April 27, 2010

Behind the Easel

I remember when my Dad was teaching me to drive. He'd say, "Careful where your eyes are, cause you'll end up at what you're lookin' at." (To be interpreted with a thick southern drawl.) I've often thought about that statement and how the truth of it's simplicity permeates a lot more than just learning to drive. What we focus on in life, also has the power to bend our course, either with good or bad results. 
In working on the next "dream portrait" for Mary Ann Black, I was reminded of this little gem of wisdom. In the composition, there are three dancing figures, each representing a different aspect of the "health of Durham" as spoken of in Mary Ann's dream. In my interview, Mrs. Black relayed her sincere desire to see Durham healthy in three specific areas: spiritually, financially and physically. Yesterday, as I was painting, it became necessary to make a decision as to which of the three figures would be placed in the "focal point" of the composition. (The "focal point" is a term used to describe the principle of design that is positioned strategically so as to grab the viewer's attention.) This was a tough decision. Physical and spiritual health were the two obvious choices that tied for this position. (This is because, in my opinion, finances without physical health and spiritual well being, are only temporary fingers in the dike of life.) At first,physical  health and spiritual health were tied for importance but upon further consideration, I determined a way to place the both of them so as to give them their due placement.The dancer representing "physical health" was the chosen one for the "focal point". It is from our physical well being, all else flows.The aspect of "spiritual health" is linked hand in hand with physical, and truly it is an equally vital component. However, I chose "physical" as it is tangibly vital. The dancer representing the "spiritual" component of health, I chose to place in the foreground at the bottom of the canvas, thus positioning her as a foundational element. Acknowledging her rich spiritual heritage, with both her father and grandfather as ministers, it is no wonder that her dream for Durham encompasses this component of the important of attention to the human spirit as being integral to building a healthy city.
Speaking with great fondness in our interview, Mary Ann honored the impact that her parents and grandparents had in her life as strong spiritual influences. 
I'm curious what you think. Which of the three, physical, spiritual or financial, would you place as the most important element of health? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I want to let everyone know that I am going to be slightly altering what I share here in the blog. It's been suggested that I keep the "big picture" of the compositions I'm developing hidden until it is publicly unveiled each month. So, because I like to try to make most folks happy, I'm offering to let you in on a secret. Shhhh, it's a secret..... I'm going to be posting full disclosure images on The Art of Eleatta! If you are one who " just can't wait" and would like to have sneak peeks of the painting while I'm creating them, you are cordially invited to my private little party on facebook!
Thanks for joining me on this Durham Dreams journey!



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