Sunday, October 9, 2016

Simple Abundance

Happy Thanksgiving... to ALL!!

"Bountiful Blessings" - oil on canvas 24 x 20 inches

This painting portrays my Grandfather Birrell's garden wheel barrow still serving in a friend's beautiful garden laden to overflowing with the harvest of the season. Aren't we also... like wheel barrows... laden with countless blessings from many harvests???

I wonder...

Recognizing Simple Abundance

All of us strive to grow during our lives in many ways. That striving is essential to healthy living to gain a necessary feeling of personal achievement and success. Most of us are successful in achieving that growth we seek.

I have personally discovered a grave flaw in becoming too focused upon the striving in itself. In becoming too focused upon growth in a linear sense... I tended to develop a set of blinders that prevented me from seeing and enjoying many ordinary but equally rewarding blessings around me.

Even in my painting life, I was overlooking and missing opportunities that were ever-present for me to explore and enjoy. I was simply travelling with my artistic blinders on... pulling the plow along to make predictable furrows. While that's what many expected from me, I found the process and the product monotonous and often without new purpose.

Here is an example of a strategy I experimented with briefly. The strategy involved imagineering... that is reaching into a previous creative crucible... reframing or recalibrating... to extract new insights. In this particular case... I discovered an unexpected image embedded in a hardened pigment-stained palette. As I proceeded to sort out shapes that existed in the muddle of colour... an entirely new direction and new still life image revealed itself.

While it's hardly a home run pictorially in terms of its execution or quality... it is none the less a good double at least... in a hit-less inning. Surprisingly... a customer came into the studio and thought so too. A run scored!

Discarded used temporary masonite palette

"Bounty" - the  imaginary 8 x 10 inch oil still life "harvested" from the previously believed fallow palette

Simple Abundance

The quiet closing hour of this crisp October day
Captures the fading moments of its brilliant rays and azure blueness - 
My eye is drawn to a rapidly unfolding and teetering heavenly drama
Paying homage and notice to the waning fingernail moon...
Now hung indelibly askew in the western sky.

The summer greens have quickly reddened along the now darkened and narrow woodland path
The cool night air offers a decidedly autumnal acrid note -
A pleasant blend of life and decay
Newly-arrived autumn can be seen... felt and smelt everywhere
Accompanied by snippets of new birdsong from high sunlit perches and stealthy flitting presences in darkened hedge rows far below.

I am alone, by choice in a world filled with rich wonders
Riches available to anyone for the simple taking -
But few understand or even care to notice of this peace-filled kingdom and sanctuary
They prefer to text and tweet in the din of modernity
While I continue upon my solitary walk through life... basking warmly and gratefully
In simple abundance.


-  a word thought composed after my evening walk about on Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

My greatest blessing this Thanksgiving comes from Allison's speedier-than-expected recovery from her surgery last Thursday. My Familyand I feel deeply blessed... and grateful for this gift... and the gift of prayers and thoughts that were sent our way at this very trying time for us. Thank you... ALL!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Sherman household to each and every one of you!

Rich blessings and Thanks... back to you from us!

"Here's a toast of gratitude... to all of you whose prayers helped me cope through this difficult ordeal!"


  1. Happy Thanksgiving, Bruce, to you and your lovely family. What an admirable post about thankfulness in the face of stress and fear...your faith in the goodness and rightness of it all shines through. Toasting you all this day.

  2. Dear Friend Rhonda,
    I thank you for this kind and uplifting response to my post. I must admit that at certain times in each day I have to take a deep breath and recalibrate.

    I am so thankful for each of the loving and remarkable members of my family who create the nececessary catalyst to help me maintain my faith and optimism. They have "been there" for me... and likewise we are there for them. Such a family circle conquers most any threat or adversity.

    Our combined creative energy and spirit helps dispel fear and uncertainty. We simply choose... to believe and embrace Faith and Hope.

    "We"... are greatly blessed.

    I wish you an early Happy Thanksgiving from our Sherman clan.

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards and thanks

  3. Happy Thanksgiving Bruce. "Simple Abundance" is simply beautiful. You and Allison are in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. Thank you Wendy... for your continuing presence at my site and for your prayers. Both are much appreciated!

    Much abundance... and rich blessings in your house!

    Warmest regards,