August 2, 2010

"Michigan Morning"
20" x 20" oil on canvas
What Really Matters in Creating Art

A quick note to check in after my wonderful show at Les Sirenes in Frankfort: I received some great publicity in the local newspaper and enjoyed a very good turnout for the opening. So much goes on during the two-month summer season here, it means a lot when people choose to attend your event! I was very pleased to see a red dot on a painting when I walked through the gallery door. A pre-show sale is always welcome! Several other sales, including one of the large show piece, "Summer's Day," just before I returned from a trip to Atlanta, qualified the show for me as a successful effort.

While sales are one measure of success, they certainly aren't the only one. The first and, perhaps, most important one is my own satisfaction with the work. Given my (self-admitted) history as a co-dependent personality, that's saying a lot! But, seriously, I paint to receive the gift the painting comes to bring, much as I enjoy speaking to hear what comes out of my mouth.

Lest you imagine me a total narcissist (instead of a partial one), this is how I experience Something More -- God, the higher self -- or whatever you choose to call a power greater than the everyday, ordinary self. Some people pray and meditate, I paint and speak. When I "get" the sweet delight of what's been given through the artwork, I'm nourished from the inside out. Then, when someone else appreciates what I do, it's simply delicious icing on the cake. (And, when they make a purchase or otherwise claim the value in what I do, that's good too.)

There's no resting on laurels for me, however; it seems I'm always getting to make fresh starts. Just back from a two-week ordeal of moving house in the incredible heat of a Georgia summer, I was eager to see what I'd paint after "Fresh Light." Well -- surprise -- it turned out to be more fresh light! One of the attractions of where I now live is the Lake Michigan shore that's four blocks away. There's a spot where I can stand in the shade and see dunes and deciduous trees and water, three favorite landscape elements. People walk by and add their two cents. I love it!

Last Friday's result was "Michigan Morning." It has an almost photographic quality even though it's painted loosely and without much detail. I was pleased with it, and I hope through it you'll enjoy a bit of Michigan summer too. Let me know what you think!

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