Painting – The Power of a Smile

“Everyone smiles in the same language.”

– George Carlin

“Iggy” Nature Spirit. 24″ x 36″

Many artists/writers/musicians have recently felt a shift within their creativity. At first it felt as if the well were dry, but slowly inspiration began to trickle back in, returning in a gentler, more thoughtful use of their skills and the messages they are sharing.  So it is with myself. I am happy to say I am working on a new painting, although it too is gentler, more thoughtful, and I am taking my time. I am fortunate in that I am still employed and working from home. Instead of the news, I “google” random acts of kindness caused by the virus. On my break I walk. It’s spring, hopeful and beautiful. I meet many on the path and our exchange of a genuine, simple smile is so very powerful. On my way home, I thought to re-post the painting “Iggy,” from a few years ago, along with some lovely quotes on the simple power of a “smile.” – P.S. – I am so very grateful to every “essential service” worker. Thank you. – Peace, and Goodwill to All.

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.”Thich Nhat Hanh

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day. “H. Jackson Brown Jr.

“It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.”F. Scott Fitzgerald

“I love those who can smile in trouble.”Leonardo da Vinci

“A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.”William Hazlitt

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”Thich Nhat Hanh

“Smile, smile, smile at your mind as often as possible. Your smiling will considerably reduce your mind’s tearing tension.”Sri Chinmoy

“Always find opportunities to make someone smile, and to offer random acts of kindness in everyday life.”Roy T. Bennett

“Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile”Mother Teresa

“When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile. “Unknown

“Nothing shakes the smiling heart.”Santosh Kalwar

“It only takes a split second to smile and forget, yet to someone that needed it, it can last a lifetime.”Steve Maraboli

“A smile cures the wounding of a frown.”William Shakespeare

“The source of a true smile is an awakened mind.” Thich Nhat Hanh

“Anyone can smile on their best day. I like to meet a man who can smile on his WORST.”– Lauren Graham

“A smile remains the most inexpensive gift I can bestow on anyone and yet its powers can vanquish kingdoms.”Og Mandino

“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”– Joseph Addison

“Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts.”– Paramahansa Yogananda

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”Leo Buscaglia

“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”Phyllis Diller

“After every storm the sun will smile; for every problem there is a solution, and the soul’s infeasible duty is to be of good cheer.”William R. Alger

Take care, and thank you!

 

 

Illustrated Quote

Wonder-

A feeling of surprise
mingled with admiration,
caused by something beautiful,
unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.

-Webster’s Dictionary.

I was thinking about “a sense of wonder” as I painted this little bird.

I have decided it is something intrinsic to human nature, happiness and wisdom.

Could we long for the sensation of wonder, yet become too focused on time?  Now the word “drudgery mentality” comes to mind. Wonder only requires only a few seconds, and lifts my heart for hours.

Could wonder be something we allow to arrive, keep as a constant possibility, a sensitivity to, anticipate and embrace without prejudice? Without wonder, I begin to miss the magic contained in the many moments of each day.

Wonder is the heartbeat of thoughtful joy. Without wonder, we could become despondent and depressed.

We can not buy “a sense of wonder.”

Therefore, wonder may just be a conscious choice, a state of mind ready for the miraculous. Choose moments of wonder today. Find wonder in the ordinary. The smell of a lemon, the light on the pavement, the beat of your own heart…….so many choices.

…and have fun.

– Thank you.

 

Painting – Pathfinder

“Pathfinder” 20″ x 26.”

Discovering the story, and painting it along the way

With every painting I create, behind the scenes there is always an adventure, a path of life experiences as the foundation for each painting. These experiences are a part of the painting process, along with experimenting, and discovering new painting techniques to accomplish a texture, colour, or light.

Lion Stage one.

This is not the typical “method” of art, but it is how I create, the discovery of what it is I am painting and why…the story of the image and understanding life through the creation of the painting. Maybe you create this way as well?

Stage One; An image of a Lion popped into my head and I wondered how in the world I was going to paint all of that fur! I also wondered why I was going to paint a lion. At that time, only a part of the greater image of the painting would arrive in my mind. Never the entire image. I began painting the lion. I found that if I painted a wash of colour and then scratched the paint, it would create a nice look for the fur.

Lion Stage Two

Stage Two; By adding more washes, and scratching them with different degrees of pressure, some of the scratches maintained the wash underneath, creating an interplay of light, tint, and texture.

 

Lion Stage Three

Stage Three; More washes of the deepest contrast were applied in specific areas, as well as some additional texture with a bristle brush.Then using an opaque cream colour, and a fine brush, I added the highlighted whiskers and hair around the face and random areas.

As the lion reached this third stage the “setting” for the background of the image came into my mind. This was an older type of subway system with brick walls. I had been listening to, and observing life around me, and all of the changes that have been happening so rapidly worldwide for all of us. Issues with lifestyle, belief, religion, and who’s right and wrong were escalating. I realized that the unconscious norms of society about “how to live life” were rapidly leaving, and leaving many at an emotional, economical, and spiritual loss, escalating an inner feeling of confusion, depression, despair, and mistrust.

Ruck sack, Candle, Clock and Compass

So what is left to one and all in these highly charged, and rapidly, changing times? The centuries-long mode of “follow the leader” is failing completely, and each person must now look within themselves, and find what is true for them.

I painted the rucksack, symbolizing that from the moment you were born, all of the tools and skills you needed in this lifetime came with you. As a very wise and funny friend of mine says, “sometimes, you need to remember where you left your backpack.”

