Christopher Mathie, and watched, enthralled, as he shared his approach -- not just to painting, but to life -- with a roomful of fellow artists.
The whole experience was inspiring, encouraging, and very freeing: he may have looked 20-something (he's actually 40-something) but he had the wisdom of an 80-something: my notes from the talk included phrases like "You have to be willing to let stuff go" and "it's always the right mark."
But what I also learned was that images like this one -- nice composition, but not necessarily sale-able -- are perfect fodder for paintings. So now, of course, I'm itching to paint again -- and so glad I didn't throw away all the images I've shot that weren't necessarily show-worthy.
On the other hand, this issue of what to keep and what to discard becomes increasingly challenging with time and shrinking resources: my daughter chastised me just last night for ruthlessly throwing away most of the unidentified travel photos I inherited from my parents (who chose to run a travel agency when they reached retirement age). Between what we inherited, what we no longer use but can't quite bring ourselves to throw away, and what our children have left behind (living as they do in tiny studio apartments) our home is beginning to feel painfully cluttered with ... stuff.
And, of course, as I write that, I notice again Christopher Mathie's wise words: "You have to be willing to let stuff go." Those marks on the canvas, that exercise equipment, those clothes, those images that we were holding onto, thinking they might come in handy again someday? Maybe it's time to let them go.
I'm just sayin...