The Merging of Art and Life

Sunset Pasture. 15 x 24. Oil on linen panel.

Sunset Pasture. 15 x 24. Oil on linen panel.


When I attended Deborah Paris' artists workshop last spring, I became enchanted with the softly rolling hills and long vistas in Clarksville, Texas. We painted outdoors, went for walks and even dined outdoors. It was a week when life and art merged. During the workshop, Deborah's husband, Steve, prepared dinner for us out under the trees on the edge of a large pasture similar to the one in my painting. Our group of painters talked about art and watched the sun set, casting gold across the sky. None of us wanted the evening to end--it was just one of those perfect times when it's easy to realize that life indeed is a gift.

Just as delicious aromas beckon us to an outdoor cookout, the experienced artist knows how to invite us into the scene he or she has painted. Artists will use carefully placed paths, fences, streams, roads, groups of flowers, rocks or grasses to lead us into their composition. Rarely does nature present herself with those elements perfectly situated, so that's where creativity comes in to play. In the painting above I added a loosely formed path to lead the eye into the composition.

I hope you will have a chance to enjoy a sunset picnic this summer, with friends new or old, and see gold cast across the evening sky together--that for one perfect evening, life and art will merge for you.

Thanks for pausing to enjoy the sky with me.