Monday, April 27, 2015

Transition... and the Waiting

The word transition itself is a process in all of our lives. In fact, during our lifetimes... transition actually becomes a succession of events which become fused together and form new episodes or         chapters to create the novel of "Us".

During this unceasing and ongoing process... the transition can be influenced... let's even call the process editing. This influence may occur through inward reflection, or through events and individuals that we meet and admire. That said, it then becomes our individual responsibility to filter through and evaluate the potential impact that these influences might bring to bear in determining new changes in our thinking and actions. Hopefully, we can enable and activate transition smoothly... and gradually.

Simply put... Awareness of need. + Action(s)  = CHANGE

For almost a year now... I have felt an uncertain and rather nagging need to activate some form of change within my own artistic and personal lives. I feel that during preparations for the solo show which closed on Saturday that I realized the deep awareness phase fully and did in fact move... ever so slightly into the activation phase. I think that each of us must decide upon and establish our own individual time frame for change... being ever mindful that both time and urgency should play a secondary role in that change being brought into reality. Speed kills!

This blog is a part of the need for change that I have been struggling with. I feel that the blog was created for, and truly serves honourable purposes. Comments back to me underscore that the contents do immense good where it is received... and "understood". However... every coin has two sides.  Today... I wish to address both equally.

I blog and teach out of a deep compassion... and compulsion to reach out to those I see around me who are struggling. I offer transparency through publicly revealing sensitive portions of my past and current lives... in the hope that it removes that protective barrier that drops down when one feels that their problems are are peculiar to them alone. Such a stance has always been effective for me in forming relationships of trust with people who lack that in their makeup... for whatever reasons.

I promote optimism and my own success in creating effective changes to promote both healing and growth. I promote the true value of and necessity for absolute and unconditional truth in all relationships. I shall maintain and continue to offer that - it is not subject to change!

However... this method works best and most truthfully for both sides when face-to-face contact can be a part of the interface. Body language is an invaluable tool for me in discussion... decision-making and "reading" inner doubts... fears and yes... even deception. Emails, telephone calls, letters... and yes... blogs can contribute to worrisome areas of doubt and lead to misconception. One can create whatever persona one wishes to present on the Internet and that fact can be seen clearly in the preying upon youth online and in ongoing online scams that target unwary seniors.

In reading each of the comments that I receive after each post and in carefully responding... I have come to realize that perhaps my constantly optimistic presentation of being blessed and in harmony with my entire world might possibly discourage and cause those that I seek to encourage to be feel less adequate in solving their own problem... with their own mind and resources.

In short... perhaps I have  unwittingly have set the bar too high... and in fact cause further despair and paralysis. Worse... maybe my continual claim to bliss might suggest a perceived as a rather smug position of superiority which is far from the actual truth. I too struggle... just as everyone must... but I choose "to look at the glass as half full, as opposed to half empty"... and not complain. Just a chosen difference of perspective.

So following this post I intend to strive towards a template in which I will:

1. shorten the post and make it less personally driven in content
2.display new works or projects... sans the "play-by-play" commentary
3. leave the teaching/ preaching/proselytizing to the teachers... therapist ... and the Pope

Post Script:

I welcome any feedback that any of you might have in regard to this decision because I remain open to people's opinions who have supported my journey and have freely contributed added their own thoughts and opinions along the way. I would truly value your input in this undertaking. It has been a hard decision to make alone. Perhaps... I am off the mark entirely.


Let's consider this short post below to be the kind of post that I might anticipate presenting.

I painted outdoors a couple of weeks ago with my longtime painting companion Frank Edwards. Thank you for your patience... as I segued  (transitioned) up to this point. I felt the chronology of my own past art transitioning to be a good path to use to describe the process whereby I have arrived stylistically at today.

I will show you the impression that I created of my day out with Frank first and then I shall include a jpeg of the actual site... as it lay before me.

This 16x20 oil on canvas entitled "Spring's Tawny Coat" depicts that transitional "Blah" of dead grasses dominating the landscape immediately following the departure of winter's snow cover. The lively new greens pinks in the tree tops are shown here as a mere whisper here and there of what is to come. Most artists stay home until Spring actually unfolds.

