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© 2003-2021 Abbey Ryan

Painting for me is about paying attention and capturing a moment. Contemplative paying attention allows me to have an intimate relationship with my still life subjects. This mutual respect and exchange of energy manifests itself as gesture, movement, weight, edges, texture, and color harmony. I carefully choose from my collection of handmade pottery and local co-op produce, and it is magic to me that my subjects can be simultaneously meditative and animated.

Spending time pushing paint around is a way of life. It enriches my heart and mind and soul, and this motivates me to continue painting as often as I do. Seth Godin posted something this week worth considering:

"Daily: There's a fundamental difference between the things you do every day, every single day, and the things you do only when the spirit moves you. One difference is that once you've committed to doing something daily, you find that the spirit moves you, daily. Rather than having a daily debate about today's agenda, you can decide once that you will do something, and then decide every single day how to do it."

There are countless ways to interpret this "how" in terms of painting: motivation, subject matter, time management, painting tools, and so on. In my workshops and mentoring program, I am always talking with folks about their inner motivation to create and the challenge to keep creating.

Surprisingly often, my students are impeded by their tools, and this brings me back to paint. In large part, I am motivated to keep creating and enriched by pushing paint around because of the quality of paint that I use.

In December 2014, I visited the Vasari showroom in NYC and this paint company is remarkable. Vasari commits to hand-mulling each pigment according to its specific properties, in small quantities, and I think the resulting quality and intensity of paint is unparalleled. The science of it all interests me, but for the sake of this post, I will just say that the superior handling properties of their paint makes it a pleasure to use. Their pigment strength and paint viscosity make mixing a joy. I always say when I am teaching that painting should be pleasurable and painless. If it is pleasurable, it is easier to keep painting. Vasari paints are a joy to use. If you're interested, you can view more photos from my Vasari visit.

23 December 2014