"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 painting...as 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,
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'...