Gratefully - Perspectives No. 161

Perspectives No. 161

Watercolor Painting by John Hulsey
Pianissimo                              Watercolor                              John Hulsey

   More than 40 years ago, Ann and I were fortunate to meet a wise man named Don, who would become a life mentor to us. We often talked with him about the artist’s life. He read deeply and loved poetry, and we shared with him our personal experiences, triumphs and disappointments. It was during one such conversation when I was lamenting being passed over in yet another art competition that he said something so profound that it stopped me in my tracks. Don looked me straight in the eyes and quietly said, “It makes no difference whether you get in this show or that exhibition. Your life is your art.” The power of that statement - so simple and yet perfectly true - changed my view of how I was living and what I was trying to accomplish. In that instant I realized that everything around me - my home, my land, my family, my relationships with friends and peers - everything I put creative energy into - were part of one integrated work of art.

   Creativity isn’t something to magically turn on like a faucet when we set off to paint. It’s always on. So we must take care to use our creative gifts to create beauty in all areas of our lives and, hopefully, by extension, in the world. In a few words Don showed me that we artists are all brothers and sisters in our creative work and lives. There is no competition, however grand, however clothed in prestige, which can ever matter as much as the great effort we must undertake each day to make our lives our art. To the extent that it is humanly possible, it is only through our work and the example of our lives well lived that we are able to make a difference in the world.

   Don passed away this year, but we are certain that his vision, and its impact on everyone whom he touched has made the world a better place. His understanding of the artist’s life was embodied in exactly the right words of encouragement at exactly the right moments. For that and many other gifts, we give thanks.

Oil Painting by Ann Trusty
Flowers for a Friend               Oil               Ann Trusty

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About Us

Photograph of John Hulsey and Ann Trusty in Glacier National Park
We are artists, authors and teachers with over 40 years of experience in painting the world's beautiful places. We created The Artist's Road in order to share our knowledge and experiences with you, and create a community of like-minded individuals.  You can learn more about us and see our original paintings by clicking on the links below.
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