Friday, December 22, 2017

Using your "Voice".... "Make a joyful noise..." - Part One

While my post title here suggests a speaking or singing voice, I am alluding to a deep and abiding belief that one's "voice" and choice of self-expression can reveal itself in a multitude of very different forms. None of these forms merits the distinction of being more valid than any of the others. All share a common proclivity to seek and strive for perfection and individuality.

Though all of these indicate the presence of a special gift... all demand sacrifice and commitments that stretch across an entire life time of practice and dedication. As Emile Zola aptly put it:

The artist is nothing without the gift. But the gift is nothing without the work."

On many occasions, an artist's "gift" bridges more than one medium or interest. Each medium can reveal a distinctly unique and different "voice". Often the gift is manifest and obvious at a very young age. Having spent my entire working life educating elementary aged children, I have been privileged to discover, mentor and share the artistic path with a number of gifted students in a variety of areas of excellence along the way.

I am very proud to count all of my own children amongst those and do so...  not because they are my children or my artistic "seed"... but rather because they responded to the consistent encouragement we offered each of them to dream and to live out their own dreams. On many occasions, they were thrown in with my class charges to dream together. Some of those early friendships have survived the test of time and were revisited and conjoined at Allison's Celebration of Life event.

How cathartic their embraces were to us at this very dark moment in our current lives! The Universe has indeed conspoired to offer many welcome surprises that defy serendipity as the lone cause. I would like to share one such "visitation" (for the lack of a better word). It came if the form of a series of emails that came to me from one of my "summer painting friends" over the past three years. I choose not to fill the space in this post with my words. I choose to tell the tale using collected digital files that better record events. Her presence and voice(s) speak so eloquently for "Her".

Enter Hana!

This is my young Friend Hana

Painting with me in our garden in tempera as a birthday gift from Gramma (12 years)

                                                       Hana painting in oils two years later

Hana... transformed today ... into a beautiful butterfly with a new "voice" in grade nine this year. What else need be said? The gifts... the work and "beauty... inside and out"... in her Gramma's proud words... We are blessed!

I think that feeling to be true... and "knew it" when first we met!
Hana's song... and musical accompaniment. Where does this gift come from?... and where will it take her???

I wonder...

Good luck Sweet Girl!

Moonlit - Hana.mp3

Stay tuned for Part Two.....


  1. Hi Bruce, is Hanna related to you? How old is she her voice is very accomplished, she sings very well. Did you paint her? it is such a life like painting I thought it was a photo at first. It is quite magical how a young gift is so inspiring. A butterfly indeed about to enter the big wide world with her talent. It is quite exciting! Thank you for sharing this hopeful tale with us for Christmas.

  2. Just noticed you were wearing a Scottish flag on your T-Shirt!!

  3. Good evening Lass!... Nice to hear from you again! No... Hana is the daughter of local resident friends that I know. I believe that she is fourteen years old. It is a school photo... not a painting.

    Her talent in music is beyond ordinary. She is an accomplished and trained piano student... and plays the guitar as well as having this extraordinary gift of a voice... for any age.

    The most beautiful part of Hana is her humility and willingness to grow and to share her gifts. She is an absolute pleasure to be with.

    The Scottish Flag t-shirt is a remnant carried back from my adventure in Scotland to be at Allsion's Phd ceremony in 2010... just a dream now... but an unforgettable memory... locked forever in my heart.

    Thanks for dropping by Lass! Christmas blessings and good health to you and yours!

    Warmest regards,
    Good painting and

  4. Finding extraordinary talent and gifts - and being the first one to see those things - is a wonderful thing for everyone. I hope Hanna will go on to excel and have a full and exciting life ahead of her and you will always have the memories of her first efforts and how she grew. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

  5. Good morning and Merry Christmas Rhonda!... Glad that you enjoyed my "sharing of this beautiful song bird's voice! It brought me such great joy... that I felt compelled to share it with the blog community (with her full permission beforehand)... A perfect Chtristmas gift for my Friends!

    I was hardly the first to recognize her gifts... and I shall not be the last. She chooses to humble share them with thge world... and the world will reconize and encourage her further in the future that rises surely before her!

    Rich blessings... of Good Health and Painting Rhonda!
    Warmest regards,

  6. Merry Christmas Bruce to you and yours. My very best wishes for a happy and healthy 2018 may it bring you peace and joy.

  7. Thank you Lisa... and those same wishes are returned to you! Follow your current artistic path... it looks exciting... already!

    Warmest regards,

  8. Good morning Shiri!... For your visit and supportive words. In will indeed visit your site to see the work that you are doing in support of the creative spirit.

    We who share that path well know the value of new ideas and the learning of others to help shape our own lives... especially in the darker moments.

    Thank you for taking the time to visit and to share!

    Rich Blessings!... and warmest regards,