I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.
I am putting the finishing touches on my new show, Part of the Plan, that opens next Saturday, October 29, at the Kada Gallery, in Erie, PA. I have been showing my work at the Kada Gallery for over twenty years now and this will be, I believe, my eighth solo show there. Owners Kathy and Joe DeAngelo, along with their staff, do an absolutely wonderful job in representing my work and this is always an enjoyable show for me.
One of the new paintings for this show is the piece above, a 12″ by 16″ canvas titled The Lesson Learned. The title is taken from the words of Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher and father of Taoism, that are at the top of this page. I believe that those three things– simplicity, patience and compassion— are the basis for a satisfying and peaceful life. All three are critical in interacting with the outer world and with our understanding of that outer world and our place in it.
I see all three of those attributes in the Red Tree in this painting. It stands placidly, taking in the simple pleasure of the scene before it. It patiently waits for the light of the new day that approaches. And it perches protectively and compassionately above the homes below it.
When I look at this painting I am instantly reminded of those three things simply by the feeling it instantly evokes in me. This meshing of feeling and meaning is something I look for in my work because that takes the work to a level that is beyond my own limitations. It gives it its own life that will move beyond me. And that is all I can hope for my work…