23 September 2016
Still Life with Robin's Egg and Japanese Cup (A Meditation on 9 Years)
A Meditation for 9 Years
A Meditation on 9 Years
Today marks 9 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 -- I had no idea it would lead me to where I am today. Nine years later, my blog has had well beyond a million visitors from over one hundred countries, and my work has been the subject of many interviews and articles, and is in books, magazines, and private, public, and museum collections on six 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 exactly know (an approximate number is around twelve or thirteen hundred).
I haven't counted because that number is not as important to me as what my daily painting practice means to me. Spending time doing daily paintings creates a way of life. Some days are a challenge, but for nine 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. Nine 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.