The world is your canvas and you are the artist ready to paint the way. With every action, a brush glides paint on a canvas in effort to develop your masterpiece. This metaphor is often used and there is something that can be learned when looking at life through the eye of an artist.
Artist Jenny Bleackley knows that life and painting isn’t as simple or as easy as a glide of the paintbrush. A masterpiece takes time, commitment, passion, patience and continual development. As an artist develops his or her craft, they begin to notice how they look at life differently than most. “Being an artist teaches you to be more observant. The more observant you are, the more acute things are around you. It’s nice being able to portray that,” states Jenny. The first thing to see from looking through the eye of an artist is to find beauty in the small things around you.
Her paintings are abstract, landscape, and usually themed around nature. When observing her work, you breathe in her calming spirit which lingers on the canvas. It’s hard to imagine how an artist remains so calm while working with one of the most difficult mediums. Jenny works with watercolor, but not in the conventional way of watercolor on paper. Instead, she uses canvas as her choice of material. The challenge of it all is what Jenny says she loves best, “It doesn’t do what you want it to do. When you make a mark it’s very difficult to get rid of that mark. You have to learn to live with mistakes and turn them into potential, exciting, interesting abstracts. So it’s a challenge… for a little while I bang my head against a brick wall, but the exciting thing is that it does pursue something really exciting, then it’s just wow.”
Jenny allows the work to evolve during the process, starting the project with the vision of what she wishes to paint but adjusting to what the paint throws her way. Here is another thing to be learned when looking through the eyes of an artist. Just how Jenny’s paint doesn’t do exactly what she wants, life does not give us the path or direction we have always thought we would follow. Jenny looks at the paint not as if it is a hassle or a mark that has ruined her piece, but rather as a new opportunity to create something more beautiful than she imagined.
“The artwork also taught me patience, and that mistakes can be corrected. If things don’t work, you can make them work. That was the difficult thing, that you need to put it aside and come back and you just keep coming back until it works”
It’s no wonder why one of her favorite quotes comes from Winston Churchill: “Success consists in going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” She takes what some may consider failure and turns it into a positive optimistic moment to propel her forward. The view of looking at an obstacle with patience and not giving up is another thing to take from the eyes of an artist.
The vibrant colors, eminent texture, bold flower petal outlines, and a soft blending between the various plants makes looking at her painting Florida Flowers so enjoyable. This piece is full of color, energy, and detail. Stand back and with ease your eyes sway between different flowers and color. Stand close and you get lost in the detail. Every time you return, you feel as if you see something different.
When asked what she wants people to see when they look at her paintings, Jenny stated, “I would like them to discover something new each time they look; I don’t want my paintings screaming out at them, but more a journey of discovery by looking carefully and longer. It may be different each time you pass it or and in different lights, too.” Through the eyes of the artist, you look more carefully, take time to enjoy the moment, and find new beauty every time.
Jenny Bleackley has a home in the Old Northeast. She has called the United Kingdom her home her entire life, but fell in love with unique charm this town has to offer. Out of fear that she would not make a living, Jenny’s parents restricted her from painting during the ’60s era of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. Taking a job as a secretary, later a massage therapist, marrying and having children, Jenny continued on with her life, which until about ten years ago did not involve painting. One day, Jenny decided to pick up the paint-brush and teach herself a skill – a skill she had always desired to do. Mostly self-taught, she began her artistic journey. The journey has been a road of self-discovery.
Ask Jenny “how do you know when your work is done?” and she replies, “It starts in the heart, but you need the head to confirm it.” If we go about life as if we go about making our own works of art, think of the beauty we can create. Life doesn’t throw us what we expect or plan. We are handed situations we have to learn to work with. You follow your heart and with persistence, dedication, and passion your mind will know you are ready for what’s to come. When developing your masterpiece of life take each step and view it through the eyes of an artist. Look with an acute sense to every moment, finding beauty in the small things. Look at obstacles with patience and adjust. Look at struggles with passion and determination to never give up. Through the eyes of an artist you may not end up with something you first envisioned, you may end up with something more beautiful than imagined.