It is a strange phenomenon, places that many would consider a once in a lifetime trip, that exude beauty and wonder, yet the reality is living there full-time is pretty challenging. Resources might be more limited, no driving down the street to your favorite supermarket. That amazing view you’ve seen in photos requires a demanding hike with some dizzying drop-offs. We dream of that perfect trip, yet are grateful to return to our comforts at home. Makes me wonder if I miss out on some incredible beauty because of my tendency to avoid the uncomfortable or unfamiliar. Or maybe I miss out because I take for granted what’s around me, engrossed in my to do list or Facebook feed.
Visitors flock to Positano yearly, spend a day or two, taking in the shops and scenery, showing off on their Instagram accounts. Yet I think those who live there have the opportunity to appreciate its beauty while living with the tension of its challenges. Taking a hike on your day off, kayaking along the shore discovering small watery caves and beaches. Taking the steps down to your favorite lookout to enjoy the sunset. Maybe life is meant to be a combination of challenges and taking in the beauty. The challenges make the beauty sweeter, and the beauty making the challenges bearable.
I love this scene, Dusk, light coming on on the hillside, chairs line up waiting for a new day, peaceful.
I posted this and my painting of Casa Monica at dusk on Instagram. A follower asked if this was a real place. I live near Disney where they go out of their way for you to have a magical experience. And boost of being the happiest place on earth. With its long history and thanks to Henry Flagler’s vision over 100 years ago to make St. Augustine an upscale destination, we are left with several buildings that are exceptional. Adding to the appeal in December and January the buildings and landscaping in the parks are adorned with white Christmas lights. I decided to depict these monuments to the past at the golden hour. Long shadows and golden light, as the sun leaves in a blaze of glory.
Beauty, weather man made in a building or painting or found in nature captures our attention. It makes us want to explore and linger. I think it points to our desire for Eden, where all was good. It gives hope when we feel overwhelmed that not all is lost.
Waves cresting, crashing, lapping at the shoreline, coming in and then receding back into the ocean. White foaming surf carrying along sand, shells and tiny sea creatures. The sun making a dramatic exit as it lights up the clouds, changing the sky into purples, oranges and yellows. Clouds darkening heavy with rain.
Vast, deep and mysterious people are drawn to the beach, not to simply work on their tans, but to rest and reflect on life. A place where one might be tempted to feel very small can be one that offers peace. Our surroundings, the constancy, serving a reminder that God is more than big enough to handle with care the details of our lives.
I’m showing my work at my first art festival this weekend. Florida has a lot of festivals, and a friend gave me a gentle nudge to jump in. While I was collecting items I would need to show off my work, (walls, and weights, packing supplies…) other artists offered their support and words of advice. One said to have some pieces at a lower price point. I leave prints and other reproductions to FineArtAmerica.com, not wanting to deal with upfront costs. But I dug out from under my bed some cute little 4×4 canvases waiting to be used.
I love finishing a big canvas. It has a presence and draws you into the scene. However, these small canvases were a breath of fresh air! No remixing paint, or worrying about capturing every detail. Their smallness was freeing. And, as I admired their more abstract nature it helped me to loosen up and enjoy painting large scale again.