I have been traveling this past month and have been reflecting on many things that have happened in such a short period of time. More than I could have imagined in terms of life and death involving both family and friends. The painting at left is entitled "Quiet Solitude" and it is good to go back to that moment now and remember how life seemed to me in that moment. My parents were so proud of my new career as an artist. They looked at it as a wonderful gift to be able to capture the beauty of an ordinary day with paints and brushes. It didn't matter to them if the paintings sold or not. I may not have understood how important that was for them at the time but I think I understand it a little better now. Having lost my dad who was one of my earliest influences, and a good art friend very recently, I realize what a gift each day can be. As an artist, I've been asking myself; Do we always have to look beyond what we have created and feel we have to make it better? Are we led to believe our work has no worth unless it won an award, sold for a great price, or that it has been given approval by others? I look back at this painting and remember this glorious week that I was asked to come along to Puget Sound to paint with a few artists who were in pursuit of kicking back and painting for fun. I had second thoughts knowing I had deadlines coming up but went along on a whim. I am so glad I did. Closer friendships were forged, I learned a lot, some of my best work was achieved on that trip, and I had FUN! There was no competition, no gallery to fill, no awards to achieve. We just painted for the sake of painting. It is a great memory that I will always cherish. Those memories are worth a lot in a lifetime. So, having a recent brush with life's uncertainty, I'd like to say to all my art friends, "yes, as professionals we need to work on our skills, but life's too short, let's not forget to occasionally have fun doing it too." For a recent example see Celeste's blog .
That said, another art friend asked if I could plug an upcoming plein air event in WA this coming week. It takes place on Whidbey Island. Yes there is a competition and yes, awards are involved but hey, think of it as a bonus. It isn't thee reason we paint...it doesn't change how and why we see what we see as artists...it doesn't determine what we want to capture on canvas. So...Go with your gift! OR maybe...go on a whim! Check out: http://www.pleinairopen.com/