Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summer... In Transition

"Summer in Transition" - oil on canvas 24x24 inches SOLD

Summer seems highly unpredictable and extreme in most every part of the world at the moment. Here... as in many other parts of Canada and the US a " heat dome"has created abnormally high temperatures and resulting withering conditions for crops... livestock and people in both rural and urban centres.

We are desperately in need of rain in our area. Crops are stunted... hospitals are overwhelmed with critically ill patients who have been effected by prolonged exposure to this oppressive week of extreme temperature. Tourists are staying put and are wisely... not travelling about - as am I.

Nearly all of you in the blogging world who are suffering from this are finding your own unique ways to "stay cool". I have spent a good amount of time doing indoor jobs like cleaning up my palettes... neglected after a session of painting. Certain pigments dry overnight causing them to skim over... making them unsuitable for me to work... with even a day later.

I also finished up some of my gallery wrap canvases by painting them around and beyond each edge to extend the image in proper perspective. This eliminates a need for a frame... unless the client wishes one.

I also have gotten into reading some of the books I had started and had to set aside... in the cool of our air conditioned bedroom in the evening and the early morning before my walk. So ... I am busy and feel a sense of accomplishment... despite my absence... for the past few days from being at the easel.

I have learned from many years of being "out there" that the sun of today is more punishing to one's skin than earlier. My three trips to my skin specialist over the past ten years to have pre-cancerous basal cells removed... has lit up the warning on my dash board. Sun block#60 is what I run about smeared with... covered by long sleeved shirts and pants... a good hat and cover under a trusty shade tree to work under. Take heed!

My reading and listening to my favourite radio programmes triggered a couple of ideas that seemed to fuse together my thoughts about painting en plein air. You already know how very much I believe in the power of outdoor painting to enrich and promote one's artistic growth. The value gained through plein air strange as it might seem is revealed through the words of an old favourite sacred song from an old Presbyterian Hymn book:

This is My Father's World, and to my listening ears

All nature sings, around me rings

The music of the spheres.

This is my Father's world, I rest me in the thought

Of rocks and trees, of skies, of seas,

His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father's world, the birds their carols raise;

The morning light, the lily white,

Declare their Maker's praise.

This is my Father's world, He shines in all that's fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,

He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father's world; O let me ne'er forget

That though the wrong seems oft so strong,

God is the Ruler yet.

This is my Father's world the battle is not done,

Jesus, Who died, shall be satisfied,

And earth and heaven be one.

Though my own Spiritualism rests in no particular pew... nor in the hands of any earthly man... it rests in my heart and soul and in my belief in a Creator... and Creation. My Faith knows neither liturgy nor man-made dogma. It is pure... personal and allows for freedom of thought and practice that seeks no permission to be adhered to.

Like my own education and artistic process, my sense of spiritualism is somehow eclectic... borrowing from many sources in Western and Eastern religions. But most of my deepest spiritual thoughts derive from my interaction and observance of the Natural World... where "I" feel most that "I" belong and am at peace.

In "seeing" and understanding the mysteries of life on so many levels as they reveal themselves to "Me"... I have gained a non-denominational belief system that embraces birth... transition... death and renewal. The Natural World is my Cathedral in which "I" worship... give praise and thanks... each and every time that I am in it to commune and to paint its glory.

I see this pattern of living in every species... from humans to fauna and flora. I see it in the heavens and in the seasons. This reality is confirmed for "Me" in every corner of the landscape... in every country that I have been fortunate to visit. The Universe... and Life contain and describe mysterious yet magnificent cycles... ongoing dramas... beyond human control or comprehension... fortunately so in my mind!

The painting from the past that I am sharing today is entitled: Summer in Transition. The transition of summer in it is measured and is documented in time by the appearance of summer wildflowers as they appeared to me. The Summer season's passing can be observed and understood in terms of their appearance... within days... each and every summer. They are in fact, a floral clock measuring the hours of summer ... from beginning to end.

Human life can be seen to follow the same cycle from fragile birth... to the bloom and promise of adolescence... to the withering of spirit and body in age and in the earthly finality of eventual passing... to who knows where. What is important is Faith. Faith in your Self... your "work"... your Family... your Friends... and in "Possibility".

"I" choose to believe in the possibility of a continuance of life... in some form... beyond my comprehension despite having spent a lifetime searching for answers. "I" require no guarantee of "Life insurance" by strict adherence to one doctrine. I place my Faith in my own actions throughout my life... to live sharing... in service of my fellow man and my choice to live actively in the Now... in the present.

I have sought my own Redemption for my many misdeeds... by making right the wrongs... as I was able with those who were wronged by them. I seek no forgiveness beyond that... nor do I believe that I will be held accountable beyond my own private "acts of contrition".

Though this post does indeed weigh in more heavily with "lofty thoughts", I feel that perhaps given the posts I have lately read that seem discouraged with their lives... this post offers insight into how "I" find Peace and deal with the natural rhythm of the "ups n' downs of daily life. I offer its content as food for thought... and not ...the Gospel according to St Bruce! HA HA!!!

Summer is... and always has been a time of reflection about the blessings of my life and the richness of Creation. "I give thanks for these blessings - they are many and my blogging friends are amongst these! Thank "You"... each... for tuning in....

