A man was walking through a field and spotted a tiger following him. In a panic he rushed to the end of the field where there was a cliff. Using a vine, he climbed over the edge to hide. Looking down, the man spied another tiger looking up at him from the bottom of the cliff. As the vine began to give way, he noticed a large, ripe berry and stretched his hand out to snatch the fruit. A berry never tasted so sweet.
There is something to be said for living in the moment. I make an effort to live this way, finding it aids my field sketching work, forcing me to focus and capture the moment offered to me before it's lost forever. But mostly I find it helps me to recognize the beauty and joy in each instant. Animals live like this. They don't worry about what will happen next year, or tomorrow, or within the next hour. Their happiness in in the present, whether they are playing, eating or resting. The activity is given full attention with all of their being. We humans need to take a lesson here.
|Old catalog cards from libraries make for an unusual background.|
Every so often, I take advantage of "present moments" to explore in the studio, trying a different concept, a new technique, working on a whim. These appetizers are not for a future piece of work. They are not to learn a lesson, though of course I always do. They are done for no other reason than because I found them interesting at the time. They fuel me, light my artistic fire, and bring freshness to my regular endeavors. I'd like to share some of my moments with you.
|I love to make envelopes using my art as backgrounds or as the main subject.|
|Reminiscent of hand tracings we did as children. But now I add a personal touch.|
|Bookmarks for keeping places.|
|Small butterfly books for sketching or writing.|
Take advantage of spur of the moment ideas. Drop what you are doing and participate. The most amazing things can happen in the blink of an eye. Don't miss them.
"There is one thing we can do, and the happiest people are those who do it to the limit of their ability. We can be completely present. We can be all here. We can give all our attention to the opportunity before us."
Mark Van Doren