6 x 8, oil
I have taken a couple of workshops with Nashville artist Roger Dale Brown, a very humble, kind and helpful instructor. He observed that a common mistake artists make is when we anxiously jump into painting without first defining our goals. Explaining that it is not enough to just say to yourself "I want to paint this subject because I like it" he suggested that we take the time to discern why. So, before picking up a paintbrush, he carefully chooses a word or words that best describe how he feels about his subject. This exercise requires him to define his intentions, and by repeating those words to himself while painting, he is more likely to remain mindful and maintain his original focus--sage advice for the rest of us. Because Roger and the young man in the painting are of similar demeanor, I was reminded of this contemplative exercise before beginning this painting. So, to describe my subject, I chose as my "mantra": caring, thoughtful, mindful, kind, loving, and generous. If you are an artist, try this exercise next time you paint, and see what it reveals to you.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around"...Leo F. Buscaglia
And, spreading the love, here are two new blog discoveries that I want to share with you. Jala Pfaff is a wonderful artist from Boulder, her adept use of color makes her portraits simply stunning. And if you enjoy a peaceful respite from your busy day, take a moment to check out this clever haiku/photography site A Haiku a Day...The January 14th entry is a favorite, she said stretching toward the sun....there is so much out there to be inspired by every single day. I just LOVE that!