globally?

When a tree is uprooted it also changes the ways they used to give shade to the environment. Shade protects from being burned by the hot sun. Look how much shade this tree gives!
I know that people with doggies will like this pic:)

The meaning of these concepts were materialized in a small transparent watercolor on my watercolor bloc. While sipping coffee on a sunny day in a cafe, I muse that some deep philosophical truths are actually expressions in daily life.
The older I become, the more I leave behind those philosophical labels, so I can live life unhindered.
A great benefit of this approach is that it brings viewers closer to the meaning I intend to give a painting.

By now you probably know that I don't paint things because they are "pretty." They mean something to me. Some have deeper meanings than others.

To put all the attention on the roots, you can see that I took out all the irrelevant things of the background. Also, I accentuated the hilliness of the lawn, to give the impression of the stability and groundedness of the tree.
Now you have seen the pics above, you know that the shadows of the surrounding trees are not a figment of my imagination. It adds to a very lively scene, what could have been otherwise a boring scene and static painting.

PS it's really great to get back to blogging and doing Scribble Doodle Window - I have missed you all, but the boxes had to get below my eye-level!


crochet lady said...

What struck me first about your painting were the shade shadows. It is almost like looking at a cloudy sky and picking out pictures and shapes.

Good luck with your boxes! Unpacking can be a hard task, but also fun as you fill up you new home with the things that go along with your life.

blessings, Jen

jeannette stgermain said...

That were some of my impressions too - kind of like a double picture (but shadows instead of reflections like in water). Thank you for the encouragement, Jen! I need it, because what's in the boxes is STILL too much, even though I thought I had reduced my stuff a lot- LOL

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I dont think I need to tell you I missed you too. :)Glad to hear the boxes are below eye level.

You are right, sometimes one need a great upheavel in your like in order to find your roots again. They are the solid foundation we build on. Yes, there is shadow and light which passes over them, but they are our rock or fortress from which we grow safe and sound.

We are scared of change and yet it can be good for us. How are we to learn and grow without it?

I like the hilly element in your painting. It give the tree a sense of stability and strength.

Gaelyn said...

I like the way the shadows mimic the negative space between the tree roots.

Life on the road means a lot of uprooting. Good thing I'm not a tree.

The Green Stone Woman said...

It's a wonderful painting of that tree and much more interesting that the original tree itself. You saw much more into it and I really like the shadows.

The older we get, the less we have to learn to live with, that's my philosophy. Get it down to the bare bones. It is liberating and sets you free.

I am glad your boxes are getting down to eye level. Pretty soon they will be gone completely. That's for the best.

jeannette stgermain said...

Yeah, I didn't think I would be "gone" from my bloggie friends for that long!
Actually this is the first time in my life I am ambivalent about the change (and I had much bigger ones than this one: like changing countries). I wonder if the ambivalent feelings also have to do with all the changes around the globe, which I don't want to be caught up into:)

Thank you, I have to say, it was a good move to change the horizon in this painting

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you Gaelyn! I am glad to that you're not a tree, so you and I can talk to each other!
You undoubtedly have met people on the road who are traveling all year. I wonder, do they have roots (except for their relatives of course)?

jeannette stgermain said...

I've got to admit that the pics don't show, what I saw in reality. I kept staring at it, and it took some time before I decided to make a painting of it. I first kept thinking, Naaah, why are you making a painting about roots?
After the roots, the idea came to put down the shadows on the lawn too, and I'm glad I did:)

You are right, getting to the bare bones is liberating! When I was young, I never got it - I thought, what are they so happy about? They're old! But now I'm old, I'm getting it LOL

DUTA said...

Hi jeannette,
Welcome back to the bloggie world.

Getting rid of stuff can sometimes be traumatic. With me it is. I get attached to things, can't help it.

I would entitle your picture: "Anatomy of a tree".

Gaston Studio said...

Wow, I've never seen a tree with so many roots, especially so close to the tree itself! Wonderful interpretation Jeannette.

Reader Wil said...

Hi Jeannette! What a beautiful tree! It has character and inspires one to write poetry or, what you did, paint!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Love the picture jeannette - and it is lovely to have you back in blogland - I do agree with you that as one gets older one changes one's philosophy on so many things - things which one thought important suddenly no longer matter.

jeannette stgermain said...

Duta, thank you.
We are creatures of habit, as they say:) I've noticed that I am even more attached to certain ways of life, even though I've lived in more than one culture!

I agree, that would be good title:)

jeannette stgermain said...

Yes, all those roots, isn't it curious? Than you Jane, glad you like my interpretation!

jeannette stgermain said...

Trees always have inspired me, because they are so characteristic, as you say. One of the first trees I was in awe of was in the illustrations of Tom Poes:)

jeannette stgermain said...

Dear Weaver, thank you for welcoming me back:) Haha, I like it that I don't have to keep up the reputation of being "cool" anymore (my kids' friends called me that way).

Shelley said...

I love how the roots are so interwoven like a sculpture in your painting! Congratulations on your move - hope everything goes well. I've become more of the mindset that "less is more" - and get a real satisfaction when I can clean my cozy log home in less than an hour! :-)

jeannette stgermain said...