Shown below is the actual site... as it existed . Hardly as colourful as I have depicted above and the foreground... is simply a fabrication... the much used expression "artistic licence" quickly comes to mind. And yet... this very foreground has found its way naturally into many of my landscape paintings in the past. It is indeed a powerful visual echo derived from many other treks. This demonstrates the value of the plein air experience in formulating a pool of strategies to deal with less than interesting compositions.... and "bluebird days".

Ironically... this landscape does accurately symbolize seasonal transition and my composition as well... demonstrates the value in transitioning your painting approach away from merely copying nature to playing and making your own statement. Therein ... lies "fine art"... in my own mind!

Good Painting... and Playing!... to ALL!!!


  1. Well, Bruce...this comes as a surprise. I've come to think of you as rather a mentor. I like reading your thoughts, truly. I like hearing how you transition from start to finish. I don't mean to be a glass half empty girl but I don't think of anyone as superior to myself but I do think of myself as inferior to everyone else. Does this make sense? I'm a people pleaser and am finding that I can't please people. I live by my feelings, by my gut and I do have to admit that it has been a foolish ride. Ah well...

    I like the new post format too...but I'd miss your personal reflections. I'm wondering at what brought about this change of thought?

  2. Good morning Sherry!... Your response to this post was quite expected really. What you have articulated as your own feelings in the first paragraph ironically... "mirror" my own by and large. Perhaps... that is the spiritual attraction which draws us together online friends. It is such a complex issue... no exact answers.

    My real fear which resulted in my putting off writing this post (which has been in my head for months)... is that my decision to transition into another format might trigger a message that would undo the mentoring good... if you see what I am getting at.

    Quite frankly... mentoring carries with it a huge weight of responsibility and especially on line... it can achieve unwanted results and intrusion into personal space.

    On a purely personal level... writing in this fashion takes a great deal of thought and planning... and thereby dips into my own creative well too deeply at times. I do in fact have a book project that has been on hold for too long. So there are many things to be considered and weighed... on various levels.

    Call this ... "a dipping in of the toe"... to test the waters. Be assured that your comment here will be considered along with any others that I receive. Let's you and I continue as we have... open to talk... without fear of judgement!

    Thanks for your ideas and continued presence Sherry!

    Warmest regards,

  3. In total agreement Bruce. And I fear it was a not too long ago post and comment from me that may have precipitated this decision. I do so hope not. As long as we don't limit or label anyone, the sky truly is the limit for growth as an artist. I know that for myself. I'm all over the board with quality and I suspect a big part of that problem is my mood, my joy and ability to keep it when choosing a subject/composition. When I am excited it comes through in a really nice work - at least in my own opinion. Most of the time I wallow in anxiety and worry over life itself and when I try to calm myself with art, the agitation merely comes through the end result and is a dismal failure.

    My point is that I am aware of this and I do enough limiting and labeling of myself. If you can inspire someone, anyone, then you have a gift. I wouldn't have kept coming back, Bruce, if I didn't feel that from you. So if I took a phrase out of context and personalized it, that is on me, not on you.

    Remember when God said he'd spare Sodom and Gomorrah if there was even one whose heart was good? (Paraphrasing right now...)

    Please don't feel you cannot express yourself as your heart leads you on your own blog. You post when you can, put your thoughts down...if people don't appreciate it then they can walk away. Me? Never. But don't you walk away either, Bruce.

    Hi to Deb and I really want to see more of her stained glass! (A favorite type of art of mine!)

  4. Good morning Sherry!... I think... in a very large way... that you do understand my conundrum... but in another you can't.

    I am responding... responsibly I feel to my own inner needs and feelings that I have for too long suppressed and denied in importance to my own well-being.

    This has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with any comments or views that you and I have exchanged in past interfaces. My decision is purely based upon "the Now" in my own journey... and substantial changes that I feel I must make to address the issues that I have in my own personal and artistic lives.

    I never walk away from any facet of my life... nor do I leave valued Friendship by the side of the road. Trust that the manner in which we have agreed to conduct our friendship will continue.
    W3e are excited and finally gearing up to set the Summer 2015 Gallery season in motion!

    Stay tuned... and thanks for your impressions... understanding and support Sherry!

