My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird- equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast, there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect?
Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
-Excerpt from The Messenger by Mary Oliver
I love this poem because last month, with three sunset murals in the queue, I found myself an avid student of the sky each evening. My work was certainly learning to stand still and be astonished. Are the sunsets always as breathtaking as last month in the bay area? Where have I been my whole life!
In order to get the days work on this blue heron mural finished before the wall was in full sun, I began each workday before sunrise. As I painted, I would gather inspiration from watching the colors in the clouds and sky change with the sun’s ascent. I would look over my shoulder and see some spectacular element happening in the sky, start to paint it, only to find the sky in a completely different situation five minutes later. Every minute is fleeting, unique, and beautiful.
This 75′ long blue heron mural is painted on the side of a commercial building along side a busy road in Pittsburg, California. There is a wetland wildlife preserve nearby, a tranquil and empty space that follows a seasonal rhythm while their human neighbors hustle and bustle on nearby streets through the details of their daily lives. I like that this mural brings the avian perspective to their human neighbors. (Find closeups of the mural here).
This sunset mural is inspired by St Johns in the Caribbean. My client Susie was moving forward on a big dream she has with her daughter to build a music studio in their back yard and start a mother-daughter rock band. This sunset scene, their “happy spot,” will set the stage so they can check out of linear thinking and into a creative and expansive state of mind.
A friend of mine who is a working mom with a full to overflowing life, was confronted with a medical emergency that meant spending time recovering in her bedroom. She understood right away that the bedroom that worked great for her “full to overflowing” life needed tweaking to become the peaceful cocoon needed for recovery. They live near the beach in Half Moon Bay, and had a family tradition to head out to watch the sunset as a family. The family hired me to capture the moment that represents what they love most about their lives, so they could remember the sweetness of their life as they went through a difficult time. It was profoundly meaningful to me to be able to bring my artwork – at just the right time and place – to a friend I hold dear.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year, and it has nothing to do with turkey. It has somehow avoided commercialization and remains a quiet holiday to celebrate all that we have to be grateful for. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
Thank you for being a part of my adventure.