Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Feels So Good To Be Back

Getting back to the studio after family matters keep you away is like returning home after a long vacation. The familiar smells and sights are so comforting, like an old friend.

The past week has been dedicated to a portrait commission. I'll post soon. In the meantime, I did a quick watercolor sketch of a familiar site, my son eating his morning cereal. This particular morning the sun was streaming in, the dog was lounging nearby and the entire scene was so beautiful.

I also leave you with this passage that was found in my father-in-law's desk 11 years ago. My husband's nephew resent it to family after my mother-in-law's funeral. I looked it up and there is some confusion as to who wrote it and when it was written, but it was copyrighted in 1927 by Max Ehrmann.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly,
and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit
to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


Manon Doyle said...

Hi Peggi!
Welcome back! Your painting is simply gorgeous...as always. The light is incredible.
Thanks you for sharing that wonderful passage with us! What beautiful words they are.... I can see why your father-in-law kept it!

willow said...

This watercolor is so alive with warmth and color! Wow, it just enveloped me!

Wise words by Ehrmann.

Nithya Swaminathan said...

Beautiful painting, great color on the shadows. Brilliant lighting!

Carol Feldman said...

Absolutely stunning.

CordieB said...

Welcome back! I love the watercolor of your son. . . He looks at home; such comfort is found in the home. Thanks for sharing this very wise passage from Ehermann. The words hold as much wisdom today as they did when he first penned them! Although they say everything changes, the really important things really don't do they?? Blessings to you and yours, C.

Jeannette St.G. said...

I love the ultramarine and the rust colors in the watercolor of your son! thanks for sharing - and welcome back to blogland!

Jo A. T.B. said...

Hello Peggy,

I love your new water color, your dog reminds me of my Delilah just passed last week! Thanks for the beautiful passage, sure needed to hear some wisdom now!

Angela said...

This is a beautiful painting! Grabbed me right away and made me want to come sit at your kitchen table! Wish my sketches turned out so well!

Also, what great words to meditate on. I hadn't heard this - will print it out for sure. Thank you!

Jeanette said...

The light in this painting is fabulous. It brings the viewer right to the kitchen table.

The words are timeless and memorable. Thanks for sharing them.

Sharon Wright said...

Food for thought for sure, and the painting is delicious!

Ken Januski said...

Very striking painting, Peggi.

And a lot of thoughful phrases in the poem. Though many were probably more important than this one it still stood out to me:
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.

It's obviously not as uplifting as some of the others but certainly does seem timely.

I am curious about your watercolor. Did you work from life as you did it? Since you say it was quick my guess is that you did. It has a great feeling of something right in front of you, with all the beautiful light of morning.

Peggi Habets said...

Thanks all. The light in the kitchen is what made me stop in my tracks and run to get my camera. Amazing how it tranforms the ordinary into something extraordinary.

Peggi Habets said...

Thanks, Ken. No, it was quick, but not that quick. I snapped a few photos and then it was over and we were running for the bus. I came back to my studio afterwards while it was fresh in my mind. The shadows took some time because I took out a few chairs, which meant I had to figure out which shadows would not be in the painting any more.

Paula Villanova said...

What a lovely, warm painting, exuding comfort in what is familiar and appreciated. I haven't read Desiderata in about 20 years...thanks for posting..

redchair said...

Hi Peggi-
The passage is really beautiful and I REALLY love this painting! The balance of all elements and lighting. Then the pooch in the foreground- it's just excellent and so well thought out. But the topper is that floor. That is a million door floor- for sure. Really nice work, Peggi.

Brenda said...

Thanks for today's post. It was a feast for the eyes, as well as the soul.

Bobbie said...

Beautiful painting.

Anonymous said...

This is a really fine watercolor painting, Peggi, and I have come back three or four times to look at it. You are one of the few artists who know how to use a photo to advantage. I wouldn't have thought you had used one before reading your reply to Ken.

There are so many nice details. Your son hunched over his breakfast cereal is just right. The dog, whose details I can't make out very well (my dark screen?) but whose paws and ear-hair give him so much life and presence. But the real achievement is the light, of course, and the shadows criss-crossing the floor. The jackets may be stuck in for color--are they?--or did they really hang there? They help make it a boy's world.

Peggi Habets said...

Thanks so much. The floor was most fun to paint, instant gratification.

100 swallows,
Thank you. The jackets were part of a mess of jackets hanging there, probably 10 or so. The dog was painted with very little detail so it's probably not your computer.

Karine said...

You are such a magnificent watercolorist, Peggi. Sorry to hear about your mother-in-law.

Thanks for the words of wisdom. "Strive to be happy." Yes. I will.

QP Inc. said...

beautiful poem!

Sheona Hamilton Grant said...

Wonderful post. Thank you!