Beauty is to seek out and cherish. I don’t mean superficial beauty that fades with age. I mean beauty that deepens with age. I’m fortunate enough to have spent the last six weeks surrounded, most of the time, by ancient and natural beauty. As a result, I’m acutely aware of its importance in my life. For the last month, I haven’t seen a billboard, a mall, a strip mall, graffiti, seen a traffic light, heard a horn honk, been in a traffic jam or heard anything louder the chirping of a bird or rushing water from the river that runs under the Mill House I’ve been living in the last month. All I see are twisting and winding cobblestone streets, stone walls, wildflowers, rivers, butterflies and electric blue dragonflies. I’ve been in caves, churches and castles that have been here for thousands of years. Every day I’ve seen beauty that makes me want to weep simply because it’s so damn beautiful!
Nobody I know spends the kind time away from their “home” environment as I do. It’s not a money issue. I’m far from rich. Many of my friends who are far better off financially than I am, never leave Los Angeles. If all I see is the same thing day in and out, the same people, experience the same things, I’m going to die mentally and spiritually. To be creative, I have to be out of my “normal” life. I have to get out of traffic jams, off Facebook, out of the daily grind and noise in order to find my true self. And I don’t mean for a day or a week. We’ve all bought into this idea that taking time off for ourselves is a bad thing. I’m someone who must travel and observe other cultures and other ways of life. We’re all entitled to and deserve time off. Obviously, like most people, I’m limited by finances, but with a little determination I’m amazed how far I can get!
And when I do, I immediately see the result in my work. I feel freer and, as a result, my work is freer. This is my latest painting, which I am extremely proud of for several reasons; the most important being it’s freer than anything I’ve done before. You can see the result below.