PDA

View Full Version : Driven to Possess, we Kill the very things we love...


LarrySeiler
05-06-2003, 10:59 AM
Trout fisherman in general, and as artists especially...really enjoy the aesthetics of the water's movements, the still and quiet...the doe and fawn that come down to sip and drink unaware of your stealth movements. The sun beginning to dip, the air turning a slight chill and mist moving across the stream.

May flies increase and trout move.

Often on exiting the water's area, the fisherman might find to his delight an explosion of abundant black raspberries; and a wise man brings a small plastic bag to fill with them.

I remember the first time I brought a catch of trout home with plans to photograph them for future reference in painting and carving. Prior to going into the creel (bag) they were full of unbelievable irridescent color. Coming out of the bag...they were drab and only shadows of their former selves.

In fact, a trout will begin losing its color within a minute of being out of water and to get true color you have to have a camera at the ready...best snapping before the hook is even removed.

By the same token, many of us as youngsters remember the first time we picked wild flowers (including dandelions) to bring home to our mother. They would represent thoughtfulness, and we carried them proudly home with visions of the reception. However, by the time we got home and put them in a vase...they had wilted and died. Droopy, dreary shadows of their former glory.

From this we learn an interesting spiritual truth that by seeking to possess living beauty for myself, I kill the very life source of that beauty.

By the same token, how many times have we by our desire to possess and control ruined a friendship, an infatuation or sweetheart, or even spouse?

Perhaps our drive to possess discovers that the possessions in the long run turn on us and possess us. We find the vigor, energy, the optimism...the beauty, in short- "life" being sapped and drained right out of us.

There are some things in life that cannot be possessed without destroying them. Is it not unique then...that we can "capture" beauty in the form of a painting...perhaps set out afield with a portable easel, and take a sense of the spirit of its beauty with us without having destroyed its life! In such a way...the beauty transfers and ministers to others, but it also ministers to the very thing which captured our imagination by recognizing its value to us yet letting it live on.

Larry

LarrySeiler
05-06-2003, 07:56 PM
Perhaps this might be an interesting read to some not requiring any comment. If anything else, it is at least a welcome exercise for myself as typing is a bit like thinking out loud for me. I'll therefore continue with more thoughts...

Our drive to possess...also carries the need for care to maintain such possession. I've heard little quotes like, "it is one thing to have a gift, quite another when the gift has us!"

and I read this little ditty-
"Possessions weigh me down in life
I never feel quite free
I wonder if I own my things,
or if my things own me"

In our modern age where we tend to define ourselves by what we own, we have become enslaved by security and possessions. Building large houses that become forms of prisons as we strive to pay high mortgage payments and fill them with fine furnishings. Spending great amounts of time mowing grass, pruning, fertilizing, painting, repairing because the outside makes a statement about who we are. In our frantic lifestyle we
neglect others that depend upon us such as our children. We have become slaves to our possessions.

When I first moved to the northwoods of Wisconsin, I was amazed how little care was given by so many of their homes. Siding often nonevident on one side of the house for a couple years, porches broken down, things strewn about the yard. At first I was disturbed to think these folks had very little pride and being a teacher in one such community, what such lack of esteem...perhaps dealing with poverty would bring upon the children.

For some folks...I now realize that they do not define themselves by the appearance of their homes. As such, they have gone to the other extreme of neglecting basic maintenance but...this does not mean they have transferred priority to spending time with their children. The need to possess was still to be found evident. There source of pride has evolved not to be measured by the home or yard but in their being respected as a northwood's man.

What needs to be possessed by many in the northwoods is reputation of being the outdoorsman. This need to prove oneself capable of harvesting game such as deer or bear. To demonstrate capable manhood in fishing, and so on. A shabby house and dilapitated garage might reveal with its doors opened a really nice and expensive boat, motor and trailer. They might not have decent clothes for the kids, but they've got an expensive rifle or shotgun, a treestand, a fourwheel ATV for getting back into deep woods, and so on.

The kids run around in borrowed clothes, rarely enjoy a movie or night out.

Possession of a reputation is one that also enslaves and blinds one to the importance of being a father to one's children, and it took awhile living in the northwoods to see it.

While I myself am a sportsman...an outdoorsman, I have found myself going thru a transition in order to help people see themselves and find balance.

