The first time I saw Kafka’s quote, it was displayed on the wall in my client’s clutter free office. Obviously of personal significance, I asked what the quote meant to him. Why did he have it displayed where it would be a daily reminder?
He spoke of how much can be missed in every day hurried lives. “We are driven so much to ‘do’ to achieve. We often miss the beauty before us in daily wonders. We forget to just be still and witness.”
We have not left our rooms, literally and figuratively for awhile now. This passage always offers a sense of comfort to me. Recognizing beauty in the quiet spaces is grounding and fuels the spirit.
How could we ever be bored when the sky above changes in fleeting moments before us, offering unique and different views every single day? I am ceaselessly amazed, moment to moment, watching it unfold.
Both of these new sky paintings are moments in the quiet spaces. A picnic at dusk, listening to waves kiss the shore while clouds soared above in golden shimmering light.
My sunrise runs in the crisp air of winter. Bearing witness to dramatic swaths of colour blazing across the sky, while deer slept in deep pockets of snow nearby.
Creativity can emerge in bursts of bright energy, flowing from fingertips like water. These instances are rare. Sometimes its in brief whispers you strain to hear.. and others, it is a continuous, rather painful slog fest.
Every painting is a mixture of vision, problem solving, emotion and skill.
The professionals all have scrap piles. It’s part of the process. How we feel about those scrap piles can have as much effect on our growth as evolving skills.
If it feels like a heap of failure, growth stalls. We learn from unsuccessful work.
Problem solving can be done with the brush, or a different activity can spark creative solutions. We can put it aside look upon it with fresh eyes in a month, or a year. Sometimes it’s destined for the trash, and other times, it can become something new.
When culling work, I enfold the ones I can. I sand them down, thank them for their little gifts, and begin again.
It’s such a wonderful parallel in life, embracing our supposed imperfections alongside desire to improve.
There is much joy in evolving, becoming the person we can be proud of, healthier, more compassionate, better in our relationships and work.
Yet, if we are driving with need to constantly improve, chasing perfection without being gentle with our shortcomings, then we are driving with an unsettling force to a finish line we will never meet. We will not always say or do the right thing, or achieve a personal best, a masterpiece every time.
Growth matures when we embrace humanity in ourselves and our attempts. They are part of our foundation. We are built on the cracked and the solid.
This new painting comes from the foundation of another, and it’s gifts made it more successful than if I had begun anew.
My intention before I began, was it would be deeply personal, from a place and time that was transcending. I wouldn’t fuss with detail, or worry about end result. For the first time, I didn’t have the thought it was destined for someone else. I let myself become totally absorbed by my experience in this moment in life, in that connection.
When Fine Art Appraiser Mandy Salter addressed the room, her first key element of advice may have surprised collectors and the curious. Sitting in the audience, I thought her advice rang true and consistent with any Fine art dealer, appraiser, and professional consultant I engaged with.
“Buy what you love.” You don’t need to understand art, to love it. You don’t need to justify your purchases to anyone.
It’s really that simple. All you need is love.
( Today’s studio video link above. If link does not appear in email, please click to web news link to see full video).
I ‘d love to be a part of your joyful collecting experience and assist in any way I can. Please feel free to email or call, and see my gallery page for available work. http://www.dawnbanning.com/newsblog/art-gallery/
My studio & home is filled with original work waiting to for a home and waiting to make your heart sing.
Many years ago I walked into my print shop to pick up an order of business cards. The owner greeted me with a proposition. Desiring a new format for their business calendar, he saw an opportunity to both showcase a local artist and exhibit professional skill in designing and printing an upscale art calendar.
I agreed to his offer wholeheartedly.
The calendar was generously distributed by the publisher through our community.
It’s through this calendar that many of you found my work, and our friendships.
One recipient, an instant fan, has connected me with as many collectors as any gallery representing me has. And that’s quite a feat.
A tremendous champion of the work, she has:
Become of a subscriber to all my news & social media.
Suggested my name to Nature Clubs for presentations.
Brought collectors to my Studio who have purchased work.
Enthusiastically shared my website on all her social media platforms, and with those who collect art, without being intrusive.
Attended every show, presentation, and brought friends.
Asked her office to display original art with rental fee.
Continued to send words of encouragement, remarking on how the work brings her joy and uplifts her.
You might assume she has collected the work, yet she has not purchased a painting.
Not everyone has the budget, space, or desire to collect work, even if they love it.
She is an amazing example of what a fan of the work can be.
Being a patron of a business, and community minded is also finding ways to share what you love. If you are restricted from purchasing because of budget, or if they carry a product you may not like, you may know someone who does.
