Inside your own head. . .

High Summer in Montana .  30 x 24  .  oil on linen canvas

The painting continues despite all the turmoil and uncertainty in the world of late, and despite the personal issues that arose in January for me and me alone!  All is well, but surely you do have to often just get out of your own way and into your head in order to work. 

Please note:  I could not paint such challenging scenes without the help of dear friends who give me full rights and permission to paint photos from their amazing journeys.  I, at the moment, am not able to travel with abandon as I would like to. Money earned goes in other pockets - this is not a complaint, but just the simple truth.  Therefore, when I saw a photo taken in Montana and posted by a college friend, I was carried away by its beauty - hence I have now just completed this scene after working on it for the last few weeks.  I traveled out west in younger days, but I certainly never had the pleasure of seeing and feeling a rushing river/stream such as this one in Montana.  The pure glory of our incredible natural world must have been overwhelming when standing on the bank - moving one to tears I would like to think. 

Imagination, feeling and intense longing have to be at one end of your brush when you paint like I do, having never had the privilege of seeing such a vista.  How blessed and fortunate are those who travel. . .and how grateful I am to be given the opportunity to paint through their adventures.

Having recently been introduced to Daphne Merkin via an NPR radio interview, I read this quote of hers.  I took the liberty of substituting the word artist for writer and painting for writing, as I truly felt her quote could be applied to exactly how I feel and operate.

"It's hard to think of yourself as a professional artist. I still think of painting as something I do on the side even though by now I make something approaching a living at it.

I think this has a lot to do with the fact that there's nowhere to go in the morning when you're an artist, even if you have a studio, except inside your own head."

~ Daphne Merkin with alteration by S. Donn

It is extraordinary and validating when you realize you are not alone and others think like you! 

Daphne Merkin is an American literary critic, essayist and novelist who has recently written a new memoir about depression - This Close to Happy - a reckoning with depression.

We all know the grandeur of nature can give new meaning to our lives, put things in perspective and provide an interior sustenance that's hard to come by.  I hope we all get to experience beauty as we work our way into spring and summer. . .and that we can perhaps get outside, literally, and perhaps outside of our heads for just a little while!


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