BOUNDLESS INSPIRATION: embracing change & growth in art

BOUNDLESS INSPIRATION: embracing change & growth in art

With a chaotic whirlwind of thoughts, images, and connections constantly swirling in my mind, I find it challenging to “stay in my lane” when it comes to, well, everything, but especially in the realm of art.  To satisfy my itch for challenge and novelty I must experiment, and after being surrounded by the vibrant and beautiful landscapes of my friend, the very talented artist Heather Kinahan, at last year's Spruce Meadows Christmas Market, I found myself inspired to delve into landscape work.

Many experts emphasize the importance of developing a "style" in art, but this doesn't mean one has to restrict themselves to it narrowly. Art is not about rigidly adhering to a single style or theme, it's about exploration and pushing boundaries. For me, this means venturing into different subjects, and palettes.  Hence my personally frightening, but very satisfying venture into figurative work last year with THE BODY PROJECT.  I've mentioned this before, but one principle I strive to uphold is to not shy away from the things that scare me, or in other words, to embrace discomfort and pursue growth. While I don't always succeed, I make an effort to remind myself of this philosophy, especially when I am in my studio!

Recently, I've been captivated by landscapes, a complete departure from my usual non-representational abstract pieces. This exploration has been incredibly refreshing.  Diving into landscapes has offered me a new perspective, forcing me to slow down and appreciate the details. It's also led me to experiment with new palettes, using colors I wouldn't typically choose (sometimes). This experimentation has been eye-opening, showing me how a simple shift in attention can my perspective and invigorate my creative process.

Two abstract landscape paintings by Mary-Jo Lough

These two pieces are VERY different from one another.  The first is titled: “Farmhouse Nostalgia and it reflects upon my teen years in Southern Ontario, where I was surrounded by farmlands despite not living on a farm myself. The painting captures the essence of my nostalgia, particularly for the vibrant colors of fall in Ontario that I love and miss dearly.  The second piece is titled: “Expanse”.  I have always admired the expansive sky and how spacious it is here in Alberta, and of course the majestic mountains. "Expanse" captures that sense of vastness and grandeur, with the sky dominating the scene, stretching out endlessly. The mountains, though not the focal point, add a sense of solidity and permanence, grounding the viewer in the landscape. Alberta's beauty lies in its openness, where the sky meets the land in a way that feels boundless and free.

Embracing these changes and challenges is an integral, and necessary, part of the creative process for me. It's okay to feel bored or stuck; it's all part of the journey. The key is to see these moments as opportunities to try something new, to push yourself in ways you never thought possible. Who knows what amazing discoveries lie ahead?

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Gratefully yours,

Mary-Jo Lough's Signature
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