Home Is the Place Where I Hang My Art — & Also Where I Hang My Heart

Yesterday I had to make a quick trip out of town, and on the way back to my new home in Harrison, Arkansas, I set the local stations on my car’s radio dial. I have been sleeping in my Harrison bed for 3 months now, but I am just beginning to feel that Harrison is my new home. Yesterday, it simply seemed to be time to let my car and my radio know that we have moved.

Some people have asked me what was the actual date when I relocated from the Northeast, and I have had difficulty giving anyone an honest and complete answer. You see, moving, for me, has been something that I have done in stages.

In January of 2018, I was still living in New Jersey, but my old friend and college sorority sister became my business manager, and my wheels began to move toward her hometown in Harrison, Arkansas.

Ozarks Anywhere USA – Jacki Kellum Watercolor

At Easter time, I visited Harrison, and I felt a strong connection to the rocky and hilly Ozark terrain, where Harrison sits. I loved the plethora of old, hill farms and farm buildings in the area, too. Perhaps by coincidence, I needed to illustrate some picture books that are about hill farm country, and I had no real ties to the Northeast. I simply decided that I would relocate to the Ozarks, and that was Step 2 in my move.

Jacki Kellum’s new home and studio in the Ozarks

My friend and business manager flew to Philadelphia and drove my old Honda to Harrison, and I moved into a little cabin that sat on top of a tall hill. I am a nature freak, and fortunately, the back of my new digs is high off the ground, overlooking a small patch of woods.

I planted pots on my deck and filled some birdfeeders and bird baths. Soon, the birds found me and christened my cabin.

Baby Cardinal – Jacki Kellum Watercolor

Sometimes Beginnings Seem Ugly – Recalling the Beauty of the Ugly Duckling: Here

I had nudged a few steps closer to my having relocated from the East Coast, but I still had not acclimated. At that time, I told friends that I was in purgatory. I was neither on the East Coast nor in the Ozarks.

Gradually, I met some other artist friends, and I began drawing with a figure drawing group.

And I joined the Association of Ozark Mountain Artists.

I began paiting what I knew of the Ozarks region, but I began by relying on Google images for my first paintings. [On many levels, that is a bad idea]. I realized that I needed to take my own photographs and to form my own impressions of my new area, and I  began hiking the Ozarks and to begin photographing it for myself.

Only a few days ago, I drove deep into the rural Ozarks, and I began becoming part of the rocks and the hills and the old houses of this area. That is when I truly left the East Coast and relocated in these Ozark hills.

Yesterday, I had to make a quick trip out of town, and on the way back to my new home in Harrison, Arkansas, I set the local stations on my car’s radio dial. I have been sleeping in my Harrison bed for 3 months now, but today, I finally call Harrison my new home.

Today, I progressed a bit farther and hung some of my newer paintings on my wall. Oddly enough, I never set my radio stations while I was living on the East Coast, and I was there 15 years. And I never framed my art and hung it on my walls. I realize now that I never actually moved to the East Coast from Mississippi. I simply lived there. Today, I have set my radio’s dials and I have hung my paintings all around my house, and in doing so, I am fully aware of  the fact that Home Is the Place Where I Hang My Art–and that is where I also hang my heart,

 

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