There is delight in singing, though none hear beside the singer.
—Walter Savage Landor
The British poet, Walter Savage Landor, who wrote those words above knew what he was talking about: Sometimes you do something that is filled with pleasure for yourself yet it might not stir the soul of a single other person. The delight comes in simply doing it.
Not that Landor, who lived from 1775 to 1864, was without accolades. He had an incredibly long career–almost 70 years— and was held in the highest esteem by his peers. But he never gained widespread public popularity or love for his work in his life or after.
His poetry was his singing and sometimes only he and perhaps a few others could appreciate that voice.
I chose these words from Landor for this painting not only because I felt that he was writing about his own work in a way. I used it because of the great pleasure I took in painting the painting above, an 18″ by 18″ canvas that I am fittingly calling In Delight. It was one of those paintings that gave me a lot of joy at every step of its growth, each stroke making it come more and more to life for me.
It’s that fulfillment of joy that makes me not worry about how it is received. If not a single person sees a thing in it, I do not care. It pleased me to simply make it and even now it makes me smile when I look at it from my chair in the studio.
For me, I felt like I was singing with a rich and full voice. But again, that’s just my ear. You might hear fingernails on a chalkboard when you look at it. And that’s okay– the delight was in the singing.