“Rest in the Grace of the World” 12 inch diameter, oil on canvas

I was drawn to this image because unlike in day 1, the figure is not pedaling but resting. She’s gotten off the bike completely.

It’s easy, especially during a 31 in 31, to get caught up in the moving, the going, the momentum, and it is easy to get lost in the motion. The truth I often pause to remember is this: painting, when I’m at my best,  is my break. Is my pause. Is my rest. From worry, from work, from “despair for the world”. 

When it starts to feel like a chore, a must or a should, that’s when I’ve got to get off those ever spinning circles, pause, and remember what brought me here in the beginning: moving my hands, arranging shapes, mixing colors, this is my peace in a chaotic world. 

Below is a poem by Wendell Berry that I’ve used to title this painting. I hope it speaks to you as it has to me. 

The Peace of Wild Things

Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

** I’ll post each painting at (or close to) 10 am each day this month and they will be available for purchase on my site. However, the pieces will not be shipped out or available for pick up until February 26, after the run of the gallery show.

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Written by Denise Hopkins

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