Sunday, May 22, 2016

Chisos Jay

Chisos Jay
19 x 25
Pastel on Sennelier LaCarte Sanded Paper

This painting taught me to honor my heart and ignore my head. One would think that with the creation of art - which requires inspiration, that I would listen to the call of my spirit. But no - sometimes we have to learn lessons - again and again. 

When I began the day, I had a head full of what I needed to do to prepare for a couple of shows. I had ideas about what type and size of paintings I needed to do in order to round out my upcoming offerings. I started out with a botanical painting. It was a colossal failure. Yet, all through the day, this Mexican Jay from a recent hike in the Chisos Basin of Big Bend National Park kept calling to me. I kept pushing it back and out of my head. After the failed painting, I decided to honor my heart and spirit and this relatively large painting for a pastel came fell together with no struggle.

I am not surprised that Big Bend has stayed on my mind. I've been reading a book by Peter Koch "Exploring Big Bend" . He was a nature photographer from Pennsylvania who in the 1940's was moving with his family to Arizona, in part due to his wife's asthma. He stopped at the recently acquired National Park of Big Bend to take some promotional photos. He never left. I highly recommend this book.

When we were hiking in Big Bend in the Chisos Basin, we came across these Mexican Jays. The seemed to have an affinity for these dead pinion or cedar trees for tree top roosting. I snapped a few good photos which have become fodder for paintings. I hope I have done the image justice.

Inspiration has the root word "spirit" and "inspire" - to breathe in air. As I looked this up, I also found: Middle English (in the sense ‘divine guidance’): via Old French from late Latin inspiratio(n-), from the verb inspirare (see inspire). We certainly don't breathe in through our heads - breath comes from our chest which is near our hearts. Honor your heart and spirit and be inspired.

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