I used to attempt to "fit in" initially with the ole ritual of story telling. Such comes easily enough for me being a known wildlife artist in our state, and having grown up with a father whose was a sportsfishing guide. In time, I believe that God helped me begin to see the malady here though and that I perhaps would be better not to fuel it. It is just not material items such as a house that we seek to possess that can turn around and possess us, but also our striving to be seen in a certain light by those we seek acceptance from.

I have seen this need here to fit in as the outdoorsy type go to
extremes where young men will drive with a friend in a back of a pickup truck at night, suddenly pull into a field where the headlights fall upon deer feeding in a field and if there happens to be a nice buck, the guy in the back of the truck ready with a bow and arrow flings a shot.

Others will drive dirt roads to hunt game birds such as ruffed grouse and put as much as 150 miles on in a day thinking it a poor day to only see 3-4 birds. Of course shooting from a vehicle or at night is all illegal...but they'll simply make up a story later at the bar. So important is it to gain reputation of being a "mighty hunter" that legal boundaries are easily crossed. This too is seeking to possess something that in the end possesses you, and such that breaks the law brings along with it a change in your personality. It distorts your values, and when that happens especially to a father, it leads to neglects and distortions of what the child...a dependent needs.

That then brings me to looking at myself and even what it means to be an artist. What is "freedom" for an artist?

If we consider that the person actually free is also free of that which would seek to possess him or her...then this is no simple, philosophical debate on political license or social mores, (not that that would be too simple actually).

For the first near 20 years of my professional artist life I had
developed a reputation. Wanting to improve, I entered competitions. Getting close but "no cigar" as they say meant digging in and working harder. Paying your dues.

Eventually..the wins come, and with it the envy of all those yet
aspiring. All those dues paid add up to a momentum that makes switching directions artistically unthinkable. Putting 100-300 hours into a work for near 15-20 years does not make deciding to go new creative directions easy. It is as if saying the first 20 years were a mistake, and that is more than most people could do. It is of course possible if we look at it...that we are either greatly committed and dedicated to be admired, or we have slipped across a slippery slope where our need for
reputation has become a possession that has somewhere along the line possessed us.

Reputation brings opportunity, agents and reps, new contracts.
Galleries showing interest and gaining sales want more of the same, better would be even better. In the jostle to position for who gets what space in a gallery you find your developing reputation gives you the edge.

I'm not saying such is not a good thing. Yet, ever note how many
developing a reputation do not seem happy or grateful for such, but are always talking about what yet needs to be accomplished. They are yet are in this viscious cycle to want more and more.

In time its possible for reputation to possess you- when your direction becomes routine, it will in time turn to a rut, and then to rot. Routine, rut, rot. The life will be sapped out of you the artist just as any living beauty possessed does. It dies.

The dying process itself carries a stench...decays and has corruption. People that become bitter and resentful of their own state often carry a fragrance which affects those around.

I was reading about pelicans. They are known for dropping out of the air and with a great crash hit the water heads going down, to catch their prey such as baitfish.

What was interesting was that I read they do not have eyelids. Over time, hitting the water hard with their focus intent on their catch causes trauma on their eyelidless eyes. As they age, they go blind until floundering around helplessly... eventually starving and dying.

So wrapped up in who we are, what we expect of as well as for ourselves, defending our position in ranking for the market; so single focused for so long a period of time can cause us to go blind. Blind to see what might really matter to make a life balanced. What matters to those that might depend upon us. The humanizing thing that makes us fully alive.

Again...possessing a living think can choke the life out of it. When that thing we possess and guard is our own reputation, we begin slowly to cut off anything we perceive that might threaten its loss. Yet age we will...pushing those that might love us away, and a day will come when reputation alone means nothing. At such a moment great disillusionment will come forgetting all the promises that were suppose to come that would guarantee happiness. The life choked off...like those flowers plucked. Death and decay.

Some artists that see themselves as professionals refuse to help other less mature artists. The world sees professionals owing nothing to anyone, and not having the time. To help others is to risk being looked at with suspicion as to whether or not the artist is a true professional.

True freedom means even a desire to be free from oneself...and to not realize this is to risk enslavement to inner motives hidden even to ourselves.

