These are scary times. I paint outside and some people are afraid. A guy with a homemade easel and a ponytail looks suspicious. Lately I’ve noticed people are more willing to wave and say hi... from a distance, of course. I don’t think this is a conscious thing. It could be our better instinct for compassion kicks in and we want to connect even if it’s a wave from six feet or across the street. Then again it could be we are all scared and whistling past the cemetery. Sure we’re scared. But I think how we deal with our fear says something about us.
I was taught to paint from life since I was a preschooler in Miss Rose’s after school art class. In college I learned that it was called plein air, which is French for “in the open air” because everything sounds better in French and Italian. Whatever the wording, it’s the same thing. The impressionist painters studied the effects of light and color outside. That was what I was aiming for as a "too" serious college student but as I grow older, I am returning to my roots and calling it “working from life” again. I am finding those real connections that can inform my painting and make life rich. The reality is we are connected.
These are fearful times but nothing like what my father had to endure. I heard that courage is not the lack of fear but doing the thing we fear even though we are afraid.
This courage only requires we stay home. This, we can do.