Thursday, May 2, 2013

Being "in the moment"

from A-Mused by Philip Chircop
Admittedly I am not the most practiced practitioner of yoga. 
This could be me:

You're supposed "be in the moment," pay attention to "now" and appreciate where you are at this particular point in time. Because you can't ever have done what you are doing right now, in exactly the same way, ever before. Got that?

However, as I struggled with a yoga chair pose (not sitting in a chair: being the chair) I was thinking about painting and how this concept might apply. Hmm, not so very zen-like.

Here's what I'm thinking: it could also be about having the grace to appreciate whatever your level of ability is while you are actually doing a thing. Yoga or art.

In art, maybe that means being less judgmental and valuing every experience as it happens. That's not easy when you are your own best critic!

But  this yoga mindset might be taking hold... a little. I have two paintings of the same pewter pitcher on my wall. One was done about 4 years ago when I was just beginning to use oils.

This, small painting was my first time doing a silvery/pewter color and rendering abstracted shapes in reflection. Grey is hard! So is yellow. But it turned out OK and I like the former-graphic-designer influence in the pattern of those reflected colors.

Pewter Pitcher ©2009 Dorothy Lorenze

Recently, I painted the same pitcher again. I know I've learned a lot since the first one. (Thank you Todd Casey)

The hardest part was probably figuring out the right color for the shine on the ribbon: add yellow, not white! The new painting is rendered more accurately, perspective is better, the colors are more complex and it has a greater range of values. Those are all important improvements and I'm pretty pleased with the result.

But, in the spirit of yoga and appreciating "being in the moment", I'm also glad I can look at the earlier painting and not say "I should have..."

So now they are both hanging on my dining room wall. Looking at them together I truly appreciate what went into each piece at the time. I love the shape and the finish on this little pewter guy and will probably paint it many more times. Pewter Pitcher Milestones!

Satin, Pewter and Quartz ©2013 Dorothy Lorenze
I've posted this one framed because the frame just suits the painting so well! It's from Custom Frame Solutions where you can get reasonably-priced, quality frames in any custom size.  Take a look. They're having a sale for Cinco de Mayo!


  1. Both are wonderful in their own way. I actually like the earlier one better, maybe because it is simpler and looser. I can certainly see that the 2nd is further along in some ways, but it's comparing apples to oranges, as they not just renderings of the same thing, but different ways. Nice work!

    1. Cindy, thanks so much for the compliment and the observation.

      It's funny because at one point looking back I was really disappointed in the earlier painting - after loving it completely when it was first finished.

      Now I'm appreciating the design-y quality of it again. Enlightened or fickle? Who knows, but I'm happy with it and that feels good.


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