One of the human mechanisms for seeing to it that we do not become enslaved to ourselves is to see our place to help others and be a servant. Such flys straight in the face of reputation such that we look at ourselves more clearly at the face staring back at us in the mirror.

author Scott Walker of the book, "The Freedom Factor" asks, "how can we live in this world, enjoy fully its beautiful treasures, and not be disillusioned, enslaved, or blinded by our drive to possess?"

He goes on to suggest, and I wholeheartedly agree, "Perhaps one of the best ways to combat an insatiable drive to possess is to develop within oursleves a conscious and deliberate sense of gratitude." and later, "If there is any one thing that can bring feelings of happiness and well-being into our lives it is the intentional cultivation of thanksgiving."

There is a scripture verse in the New Testament that has become somewhat my life verse...Romans 1:21 which says, "although they knew Him, they neither glorified nor honored Him as God, nor gave Him thanks"

To understand the whole gist of that chapter itself is to read what many of faith recognize as the decline of a culture until it collapses in upon itself and destroys itself. This verse, 21 is the key verse because it explains why and therefore is a type of warning. It is essential for good spiritual health that we maintain and harbor a heart...a spirit that celebrates. A heart that routinely is thankful and offers up thanksgiving.

To do so...one has to learn to recognize the blessing of what is already possessed rather than complain about what one have not been not given. It would serve well to recognize the dangers of allowing the chasing after reputation with abandon, and that such does not lead to freedom but to enslavement.

Developing the habit of intentional cultivation of thanksgiving will in time free us. By rooting out over time displeasure with our state, we might gain reputation yet do so with grace and do not see it as a rank above and over others. Maintaining the wisdom to reach out to others in benevolence helps to prevent one's drivenness from such eventual otherwise inevitable enslavement. We might never gain reputation, but yet know how to be thankful, content...happy.

I am thankful that God has his ways of letting us know when we have been busy pursuing the "me"...happy that I might then not let my drivenness overtake me. To be God-oriented rather than "me-oriented." Its not easy. There is so much of "me" that still propels me and I am often dull of hearing. This because we often do not know the fuller secret intent of our own motives. I endeavor to remember to honor God...and I think painting nature has helped to a degree; I hope to maintain the sense to keep thanksgiving in my heart, and by His grace to experience and know freedom.

Larry

bethg
05-07-2003, 12:42 AM
Larry,

I read both of your testamonies today. They both are thought provoking...here is why this one touched me.

I am an outdoorswoman. Due to the fact, I can not eat fish, I have never gone fishing. I have never gone hunting with the idea that I would kill any animal. Most of my time is spent hiking and when I can tracking.

In my own life, I remeber the first time I didn't have to have a "souviener." Often people pick up rocks or press flowers or take sand etc. from places they visit. My grandmother (a great outdoorswoman herself) took us hiking to Mt. St. Helens after the erruption. When we began to pick up rocks she told us not to. I remeber saying it's only one rock...there are plently left...she said something I have never forgotten. "If everyone who visited this place, picked up a rock, there would be none left." Then she tried to tell us about no trace hiking practices which went in one ear and lay dorment in my brain until about my mid teens.

I know what you mean about your possessions possesing you. My husband and I have been working on simplifying our lives for awhile. As Christians, it is hard to figure out what we really need vs what we just want. The same problem comes up with my art career. I crave fame, but I know it is toxic for me. I create murals for my church and at times I find my self basking in the praise. I at times find myself moving toward an audience instead of that I wish to create.
the murals are beautiful and I enjoy doing them, but before each one I ask for God's help that I don't go overboard and let my pride take over.


Take care,
Beth

Morganna
05-07-2003, 09:34 AM
This was an interesting post. The one thing that hit me was about peoples houses. Where I live the cost of living is so high that the only houses being built are these monster houses that I can't fathom any one being able to afford. What's worse is Im going to have to move away in a few months because of it; despite the fact that I've lived my entire life here.

When you pass by those houses a great many of them have not cut the lawn. I was just thinking about this a few weeks ago. I got angry at these people. I don't know them, and they don't know me but I wondered what they would do if they could not have such a house. What they would think if they saw another persons yard looking like a jungle. And why they take their house for granted.

