two days have gone by in the month-long countdown. surgeon said no right-hand painting, but i thought i would experiment with the left. if i can vacuum with my left hand, surely i can get loose and go lefty with my art. so off to the studio i went with my black lab anxiously hoping for a good nap while keith jarrett’s piano plays us something peaceful. it didn’t take long for reality to set in. without a second hand, i couldn’t even open the tube of paint. funny. i forgot about that one little detail. 28 days to go.
This painting was chosen yesterday — chosen to leave my little nest for the big city of Atlanta, to live its life in a luxurious loft. I’m a little sad because I always loved it. And I’m a little happy because someone else loved it as much as I did.
This is the life of an artist — a life of letting go.
First you have to let go of inhibition, of perfection, of rejection and of fear, constantly reminding yourself that not everyone is going to like what you create, and it’s ok.
Then, someone comes along who not only likes it but wants to purchase it, and you have to let go again. It’s a roller coaster of emotions on any given day.
So back to the easel I go, getting ready for the next letting go lesson.
Sometimes you have a day that shines on you — not only in an external way, but inside as well. All the good stuff you feel in your heart and your head somehow surfaces and shows up in your face and in your walk and in the way your carry your burdens. I know this only because it happened to me after a rather enjoyable and productive day “working” in the studio.
Sophie is my dog, and she expects an afternoon stroll to the bay. So that’s where we were going. A new neighbor and her pet crossed our path, and we exchanged pleasantries. She shocked me with a “You look nice today.” Really??? In my old jeans, t-shirt and work boots? It wasn’t the outfit, I realized. It was the “infit.”
I thought about this for quite some time, hoping I could duplicate the day, and keep that look going. The only way, I think, is to take every kind of day and focus with enormous gratitude on every breath with which we are gifted. Then give that gratitude to another with a smile and a strut that shouts of shine.
Have a blessed Easter weekend!
This evening, as part of Artists of 30A Art Walk, my studio will be open from 5-7 p.m., but I don’t want you to come with the idea that you have to buy something. I want you to come with the idea of a having a restful evening under the stars, by the fire. I am making some simple snacks to share, because this night is about sharing . . . sharing who I am and where I create so that if you ever run into someone who wants or needs art, you think of me. I like to keep things simple. If you like my art, you will like me, and you will remember the wonderful time you had at my home studio tonight. See you later!
By the way, I’m at 60 Summer Breeze Lane in the Point Washington area of Santa Rosa Beach, a mile up 283 from 98, a mile east to Cabbage Rose, three streets up to Summer Breeze and three houses down on the right. Follow the lights to the back deck.
I am glad those days are over – those waiting days. No longer do I wait for some grand inspiration to strike me upside the head. No longer do I wait for a significant soul to coax me into painting. No longer do I wait for the perfect day, hour or minute to begin creating something new or finishing something from days ago. I’m not going to wait for “the dial tone” that ensures someone out there is listening to my heart that creates art.
I am going to paint today because it is my purpose for being alive today. I feel good that I have a purpose, and at the end of the day, when the sun sets and the lights go out, hopefully I can say I made something good.
Long after the rotary phone started collecting dust, but not really that long ago, I struggled with myself more . . . asking if it was enough to create art. That soul-sucking thought creeps in when I am weak, but most days it is held back by the unexplainable and simple joy I feel when I am in my studio.
No longer can I wait to get in there and see what happens.
Call and come see me sometime, but please don’t wait for the dial tone – regardless of what your purpose is today.
In the beginning there is a desire to paint, to create something beautiful.
With that desire, there is always some level of fear to be conquered, because the voice of self-doubt can easily step in and take over.
Fortunately, I start simply with something called “ground,” and ground it does. It’s so much more than a primer that sets a good base for what comes next. It actually grounds me to my painting. The mere act of applying white all over the surface says to me, “you can do this.” It sets the stage. It opens the door. It not only allows, it welcomes each stroke that follows.
So it only makes sense to start writing on this new website at the beginning – a white page that welcomes thought, honestly and without fear, not sure of what comes next, knowing only that I want to create something beautiful to read – to open a new door so that you can get to know me and my art, because it’s time to share more than the finished painting.
Join me on this artistic journey in oil and cold wax . . . and words.
Last Sunday was an epic day for watching sandpipers skitter along the water’s edge, stopping only for seconds to stick their beaks in the wet sand. Be still little guy…forever in oil and cold wax.