The Linchpin

Girl falling into fountain while texting, 6X8, oil on canvas
Years ago I had a large brush-pile in my backyard, left over from clearing trees. I would have burned it where it sat, except it was too close to the woods for safety. As the greenwood decayed, it slumped into a solid, stinking mass. I pulled and yanked but got nowhere. After hours of clipping, cutting, shifting and swearing, I was about to quit, when something shifted and the whole thing just came apart.
Beak! Boss! 6X8, oil on canvas
Anyone who’s ever sewn knows that the last seam you put in when you’re overtired will be wrong. And I can’t count how many times I’ve done a computer project only to realize when I was almost finished that there was a faster, easier way to do it.
Art has a steep learning curve because we’re often doing things we’ve never done before. A lot of our time seems to bear no fruit. But stagnation and even falling backward are an important part of the process.
Baby Monkey Riding on a Pig #2 (Abi’s Opossum),  6X8, oil on canvas
Every morning I spend about ten seconds posting my blog pictures on Pinterest. I get the occasional note that something has been repinned, but in general it doesn’t feel like anyone is paying that much attention. Yet I recently got a note that I had more than 26K Pinterest hits in 2014.

Esther is the one of the two Bible books that has no star turn for God. It seems to be a series of human interactions, the majority of which go pretty badly for Esther and her people.  But a seemingly insignificant thing happens—Ahasuerus can’t sleep. The story his courtier uses to put him to sleep turns out to be the pin which releases the salvation of the Jewish people. The events are all worldly, but the net result is miraculous.
Baby Monkey Riding on a Pig #1 (with gumdrops), 6X8, oil on canvas
All of which is to say that our human perception of progress is exceedingly narrow. So keep plugging. You never know when you’ll pull the linchpin.
Pull Up Your Big Girl Panties, 6X8, oil on canvas
Let me know if you’re interested in painting with me in Maine in 2015 or Rochester at any time. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops! Download a brochure here.