    Warmest regards,

  5. Bruce, I, too, have gained from reading many of your posts - no matter how long! ha ha You offer your journey, and yes, it is often one that seems blessed but we humans know there is no blessing other than your love of creating and walking in nature and enjoying your life as it is. I really like when you share the photo of the place you've painted, using all the artistic license you can muster in one go! It shows me more how it can be done from something that may seem, initially, uninspiring. You are on your own path and will change as need be without my input, but you asked and I answered :) Have a wonderful weekend and a great gear-up to Summer Season.

  6. Good morning Rhonda!... Thank you for responding and for adding your own input. I always look forward to our positive "conversations" and sharings!

    You are quite right about Creation... no matter whether we are simply enjoying it by walking in it... or by trying to emulate its glory in paint. These are indeed great blessings!

    I am always most happy to share my ideas and process with others. I truly hope that most folks are inspired as I myself was by those I looked up to and received encouragement from. That is my goal!

    Good luck with your own summer season of painting and projects!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  7. Hi Bruce, I think I understand what you are saying. Maybe it's impossible to promote a positive message without running the risk of seeming smug. That's not the impression I get from your posts, but I can see why you are uneasy.

    I think your new ideas might work well, if you mix things up a bit, as you suggest, with some personal posts and others allowing your work to speak for itself. It will also allow you more time for other things, by taking the pressure off to produce carefully thought-out posts on a regular basis.

    This post is a good example of a more minimal peace. There is still a lot to be learned from a few words, and the two photos shown next to each other.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how this works out.
    All the best,

  8. Good morning Keith!... Thank you again for taking the time to respond in such a sage and generous fashion - I much appreciate both the thought and and the wisdom behind your advice!

    The responses that I have received via this blog and through emails indicates clearly to me that the tack I have followed is worth the effort in their opinion. Al agreed that the format had to suit my own schedule and feelings. For those thoughts I am grateful.

    I feel that you have offered me support for the planned change of format... with the possibility of larger posts from time to time to to address certain interests in greater detail and thought.

    You're oh so right Keith.

    "Less is sometimes... [ironically] more"... either in words or in paint! I am catching on... slowly! HA HA!!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  9. Hi Bruce, during the time I didn't have a computer I managed to get a seat by a computer at my library which is about four miles away from where I live. I always felt your blog to be very unique and has always been a blog that I often felt I could go away and think about a great deal. I liked that a lot. You shared your life, your thoughts and your feelings and your family with us all. Sometimes it can be hard to respond, it is not always easy to find the right words. One of your posts was about your memory of holidays by the sea or water spent as a child I feel sure there was a lighthouse in it and there was also a child or two. I think it was you and your brother. But I do remember the joy of that post, it was all about summer the time for play and for the long days of adventures that childhood often has. You know sometimes I would visit your blog having made a cup of tea especially and simply came along and sat by the computer and spent time in your world. Yet life is about change and all good things come to an end or they develop into something else. Whatever happens with your blog those special times I have spent simply reading and gazing at your photos and paintings will remain in my memory as a happy time. I do understand that you desire a change, then Bruce laddie you must go where your path takes you! that you take us along with you is indeed an honour my friend! I seem to remember a quote by perhaps Emerson Waldo (or name similar) that we need to create our own paths through the woods or at least words to that effect. It is time for you to find that new path! Happy painting and exploring!

  10. Dear Friend Caroline!... Your words shared here touch me greatly! I cannot possibly express how very uplifting they are for me at this time. Life brings the necessity for change to us all as human beings. Sometimes... those changes are imposed ... rather than embraced willingly.

    It has always been my goal and my ardent hope that my posts would serve in the same inspiring capacity as yours have done for me. As artists we spend so much of our lives separate and alone to make our creations. We live mostly in a "mindscape" that few can penetrate... or even understand fully. Being creative demands much solitude and space to think.

    I will continue to post... matter of fact... my latest appeared coincides with your comment this evening. I have another writing project to attend to... and that I wish to complete this year. That too... will draw upon my creative energy and time.

    Thank you for this lovely tribute. It means so very much to mer... coming from you Lass!

    Good Luck with your painting and sales!
    Warmest regards... and a special Thank you!