Thursday, May 22, 2014

Finding Beauty Every Day

Early in the morning on Paris Pike
Previously, I have summed up my artistic endeavors with the tag line: Painting Everyday Wonders. Of late, this message has felt a little confining. The truth is that every day I am working in more ways than painting, and my expression can be delivered through means other than visual art. Sometimes my work is not about making, but simply perceiving.  I wanted to come up with a tag line that more accurately states my case and I came up with: Finding Beauty Every Day. When I am doing my true work, I find beauty, every day and it is usually everyday beauty. Often I am out on a walk when I find beauty. Sometimes I am teaching a non-self-confessing artist about working with watercolor and pastel and I notice a special gift that they have for design or color or whimsy.  Perhaps I am singing McFerrin's Psalm 23 with the choir or helping to hang a show of floral paintings. And I do spend time in my studio making paintings of everyday wonders. That is certainly part of my work.

Evensong, 12 x 12" watercolor/pastel on paper mounted on board
scene driving home on Paris Pike after choir practice

     Recently, I took part in a Music that Makes Community workshop (the photo above was taken on my way to join other St. Peter's folk to travel up to Minneapolis.) It was a wonderful experience. We worked on ways to bring people together through singing. We were urged not to focus on excellence at the expense of engaging people (who might be reluctant singers.) A founder of Music that Makes Community observed that while excellence is always important, perhaps a more appropriate goal might be beauty. I have been thinking about this ever since.  Beauty. You can strive for beauty, but you can also find it.  You can be sensitive to beauty and appreciate it when it is not so obvious in our distracted world. Inclusiveness can be beautiful.

     Beauty is just the thing that I am seeking and I hope to find it every day.

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