Today's Blog Post is a copy of my 4th of July email newsletter........
I hope your summer is going super well!! I have a couple new paintings to show you but mostly want to share two minutes of my thoughts about celebrating Independence Day.
To start, here is a new painting of mangroves I saw on a little island off the SW FL coast (A huge thanks to my friends Alan Erickson and Angie Chestnut for taking me there in their boat. She's a great photographer www.gladespix.com)
"Ten Thousand Island Mangroves" Oil 24" x 54"
What's Your Pursuit of Happiness?
Paragraph two of The Declaration of Independence begins,
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"
The Pursuit of happiness, what a concept! How do you pursue yours? What does it take for you to be Happy? (With a capital H). Based on my upbringing in England I find myself always amazed that this is a foundational principle, a right in fact, of a country. My early life seemed to be based on another principle altogether, being 'proper'.
After my Mother died when I was 10 I was raised mostly by my Grandmother (and boarding schools) where my happiness mattered not an iota. I was not allowed to have a feeling, opinion or idea that was not within the parameters of "proper". Even now I can hear my Grandmother's upper middle class English voice commenting on something, in fact just about anything for she seemed to be always saying, "That's not proper", or explaining why she was telling me to do something because "It's proper".
Doing things "properly" was the mantra that was drilled into my head. Good manners, putting others first, doing the right thing, obeying elders and authorities and other means of torture to a child were things of the first order! Of course all of those values were and are great but alone they were a bit like lemonade made without sugar.
Lack Leading to Gain
Back then my quota of Happiness was at a deep poverty level. It was painful. My lack and discontent however is what spurred me onto a journey to find at least some of my Happiness. My journey was and continues to be both inner and outer. It includes my whole life story of course, which I often think about trying to write as it is a story indeed. However, when I begin to consider what it would take I always decide that my time and energy is better spent continuing to do what I have been doing these last few years. I continue using my best skills and talent creating and marketing my Art and as I do some of that elusive Happiness is mine.
Based on The Declaration of Independence, my pursuit of Happiness is one of my "unalienable rights" as an American. For me, working as an Artist is living that right. I think it would be hard to look at my paintings and not see within them a tribute to and celebration of life, beauty and nature. Perhaps you can see some of my own personal sense of Happiness reflecting from my brushstrokes and glowing in my choice of colors.
Thanks to You
So on the 4th of July, as on most holidays I will more than likely be painting and while doing so I'll be Happily celebrating my independence to create my Art. I will also remember with deep gratitude all of you who have made this possible. Not just America, not just Americans but all the individuals who have purchased my Art and thus enabled me to keep creating instead of having to spend my time and energy earning a living in another way that cannot give me the same capital 'H' Happiness.
Here's to you having the Very Happiest Independence Day! Celebrate it your way. Celebrate your Life, Liberties and pursue your Happiness no matter what country you are a citizen of for we are all members of one Human race and citizens of one Earth.
My Deep Thanks to America, Florida and to all of You! :0)
"Summer Sun" Oil 14" x 11"