The Giving Season . . .

 Give the best of you. 

It's said the greatest joy in life is giving, and as we go through this holiday season and close out the end of 2016, we will all (hopefully) realize the simple truth of it. 

I'm thinking of the myriad ways we give during our everyday life - letting someone go in front of you at the grocery store, smiling at a stranger who looks as if they may need a bright moment, letting someone in while stuck in a long traffic line, taking soup to a sick neighbor, saying a simple thank-you with meaning, making eye contact with the people who serve you.  And if you feel you have nothing to give, then just remember you always have love to give.  

Giving the best of me is part and parcel of what I attempt to incorporate into my work, especially commission work.  When someone has put their faith in me to bring about a desired outcome it's the only path to pursue in my opinion.  These last couple of months I've been working on three commission pieces that are gifts for Christmas - two landscapes and a still life that included a beloved pet.  Of course, the very origin of these commissions is love, that powerful, wonderful source of everything!  So it begins with love, is painted with love and given with love.  You can't go wrong with that. . .

Koa's Dream  .  12 x 12  .  oil on panel

Koa kitty fast asleep up on a shelf in peaceful security and his handsomeness, amongst the chotchkies of his humans' home.  Now by chotchkies, I don't mean worthless knick knacks - each of these items most likely has great sentimental value.  It's how we make a home, isn't it?  With "things" that make us remember or feel. 
 Koa has been singularly interesting since day one - his tail was run over and it doesn't work like most kitty's tails!  But nevermind, he doesn't let it interfere!  An inspiring example of stoicism.  AND he's been totally lost before - causing much anguish and concern before being found again.  Phew!  No, like most pets in our lives, never a dull moment. Commissioned by a daughter for the parents of this well-loved kitty - caught in a moment of sweet innocence.  Joy!

New Harbor, Maine  .  8 x 10  .  oil on linen canvas

Then there's the love of familiar places - places that provide the respite needed from the everyday life.  Making a pilgrimage yearly (usually early fall) to an area of the country they were not born to, but have come to love for its unique beauty and ambiance - that's the inspiration behind the two paintings of Maine.  I myself have only been to Maine once, but there's no doubt that it can stir your heart and make you yearn for a simpler way of life!  If only the WINTER could be softened, eh?  But. . .consider the lobster pound:

Five Island's Lobster Pound  .  8 x 10  .  oil on linen canvas
I framed these in very rustic barn wood floater frames that duplicated the atmosphere of Maine with all of its harbors and docks.  The detail was incredible on these 8 x 10's - I did a lot of research online to figure out the boats and the landscape of both areas.  The photos were not high quality and would have really suited as a reference for plein air or impressionist painting, but "my style" was requested and that required a little more study on my part, all done with a loving heart and the desire to give my best.

On a more personal note . . .

The long (too long!) protracted election cycle in this country, along with the subsequent election day being so close to Thanksgiving and Christmas, seems to have taken a toll this year on the psyche in regard to even the mere thought of a holiday season. 

To say it has knocked the stuffing out of business for a lot of professions, including artists, may prove to be an understatement.  Change and the unknown, as well as human suffering and war, often trickles down with punition to those attempting to bring a little beauty into the world.  Like Koa kitty's stoicism, with patience we soldier on in our creative bubbles hoping to sell a painting or secure a new commission - hanging on to faith in our chosen profession and faith in our fellow human beings that they will continue to hope and have confidence. 

I don't know what 2017 will reveal to us.  Not one soul does.  But I will continue to give my best.  I chose hunger for my charity dollars this season and made donations to my local agency to feed those who are in such need.  With that giving I'm fulfilled and will continue to donate when I can through this next year, as the state I live in, North Carolina, has tremendous poverty.  Looking outside of ourselves and giving seems to me to be the very essence of living and life.  I'm wishing each and every one of you a giving heart this season - giving your best and giving with love.   

"Love is an element which though physically unseen is as real as air or water.  It is an acting, living, moving force. . .it moves in waves and currents like those of the ocean."
~ Prentice Mulford

Join me to ride the strong current of love this coming year. . .

Poinsettia Under Brass Lamp .  Watercolor .  by Sandy Donn


Popular Posts