Happy Summer and Good Painting to ALL!

Stay cool...keep shinin'... and smilin'...


  1. Your words and thoughts are so full of wisdom, always, Bruce. I wish I could find a way to keep my mind so focused. I really do. Love this grouping of paintings. Just so uplifting and so beautiful!

  2. Dear Sherry!... "I" thank "You"... for your ever supportive words and encouragement... on each visit that you make to this site!

    The basic premise and goal of my site is to encourage sharing of ideas... artistic process... and yes, even an odd trouble that seems is ours alone... in our own little corners of the world.

    We must learn that "We" are NOT responsible for the journeys of others. It is wrong to assume, or to attempt to project upon others we meet... including family and friends.. what we think is best for them. That is meddling... and anti-productive to them and our own pursuit of Happiness.

    A better... or let's say less intrusive strategy perhaps... is to model an alternative in our own lives for them to see... and choose... should they wish to... because they see the value in your Truth... example... and level of Happiness.

    Just one guy's thought!

    Happy Summer Sherry!... Smile! ... it's catchy... and becoming!
    Warmest regards,

  3. Another incredibly helpful post at a time when we could all use some. amazing flowers, they brighten my day! thank you for this lovely post.

  4. Hello there Smiling Suzanne!... It is always my pleasure to be in touch... and in step with "You"... your positive outlook... your passion and commitment to your work... and your promotion of good will and Happiness for your family... friends and Followers!

    Thank "You" Suzanne!

    Good Painting! ... and Happy Summer!
    Warmest regards,

  5. All I have to say is, we could do worse in this world than following "the gospel according to St. Bruce" :-)

    Love your thinking! (And that painting!!)

  6. Hi there Karen!... Thanks for that! There are those who might not agree with that! HA HA!!!The world is certainly erupting... and reeling from one disaster after another.

    I count my blessings every day... and shove to the rear those temporary "whinings" that we can all find ourselves guilty of having in our own daily lives.

    Blogging brings positive people like your Self to my mail box... and that alone greatly reduces the helplessness we all face in the midst of tragedy occurring all around us.

    Thank "You" for your positive energy... and smily presence! "I" much appreciate both and hope that "You" receive something equally rewarding and soothing in return.

    Good Portraiting!... and Happy Summer!
    Warmest regards,

  7. Hi Bruce,

    Summer may be weighing heavily on you at the moment, but there is a wonderful sunny optimism in this painting and in your words.

    Keep preaching the Gospel,
    All the best,

  8. Hi Bruce,

    Wonderful summer painting. I see the creator in nature as well. I have never seen such beautiful artwork as nature's own canvas. So much to take in and appreciate. So intricate.

    I had a wren nesting in one of my plants on the porch. She had five little babies and unfortunately, I think she died. I called a wild bird rescue and they came and took the babies, they are going to make it.
    They are an inch or so in size.

    The beauty of nature is all around us, we just have to open our eyes and enjoy it.

    Inspirational post, Bruce.


  9. Hi there Keith!... Thanks for the encouraging words Keith!

    There seems to be a break in the heat today... and I've already made preparation to get out there if the weather is favourable!

    We share that "sunny optimism" and outlook on life in general Keith... and we both encourage viewers to appreciate the natural wonders around us!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  10. Hi there "Cousin" Sue!... There is little doubt as evidenced in your wonderful animal portraits and your deep respect for all life... be it large or small!

    We all share the responsibility to carry the message of stewardship through our individual actions and art to those who live around us!

    Let's continue to blog... and send out that message to whiever will listen! The Power of One Sue!

    Good Sketching... and Happy Summer!
    Warmest regards... and smiles sent your way,

  11. First of all congrats on your sale. Your post is profound in so many ways. We are all so blessed to see and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us, these are gifts from the Divine Being. GOD.

    Happy Summer to you also,

  12. I hope the heat wave passes soon for you all. It is cool here with cloud cover and some rain. I was pleased to get some more gardening done before tea, so keen to get outside in the fresh air among the flowers. Reading about you being inside made me realise how extreme the weather can be with you, during the winter the snow seemed to go on forever and now you have a heatwave. Maybe you could paint some flowers in doors it might help to bring the out doors in during the early morning. Your flower painting here is so lovely it will be bringing joy to those who bought it. Thank you for the wise words of joy in your post Bruce.

  13. Hi Joan!... Thank "You" for adding your own words defining your own deeply held personal spiritual feelings Joan!

    It is not whether the name we each use to name the Creator... God... Allah...Yahweh... Manitou... it is that we take time to worship and give thanks for the blessings of life.

    Without a spiritual base and grounding... Man is nothing.

    Thank "You" for sharing Joan!

    Good Painting!... and Happy Summer!
    Warmest regards,

  14. Hi there Caroline!... Thanks for your concern... and for your thoughtful ideas to circumvent the heat!

    Thankfully... that seems to have cleared out of our area... for now. I hope to get out there tomorrow to get back into the fray. Summer is so short... and the fields full of wild flowers are so inviting to the eye!

    Stay tuned... I'll get something fresh to record and share!

    Enjoy your garden... tea... and Summer!@

    Good painting!

    Warmest regards,