I painted the candle for the light within each of us that is illuminating our way, especially in the dark.

The clock symbolizes time, in that the time is now, living someone else’s plan for you and remaining un-true to yourself is over for everyone. This is the discomfort, the “shake-up.”

I painted a compass to represent that although we may not trust it, we each know what direction is our own, and the world map, represents a reminder to be open to all possibilities, and that maybe our own path is not just one place, but many places along the way.

The young girl symbolizes the innocent child of the universe in each one of us, and through this part of ourselves, this goodness is available, by simply asking.

As I put the finishing touches on the Lion, this powerful, protective creature of grace and strength, I came full circle with my experience of the painting, and the present moment in my own life. The Lion represents the Creator, God, or whatever you choose that beats your heart. It is always present when we are confused, present when we stamp our feet and demand the whole “story” before we try, always there watching over our individual path custom designed for each and every one of us, with offering us what we need to know each step of the way when we choose to ask and listen. When we ask, when we follow our own truth, we are each a pathfinder of our own story.

Sometimes we bump into other people’s stories, but that is a different painting!

This is the “The Pathfinder”

The Pathfinder

Thank you

 

 

WIP Painting completed… and it was Magic.

BELIEVE

Thank you for following the creative adventure of this painting!

The magic has been added, and here is the final painting. Below, is another version that I created for a Christmas card.

Christmas is a celebration of life, of believing in the greater goodness within us all, and sharing the joy of that belief. We do it every day. We enjoy a sense of humor, and laugh a great deal of the time. As we continuously give our attention and actions to all that is good and kind, and we support that blessing for all of life, as we support life itself. We bring the light of belief into ourselves, then through ourselves and into the world, in each moment. We are grateful, and we become grace itself. Peace in your heart, peace through your thoughts and actions, and peace on earth.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND….

Thank you!

WIP Painting – It Began With A Bear…& the Post Office.

I was thinking about Christmas and what the season means to me. A painting I had created some time ago came into my mind. I still had all of the progress images, and thought it would be fun to share the progress of how it developed, and what I had learned. As usual I did not have a finished image in my mind when I began this painting. I simply trusted a painting would develop itself as I worked. The painting arrived in three stages, so I will be posting each stage over the next week. It began with a bear while pondering Christmas, “Believing in all that is good,” choosing faith over fear, and delighting in the cheerful anticipation.

Example; this morning I left my home early to arrive at the post office almost an hour before they opened just to get parking. There were a few spaces were available when I arrived. As I trundled my self and my heavy package into the lobby, the line of people were laughing and commenting how they thought they would be the first. Suddenly, the interior door opened. The postal workers had decided to open for business 45 minutes early for all of us! How great was that? Cheerful good will to all.

 What surprised me about painting the bear was that it was a minimalist application, yet appears to have so much detail. I used limited brushes, a broad wash brush, a smaller fine brush, and a brush called “nail.” Now for the friend.

Thank you

Conte Crayon & Pastel – “Listening….simply listening”

Listen

This drawing is about choosing moments of stillness, and listening.

Detail – LISTEN

There is a space between each thought. Try it. Stop and listen for the next thought. When you try this, you will find a space, a stillness, a few moments of peace. Try for another moment, and then another, and you may realize that you are no longer in your head, but listening within your chest area, and in your chest is your heart. Listen into the space, and in this space if you ask for the truth, it will arrive. It is the only place it can arrive. And this is peace.

Try this when waiting in any line

at traffic lights

or while washing dishes

while looking for a new job

or how to “make ends meet”

vacuuming

when the mind is chewing on a past conversation

when you are trying to fall back to sleep

I chose a black background to represent “the unknown”, which can frighten most everyone who has learned being in control equals safety. Once we begin to listen, we soon realize the unknown is simply pure potential. A choice to turn left, or turn right. It is the window of all change for the better. The unknown is where dreams begin to become possibilities. Why fear your possibilities and your hearts desire? I chose the bird as a messenger. The Messenger arrives in the stillness we create for it.

We create so much of our lives with our thoughts. Mostly, we are busy “thinking” that we need to defend ourselves from life itself. But life is pure potential, not an enemy, and if life is being created by your thoughts + emotion, then choose your thoughts from a place of peace. Listen to it.

– Thank you.

 

 

Painting – “Fowl Play.”

I found myself feeling uninspired, and in a bit of a foul mood while trying to enjoy my painting time after a challenging week. What to do? I looked out of the window and observed Betty White and Pearl Bailey busy gossiping around the base of a palm tree.

Betty and Pearl are chickens living in the heart of a large city at a complex that feels as if it is not in the city at all. Betty arrived one day last year as a mystery, was quickly adopted, and Pearl was brought in to be her comrade in hyjinx. They are incredible at herding cats. These two chickens living in the heart of the financial district are quite popular, and even have their own website. It’s all quite comical, watching them at play and how they react to life around them.

“When work becomes play, and play becomes your work, your life unfolds.” — Robert Frost

Taking a my cue from Betty and Pearl I chose to play. I moved into the inspired moment, capturing the energy like a snapshot of spontaneity. Using quick loose strokes, splatters, and random colours, I worked rapidly and with limited thoughts. Then I added a little detail for the head. Later, I chose to add a background of gritty texture, replicating the dirt Betty and Pearl love to dig in for appetizers. My observation of play became the energy of how I painted, and the true essence of the image. I smiled as I worked, and my work became play. Another valuable lesson in truly living life. — Thank you.

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