Thanksgiving Plans?

Watch oil painting “We Gather Together” come alive in about 1 minute (time lapse)

I talked about this painting in an August blog post called “Feasting“. Today, I’m thinking about Thanksgiving and how quickly it’s coming up. For those of you who celebrate this holiday, do you have plans? We already bought a turkey last week, fearing that there may be a turkey shortage this year.

I’ve also dressed up the house with decorations and I’ve been sewing festive potholders, which is good because our current potholders are disgusting! I’ve let them get gross from too much use without enough washing in between. Now they seem too nasty to save. Happily, my first potholder is done and it turned out great!

I’m working on a new Thanksgiving painting that I’ll share with you soon. I expect to have it done by the weekend, assuming I have good natural light coming in. If it’s cloudy every minute of the day or raining I’ll have to postpone the project. But, barring that, I should get it done. Anyway, there will be a new Thanksgiving painting that will be in a slightly different style from the one above.

You may notice that sometimes I paint in a highly detailed and realistic way, such as in this oil painting of a wolf. And other paintings are somewhat detailed, but soft in parts, like this lighthouse painting. Still others have abstract backgrounds with details in only the main subject, like this lily painting, and others are simplistic and representational like the painting in today’s blog, in which there are no faces on the figures and the proportions and perspective is skewed/unrealistic. I usually paint faces on the people in my art, but I didn’t want this particular work to be too much about my own family so I left our faces and other realistic details out.

Some people have said that they like my paintings that I personally don’t care for, so I continue to share different styles and experiments that I try. But my own preference is when I do a more realistic style painting even if somewhat dreamlike or stylized, or when I paint a detailed subject on an abstract background. The paintings that are rough, skewed, or in this case- without faces!- are not ones I like. I’ve said it before: art is a language. What is communicated to one, may be different for another. Even in my own family, we do not agree about which paintings are my best. And the ones I’ve thought are my worst were some of their favorites. So, I’ll continue to just paint as the inspiration or project goals lead me, and then it’s no longer about me.

That’s true of anything we share in life, isn’t it? Like a Thanksgiving turkey; we may prepare the meal ourselves and be quite proud of the table display, the wonderful delicious feast, and the festivity we’ve created, but the real joy is in sharing the holiday with others. Even if the turkey is dry or the decorations are cheap, it’s all about the love we share.

I don’t think it matters much what I paint or how I paint it. What matters is that I keep painting, evolving, and sharing. Whatever we do, may we do it with our whole heart, and then give ourselves away. That’s when we find true happiness.

God bless you, and keep you, and may His face shine upon you this day and always.

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