Its kind of funny really because Im one of those odd ball people that don't get jealous of anything. But with the situation at hand I am. So I thought about why. I grew up in a house that could be considered a shack, you had to use an out house if you wanted to goto the bath room. (that really, really sucked) It was old, falling apart and was 150+ years old. My mom says we lived there because we couldn't afford it anywhere else. Now keep in mind I would have settled for an itty bitty house with no yard at the time (now for that matter, I hate apartments and renting) But with an adult eye I look back on every thing and I see we lived there so that she can obtain possessions that she may not have otherwise had if not for a higher rent. What she didn't' know was that she could have still had all of that stuff and afford a place that was at least livable.

LOL, ok I got rambling about houses sorry. Cus I know your post has a heck to do with allot more. But I suppose We take every thing we have for granted. I now take having a toilet for granted after having one or two of them for the past 10 years. I have now forgotten what its like to live in a house that is cold all the time. I have noticed that the better things get the more we take them for granted.

DanaT
05-07-2003, 10:31 AM
Thanks Larry for the post about guarding your reputation. I think it just helped me avoid the trap of being the star student in class.

I've been hesitating to try something new because some other students had been admiring my old work but I figure I won't grow that way.

LarrySeiler
05-07-2003, 02:55 PM
Dana...our society of course is designed to reward those that are most successful, and our growing... sustenance as providers for those that depend upon us justify our best effort.

There is a subtle slippery slope from where such effort, the success that it brings invites fear of losing that which we hae worked so hard to gain. It is when these fears become our prime motivators that the reputation we have gained risks possessing ourselves and enslaving us. Again, going back to a point I made earlier...

There are some things in life that cannot be possessed without destroying them.

Strange to think we can destroy ourselves by seeking to possess ourselves. When I consider it, I imagine the debate that would bring in another forum!

The thing is...there are many scriptures which instruct, command us...to "fear not"...and I've heard it said, there is one for every day of the year. Learning to trust God, trust His plan for us...which has to be centered in knowing His love for us, is important. Is key. This then is the paradox...to truly know freedom is to even abandon our efforts to possess ourselves. Of course, more easily said than done. We war not against flesh and blood but against princes, powers and principalities unseen.

Larry

LarrySeiler
05-07-2003, 03:16 PM
words of wisdom Beth...

nice to get to know you a bit better...

it is indeed difficult to see where our wants and needs separate...especially because we are so good and clever at wrapping our wants with a cloak of justification that somehow better meets needs...etc;

The scripture, "the heart is most deceitful, what man can know it?" comes to mind...and poignantly points to our good fortune to have a wholly holy Absolute Transcendent Other that loves us enough to intervene in our lives.

Larry

DanaT
05-07-2003, 06:31 PM
Originally posted by LarrySeiler
Dana...our society of course is designed to reward those that are most successful, and our growing... sustenance as providers for those that depend upon us justify our best effort.

There is a subtle slippery slope from where such effort, the success that it brings invites fear of losing that which we hae worked so hard to gain.


Larry, I don't even have that excuse. :) I don't have to support anyone else and I'm not even a professional yet although I want to be. I'm just the star student in an oil class I started taking and I know I need to learn a lot more but its amazing how difficult it is even for a beginner to take chances with something new if your teacher and peers are applauding you for doing another thing so well.

Who was it that said, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself?" I think whoever it was, was right. :)

Keith Russell
06-01-2003, 11:48 AM
Larry, my mother always said (and still says) that unless you are thankful for what you already have, you are not worthy to receive more.

When I was in college, I watnted to be filthy rich.

Now, while I'd still like to be (far) more financially comfortable than I am at present, I realize that vast wealth brings vast responsibility: to hordes of employees, to stockholders, to a board of directors, to creditors, to suppliers, shippers, retailers, etc.

I certainly don't want that.

K

LarrySeiler
06-02-2003, 04:08 PM
I agree Keith, and it sounds as though your mother holds to some good wisdom!

Its a paradox that that which we seek to possess ends up possessing us! So pick your priorities with some reservation and careful thought.

