Monthly Archives: December 2010

The Power of Gifts

Early Success

What is so important about gifting? You may think it’s a cool way to get your feelings across, or perhaps you’re just doing what’s expected.  My opinion is that it’s not about you at all.  Here’s a story of what happened when one of my commissions was received as a gift.

Recently I did an acrylic painting of a fruit stand.  Pretty mundane, right?  But the man who commissioned it asked for a lot of things to be in it. He was giving it as a gift to his very successful realtor for the fine service she provided on the sale of his home.  He had remembered a story she told of growing up in Fredericksburg Virginia and having a profitable fruit stand with her shy sister. So he wanted her name, the place, the sister peeking out from behind the shack, and, of course, the fruit. Together we named it “Early Success” and agreed it was the perfect title.

He tells me that upon presentation of his beautifully wrapped gift, she was extremely touched and amazed that someone would acknowledge her in this way. but once she saw the details of the painting with her hometown’s name nestled in between the flower pots, and her name across the top of the fruit stand, she broke down with emotion. Then she saw her sister peeking out from behind the stand and saw herself doing business behind the fruit and flowers. It was a wonderful moment for both giver and receiver.

So, what’s the real power of this gift? …..ACKNOWLEDGMENT!……  He had actually listened to her and remembered her story. This painting was a way of acknowledging her “Early Success” as well as showing appreciation for who she is today. Every time she sees that painting she will be reminded of who she really is.

As artists, we worry about how “good” our painting is, both technically and aesthetically. Our real gift is that our work acknowledges others in a way nothing else can. A picture really can be worth more than those thousand words.

So I’m back in the studio every day with the joy of painting ever present in my life. If I’m happy, my paintings will show it and can bring you joy.  What about you?  What are your plans for your artistic endeavors in the new year?

Happy Holiday blessings and love to you all.

A Study from a Different Angle

This is harder than it seems

Well, as promised, I did another face today, using pencil rather than paint.  Am trying new angles and am astounded at how difficult it seems at first pass.   I used a photograph to get the perspective. What I want to focus on next time are the odd shapes that ordinary things take when seen from an angle.

Draw, draw, draw!! Reminds me of endless Czerny piano exercises to strengthen my fingers and increase my speed to prepare for performing Flight of the Bumble Bee. I was not allowed to play the piece itself until the exercises were acceptable.  So, this week I’m not letting myself paint until I’m in love with the drawings. Have a glorious week.  You know what I’ll be doing.

The Importance of Eyes

Third Eye - #3 in the Series "The Eye Has It"

Third Eye - #3 in the Series "The Eye Has It"

Having just recently experienced a big scare about the future of my eyesight, it stands to reason that I’m obsessed with eyes right now – not only their function, but their look and form.  As it turns out, I don’t need eye surgery this minute.  So, I’m relieved.  But having that dark spot in my right eye’s central vision makes painting a bit more of a challenge.  It seems, so far, that I’m able to work around what could be interpreted as  just a smudge on my glasses – even though it’s a smudge on my retina.

What this experience is doing for me is providing motivation to make art while the sun shines, so to speak.  My goal is to paint every day.  This is not something I’ve done before, so get ready to see a lot more art.  Did I mention how grateful I am for my health?

Have a wonderful weekend.