Yes, these roots have the sculpture look, don't they? :)
I keep that as a promise Shelley, that would be wonderful if I can clean my home in less than an hour! (Artists are not known for tidy housekeepers LOL)

Whitemist said...

Glad to see you back and creating (not that down sizing is not)! i sometimes do not know what in a scene inspires me,I only know that i am and am usually very curious why.

Lynette said...

Jeannette, I just love your watercolor with all those dappled shadows and soft colors! What a wonderful old tree with all those roots tangling above the's so unusual and I can see why you were drawn to painting it.

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you! In the beginning I don't even think about what inspires me. It is looking back that I mostly can pinpoint where the inspiration had to do with (thinking in associations and links has to do with my job LOL).

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you, Lynette:) you hit a nerve there - tangling - I made another watercolor called "entanglement." It never ceases to amaze me how psychological artists like you think - that's probably why I hardly see them in the counseling room!

VioletSky said...

That tree has pretty impressive roots. And such a great canopy, too, I imagine!

Good luck with the rest of the boxes. Whenever I've unpacked from a move, I found I liked the more spartan look and was saddened that I still had boxes of stuff to add... glad you took a break to blog again!

jeannette stgermain said...

Dear Violet,
The crown of that tree is so huge, I would have to go down to the parking lot to get it all on the screen of my camera:)
Haha, I recognize that - I always "plan" to do a minimal look, but my attempt usually don't last long!

Floss said...

Hello Jeanette, thanks so much for stopping by my blog and introducing yourself. I've really enjoyed coming over here and learning a bit about you, your life and your art. I have a blogging friend in Poland who is an amateur artist and has been showing us a series of trees she painted to explore different styles. Her results are very different to yours, and she had a different goal in mind, but I will certainly let her know about you, and I hope she comes to see your tree, too!

Sreddy Yen said...

Hey~! Good to hear that you've finished moving - I missed seeing your paintings. Why do women have so much clothes ?? LOL ;o)

I love how you did the background of the painting - the soft purple trees give it such a friendly atmosphere.

Olga said...

What a lovely tree! It really looks beautiful, I love the hues and colours you used. And the style of the painting is interesting. It is amazing coincidence because in my last post on my blog I wrote about my tree paintings as well and added pictures, 11 trees all together - each represents a different art style. I'm very curious about your opinion on them.

jeannette stgermain said...

It really was a pleasure to peruse your blog a bit. Sounds you like your life over there? So many questions I like to ask you. My Dutch relatives hardly talk about the recession. How is it in France?

Thank you for visiting, and welcome to come by any time!
Looking forward to get to know your Polish friend.

jeannette stgermain said...

Thanks for the nice compliment, Sreddy!
So, why do men have so few clothes? LOL I know, not entirely true - my hubby has plenty of clothes, but doesn't discard the old ones!

Glad you like the background - it took me a while to come up with that, because I placed the horizon so high. I knew that any mistake above it could ruin the whole scene.

jeannette stgermain said...

my focus was the roots and not so much the tree in this painting. On a previous post :the impossible tree" my focus is on the tree.
Your intent is very different in showing the different art periods, and your work shows your research - you've done well! It's obvious that you did a lot of hard work:)

I left a comment on your blog that I was curious as to what tree you like best, or which period you could put your soul into the most?

I did maybe not go far enough into your blog, but I'm curious what style/approach you like best in painting (in general?

Reader Wil said...

Thanks so much for the comment. I also like the Open Luchtmuseum in Arnhem. Very informative! Good luck with your new house.

jeannette stgermain said...

Reader Wil,
Thank you Wil, I'm still adjusting to to the new house, but even more to its environment - a different kind of atmosphere, much more single and couple oriented than family oriented.
When still living in Holland, we also took several of our American friends to the Open Air museum, and they all liked it very much.

Maria said...

I like the patterns the shadows paint on the grass, and also the patterns of the roots.
Thank you for your visit!

Maria said...

Jeannette, yes, the New Danube is different from the Old Danube, as the name suggests.
In Vienna, the original "old Danube" flows through a wide basin with large wetland and inundation areas. In order to avoid floods, a second river bed was built in the inundation area (around 1975), running parallel to the "old" Danube over a length of 20 km. This "new Danube" takes up water from the "old" Danube when it is swollen, and so prevents Vienna from getting flooded. Old and New Danube are separated by an artificial island, the "Donauinsel".
Donauinsel and Neue Donau are the most popular recreation areas in Vienna, with a beach of 40 km, inviting to swimming, cycling, walking, skating, in a cold winter even on ice, bird-watching...
I love this area very much and often go for a walk with my friend Brigitte. Thanks for asking :)

jeannette stgermain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jeannette stgermain said...

Glad you like my watercolor, which fits in the turbulent time here in the US. How are things there in Austria - is there much unemployment and a recession? (with news they have here an island mentality, it has to be a disaster in Eur. to make the news - very scanty news).
Thank you for your explanation about the old and the new Danube. I was in Vienna on two occasions after 1977, but at that time I had no idea about the importance of history and geology, so I'm trying to catch up now I'm older:)