Larry

Stacy_Renee
06-02-2003, 09:35 PM
i have been feeling lately that my possessions HAVE been possessing me. like i have so much stuff....my room gets so messy and it really bogs me down. i have all this stuff....which i never use....clothes...books.....anything really and i've come to the realization that i don't need it at all....even though i am somewhat attached to it. it just clutter. so i have really been asking God to help me to remove all this junk....as it is very hard and He knows what i need and don't need anyway. and i have this feeling that all these material possessions are sort of separating me from Him and distracting me from my goals of becoming the artist He wants me to be. So I've slowly been eliminating things. I'm just giving them away to friends, and to Goodwill; hopefully one day I will be able to go about my work and not be distracted by junk.

Its funny......i just totally simplified my wardrobe of summer clothes...and i still have enough to get by; i mean i just eliminated the stuff that didn't fit right, or i never liked or wore (which was quite a bit!) And my mother thinks that i don't have enough clothes! she keeps suggesting we go shopping! I'm just now breaking free of this cycle of compulsive buying! I'm doing absolutely fine without it.

Thanks for sharing!

Stacy_Renee
06-02-2003, 10:01 PM
your second testimony brings a verse to mind....But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33- I think this is very fitting. If we wholeheartedly follow God then he will provide for us. He will give us everything! Just not at once; he knows our desires and wants. He also knows what desires will hurt us and what will help us. I don't worry if I'll be famous, or if I'll even survive in this world; simply because i know that he has a plan for me! Hey! I just thought of another verse! This is one of my favorites; its very reassuring! For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

I have developed somewhat of a reputation in my highschool as being a prominent artist. I do sometimes get a lot of praise for my work; but I try not to let it go to my head! After a while its kind of hard to ignore my ego. And I really think that it impends on my creativity. Like I get in this rut and I have to create this certain type of work with a certain quality or everyone will be displeased. Well I decided some time ago that I am no longer creating for anyone but God. Because he should be the one I am trying to please!

:cat: Stacy

Pelli
06-03-2003, 07:38 AM
Interesting conversations all. It's a subject I've thought about often over the years, trying to reconcile within myself and not fall victim to being possessed by the very idea of non-possession.
One thing that has always struck me is the way this feeling has been conveyed in such variety. As I read the posts I found myself thinking of items I've read in Zen, Tao, The Hobbit (he who can not cast away a treasure in need is in fetters), and even heard in song lyrics (time are rough, and I've got too much stuff......Jimmy Buffett)

It's touched on by presidents and religious leaders......

And yet I live in a large community of people who take great pride in boasting of their Christian beliefs who look down on my husband and myself because we encourage our yard to be a habitat for birds and squirrels as much as possible, rather than trying to turn it in to a yard worthy of Home Beautiful. Those same "good Christians" choose who they associate with based more on social and financial status than on goodness of heart and soul.

And they never seem to see the double standard somehow-I've always found that ironic. It seems so easy for them to see and loudly point out in others. On the few occasions I've voiced my opinion on this, the cold response darn near gave me frostbite!

Thank you Larry for starting this thread, and for everyone else who have taken the time to share their thoughts as well

Carole

paintergirl
06-03-2003, 11:33 AM
Thank you for writing these posts, Larry : thought-provoking and containing many truths. My sincere appreciation for your taking the time to share your thoughts. You made my day better.

Keith, you have a wise mom. ;)



A friend of mine here at WC ( Bob Stem)
shared this with me some time ago, and it had inspired a similiar vein of thought in me...
(I posted this once in Tangents for Amy)


Living

To touch the cup with eager lips and taste,
Not to drain it;
To woo and tempt and court a bliss,
But not attain it;
To fondle and caress a joy,
Yet hold it lightly,
Lest it become necessity,
And cling too tightly;
To watch the sun set in the west
without regretting
To hail its advent in the east
- the night forgetting
To smother care in happiness
and grief in laughter,
To hold the present close
- not questioning herefter:
To have enough to share
- to know thje joy of giving
To thrill with all the sweets of life
- is living

Author Unknown

Stacy_Renee
06-03-2003, 05:00 PM
that was a beautiful poem paintergirl! it is very meaningful! i think we all should take it to heart!

Pelli, about your yard, i think it is wonderful that you have made it a habitat for birds. Humans today appreciate material things way more than nature, when nature is really the more valuable and meaningfull. Remember, not all "christians" are really real. A lot of people say they are christians but really aren't. Even if they are going to church regulary and are very religious. They might be believing in their religion instead of God. Which happens very often. People put religion in the place of God; which is very sad.

