Saturday, January 17, 2009

Goodbye to a Modern Master

Andrew Wyeth, the reclusive artistic voice for the rural middle-class, died yesterday at home. Known for his realist melancholy landscapes and portraits of his friends and neighbors, his more affectionate fans referred to him as the "Painter of the People".

Myself, having long admired Wyeth's work, and having sought a number of times to capture that silence and mood ( always unsuccessfully) that could be found in his paintings, admired him as a true modern master. He made me look longer ...and what can be better than that...

Quotes by Andrew Wyeth:
"I can't work completely out of my imagination. I must put my foot in a bit of truth; and then I can fly free."

"I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious."

"It's a moment that I'm after, a fleeting moment, but not a frozen moment. "

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Dare to Dream....


"This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last." (Oscar Wilde)

I never gave a New Year a second thought for a couple of decades but this one has excited me the most. 2008 brought many changes, many challenges, and we survived!

I started a new job in a new city, and had the 7.5 heart-pounding, bone-chilling months of coping with having a child overseas on the front lines of Afghanistan- and the many other but much smaller ups and downs that take place over the span of 365 days of living.

At the age of 42, I finally feel like I have some semblance of control over my life. Or should I say, I realize that I have finally reached an age where I better recognize opportunity, and that it is myself and my actions that can propel me forward- along with the realization that sometimes in my life - it was me that held myself back...was I leading my life or was my life leading me...

Are you scared of success? It sounds crazy, but yet many people are. I was - though I doubt I would have recognized it at the time. There is a comfort zone in playing it safe, putting off opportunities with a "maybe tomorrow" or "when I have this and this and this done, THEN I will be ready to seize this opportunity." Staying in a bad job or a bad marriage with rationalizations because it is easier then the upheaval that comes with change.

My gift to myself in 2009 is to keep moving forward and not just bob passively on the tides of life. The year 2008 forced major changes, as did the 2 years prior...I painted the above painting "Dare the Dream" just months prior to everything in my life blowing up back in 2005.
I am 42 and still standing. And standing stronger. I am happier, learning to live truer to my nature rather then what I feel is expected of me. What we think is expected of us, often is not. We saddle ourselves with pre-conceived notions of what we think others expect of us... yet we forget that the majority of people are more likely concerned with themselves and their lives. It is a little narcissistic for us to think we have to do things a certain way to maintain the status quo. Honestly , is it expected of us, or an excuse for putting off change.

One of Frank's favorite quotes has served as a mantra for me the past 3 years :
"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible..." ~Frank Zappa

"Dare to Dream" (2005) Acrylic on canvas by Julie Cooper Young