We long for the past, and yearn for the future and I'm usually stuck somewhere between these two states. Lately I've been wanting the future. The future where I'm successful, the future where I am fully actualized, the future where I can judge from experience and know just what it is that I am doing.
I've been working on getting my art career going. After art school I didn't really do much of anything for about two years aside make lattes and wait tables. Since moving to Austin I've sense picked up the brush again and started painting more. At first I thought it was because I was newly inspired by the city, now I think it was my way of coping. It became a way to exclude myself from all the noise and drama. I feel a sense of stillness similar to mediation when I paint.
The thing most people remark on when they see my work is how detailed it is. Honestly, I don't believe that I could paint any other way. I need those tiny dots to get lost in. I need to spend over 20 hours on a 12" painting for me to feel invested in it. When someone sees my paintings, it is my goal for them to get as close to it as possible. Large works forces you to step away to take it all in, while smaller works forces the viewer to step close to appreciate. Because my work focuses on nature and its actual shrinking, I also feel it fitting to make smaller works as it makes them less valuable than large works, but also more precious.
When I studied in Ireland in 2008, artist Alice Maher (whom I greatly, greatly admire) said that I was a sentimental artist. At the time I didn't know how to take it. I was having a hard time in school, finding my voice and sentimentality didn't seem as interesting as cynicism. Now I think sentimentalists are needed. We need protectors who hold on to the small precious things.
I grew up in Alaska, and I believe that this has formed my opinions on the importance of the loss of nature. On family outings and field trips in school, we would often go to glaciers, most often Portage Glacier. When I was a child, you could easily view the glacier from the viewing platform. It was close enough to feel as if you could jump to it. Now to view the glacier you have to take a boat to see it.
We long for the past when it stops being assessable to us.
About two years ago I had a dream of a bee, fuzzy, black and large. I could feel its buzzing vibrate through me as she flew around my head. She then landed in my ear and proceeded to crawl inside. After here, I don't remember much. I believe the shock of having another creature flying around inside woke me.
From there, I started painting bees. The first one was "Bee Where," which remains very special to me. I also started researching bees at this point, and became fascinated by these little angels.
There are lots of interesting things about bees. They have ten times more grey matter than mammals. They communicate by dance. Their honey never decays, and can heal wounds. They have been around for at least 65 million years, and we owe a third of our food supply to their pollination. Einstein was quoted saying that if bees were to perish, that mankind would have four years left. This brings to mind the horrific problem of colony collapse disorder, where bees are disappearing from their hive. A lot of the time, their bodies are not found, as if they have been raptured.
I hope to spread awareness of their plight. Their bodies are too sensitive to survive our changing world of pesticides and GMOs. Modern beekeeping practices are just as horrific, artificially inseminating the Queen, feeding her children high fructose corn syrup, and having no sense of the natural rhythms of nature and exhausting the bees.
On this blog, I want to not only share about myself and my life, but also my research on bees.
Here's a great fun read about bees,
Kelsey Jenkinson is a 27 year old artist in currently living and working in Austin, Texas.