“A Moment Composed” 4x4, oil on canvas Buy Now

I usually treat Sunday nights like a weekly new year’s eve. With lofty and numerous resolves for the week ahead, I go to sleep with the best of intentions for the future.

Last night I had big plans for the paintings I was going to paint, the house I was going to clean, the meals I was going to plan and then execute, the miles I was going to run.

But this morning I remembered what I’ve really wanted to do, the intention that started this 31 day practice and has been calling to me ever since. I want to do less not more. Fewer haphazard strokes and distracted paintings, attention to the task at hand and not on the one down the line.

Relax, I told myself this morning. Relax, I reminded myself as I wrapped and prepared a large painting for shipping, a task I usually detest.

Relax, I whispered as I painted an image of a bird I rarely see taking breaks– a bird whose wings, beating faster than I can perceive, become just a blur of grey against the oak trees in my backyard.

I got the title for this painting from a beautiful poem I discovered in my less-hustle-and-bustle-more-being-present state:

 

Hummingbird

By Mark Roper

 

Not just how

it hung so still

in the quick of its wings,

all gem and temper

anchored in air;

 

not just the way

it moved from shelf

to shelf of air,

up down, here there,

without moving;

 

not just how it flicked

its tongue’s thread

through each butter-yellow

foxglove flower

for its fix of sugar;

 

not just the vest’s

electric emerald,

the scarf’s scarlet,

not just the fury

of its berry-sized heart,

 

but also how the bird

would soon be found

in a tree nearby,

quiet as moss at the end

of a bare branch,

 

wings closed around

its sweetening being,

and then how light

might touch its throat

and make it glow,

 

as if it were the tip

of a cigarette

smouldering

on the lip of a world,

whose face,

 

in the lake’s hush

and the stir of leaves,

might appear

for a moment

composed.

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