What does Valentine’s Day have to do with being an Artist?
Painting is a pretty solitary adventure. Standing in front of our easels day after day we artists get used to being alone with our thoughts as we seek for that ‘flow’ that taps into something beyond ourselves.
What are we searching for? Why do we do it?
I believe we were born with a sense that life is a gift. We see the world as a beautiful magical place – the way Heavenly Father intended us to see it when He sent us here!
We also, like Him, want to share our joy with the world – especially those close to us.
Artists are different. For some reason, while much of the world safeguards their secrets and clamors for ‘what’s in it for me’, artists are happy and willing to share everything they know.
The world is a more wonderful place because of art. So much of art uplifts, strengthens and gives hope.
There’s an aspect to beautiful paintings that often goes unnoticed, however.
For most of us who joyfully spend our days in front of our easels we have loved ones who make it possible. We have spouses, friends and family who cheer, console and fill us with courage.
C.W. Mundy is a gregarious, confident, joyful artist who has built an incredibly successful career. I saw him and his wife Rebecca at the opening of T. Allen Lawson’s show at the Booth Western Art Museum last week. Rebecca is such a gracious and impressive lady.
At first glance it’s easy to assume that C.W.’s success is due to his skill as a painter. Like so many professional artists I know, C.W. is quick to tell the behind-the-scenes story. When he thought about switching from sports illustration to landscape painting his wife and a friend told him “you paint, we’ll take care of everything else”. And they have done just that.
Rebecca does the planning, organizing, shipping, promotion, marketing – everything necessary to build an art career. Those artists who can do it all are a truly rare breed.
Kristie spends several hours every day checking my emails, Facebook comments, keeping me on track with appointments and watching over the needs of our members. I would be lost without her.
I think about her, Rebecca and all the other behind-the-scenes heroes who so often watch quietly from the sidelines while we artists are praised for our art.
I think also about all those who are on their own. I marvel at those who succeed despite not having a Kristie or Rebecca to strengthen and sustain them.
I think as well about those who have recently lost their Kristie or Rebecca.
A good friend of ours lost her husband and painting partner two weeks ago. She is a marvelous artist and such a tender-hearted lady. She and her husband have painted side by side, travelling and painting all around the world for most of their lives.
My heart and prayers reach out to her and to each of you who are on your own this Valentine’s Day.
David asked Kristie to write a poem for our community as a special Valentine’s message. That good friend of ours came to her mind. This poem and our prayers today are dedicated to her and each of you who might feel alone.
We believe that our loving Father in Heaven never wants any of us to feel alone. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to give us comfort and strength during our struggles.
We hope that you feel that strength today no matter what your religious beliefs might be.
We hope that your day is filled with light and beauty.
We hope that knowing we are thinking of you will give you courage and help you smile.
We hope as well that you will continue to paint and make the world an increasingly magical place to be.
Within Reach – by Kristie Inman
Sometimes the memories
Are wrapped in a mist.
Little points of color- sound- scent make it through.
Enough to tease the edges,
But not enough to fill it all in.
Where was that?
How old were we?
Who was with us?
Just a vague sense of joy and contentment
We had each other.
No camera phone around to record our bliss.
We somehow managed to make a memory anyway.
But I would like something more than a
Foggy recollection –
An idea that I have forgotten the perfect moment haunts me.
The gaps will fill in my sleep, I’ll dream it into being, and have you by my side again – for a bit anyway.
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