Monday, October 8, 2012

Somewhere Beyond Looking... There's "Seeing"

From "The Song of Life"... a lovely poem by the English poet Henry Wordsworth Longfellow there is this thought-provoking thought on the subject of the value of Art. It reads:

"Art is long, and Time is fleeting."

I find myself living in the midst of a society driven by electronic technology and speed... where legions of frenetic multi-taskers take pride in their ability to process umpteen tasks simultaneously. Their level of productivity and worth are measured by their ability to do many things in as little time as possible. I was one of these converts... long ago now... back when I thought I "wanted to go somewhere" in my life and ambitions. I too, prided my Self in being able to complete long lists and to deliver to everyone else in my life... until the Light in my soul fairly vanished and life itself in every form seemed without purpose. That was in ... yesterday.

My life changed and began to bear fruit and copious blessings when I made the decision to leave the "gerbil wheel"... or my body did and I set out on "The Road Not Taken" and have built my life on more on Today... not forgetting yesterday... but certainly not focussed upon Tomorrow. I have chosen to live fully in "the Now"... "and that has made all the difference", as Robert Frost noted. In "the Now"... in each hour ... of each day, I take time to "see"... and not to merely look. To savour... rather than just to taste. To fully enjoy... and not just to try. My life is in fact, a buffet of blessings... chosen by "Me"... from which I sit down to a sumptuous meal to savour... enjoy and digest. My table fare is different every day. I never tire of the menu. And my "palate/palette" is enriched by my discoveries and adventures.

Blessings in my mind represent those things which arrive in one's life... unannounced and unexpected. They cannot be planned for. Neither are  they monetarily driven. They simply... "are"... a gift offered momentarily and mysteriously by The Universe... or The Creator. Both are synonymous in my thoughts and belief system. Science and God in my belief system co-exist and work in tandem. They are "One"... in the same! Both command a sense of mystery... awe and wonder. Both defy total human explanation... or control. This view permits "Me" to first discover... to examine and then used to determine what meaning there is in what I am experiencing.

Blessings come to "Me"... and "Us"on a regular basis. Not because we are special... or we are more worthy to receive them, but merely because of a change in our mind view. We search to find meaning. We are "open" to spending the time required to go beyond merely looking and noticing... which are simply cursory acts of going through the motions of daily living... to digesting a single moment and pleasure and savouring it... accepting it for what it is. Perhaps,  if you are working artists like we are, you might be driven to think beyond the moment, or record it in a few words or a simple sketch, to be developed further when time permits.

I am at present reading a wonderful wee guide book, a New York Times Best Seller by H.Jackson Brown. It is entitled " Life's Little Instruction Book". His mantra ... "Live Learn and Pass it on" is indeed my own as well, as my posts and my life journey attest. It is a book well worth owning (discovering)... reading(tasting) and digesting. Beyond savouring... it is an ideal book to give a friend,... or a child leaving to enter the world on their own. It is remarkably easy to read. A good book that can be read  and savoured bit by bit as I have done... over a number of pre-sleep or morning ritual "quiet times."

Here is a sample of just a few morsels of wisdom that Brown offers in his treasury of wisdom:

Live your life in wonder, and always leave some things to retain mystery.

Put on old clothes before you get out the paint brushes... Painter tip from AWB!!!!

Remember, your character is your destiny.

Pray. There is immeasurable power in it.

Never risk what you can't afford to lose.

Think big things but enjoy the smaller things in life.

Sometimes the heart sees what the eye doesn't.... Painter tip from AWB !!!!!

Call your Mother... and your Dad!

In bringing these Thanksgiving morning thoughts to a conclusion... I'll add these two final quotes from Brown worth considering on this day set aside for Thanks Giving:

It is not the responsibility of parents to pave the roads for their children, but rather to provide them with a road map. Think about it Friends... and Family members! Giving your children everything that you feel you didn't receive in your own early life, in my opinion is a tragic mistake which hamstrings both groups involved. Children never grow up appreciating the value of what is given  and received too easily. Rather... they spend the rest of their lives painfully learning the fact that one must earn their way in life. A journey into unfamiliar territory without a road map and prior planning welcomes wasted time, resources ... and inevitable disaster!

And lastly... for certain... except for some jpegs of gratitude sent from "Me" from Rockport with warmest thanks for your unflagging presence and support for Journaling With Paint:

"Feel blessed and you will be!"

" Bounteous Blessings"- oil on canvas 30x24 inches a plein air painting created in our friends' Garden of Eden... where Deb and I were married. I gave my grandfather's wheelbarrow used in his beautiful rose garden in thanks for their love and friendship. Grace added the bounty of that gift of Friendship.

 Have Faith... in your Self... your Art... your Family and your Friends!

 Look towards home... there often is a painting subject that close to you!... Stay tuned!

 My greatest blessing is Deb! I tell her that I love "Her"... every day and I kiss her Goodbye before leaving! Never leave the ones you love without kissing them and telling them that you love them. It "might" be the last time you have that precious opportunity. Life is uncertain... and often unexpectedly plays bad tricks... on us all!

 Birds always have a song in their heart... are grateful for your gifts and never give you lip!

 Find a small Friend who you can share your deepest thoughts and worries with! Mr Chips is ours!

 DO scratch my back... and I'll scratch yours!!

 There are wonderful designs in Nature... when you take the time to "See" them... vertically...

 or horizontally. Look at things from many perspectives! Look twice! Paint once!

 Find "still waters"... Solitude! It will restore your soul... and clear out the worry!

Accept new challenges. "Half the joy of achievement... is anticipation." - HJ Brown
Here is a bas-relief  three dimensional cast that was so poorly painted... that the owner who commissioned it couldn't bare to look at it. I took the challenge... and I think "won"! It sure made me think like a sculptor during the whole affair... and in acrylics as well! Totally out of my natural element... but I thoroughly enjoyed and learned new things about painting volume... and... behind things.

