Should I, Shouldn’t I…
I remember the day like it was yesterday. The notion of standing in a snow bank for several hours on this cold, dark, damp winter afternoon surely didn’t sound appealing and the temptation to return home to the fireplace and some tea was calling loudly. The yawns were growing closer and closer as I meandered down the back roads of home and all I could hear in my head was the recording “Should I just call it quits for the day?”, “Do I allow the self-rationalizing to reign and talk myself into how I couldn’t possibly be lazy by succumbing to comfort rather than work?” I am glad that on this occasion I did not.
Farm on Beaver Dam Road 18 x 30 (page 92 and 93 with detail in “Not Far from Home”)
The awakening began as I opened the car door and saw the colors true, not through the subtle green tint of the windshield. The colors, though in great reserve, still called out before me…the warm greens of the shadows in the snow gave way to a violet cast as the brightness of the foreground bled toward me. The shift from red to green on the face of the barn boards was exquisite. The humidity accentuated the variety in edges as the snow covered roofs stood in stark to the wisps of branches in front of them. All of this I would have missed had I stayed in the car.
What is my point in all of this? Every day, every condition, has something to offer despite my feelings. What a gift.
Some twenty-five years ago as I was about to embark into this world of painting, a dear friend and co-worker of mine from the illustration days, Kenn Backhaus, gifted me with a little gold plaque that was mounted on my French easel for years. It now proudly hangs in my studio. The quote inscribed was by the great American Impressionist, Walter Elmer Schofield, “Rain, falling snow, wind…All these things to contend with, only make the open air painter love the fight.” (I might add bugs, too!)
“Not Far from Home” Testimonial from Glenn Terry
“Got Daniel Gerhartz ‘s book of paintings, “Not Far From Home” yesterday. It is a fantastic book, full of tremendous beauty in the paintings, close up details, and even a step by step process in the back. The book itself is well made, worth the cost and then some, and can’t help but to inspire artists at any level, seeing the works of a master painter with such a fresh and vigorous style, full of heart and love of life.”
Thanks for all of your encouragement folks!