Day 19. Let the voodoos of ambition sleep.

“Let the Voodoos of Ambition Sleep” 6×6, oil on canvas

Today’s painting is a continuation of yesterday’s: the subject matter but also the idea that it’s okay to explore the same thing again and again if that is what feels right. I did wonder if these faces would translate on canvas as they do on paper since the surface of the paper seemed to somehow be the catalyst for a looser, more expressive strokes, a more intuitive process. So I did what I have learned to do: started small. On this 6×6 inch canvas, I wanted to see if I could bring the same spirit that I bring to my paintings on paper. 

And at the very end, some bees decided to buzz into the frame, perhaps also curious about how all this would turn out. I wonder what they think?

I’m reminded today of Mary Oliver’s Poem, “Today” which I often keep (metaphorically) in my pocket and pull out from time to time, a reminder to sometimes (often?) let the voodoos of ambition sleep. 



By Mary Oliver 


Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.

The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.

But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.

Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.

All 31 paintings will be on display at our gallery celebration February 24th from 5-8pm. The show will also feature other artists who have been part of a 31 in 31 community.



Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

January 19, 2024

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