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It's Good to Visit Another Neighborhood Now and Then

Cartoon of house all in a row

Linda and I have been thinking about our future. This includes alternative places to spend part or even all of our years. This is not about liking one place over another, but rather having a fresh outlook on life.

So in light of this approach, we have been snooping around in North Carolina. Now again, it could be any other state or place, the point is allowing the looking around to be part of our journey overall. North Carolina just happens to be a place we are familiar with and enjoy visiting.

I have a strong sense of place for the Piedmont Region of Virginia where we live now. It has played such a supportive tool in my growth as a person and most certainly as an artist. But I must admit, art-wise, it’s become a bit localized. Also, any area will have many interests, but often one interest is what makes the area tick. Words could not be truer of the area where we live which is the home of horses and hounds, or frankly anything equestrian. In short, it’s saddle driven and seemly almost every discipline exists here.

So, while all kinds of other interests are happily a part of the area, equine interests “rein” supreme, meaning art does not. Fortunately, scenic beauty holds a pretty high spot in the backup interests, so I have been able to carve out a successful career and I love it here. That said, when I visit other areas where the arts and culture garner a greater importance to the community, I feel it instantly. The pulse tells you its alive and as such you find greater creative vision.

It’s nice to see places where traditional landscape painting is of far less importance. Not that they would be unimportant, but that they would be seen as part of a much larger selection of variety, choice and creative voice. Fresh approaches break the rut of traditions. Creativity is about experimenting with one’s limitations to the point of surpassing the line a little each time. This does not mean tradition is rejected. This is certainly not the case at all. I’m just saying it’s nice to see tradition be part and parcel of a broader visual creative community.

Breathing this in helps us open our minds to other forms of life. It breaks the mold and allows us to explore. This exploration is inspiring and plants the seeds of growth. Mr. Rodgers use to sing, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood….”, but it’s also a beautiful day in someone else’s neighborhood and it’s nice to experience this once in a while.

Live an artful life!