Who Inspires You?


In June 2017, I saw the O’Keeffe exhibit at the AGO, in Toronto. It blew my mind. She was never an artist I related to, or was really very familiar with. I always associated her with big flower paintings, that were of very little interest to me. However, when I saw this exhibit, of her vast subjects and materials, I gained a whole new respect for her and her work.

The more I have learned about her over the last three years, the more relatable she becomes, especially her relationship to land/scape and painting. Can you believe I bought this book at the exhibit three years ago, and just yesterday sat down to read it? I had looked at the images many times, but never read the content. I found myself more and more inspired by each essay, letter, and time period.

As I lazily make my way through these early pandemic days, mostly with very little worries as I am privileged enough to stay home safe with my child; I read about this woman artist who lived through the first world war, a 2-year flu pandemic, the Great Depression, and then the second world war… I feel nothing but awe and reverence towards her. Very humbling.

At 53 years old, in 1940, she bought herself a small piece of property in New Mexico. But it wasn’t until her husband passed away six years later that she made it her permanent home. She found a new freedom in her life, she learned to drive, she traveled the world, and she painted.

After finishing the book last night, I pulled out an old acrylic painting I have been stuck on for over a year, and decided to do it over in oils. I’m thinking about the travels I will be able to do once this pandemic has passed, and we are safe to explore the world again. Ghost Ranch is on my radar now. Iceland is still a dream. And I’m thinking a drive through the Northwest Territories to the Yukon would be good for my Canadian Landscapes inspiration.

“Dreaming of Iceland” Work in Progress

In the meantime, I will keep working with what I’ve got… books, photographs, and other artists to inspire me. Who inspires you?

Published by JenniferAnneBurke

Yogini since I was 17. Certified yoga instructor since I was 24. Totaling over 20 years of experience. Thousands of hours of practice, teaching, learning, sharing, loving, growing. I believe yoga needs to be made accessible to all people, even if that means simply practicing breath work. My business is named "The Gentle Way of Hatha" because from my personal experience it is the gentle practice that has been the most liberating, and what I wish to share with others. The essence of yoga: inner peace. Finding your calm in the chaos of life. Artist my whole life. Failed OCAD (well I didn't really give it a chance, I dropped out after one semester). Continue to create regardless. Check out JenniferAnneBurke.com to view my work. I love to travel, and hope to make it to Iceland in 2020 for an art adventure.

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