Too much of the world's news in the past year has been focused, even in my own thoughts, upon the too frequent tragedies arising out of the 'extreme' events which have been occurring in both the human and natural realms around the world. It seemed impossible to believe further in "peace and good will unto all men." For a brief moment in my own journey, I became paralyzed... and much worse, so overcome by grief and hopelessness that life ceased to have meaning or purpose. In my own mind, I too had surrendered Hope and Optimism. Upon seeing and feeling helpless in the face of such immense upheaval and perverted natural and human events, I found my Self locked into the depression and anxiety which seems rampant in every sector of modern society. I think I understood the "whys"... but as an individual, I felt somewhat hopeless in trying to affect any meaningful change in the course of this downward spiral... until
I have since refocused my all of attention and efforts upon the very part of the world where I most likely could more likely succeed in having some impact and measure of peace for my Self. I directed my energy... thoughts and my love towards my Family. As my last series of posts reveal, my own personal sense of Hope and Optimism has been at least elevated... and is sustained by the feeling of "belonging" which is first born... then is nurtured within this human structure. It is that core from which each human enters the world to commence their own individual journey... and it is here that moral values and principles are established which will help construct a map of sorts... to guide one on that individual and often perilous journey. Without this centre and in the absence of these values, one lacks a compass to maintain direction... and the courage to journey.
Being with my Family to celebrate Christmas, however briefly, because each has his or her own separate Christmas path to follow in preparation for a Future (which I most certainly will never dwell in, or even perceive) has provided both Deb and I an immense sense of Peace and Joy...and has restored.... Hope! Time need not always be measured in terms of its length. The "best" of Time is more purely measured in terms of its quality... for it is within this parameter that memories are conceived... shared and retained... and by all members equally. In such a fashion... "The Sherman Christmas of the Wintry Solstice in Rockport in 2012" will be told and retold. It will most likely not be best remembered in terms of the gifts that were exchanged... though they were thoughtfully chosen and fully enjoyed by all present. But rather, it will most likely be remembered for the Family's communal efforts to overcome the adversity presented by weather and power failure.
A potentially "downer" situation and adverse conditions... which could have spelled disaster for our celebration... were reconsidered... reshaped and reshaped into an unexpected triumph and a true "Christmas Carol" for our Sherman Family. In my art... I refer to that process as "Imagineering" - daring to embrace risk and adventure to discover perhaps... a "New World." There always exists Hope... when there exists unconditional Love... at Home!
So... in closing out what has been a year of great change for Deb and I... a year that has brought forward challenges... anxieties... disappointments... elation and a whole new direction for our personal and artistic lives. I offer a portfolio of my favourite paintings to my Family and Friends in thanks for your presence over the year. I choose to salute the Past by "Imagineering" a Future... based upon these past successes. Some were created en plein air, whereas others were born in our studio. I will be "out there"as usual... but I will be painting and eager to share my work and my process with those who care to share my journey in 2013.
What best describes the term "artist" to me... is not necessarily the technical virtuosity of his or her work by itself. That is necessary... but only can arrive when time and energy have been expended. The strongest ingredient which is the "gold standard" in my definition (for what it is worth) is that an artist's work come from the heart. Matters of the heart... most always command the most attention and respect.
In my own journey, I have made it my business to learn through visiting exhibitions and galleries... to "see" art and to interpret in my own mind how it was created... how it made me "feel"... face-to-face. I have on certain occasions been left in awe by certain works, but I will confess to you openly that I have more frequently and more deeply been left in a state of Joy... when I have been in a classroom... when I have been teaching classes and when I have visited the sites of Blogger Friends. It is in these "ordinary" places where the true spirit of creativity can be observed in action... unfettered by "rules"... fuelled by honesty and intuition - the REAL elements of a successful painting! So Paint!... Paint! Paint!
Happy New Year!... and Rich blessings of Peace, Joy, Health and Happiness to each of you!
Good Painting!.... Get "out there" Gang!