The Creative Epiphany – Distance

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Distance has  been a challenge for me most of my life. Physical, geographical distance; the distance between me and the people in my life that I care most about. I am part of the problem, because I have moved a lot since leaving Ohio to pursue my love of art at the University of Colorado and then due to my husband’s work – Air Force living led us on a meandering path from South Carolina to Montana to Colorado, with stops at various states in between for weeks of pre-Viet Nam jungle survival training in Mississippi, and much later, missile  training  at Vandenberg AFB in California. Followed, after Air Force life ended, by the solitary life of the traveling salesman’s wife.

But those days are long gone and the distancing continues. I might sound like a whiner now, maybe for just a little bit, but my intention is to present the facts as they are. When the children became adults, thanks to the ease of 21st century travel, their endless curiosity and their ability to successfully combine career and exploration, they both became moving targets. That’s the good news and the distance news.

I have had no choice but to get used to it. Nepal, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Canada, London, Singapore, Yemen, Guatemala, Kurdistan, Thailand, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Panama, The Philippines, Bali, Bhutan, Antarctica, New Zealand, Poland, Turkey, Greece, Africa, Madagascar, and the list goes on. I’m sure I have forgotten some. Oh yes I am very proud! They say the best gift you can give your children is wings, and I was able to do that. This has really been something to watch unfold and I do at times live vicariously through their adventures. It has always positively influenced my art – the stories! the photos! the people they meet! the exotic gifts brought home for me! What a joy it has been to observe! But there are always a couple days here and there when I think, ok that’s enough now. Come home. Stay. Don’t move. Get over it.

But where IS home? Ah that is the catch. They have made homes everywhere to the point where home is not anywhere and yet it is everywhere. And of course I am moving my headquarters – yes me – “house and home” is moving again – a happy move from California back to Denver in mid-July. The saying goes, “Bloom where you are planted.” And I always do. The pieces of the re-location puzzle, looking backward, always make perfect sense in retrospect. An experience in one place affords you a stepping stone to your next move and the ways in which you will continue to be productive there. This time, based upon my three years of teaching adult art classes here in California (on top of literally a lifetime of painting) plus some particular life-long passions and affinities,  and having friends who share them, I see a magnificent possibility on my horizon based out of my new Denver headquarters. As I look back on things I realize that my art has always presented the path that has taken me where I wanted to go. It is my soul’s home place and my anchor. At this point my next adventure is  too far off to be specific about – but too close not to begin moving toward it. This will be my best move yet, and when the dust settles, you will be the first ( well maybe the second) to know what happens! I do believe that everything in my life has brought me to this….this position of strength.


The painting is by Jo Ann Brown-Scott, titled Strength from her Soul Flags series.