 Go out to Nature in differing times and weather! Light changes everything in making Art! Take the time to get "out there." Head out with sketch book in hand... painting kit... camera or just with your brain and eyes for a walk into the outdoor world.

 Sometimes you will find a subject that never needs to be imagined... it is simply beautiful as is!

Our table is simple... but the love in its preparation and creation is the product of two sets of hands in our house! Thank you for an exquisite pork loin masterpiece Deb! Both Lisa and I enjoyed both helpings of everything!

"Thank You"... For the Music Mom and Dad- oil on canvas 14x11 inches

And last ... but far from least! I give thanks for my loving parents. Their consistent encouragement, example, gifts and sacrifices helped to shape "Me" in becoming the person "I" am! Thank you for the "Music"... and for providing a road map which doesn't prevent me from getting lost... but never fails to help me to arrive "Home"... safely and joyfully!

"I" am "Home... and at peace in Rockport!

I am deeply blessed! Happy Thanksgiving... I'll be down for a visit later this afternoon!

All my love ALWAYS,
Your loving son Bruce

Good Painting ....
Rich blessings and Peace to ALL!!!!!


  1. as always bruce, lovely words, sentiments, paintings and photos. happy thanksgiving my friend to you and your lovely wife.

  2. A very beautiful and thought provoking post Bruce. Thank you.

  3. Hello again Suzanne!... "You"... have been much on my thoughts these last weeks... but never more than the past three days!

    I won't go deeper than that for now... it is simply "mysterious"... that you should contact me today!

    I wish "You"... blessings of health... healing and great inner strength... to continue your journey in the courageous manner that you have thus far.

    I will be in touch with you shortly... stay tuned! Until then .. a piece of Canadian Thanksgiving blessings straight back to "You"!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  4. Hi there John!... Thank you for visiting and for your encouraging comments about the post!

    The sole purpose of the the blog is to provide a forum for exchanging ideas... processes... personal thoughts and feelings. Knowing that it accomplishes these goals and its purpose ... motivates me to continue!

    Thanks for taking the time to express your ideas.

    Happy thanksgiving wishes sent your way!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  5. Beautiful words and paintings. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your table with us Bruce. And yes God Bless you and Deb. The pork dinner looked delicious.

    All the best to you,

  6. Hi there Joan!... Thanks for joining us for our Thanksgiving dinner and celebration! Wasn't the meal delicious though? HA HA!! It truly was!

    "Thanksgiving" is as meaningful as we wish to make it... and in my own case "Thanksgiving" can be everyday! There are everyday blessings... is you "see" them... celebrate and appreciat them!

    Just one ol' Romantic dude's opinion though!

    Good Painting... and God bless you and yours as well Joan!
    Thank you for your Friendship!
    Warmest regards,

  7. Such a beautiful and humbling post, Bruce. You are quite a gentleman.

  8. Thank you Sherry... aka "Crimson Leaves"! For your presence and always encouraging words!

    "You" inspire "Me" with the Hope... that good people live everywhere. Special People... who like Art... Matter in this world!

    Keep shining and sharing your light openly and with pride Sherry!

    "You" are a lovely "Lady"... capital "L" ... fully intended as used!

    Happy Thanksgiving wishes and blessings!
    Warmest regards,

  9. Hi Bruce...this is full of wisdom and inspiration, as always. I entirely agree with your sentiments and would sum it up by saying 'The faster we travel, the less we see'.

    Thank you for sharing some of the life and colour of Rockport at this time of year.

    All the best,

  10. Hi there Keith!... Thanks for visiting... and for sharing your wisdom and sentiments as well!

    Exactly right about travelling too fast! We see less... and only risk arriving sooner than we should... and with the words... "what if"... on our lips!

    Not "You"... or "I" for certain!

    Good Painting! Happy Autumn and Good luck with your exhibitions!
    Warmest regards,

  11. Hi there laddie! I don't get much time on the library computer these days so time is indeed precious when I am there. I found a quiet and peaceful place on your blog, very enriching, really makes me slow down and relax when I read your words and I think of how a simple life where counting your blessings is indeed a rich one. take care there and catch up soon.

  12. Hi there Caroline!... Sure do miss your regular visits and conversations!

    Glad that the post brought peace into your life and added something to your own journey! That's the intent... to share!

    Life is indeed simple and full... when you measure your blessings based upon need and simpler choices!

    Good Painting!~
    Warmest regards,

  13. Another beautifully painted sentiment! I am so glad that I found your blog. You inspire... remind me to slow down...and be thankful. Thank you.

  14. Good Morning Wendy!... Thank "You"... for taking the time to visit and comment!

    Thank you too... for the word "inspire"! What a wonderfully uplifting feeling it offers one to hear that you inspire another on their journey.

    That is the sole/soul purpose of my blog. It pleases me greatly that the mantra which Brown and I choose to live under: "Live,learn and pass it on" has actually been accomplished in your case!

    Do continue to drop by... to slow down... to look for to find the simple blessings in your own journey... and to give thanks! "You" will always feel blessed!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  15. What an inspiring post.
    You do have a wonderful way of expressing truths we often neglect.

  16. Hello.... and HAPPY HALLOWE'EN... to the Chesterbrook Academy Folk!...Thank you for you encouraging comments! Like your own site... my goal is to create an open forum for discussion... sharing and enrichment of creative minds... young or old(er)!

    It's all about the journey... and sharing our creative processes and adventures!

    Thanks for dropping by! Do return soon! Always a pleasure to visit... in both directions!

    Good Painting and Creating!
    Have a safe Hallowe'en celebration all!
    Warmest regards,