Media requests ‘support’ for small business are written with wonderful intention. This language can suggest a charitable act. Being a patron of a business isn’t charity work, its beneficial to consumer, who receives goods, and the business, who receives payment for those goods.
Your favourite restaurant has your patronage, and you enjoy their amazing homemade soup.
There are many ways to be a champion of business’s you love. You make a difference with your actions, Yes. You also make a difference with your words.
We share what we love, because we love it, and know others will too.
This particular fan, like the generous calendar publisher, are now collectors of my work. My gift of originals were received with surprise. Unexpected, made the giving even sweeter.
With gracious thank you to all of you who spread the word, collect the work, and share what you love. You unite us all by sharing and shine much light in the world.
New, evolved “Light in the Valley” 24×30 original oil $ 2170.oo
A few years ago I had the pleasure of a private chat with an internationally known singer songwriter. She spoke of her definition of fan. She said “many call themselves fans when they hear your music on the radio. But a real fan is more than that, a real fan shows up. They buy tickets to shows and bring friends, they buy your Cd’s and share your music with their networks and friends.” ( currently, stream live shows, paying for virtual tickets).
She said,” I , in turn, show up too. I work hard, and I show up to do my best work. I show up for performances, and stay, signing ever single autograph no matter how long it takes. ….We both show up.”
In the art of conversation, great listening skills prioritize listening, rather than reacting to the speaker.
Focusing on the conversation, and not dwelling on contributing can be challenging.
Characteristics of good listeners include patience, compassion, and observation. Communication reaches beyond vocal, using body language, tone of voice, and variations in speech. Words alone can mean very different things to others. Expressions communicate different emotions for each individual.
Clarity of understanding is possible when listening without judgement, observing, and absorbing all information as it’s presented.
This is how I consider my work, subject matter, and audience.
While in nature, there can be a sense of urgency for the brush, to react, to paint it before I forget. Like in conversation, it can be at the expense of losing that engagement. Without complete focus important elements can be missed.
Patience is key.
Recognizing my personal influence may reflect in the work helps me to step back, remember my purpose, which is not to self express, but to communicate. To serve you, and in a way, to serve nature. To connect you with wilderness in a positive uplifting way.
Recalling intention offers a sense of newness to experience, and surprisingly, relaxation.
Leaving ego out of it, with intention to be of service brings open minded observation. I’m at once immersed, with a wealth of sensations, emotion and wonderment on what is going on in the natural world at that very moment. A witness.
In my process, contemplation may be more time consuming than physically painting. By the time brush touches the canvas, I have already been in this kind of deep listening mode.
An important skill in art is to reduce what we call ‘the noise’ in a scene. To bring forth the important elements, without bogging down the viewer with buckets of needless information. Stimulation overload, without quiet spaces, or neutral zones can be confusing and overwhelming to the viewer.
Have you ever sat in a busy loud place trying focus on conversation with one person while chaos erupts all around?
Artists learn the ability to tune in, and tune out what isn’t relevant or important. It’s a trained skill anyone can acquire.
Worthy elements in and outside conversation, patience, compassion, observation, focus are displayed richly in all forms of art.
Our first language was in art form. Drawings communicated, brought clarity to events and geography. Art educated, connected people, defined cultures, recorded families and historical events.
It still does.~
P.S For a truly enjoyable read, I highly recommend Robert Genn’s 2013 newsletter “Patience” which includes one of my favourite stories by Jill Ashton-Leigh.
“It is a process of diverting one’s scattered forces into one powerful channel.” James Allen.
“I don’t prefer music while I paint, it’s nice to listen to the sound of crickets from the open window.” Myah
Pink Clouds ( feel the light and delight in pink clouds) 14×18 original oil $910.oo
and Winter Haven ( peaceful haven where chickadees gather) 8×10 original oil $500.oo
From my Parents private collection, rare early originals are available for purchase. These originals express exploration in drawing with charcoal & coloured charcoal. The Canadian Park painting exhibits realistic style transferring to canvas, and glimpse of discovery of colour. They range in size: All untitled, as they were always in my parents collection. My Mom had these framed immediately, and displayed them with pride in the family home.
( Elder) 1988 8×10 charcoal sketch framed $500.oo
( Portrait simple sketch study ) 1980’s In right in photo 16×20 framed $700.oo
( Lady portrait, detailed sketch) 1986 Centre in photo~ coloured charcoal framed 18×13 $1,030.oo
( Landscape)1995 original acrylic 16×20 $1,030.00
Thank you for your business & for your wonderful response & letters!
~ Please note: Feb 1 price increase will be in effect.
