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Still Life with Apple & Silver Cup (A Meditation on 8 Years)

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A Meditation for 8 Years
A Meditation on 8 Years

Today marks 8 years since I began making paintings for this blog. Starting with a pink zinnia, I set out to make a painting a day and to see if I could develop a sustainable painting practice for myself. Eight years later, my blog has had more than 900,000 visitors from over 100 countries, and my work is in books, magazines, and private, public, and museum collections on 6 continents. I know these numbers because what comes with using the Internet is data, and, for better or worse, data is a force of nature.

The number I can't tell you is exactly how many daily paintings I've painted since September 23, 2007. Because I don't really know. I sometimes know an approximate number; for fun, my mom has mostly kept track, a lot of the time. But the truth is, I haven't counted because it's not all that important to me.

What is important is what my daily painting practice means to me. Spending time pushing paint around is a way of life. Some days are a challenge, but for eight years, this vocation has enriched my heart and mind and soul, and this inspires me to continue painting as often as I do.

Painting for me is about paying attention and capturing a moment. Contemplative paying attention allows me to have an intimate relationship with my painting subjects. Mutual respect and exchange of energy manifests itself as gesture, movement, weight, edges, texture, and color harmony. I often choose from my collection of handmade pottery or local co-op produce or a scene out my window -- and it is magic to me that my subjects can be simultaneously animated and meditative. Painting is both big and small. It is humble and majestic. It is reflective and sometimes painful. It is present moment and vast potential.

For me, my daily paintings are intensely personal, my painting practice is a mindfulness meditation. Through my work, I hope to share with you a sense of awe and wonder I feel about beauty that is all around us in our daily lives. In a small way, I hope my work might awaken the same thing in you.

Today, while I painted this painting, I felt an overwhelming sense of humility. Eight years later, daily painting allows me to feel like a beginner every time I sit down at my easel.

Today (and every day) I offer my gratitude to you for your continued interest in my work. Thank you for allowing me to share it with you.