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A Story About “Wind Swept”


One year ago during a rainy June we launched Wind Swept: A Solo Art Exhibition at Art In House. It’s amazing how time passes. This post is a little reflection of this moment in JSAA.

Artist Statement

Jenna Stewart is an artist and author.
She works mostly in acrylic on board but is known to return to her roots, putting pencil or pastel to paper on occasion.
After publishing a short story in 2014, There Is This Place, she dove into creating art as a means of representing a kind of magic that she believes exists all around us. Her art is inspired by the rugged and wind swept landscape of Muskoka and it is her hope that it reminds the viewer to stop on occasion, and find calm and peace from the magic that is the nature that surrounds us. For in the wild of the wind swept pine tree there remains a strength and confidence that stands proud against the raging winds.
Magic at its finest.

A Story

I jumped in head first for this exhibition.
Sometimes we need to do that.
I had set the goal of planning a solo art exhibition at the start of the year and I wanted to make it happen. The year had not gone exactly as planned and I felt I was running out of time. I jumped in anyway. I had huge plans to have at least 3-4 more paintings in this exhibition; a loon, a blue heron, a large maple leaf nod to Canada’s 150th year and maybe even an owl. I had the boards prepped, the leaf sketched and I had even started painting the loon. However, my initial suspicion that time was not on my side was proven right.
I was planning a wedding, I had just completed 3 illustration projects, I was coming off an unexpected basement reno after a spring flood and I was teaching in a partial LTO – fighting through the end of year crazy and report writing. Needless to say, I never completed those paintings. As the date of the opening creeped closer and closer I felt that nasty little word FAIL sulk around my ankles. I brushed it aside because I didn’t have the time to worry about it, but that was the problem in the first place – I didn’t have the time.
A few days before the opening I had a choice. I could choose to let that little word continue to prowl around, leaving in its wake self doubt and a destruction of confidence OR I could continue to ignore it and push on. I choose the latter. On the day of installation I loaded up my hatchback Elantra to its FULL capacity, adding a few older paintings I still had kicking around to round out the show. It was as the hatchback closed with a thud and I wandered around to the drivers side door, peeking through the windows at the “bursting with art” car sitting in my driveway, that it hit me full in the face.
I – was – having – a – solo – art – exhibition!
It didn’t matter that those paintings were not completed. I had white gallery walls ALL TO MYSELF. I filled those walls with MY art. It was ME filling this space and I had it to myself for a month! That little word disintegrated in that moment. There was no failing here. I set an intention in January 2017 and here I was doing it 6 months later.
In the end its all about our perspective. I could have felt that I had failed because I didn’t have as many new paintings as I had hoped. Would they have added to the show – absolutely! However, with or without them, there was still a butt load of success in this endeavor.
With every new thing we do there will always be something that doesn’t go as planned; there will always be something we “could have done better.” Yet as the saying goes, “failure is the road to success.” Whether I failed or succeeded – or did both – I never would have done either without jumping in head first.
There is success in every failure and failure in every success.
I dare you to go jump.

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