Thanks so much for your great response on Friday’s new video release “How to Boost Your Mood & Creativity”! (see Link here)
Thanks for your tremendous response on all the newest videos. It’s a pleasure to serve you in ways that involve art and beyond.
I am excited to unveil two new paintings!
“After the Storm” was a lesson in patience. Many of you love the large sky paintings, requesting this genre on smaller canvas to work with your budget. This 8×10 is my first attempt of this style on a small canvas. It required just as much work as the large ones, and more patience. Thank you for your suggestion, and for keeping me on my toes. I am so happy with the result. It has the detail depth of light, with a nice balance of fresh brushstrokes.
After the Storm 8×10 oil on canvas $500.oo
The second has been swirling in my mind for awhile. This painting is all about gratitude, nostalgia, and communication.
Having the opportunity to grow up in Provincial parks, live and explore in some of the most beautiful regions of this country, I wanted to pay homage both to Canadian wilderness and vintage art prints that advertised parks and natural spaces. In order to do this, I needed a less textured feel, clean lines, less detail. Acrylic is perfect for this style of painting.
The subject matter is one of great love, the Canadian boreal forest, a region I wish to revisit and paint consistently.
I also wanted this painting to have the feel of a Canadian stamp, so I applied the same font style, and canvas size perspective.
Living remotely growing up, long distance phone calls were outrageously expensive. We relied on handwritten letters to keep in touch with family and friends afar. It was always a delight to retrieve the mail and feel that connection with loved ones.
Recently people have returned to sending handwritten letters and cards. Humanity is craving tangible connectedness, and these help satisfy that need. Compared to electronic communication, the tactile feeling of holding a card with a handwritten message is very special. I love the idea that we are finding ways to enlighten each others lives. In physical separation, there is still a sense of unity and togetherness.
It’s also brought my attention to the possibility of creating a selection of art cards for sale. More on this to come.
“Canada” ( Boreal Sunrise) 9×12 original acrylic on canvas $530.oo
Referring back to the video focus on positive emotion combined with movement, I wanted to share these little nests I created with pure delight, from wire and blue clay.
Thank you for your continued interest in the work, wishing you all health & happiness.
“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Martin Luther King Jr.
My initial inclination for the first painting of 2021 was of the dramatic skies I have been experiencing on my early sunrise runs.
Yet it occurred to me, much of my focus in the recent year is paying attention to the small things I am truly grateful for. It’s easy to be grateful for the big stuff, for health, love of family and work success. Of having work at all.
The easily forgotten tiny gifts we experience daily keep life abundant in so many ways. Daily treasures of delight, noticeable when you really look. It might be the friendly wave of a neighbour that keeps you buoyant thru the day, a small act of kindness, or the discovery of a new flower in your garden, transported from an unknown source.
It’s easy to see and feel the inspiration in a dramatic landscapes with a brilliant sunrise and feel joy witnessing miraculous skies overhead.
It may not be so easy in what appears to be a cold snowy hilltop scattered with brown bushes, and sky overhead seemingly void of dramatic colour.
Yet when you stop, and pay attention, it’s teeming with beauty. Reflective light of the morning sun in the fresh clean snow. Lavender and rich cobalt blues dramatize windswept banks and shadows. Hints of deer tracks pepper along the ridge. Warm whisper of the sunrise appears on the crest.
If we pay attention and allow ourselves to be absorbed in the moment, there is colour and life everywhere. The evolution of change in the promise of new beginnings lay before us.
Art can be a gift of this daily reminder.
This new 9×12 original is available for purchase. My intention is to create a much larger version of this glorious landscape.
Cheers friends, thanks for the welcome back.
9×12 Snowy Hilltop original oil $530.oo
The studio is open for pick up, delivery and shipping. I am excited to hear from you!
The science behind this practice states head position dramatically affects mood. It has encouraged me to reflect on what we do to lift our spirits, and the part art plays in this.
Recent collectors mention the positive role the paintings has in your lives. It’s so motivating to see you choose powerful vibrant colour and immersive skies to infuse your spaces.
They are part of a whole that we create in living consciously, knowing we are a product of our environments. Choices matter. Who we keep company with, how we nourish, body and spirit, and what we surround ourselves with matter. I am so inspired by your proactiveness and steadfast commitments!
This is my full time career, without your collection of the work, the art wouldn’t exist. Thank you for this and for following the newsletters, social media, sharing the art, letters & links with friends, colleagues, and fellow art collectors.
I will be available to assist with your art collections, with many original selections for you to choose from until Nov 26, when the studio closes for the remainder of the year. I am excited to hear from you!
I am always available by email and phone if you wish to stay in touch. I’d love to hear from you.