Published April 2017 in Nanaimo Magazine and Voyager Magazine
A few months ago, I travelled to Tucson to participate in the opening of an art show that included my work - a painting of the rainforest near my home. While visiting the Arizona/Sonora Desert Museum, I attended a painting workshop instructed by acclaimed Canadian painter, Murray Phillips, a wise and generous man, whose artwork was also included in the show.
I was intrigued by the workshop’s title: Seeing Slowly: The Art of Painting On Location. What a novel idea for artists in this big brush, hurry-up, fast and loose, paint a picture every day, competitive painting world we find ourselves in. Seeing slowly means exactly that: to see slowly. It gives us permission to be present in the here and now; to meditate and ponder possibilities. It means to center and calm ourselves in an effort to really see that which is outside of ourselves. This takes time. It requires patience. It begs us to listen and to use all of our senses. It encourages us to see the bigger picture, and to develop a sensitivity to the energy and the message emerging from our chosen subject, before we put brush to canvas. Over the course of three days, Murray guided our group with a genuine, peaceful energy. His self-assurance and quiet enthusiasm inspired everyone.