Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Lines of Desire-Paths We Follow

Lines of Desire 1351    60 x 72"  Oil/Cold wax on canvas  © 2013 Janice Mason Steeves

I am interested in paths.  Trails that emerge from human or animal footfall are called Lines of Desire.  It is the name that landscape architects give to those spontaneous narrow paths-the shortcuts- that people make across fields, or woodlands that do not follow the paved walkways.  Sometimes called social pathways, they have been created over time by people repeatedly walking the same track.
I'm calling my new body of work, Lines of Desire to indicate the path that I am travelling throughout this series and the route I have travelled to get to this work. It is the same title I gave to an earlier body of work.  I wanted to revisit the idea.  My work has always been influenced by the idea of place-whether it be the sacred places/pilgrimage sites that have drawn me to various countries, the prairies where I grew up, the land I live on now, or the inner place of spirit.  The search for place has been an outer journey as well as an internal one. The life-threatening illness of my dear friend Susan has influenced this most recent work as I wrote about in my last blog post.  Her courage has inspired me to consider gratitude on a daily basis and taken me on a different road in my painting than the one I have followed for the past year or two.

I'm following the well-worn path of gratitude.

The root of joy is gratefulness...It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” 
― David Steindl-Rast


Everything is a gift. The degree to which we are awake to this truth is a measure of our gratefullness, and gratefullness is a measure of our aliveness.” 
― David Steindl-Rast

7 comments:

  1. It is such a beautiful thing to re-visit a body of work. It helps each of us to explore our memories and, maybe more importantly, to see our growth over the years. That your paintings are kindled in gratitude is rich beyond measure.

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    1. HI Mike,
      Such beautiful words and understanding.
      Thanks for this.
      Jan

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  2. I've never known they were actually called Lines of Desire -- I love that -- now when I see a coyote trail, it will be that much more meaningful to me. And in our work, the trails we choose or veer away from, always lead us to discovering our own authenticity. Following desire is following our truth, without fear and with hope. I look forward to seeing more of this body of work, Janice.

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    1. Thanks Diane. Hmmmm, such thoughtful and lovely words.

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  3. very nice post Janice - I completely relate to your comments about gratitude and have experienced something akin to what you describe. The impact is significant and I am excited to see how it will manifest itself in my work. Lines of Desire, it's such a great phrase, a wonderful image to contemplate & your paintings sublime.

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    1. Hi James
      Thanks for your wonderful comments. I'm delighted to hear that gratitude is also manifesting in your work. I guess we need to remember to always be aware of it-in our work and in our lives too. Appreciate your words.

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  4. Isn't it poignant how what happens in our lives follow us into the work? May you find where you need to go on the paths taken.

    By the way, you're right; it's easier to comment on your blog than mine.

    Best, Jean

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