By their fruits you will recognize them. But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against these things there is no law. This is how you know if they are real or not.

I think the term Christian is way overused. I like to call myself a "jesus freak" because christian doesn't mean anything these days.

:cat: stacy

Stacy_Renee
06-03-2003, 05:07 PM
its funny
so many artists try to possess creativity
but once they get a hold of it
it dies
and it is creative no more
but just a limp dream

we should all
let creativity go
and it will fly away
capture so many wonderful things
then return to us
ten times more creative
than ever before

:cat: stacy

LarrySeiler
06-04-2003, 01:47 PM
Stacy...as a high school art teacher, and a former youth pastor...I just wanted to encourage you.

It blesses me to read thru your well thought out responses, and the strength of your faith at such an age and culture! The world can be ugly, but God flavors by His grace, and you are part of what rises as a sweet fragrance to Him. Keep on keepin' on!

Larry

Stacy_Renee
06-04-2003, 04:48 PM
thankyou Larry. You're messages have been an inspiration right now. i wish you were my art teacher! i go to a small highschool; and the art teacher isn't really an artist. he has never taught me anything or encouraged me as an artist at all. i feel that a lot of years have been wasted because of it. i don't regret it though. i really am getting a lot of support from this website. and it does help me.

right now i'm trying to turn my bedroom into a studio. and i'm finding it to be a very hard task. check out this thread i posted in studio tips. it has pictures of my room: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=111177

i would like to do some plein aire but i don't have my own car so thats out of the question. the kansas landscapes can be pretty at times. i think i would like to paint barns, silos, wheatfields, grain towers, wildflowers, and the works. it would give me some real alone time with God. i have a real need of a car; but i can't afford one. i'm going to be a senior next year and it would be really nice to have a car. but since i live in a small town there is no job opportunities for me. i have a job but it doesn't pay much and its only for 6 weeks.

if i could have a studio i think i would be more productive and i'd be able to sell some stuff. i'm stuck right now. i'm really in a rut. you guys are my support. i pray that God will provide for me, I know he will.

:cat: stacy

LarrySeiler
06-08-2003, 08:28 AM
Originally posted by Designs_by_Stacy


right now i'm trying to turn my bedroom into a studio. and i'm finding it to be a very hard task. ..

i would like to do some plein aire but i don't have my own car so thats out of the question.

if i could have a studio i think i would be more productive and i'd be able to sell some stuff. i'm stuck right now. i'm really in a rut. you guys are my support. i pray that God will provide for me, I know he will.

:cat: stacy

Stacy...I'll suggest you read the last three posts I've written in response to Keith's questions. The "Dichotomy...." thread here in the Creativity forum.

I edited your post above to response to these points.

God knows your needs... and often, it is not results or productivity He is interested in most but our character. Be patient....you have a whole life ahead of you.

As for plein air....the essence of plein air is to recognize that photos as a reference work best only as one has worked directly from life so frequently that they can read into what photos are not telling...and photos are not telling a lot! Secondly, the painting of a plein air should cause the viewer to stop and look and see what they've been missing.

While it would be ideal to have a car to paint plein air, right now you do not have one. Having what you have (believing God has provided you with all your needs, but not necessarily all your wants)...what could you as an artist do that is challenging and still in the spirit of plein air?

One service we as artists provide to the world is to awaken dead eyes! How is that for a redemptive purpose? hahaha....

To cause people to look at the ordinary and the mundane and see again for the very first time.

I remember an older gentleman once pulling over near a culvert I was painting on that allowed a not so well known simple river here in Wisconsin flow beneath the highway. He walked over to see out of curiosity what I was painting.

He had driven by that river for near 25 years...as he was telling me, and had never noticed its beauty and delight for the eyes. His mind lost on matters pertinent to his employment, the radio, whatever. Numb and dead to the existing beauty of the world around him.

He really enjoyed the painting I was working on...and it gave him fresh eyes to see-
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jun-2003/532-roadside_tranquility.jpg

I imagine to this day, though that was now a couple years ago, that he rarely drives over this culvert that he does not remember that artist standing there. I'll bet he sees affects of the sun and imagines.."hmmm...today would be a good day for that guy to be set up and painting there!"

