inspiration behind THE PEACE OF SIMPLE THINGS collection
I suppose it was while I was cooking dinner- I was stopped mid-chop by the beauty of the late-afternoon light shining in through the kitchen window on a few humble pears on the counter. The way the golden glow reflected around their sweeping curves and all their little imperfections, and cast long shadows across the wood- it captured me.
Or maybe it was stepping outside into the fresh air to watch the sun come up one morning, to instead be entranced by a tiny house finch singing his heart out on a branch of the crepe myrtle, while his partner worked away at building their home for the spring. The way he cocked his head to one side, looked around at the soft light and the dew on the grass, and then burst into joyful song- it made me want to burst with joy, too.
Poetry as Inspiration
I’ve been reading through some of Mary Oliver’s gorgeous, simple, nature-drenched poems recently, and they’ve played an important role in inspiring this collection as well. Her words draw me to slow down, watch, observe, breathe. Find the beauty in the simple everyday things that we so often breeze past in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I want to do that more- notice things, allow myself to be affected by beauty. These paintings, while seemingly a group of random things with no connection to each other, have grown out of that desire.
the beautiful white heron
was floating along above the water
and then into the sky of this
the one world
we all belong to
sooner or later
is a part of everything else
which thought made me feel
for a little while
quite beautiful myself.”
-Mary Oliver, “Poem of the One World”
I hear the thrush singing
in the glowing woods
he is only passing through.
His voice is deep,
then he lifts it until it seems
to fall from the sky
I am thrilled.
I am grateful…”
-Mary Oliver, excerpt from “In Our Woods, Sometimes a Rare Music”
“Sometimes I spend all day trying to count
the leaves on a single tree. To do this I
have to climb branch by branch and
write down the numbers in a little book.
So I suppose, from their point of view,
it’s reasonable that my friends say: what
foolishness! She’s got her head in the clouds
But it’s not. Of course I have to give up,
but by then I’m half crazy with the wonder
of it – the abundance of the leaves, the
quietness of the branches, the hopelessness
of my effort. And I am in that delicious
and important place, roaring with laughter,
full of earth-praise.”
-Mary Oliver, “Foolishness? No, It’s Not”
A tiny bird, a piece of fruit, the way the light shines through the leaves of a tree- these scenes bring me peace, and a feeling that I belong. Come with me on this journey and take time to breathe in the beauty of the simple things all around you, friend. Even if it’s just for a moment, it will bring calm and joy where before there may have been none. I hope these paintings will help remind us all of the value of this journey.
-THE PEACE OF SIMPLE THINGS Collection, releasing March 16th-
(for advanced access to the collection, you can join my Collector's List here )