Archive for July 3rd, 2017

The activity at this very moment must be the only thing that matters, to which one is fully given. If one is concentrated, it matters little what one is doing. The important, as well as the unimportant things, assume a new dimension of reality, because they have one’s full attention.

Erich Fromm


I am easily distracted. Oh, I don’t think it’s anything like ADHD or anything really to do with a deficit of attention. There are just so many things close at hand waiting to grab my focus.

For instance, the instant access to information and a myriad of media such as music and film that the internet provides has destroyed my patience. I can spend an inordinate amount of time just trying to decide what I want to hear or see.  And if I have a question now, I demand an answer immediately because I know there is one just waiting somewhere online. No waiting, no spending time going through my books to find the answer.


So every thought, any inkling of a question, has the possibility of becoming a distraction which, in turn, changes the focus of the moment. And for me, the focus of the moment should always be about finding meaning in that present moment in my work. And that meaning comes with finding the extraordinary in the ordinary with my painting. That is done by cutting away details that distract the mind and the eye, creating a setting where the viewer ( or myself, because I am forever the primary viewer) can find focus in the moment, to clearly see what I am presenting or trying to say in the piece.

The painting above, Beyond Distraction, captures this feeling for me. The bottom 3/4 of the picture is filled with color and details in the form of rolling hills, road forks, trees and houses. But the focus of the painting is on the single Red Tree that placidly basks in the light of the sun, unaffected by all that is going on below it.

It lives in the moment and is concentrating on that moment.

Hopefully, the viewer’s eye follows the central path up through the painting, looking past the distractions to see that moment. My eye does but, hey, this was made for my eye.

Judge for yourself.


Beyond Distraction is a 30″ by 20″ canvas that is part of my show, Self Determination, which opens next Friday, July 14, at the West End Gallery in Corning.

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