10 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST
1. My Painting Workshops - Sharing my knowledge with others.
2. When I know I have created a powerful piece of art.
3. Allows me the freedom to work my own hours.
4. The solitude and independence it offers.
5. Inspiring people who see my work.
6. Connecting people to art.
7. Being involved in an activity that promotes life-long learning.
8. Learning persistence, patience, and determination.
9. Being focused and creating my visual concepts into reality.
10. Creating is always an exciting process, it never gets boring.
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Thomas Merton
Recently when I was driving up the West Coast of New Zealand, I stopped at a house that was advertising knife making courses. The old, wise man who made the knives asked what I did. I told him that I was an artist. "I absolutely take my hat off to you, to be an artist, especially in New Zealand, it is quite something, you have to have balls of steel", he said.
I have always been one to follow and stay true to my path. I love nature and creating things. Being an artist is the best job in the world. However, existing as one, means its a life of feast and famine, it certainly keeps things interesting and challenging.
When feast appears, it usually involves travelling to other countries, which allows me to meet new artists and discover their processes and techniques. It enables me to organise future art residencies and exhibitions, locate potential painting workshop venues, explore new meditation techniques and seek fresh artistic ideas. The benefits of going abroad allows me time to reflect and appreciate how grateful I am to live in New Zealand.
When famine appears, theres always one ignorant person who says "why don't you get a real job?". My usual reply is, "it's simply not possible. Do you like music? Just imagine if all musicians had famine and stopped making music!"
One must understand that creating is like inhaling air, like a beating heart. If creatives cannot create, their mental health suffers deeply. An artist must be a hardened soldier, be able to ride through the storms and think outside the square. I believe theres always a way around things, usually you just haven't thought of them yet.
Observing nature, experimenting with, and understanding paint is a key part of creating.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JANE KELLAHAN
My day starts off with a mad rush to get my son to school on time. I then take Chester, my French Bulldog and my pet lamb, Naseby for a walk around the lake. Its here that I do some meditation to help clear the mind, with a few yoga poses tossed into the mix.
Whatever I am working on, I usually have all my thoughts, colours, and composition prepared the night before. I love the research process, ie; my latest painting for the London Biennale is about Honey Bees. Before I commence the work, I read up and watch docos about the Bees so I begin to understand the life and nature of their work. I need to connect with them, if I dont follow this process, I am unable to communicate the true Honey Bee through my work.
I spend 3 - 4 hours of intense painting 4 days a week. I leave a day free to teach painting workshops at clients homes or at a special location. I find it more productive to work in short bursts with high energy. Creating strong, powerful art is about connecting with the vibrations and going into a trance like state of mind. My day ends with a good glass of New Zealand Pinot Noir and a movie. Once a week in the evenings, my son and I take the row boat on the lake and pick up any drowning bees, we feed them honey and give them a chance to revive, 15 minutes later they fly up, do two circles above us (maybe a thank you?) and then fly off back home.
If you have any questions regarding my art, painting workshops, commissions or becoming an artist, please email me.