The artist always has the masters in his eye.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, August 30, 2010

On Art Attempts to Imitate LIfe

Some nights

I plop in a chair

grab the fine point Sharpies

and doodle away on a crazy, colorful graphic.

I love this kind of art.

It’s fun, easy, requires no brainpower.

Whatever happens happens.

And when I’m done people say,

“ That’s cool. What is it?”

Here’s something I had fun with last night

And then there are other times-

not as often as I’d like-

when I go to the trouble to set up my paints & canvas and


representational art.

It’s what most people like.

When you’re done they say,

“ Nice tree. What made you paint that one?”

Call me skitzo—

but I’m drawn to both

The kid in me likes unstructured play

while the adult in me

likes trying to capture a scene with my own two hands.

Where does this desire to copy come from?

Maybe it’s as simple as a craving to recreate

or to experience the beauty in a deeper way.

Maybe it’s the challenge of it

or something about the composition of the elements.

Here’s some of my recent “adult” work.

Not long ago I passed this tree on a walk in my neighborhood.

It was behind a high wall but the smooth, flaky crust-like bark grabbed my attention.

I stood looking up at it for a long time wondering if I could do it justice.

Then I clicked photos on my phone and put it in a file I have called

“ potential painting subjects.”

Earlier this summer

I picked up this leaf

when we were walking on a railroad track in Georgia.

It had dropped from a tree and was already changing colors.

Almost looked like a croton. I liked the challenge of the detail.

And painted it as soon as we got in from our walk.

Found this funky piece of wood on that same hike

and laid it next to the finished painting to see how it'd look.

This next one is a patch of water -weeds

I took a photo when David and I were kayaking on the Wekiva River.

They were in a giant tight mass in the water.

I’m sure they have an official name-dollar wart or something.

They're everywhere in Florida.

Not as pretty when they mess with your yard.

For this I used cheapo 8x10 canvas.

Took maybe 4 hours or so.

For a first pass, I like how it turned out.

Making this kind of


reminds me of all my attempts to honestly, accurately

capture the image of Jesus

in my own life,

to represent Him well.

I hope to make a life that reflects a reasonable likeness—

where the viewer says,

“ Oh, I see. Jesus right?”

That's my desire. By all accounts I’m far from mastery.


grateful the Teacher doesn't chastise my sketchy imitations

but patiently, continually, lovingly encourages…

Keep practicing, Caron.

More light, more contrast, more depth, more truth.


  1. I don't know what I'm going to do with you...your eye, hand and brain coordination have really taken off this past year. I wish you would paint me something cool...large...amazing, and sign it. I love you blogs. It's a great way to keep up with your heart. xxoo

  2. Tell me what you'd like and I'll see what I can do :) a gift for the new place.