I shared the story behind this painting in an April blog post called “Beauty of Time”. It was a long post and I shared a photo of my real life roses with you. I’m reminded of that today because here it is November and two of my plants have roses in bloom! It’s late in the season for this, but it’s the Deep South (Georgia, USA), so it’s not that surprising really. I was happy to see the beautiful deep red flowers.
I will probably have a new painting to share tomorrow if my day goes as planned. I finished some sewing projects today and caught up on some other things. I’m tired, so I’ll wrap this up. Good night, dear friends.
This is the season for orange and black, especially this week with Halloween coming up in a few days. A tiger is always in a good costume for autumn parties! No parties for me, but I did bake chocolate cream-filled cupcakes topped with orange icing, so that’s my orange and black for the year.
I’ve been busy with gardening projects and other things that have come up, but I finally started my new painting today. I have two more autumn/harvest related oil paintings to finish before I make the seasonal change to winter/Christmas. I’ve also put some time into the Christmas show and I hope you’ll join me and my family for that. I will share it right here on the blog, so please subscribe if you haven’t already. Don’t miss it- it will be joyous and special!
I’ll be working on new projects this week. These projects require that I be in high energy, full of light and positivity, and confident in what I’m sharing. This can be hard to live up to when I’m feeling worn, discouraged, demoralized, and doubtful about the future. Any vocation is harmed when we don’t put our full and best selves into it. Our energy goes beyond careers or projects and into our homes and relationships as well. A big part of our future success, fruitfulness, prosperity, and influence for inspiring others requires that we live a life of healthy balance.
A great deal of my painting schedule is the time that I spend when I’m not painting. My choices affect who I am, and if I can be the person I need to be to produce the kind of work that I’m meant to share. Or, if I’m so consumed with my small life that I can’t create beyond my own needs and inner circle. And sometimes that’s all that’s expected of us: there are times when we must prioritize ourselves and our families. No one has regrets about work on their death bed. It’s the people we love and the dreams we didn’t act on that really matter, those are the things we may regret.
We all have a role in the bigger picture beyond what we can see; and our personal dreams may be important to the age we’re living in. Work must be a vocation; everything should have meaning. I’ve worked many other types of jobs, and I felt the same about those jobs as I do about being an entrepreneur, even when I hated those jobs. It’s something my dad used to say: “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” He was pushing for integrity and excellence, but I’d like to think about this as something more. Whatever we’re given to do, if we don’t do it well, it is not worth doing at all, as it wastes our life’s energy and brings our spirits into a rut that can be hard to come out of.
Whether seemingly trivial projects or something more meaningful, everything we share becomes a part of something bigger. When we contribute goodwill, we add to the collective positive energy that helps humanity. When we fail to contribute, or when we contribute negative, fearful, and unemphatic work or actions, we hurt humanity. Our lives are bigger than ourselves; we must strengthen who we are so that we can fulfill the purpose for why we are here.
So, while it doesn’t seem related to my goals as an artist, when I spend time gardening and feeding the wild birds, I am putting work into my spiritual self, which is a big part of whether or not I succeed in my vocation. When in healthy balance and feeling strong, we can better handle the demands on our time, whether it is home related or work related- or handling unexpected crises events.
After a flurry of other things to focus on and manage, I’m ready to re-focus on the painting schedule. One of the paintings on the schedule is a long term project, the other is a short term one that I’ll likely share with you by the end of the week. These will put me two more oil paintings toward my lifetime goal of 1k finished paintings. I’m also working on the next show, the 2021 Holiday Show (another variety show featuring live oil painting, but also singing and dancing).
My goals are to be joyful, encouraging, and a reminder that you are loved, that you were born to love others, and that love is the greatest blessing we shall ever have. When we focus on the love from those we lost, from those we nurture, and from those who love us, we live in gratitude. No darkness can swallow this light. It is a gift that shines in the deepest pit. It is a light that pulls us through excruciating pain, intense anxiety, and the starkest of fear. It is my hope that my work inspires you.
Some of my work is casual, average, mediocre, or unfinished and rough. Some of it is just a frog or an odd composition for a project. But every now and then, I paint a masterpiece, as defined by the person who connects with it and feels understood. When my work becomes something bigger than myself, I have done what I’m meant to do. It is with this in mind that I paint the next project, and the next, knowing that not all of my art will hit the mark, but each painting is one painting toward the ones that do.
If you missed my new painting video that I shared yesterday, here it is again.
I did something different this time… I took pictures at the end of Session 1, Session 2, and then the final finished oil painting. Sometimes people like the minimalist look of my unfinished work. They see stages of my progress in the videos and like points along the way. So, this time, I decided to offer a couple of those progress points. The effect is like a storyboard, a collection of three paintings that tell the story of this cardinal becoming finished art.
I’m offering these images as prints if anyone likes the idea of having a set of three prints to display like this as a collection. I don’t think every painting lends itself to this idea, but this one was well suited for the concept. It slowed me down a little bit to do extra photography along the way, but I’m willing to do it again for future projects that seem like they’d make good “storyboard” sets. I also thought that some might prefer the sketch-like quality of the first image, the photo I took after the first session. Usually I don’t offer a way for people to choose an earlier version of my paintings, as I don’t have photographs of the progress, only the finished art.
Sometimes “unfinished” has a raw appeal that is passionate and interesting; as a metaphor for life, we are often endearing when we are in our unfinished state of being. Many of us fall in love when we are young and scattered, not yet settled and sorted out. The humble energy when we are seen while “in progress” is beautifully human. When we allow someone into our unfinished state of being, into our private space, we share our hearts with others.