Serenity Now...

Atlin Road in Winter, Oil on Canvas,  Don Weir

White Sands, Collage on Oil,  Don Weir

Arctic Plains at Dawn, Oil on Canvas,  Don Weir 

Perhaps because of how stimulating my days have been these past few years, I find myself craving simplicity in most aspects of my life.  Life with little guys is anything but dull, or quiet.  Their energy is endless, their voices loud, their attention spans minimal and their stuff, well, it’s everywhere. At the end of the day, quieting my mind and my surroundings is a challenge and a must.

For those of you who know me or who have been reading the blog, it's obvious that as a stay-at-home mom to two pre-schoolers, I am not at a point in my life where I can a) afford much original art or b) stroll through galleries and museums too often to appreciate it, so it was an unusual, but welcome occasion when I stumbled upon Don Weir's work back in March while visiting the Architectural Digest Home Show. 

While there were aisles of impressive art, I found myself drawn to his display at least twice before I picked up a card. When I saw Don's art, I couldn't wait to seek out his website and investigate it further. What I found was that the light and brightness in his paintings and collages evoked a sense of calm in me that slowed me down and drew me in.   I loved the way their subtle shapes hinted at description, but let my mind do the work on its own, a welcome respite when you're teaching, explaining and refereeing most of the day.  After seeing Don's work, not only did I want a piece, I wanted to live in one.  It struck me that what I connected to in his work was restraint. 

More and more these days, I crave less:  less visual clutter,  cleaner lines and shapes, and fewer things surrounding me. This shift is evident in our home.  Slowly, I've been redecorating and editing our living room for the last year. I remember the look on my husband's face when he came home from work one afternoon to find two gallery style walls of photos completely removed (to his credit, he barely flinched). They were at least five years in the making and at some point, (maybe when our son entered his terrible twos) they had begun to drive me bananas. What I loved when we had first moved into our home had somehow become clutter to me and one more thing in my life to maintain. I had to simplify.  Pronto. So all the photos came down, showing the tell tale signs of some half-hearted housekeeping and lots of holes.  

After patching and priming, we lived in hospital-like sterility, with little color, art or images of any kind for months until little by little, we put the pieces back together with fresh eyes.  Now that the room is finally coming together (I shared with you here, that my rooms will never really be finished), I am much more content. Instead of two gallery style walls with about two dozen photos to update (and dust), I have six large framed photos to update seasonally in a simple grid. Ah simplicity. 

I know my style and taste will continue to evolve with the seasons and phases of my life. Someday I would love to have one of Don's paintings or collages in my space. In the meantime though, I'm happy to be inspired by their soothing aesthetic and to quiet my mind and home with the same idea. In the words of Mr. Constanza, "Serenity now, insanity later."

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