“Ever-changing Present” 6×6, oil on canvas

This morning I had to look at my watch to see what day it was. Wednesday. Only Wednesday. Prior to coronovirus, or, let’s be honest, prior to its affecting my life (funny how little I thought about it when it was tormenting other countries), I’d been painting a lot of flowers. Not because I want to brighten up your newsfeed (I do) or because I want to paint happy things (I sometimes do). 

I started painting them because I was thinking about time. Brevity. I’m one of those people that always has fresh flowers in my house. That makes me one of those people who is always throwing away dead flowers. But painting them? It’s like a prayer for me. One that beckons me: Stay in this fleeting moment. 

I have been fascinated by the fact that we have some of the same traditions for both weddings and funerals– flowers, second lines. Are not eulogies not just the raising of the glass in a toast? 

So this is my day 3 (yes, it’s only day 3!) offering. Some flowers for you. A little reminder to stay in this ever changing present. To hold on to what is certain when the times are not. 

Since I’ve reactivated the 31 group for this crisis (we do one creative thing every day in January), my cowboy-poem-writing friend, Butch shared the first part of a song he’s working on. It was inspired by an image of sunflowers by another 31er, Donna, who had mentioned the painting was liberally sprinkled with some prayer and red wine. I thought it perfect for today. The 31 group doors are wide open. Let me know if you’d like to join. 


Grit and Grace

With grit and grace, that’s how I’ll face

These hard times here today.

If that don’t get the job done, son,

I’ll throw a prayer your way.


‘Tough times don’t last,’ the saying goes,

But they damn sure sometimes do.

So while we wait for the prayers to work,

I’ll share some wine with you.

–Rodney “Butch” Bailey

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