Saturday, March 29, 2014

"Storms A Comin"

A Momma and Pappa herding their brood to shelter before the storm. Watercolour on Yupo.

I wrote this letter to a friend in response to her comment about how fortunate I am to be an artist even though it is not an easy way to make a living. 

I do it because i love to do it, and have always wanted to be an artist. I can't think of anything else i would rather be doing. 

Dear Judy.  Yes, you are absolutely right. I am always grateful for the art and the ability to make it. 
Sometimes, when i am painting and things are going well, i dance. No one is there, but i dance. It just is so amazing to me. Sometimes, when i do a painting, i leave for the night and come back the next day to see what i have done. Sometimes, it amazes even me, and i am not so certain that it was me who did it!
I cannot remember putting it together all that well and know there was much more to it than I, myself, and me!

Sometimes, it as if they paint themselves. There is an "art spirit” that guides the hand of many, if and when we are open to it and let it work through us. The art world calls it the “art spirit” but you and i know exactly what that spirit is. :)

It really does amaze me, when i see this working. It does not always happen, for one reason or another. Perhaps we are focusing on ourselves? Perhaps we are too pre-occupied with other things?
Maybe we are just thinking about the money we can make if it sells? It is during those times that the painting does not have life and there is no light. 
There is something missing. 

Sometimes, i tell people the painting speaks to me. I have to listen and hear the voice. It tells me what to do next. I try to listen and to follow it. When i have shared this with people,  i get a variety of reactions. Mostly disbelief and a look of, “you are a tad bit crazy!”. So i quit telling folks about the voice and the spirit. I am then hopeful the paintings will speak for themselves. 

Lately, i have been gifting a lot of my work. I donate paintings to dog rescue groups, fundraisers for various charities, etc. I don’t have a lot of spare cash to give but i can give away the art. A few times i heard of someone’s dog dying and i did a portrait of the dog and just sent it to them. 
It makes me feel like i am doing something worthwhile at least. 

There have not been a lot of art buyers recently but i have been busy with such things and trying to get my work out to as many places as i can. If i have to follow in the foot steps of all those great masters who died before anyone saw value in their work that would be okay. And if that doesn’t happen which is most likely the case, i have enjoyed listening to that voice and the spirit (God), and dancing while i paint. :) 

thanks for sparking these thoughts Judy. it is something i don’t really think about all that often. 
We just have to go out there and “do it”.

blessings always, 


  1. The painting is absoluetely delightful Ross and each sentence you shared in this post is a pointer to be taken. Thank you for this post.

    "I do it because i love to do it, and have always wanted to be an artist. I can't think of anything else i would rather be doing."
    That sums up every reason for what I do everyday and I do feel grateful for being able to paint though it may not be serving any materialistic purpose for me.

  2. Ross I love this letter you wrote.It inspires me and I see myself in a lot of these words.. Yes, it is a gift from God, that's how I feel as I never took instruction or went to school for it.. So how did this happen? Hmmmmm !
    Yes, I dance too, and yes I sometimes look at something that turned out well and wonder if I did it ... Great minds think alike. LOL Barbra Joan
    and love your colorful painting on Yupo.. I haven't tried it yet.

  3. Keep on dancing with your brushes, your paintings are a delight and so are your words. That feeling of 'did I do that!' are very special. Amazing the control you have on Yupo too

  4. Ross, I wish I could give you a big hug!!! You expressed so eloquently what an artist feels when creating their magic. I've said that to myself, too - wow, how did I DO that??? This is such a beautiful post, Ross! Thank you!!!
    Kathryn XX

  5. Thanks Ross, and just to let you know... John Lovett one of my favorites.
    Oh I wish. !!!!!

  6. Ross,
    Even though I do not make a living selling my art, I do gift my art, and can totally relate to your heart felt letter. In fact, I felt like I was reading a letter I would have written. I dance too, and have experienced the same feelings you have mentioned. Very articulate and full of emotion for such a shy guy!

    Thanks for sharing your soul through your letter and your art!

  7. I really appreciate your inspiring words here. It uplifted me on a day when I really needed it too. Also, I think most artists feel this way, so you won't get any funny looks from me or any other artist, I am sure. We get it because it happens to us too. You're cool!

  8. Ross,
    This is the first opportunity I have had to visit your blog and I am so impressed with your work. Not only are your paintings vibrant with color but your words speak to the heart and show the gentle spirit within you.