Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Learn As Though You Will Live Forever

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I’ve been off my stride with this blog.  Apologies all.
But I have a good reason. Two weeks ago, I taught a pastel workshop here in Silver City. It was very well attended and I can honestly say that everyone did a bang up job with the challenges I had set up for them. They all dug in, got familiar with the new stuff and produced lovely things. From semi-abstract to very detailed realism, the results were exciting.
After her return home, one of my ladies had a stroke. And it was not of the kind that allowed recuperation.  When we were working I had quoted Mahatma Gandhi’s words to ‘Learn as if you will live forever’.  She had done just that, and with enthusiasm.  We all had spoken about how tomorrow is not promised to any of us, that we should do what makes us happy and fulfilled.

Angela's Teddy Bears
Our friend Angela did not make it and we were saddened to attend her memorial service three days ago. All of this was a shock, as not one of us had noticed anything out of normal bounds, when we spent the last couple days of her life with her. Her eyes had danced with excitement for those two days.
The abruptness of it all makes the quote and the artistic intensity of Angela’s last days almost an imperative in my mind. It is even more important to me to learn as though I will live forever; to paint as though I will finish every work I start; to honor like minded friends by thinking of them as I create my pieces. Perhaps some of their spirit will enter my work that way. I know I will never teach a workshop with complacency. I will cherish every discovery by every attendee, love the ability to share the passion, and in doing so honor my artist friends, and those who taught me.

So do the same as Angela did, and learn as if you will live forever. Maybe through our works we can a little bit.

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