The Art of Running Away

Last week, I wrote about keeping commitments to myself and what I learned by not doing so. One of the elements I touched upon was keeping a weekly artist’s date with myself. Here’s the story of my most recent adventure to absorb art.

Wednesday morning my mastermind took place. My kickass entrepreneurial friends all shared similar struggles: the blahs had set in. We spoke of feeling overwhelmed. When it came time for me to share with the group, I owned up to the fact that my creativity was severely depleted. At their urging, I recommitted to scheduling time to play and be creative.

Brandywine River Museum of Art. Photo credit: Deborah Kevin, July 2018.

That very afternoon, I took off for Pennsylvania to visit one of my favorite museums, the Brandywine River Museum of Art, in Chadds Ford. The two-hour drive gave me an opportunity to sing out loud to one of my iPhone playlists. Ed Sheeran. P!nk. Blake Shelton. Sam Smith. Whitney Houston. George Michael. Aretha Franklin. I rocked that concert!

Traffic was light on Interstate 95. Still, Google maps indicated an alternate route, which I took, feeling adventurous. Instead of three-wheelers and speed demons passing me, I found myself on winding roads, sun-dappled and lush with greenery.

As the miles fell away, my shoulders relaxed, and my smile grew wide. I felt as though I were escaping. Playing hooky. And it felt blissful. Free. Honestly, it felt like I was coming home (which, in a sense, I was as Bucks County, PA, is where I grew up).

The museum, housed in an old mill on the Brandywine River, features the art of generations of Wyeths. My favorite is the family’s patriarch, N.C. Wyeth. He’s most known for his gorgeous illustrations, which I first discovered on the bookshelves in my grandmother’s parlor. Imagine my delight to learn that the artwork in those books originated on canvas. Treasure Island (1911), Kidnapped (1913), The Boy’s King Arthur (1917), and The Last of the Mohicans (1919) were the breathtaking books I poured over as a young girl.

Walking the wide plank floors behind old brick walls and viewing “Jim Hawkins leaves home” felt like a gift to myself. Whispers of all my art classes and art history courses hovered on the edge of my consciousness. I marveled at brushstrokes, evocative hues, and sweeping storytelling, and felt my creative well slowly refill.

Once the art satiated my thirst, I sat on a stone bench, beneath a maple tree, and watched the muddied waters of the Brandywine River flow by. The occasional kayaker or paddleboarder made me yearn to be on the water rather than sitting beside it. That’s for another day.

My escape reenergized me in a way that I wouldn’t have predicted. I can’t wait to run away again!

Before you run off, how do you refill your creativity? Share in the comments below!

All photos by Deborah Kevin, July 2018.



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