It has made his life the richer because of that simple experience, and taught him to see what his eyes have been missing. To look again, for the very first time.

So...you don't have a car...but, what do you have within walking distance? Or a city bus ride away?

What has the potential of beauty between you and God, which the common everyday person is missing. How could you paint in a way that would open their eyes. What beauty in the simple, the ordinary, the mundane could you open that might be a seed planted whereby a new hope of thanksgiving my spring up in numb spirits?

There is that ole saying, "bloom where you are planted!"

We all do what you are doing Stacy....really.

You are saying, "if I only had a car....if I only had a studio."

I am saying, "if I had only left Wisconsin and gone out west to some art community!"

Provided the means to do so...I'd be gone. Perhaps however, I'd not be here this morning commenting to you. Perhaps I'd not be painting the area around me, thus I would not be a witness to God's beauty in the ordinary and mundane here where I am planted.

Over the past couple days...several artists have submitted threads and photos in the plein air forum of how to make your own very affordable portable pochade or plein air box. A few made of old cigar wooden boxes you can buy for about $8-$10 and modify.

One might say...what opportunity is there in something that can only create perhaps a 5" x 7" to 6" x 9" painting? hahaha...but that is where I got my beginning, and today I sell those sizes done in less than an hour for near $500 a piece.

Such sales do not happen everyday, but they are something God uses to bless us when need arises.

I have a request with two galleries right now for over a dozen paintings as soon as I can get them to them. I need money for frames. God knows our needs. I go to Him...griping and complaining as we do. "Okay...." I say, "You want me to glorify You and be a witness to excellence in this mediocre age and I have this request for these works...but where is the money going to come from so I can frame them?" ....and, I leave it there in His hands.

My future of my career is in His hands.

Well....I get an email toward the end of May from one gallery, and two 12" x 16" plein airs have sold. Sold for $895 each. I will buy the frames I need....and have a bit to pay bills.

I have a show coming up in 2005...

a very prestigious show at New York's National Arts Building, and I've been selected from a group of excellent painters to participate.

A show that could really really catapult my painting career.

You know what? It is our human fallen nature to worry. I'm like..."okay...how am I going to afford getting there?"

God has never allowed me to build up a comfy savings account inspite of my talents. He instead has given me the privilege to experience His presence, love and grace in my life. He has me on a short leash.

I don't know how I'll get there.....but as my wife reminds me, God has already worked out all the details. I am walking out a calling in my life. ON a path where He goes before me. As I speak to you, I speak to myself...."be patient. Endure all things. Learn to be content. Whatever you do....do to His glory including how you differently than people of the world that do not know Him might face what appears to be a crisis. Embrace that peace that passes understanding. Trust. Put it in His hands!"

God has a wonderful plan for your life Stacy....!!!! Indeed, the angels marvel over it....

Larry

Stacy_Renee
06-08-2003, 04:29 PM
wow...that was marvelous larry....truly you just put a big smile on my face and a joyful laugh in my heart....THANKYOU! I can be content with what I have! I'm so silly sometimes. Thankyou!

it is well with my soul

:angel: :angel: stacy :angel: :angel:

Stacy_Renee
06-08-2003, 04:58 PM
one of my favorite artists is Catherine Anderson. She does plein aire in watercolors and I absolutely love them! If you want to see her website you can go to www.catherineanderson.net. I like painting in watercolors. So she is kinda a role model.


:cat: stacy

Stacy_Renee
06-08-2003, 10:40 PM
i found a really neat samsonite leather bag at goodwill and i'm using it to carry around my paint supplies! it works wonderfully! today i went out and sat down in my front lawn in front of the daisies and did my first plein aire painting! there was bugs crawling all over my palette, and the sun was beating on my back, my neighbor was mowing his lawn, but i still enjoyed it alot! This won't be the last time I plein aire! I read your lesson on sketching too! it was very helpful. i've been neglecting my sketchbooks :confused: i need to make it a regular habit.

right now i should be working on my portfolio. i really want to go to the Kansas City Art Institute. But its a private school, which means its really expensive. So if God wants me to go there i'll go there! But He's going to have to help us a lot because my parents can't afford it. Lets just say I'll need a huge scholarship. My portfolio is a mess...

Here's my painting I did today....I like doing plein aire watercolors because they aren't as messy as oil