June 16, 2010

Behind the Easel

                         (*This is only an excerpt from the composition of this month's painting.)

Durham Dreams: painting the dreams of Durham’s visionaries

This month’s “dream portrait” features the interpretation of Bill Shore’s dream for Durham. His dream  to see “young people know the opportunities available to them and to be guided through the maze of challenges that often surround difficult  circumstances of their lives.”

Unfolding the interpretation:

Bill’s “dream portrait” is coming together wonderfully. With only three more days until it’s unveiling during my monthly open studio at Goldenbelt. Painting these portraits is such an honor. I feel as though I am having the privilege of entering into the labor of these incredible people’s work for the city they hold dear. I must say that in doing so, however, there are times I feel swept up into the vortex of the drama these dreams represent. This month’s is certainly no exception.

Facing the giants:

Bill’s dream of seeing young people know the opportunities available and seeing them guided through the maze of challenges that often surround difficult  circumstances of their lives, is pregnant with incredible difficulties. As I painted, my mind wandered to a young girl I met several months ago through a friend of mine. At 14, she was a Mom, trying to grope through this “maze” of difficult circumstances while she went to school, worked an afternoon job, caught buses, all while navigating through a physically abusive home  that she shared with an unhealthy number of non-family members. As I painted, tears blurred my vision. This “dream” of helping these young people looms large. How can it be done? I’ll leave that to those far smarter than I am! Painting this dream  is my small contribution.


The focus of this “dream portrait” has been creating  hope.  Within the 36”X48” borders of this canvas I have implemented this goal by drawing from metaphors of the opened lock, the open door, the open window, to name a few. It is my opinion that the creation of hope is fundamental.

“Say so”

Watching the children enrolled in Geoffrey Canada’s school in Harlem NY  boldly confess their plans to excel academically and attend attend college confirms the importance that the foundation of hope plays in creating a future for these children. (Click here to watch a short clip of this amazing school he’s created.)

And the title is..... “Dreams of Opportunity”

In selecting a title for this portrait, I have chosen “Dreams of Opportunity”. It is my intention that this image would create windows of hope in the imagination of  young people. Facing the mazes of opposition and challenge, may they begin to look up over the hurdles they face and see viable options   for creating healthy, whole lives. May they dream of opportunity!

For your own dreams:

My gift to you, dear reader, as you pursue your own dream:
Writer Richard Bach  asserts, “You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true.”


Of course I love you and all your work as you know, but I do believe that this is going to be one of my favorites! It looks beautiful so far. Can't wait until time for you to reveal it!!!

Denice, I draw such encouragement from your kind words. You are such a gift! I'm so glad we "met" !

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