Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Love Letter to Art on the Occasion of Our Anniversary

14" x 14" acrylic on canvas
My Love Letter to Art on the Occasion of Our Anniversary:

My Beloved,

It's our anniversary.  It's hard to believe that it's been 3 whole years.

You and I flirted on and off, of course, before we finally became serious on March 15, 2009.

As a child I drew all of the time. Doodles were in all of my margins at school, and cartoons of aliens were everywhere. I knew my true love then. I forgot later, I know. But you forgave me.

At age 7 I won my newspaper's weekly children's art contest! Then in 1973, the Watergate trials were on tv. We had only a rudimentary idea what was going on but loved to draw all of those nefarious faces, didn't we?

One year in junior high school, they had a "patch and motto" contest. My design for the patch won first place in the school. But they sent the second place winner on to the county contest. That student's idea was better than mine, they said, although my art was the best. I was crushed.

I drew in pastel. I played with calligraphy. I loved pen and ink. I did a mighty impressive pastel of my brother, and some pretty good drawings on scratchboard. I was 14 or 15. 

A pastel of  my younger brother done when I was 15?

If only we'd stayed together. But I was young - I was confused, and looked away from you. In college at times I forgot you altogether.  I thought I was too old for you.

After I graduated we had a tentative liaison and I dabbled in oils, and then acrylics. But I didn't do much and knew even less, and had a marriage and then a family to tend to.   I didn't take you seriously.

But you were always whispering in my ear even if sometimes I forgot to listen.

Finally, in 2009 we caressed. But would it last? It had never lasted before.

Friends we have never met saved our relationship; I am sure of this. Our first acquaintance was Janey of Janey's Journey, a very special artist to me. You can read in this blog's very first post about what she did for me, if you'd like - about her innocent question. That was the beginning. By my second post, I'd met Raena. [Check out my joint blog with Raena, 2'nFro].  And soon thereafter, the Everyday Matters Group and artists all over the web.

A mildewed scratchboard drawing I did at about age 15
I discovered that there are no folks in the world that are more generous than artists. They share their knowledge, their techniques, their struggles. I have learned so much from them - am learning so much every day - that I am now almost as good as I was at fifteen.

I must confess, that my wife knows of our affair of the heart. She says all I think about is art, art, art. And it's true, I am smitten. But we could never be, you and I, without the artists I feel so blessed to have met and am still meeting every day. They care about us, you know. This blog has just passed 200 followers!

To properly summon tears for the occasions, and since I am a guy and of course do not cry, I have painted onions. This is only the second time that a painting on actual canvas has appeared on this blog, but it won't be the last. I love impasto, and have missed it with watercolor. And I love the immediate rich colors.

I am newly reacquainted with acrylics. I believe that this painting was able to happen only because of what I have learned from my online friends. [I will now never believe that watching the Cooking Channel can't help you to learn to cook!] I was visiting my mother, and she and I painted together. We found two onions in the refrigerator - one had been there a very long time!  It was a delightful afternoon that you shared with us.

So here we are, beginning year four, and our relationship is renewed again. I am working on another painting in acrylics that is far more complex than this one - and so far so good (fingers crossed). I am truly excited about it, and hope I can get it to the end without ruining it. But even if I do [ruin it], I know you will be there for me, and this time I won't leave you.

I won't ever leave you.

Now pardon me, while I have a good cry.

Yours forever,


  1. Well, Happy Anniversary to you and your wonderful love, ART. Trouble is, I am in love with ART too. I guess you and I could fight over ART except ART does love us equally!
    I enjoyed this post very much...I certainly identify. I ignored beloved ART also..for many years. Now, of course, I do wonder how I lived without paint! (and ART!)
    Your onions are are very talented...and I am glad you are my blogging art friend!

  2. Happy Anniversary Dan. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Mine is similar except I did go to art college then work as a designer for years before my art (passion) got put aside. Also, coincidently, reunited in 2009.

    The painting is fabulous!!! I hope to see many more here in the future.

  3. Hello Dan,
    Congratulations and Happy Anniversary!
    That is a great acrylic painting of onions. I have never dabbled in acrylics but if I could afford I would.
    I am so glad you started this fantastic blog. I am just about to start using watercolour for the very first time. This is after seeing your blog (along with a few others). Some watercolour paper arrived yesterday but not been well for the last few days. Soon as I can paint I will try to post my efforts. Come to think of it, I first heard of the Lamy Safari through you Dan (something else I had been saving for).
    For me it was having cancer that made me think of all the years I could have been drawing/painting. So as soon as I got out of hospital for the second time and was well enough to pick up a pencil I started drawing.
    Anyway, I'm rambling on...
    Looking forward to seeing your next painting.
    I got your e-mail, thank you. I moved to Wordpress because of all the problems posting comments to Blogger - it now looks like Wordpress may not like Blogger anymore :-(

  4. Glorious and uplifting post! Thanks Dan. I second the astonishing generosity, welcome, inspiration and kindness of artists in this virtual world. Jane

  5. I'm so glad you found love even if you did have to wait a long time.
    The scratchboard drawing is amazing for a 15 year old, happy anniversary!

  6. I so love your blog and am proud to be one of the over 200 followers, Dan,

    Nice love letter - happy blogiversary!


  7. You have painted the prettiest onions, if you don't mind my saying so. Your love letter to Art I think is shared by many. How did we loose sight of childhood? And why? Invite your wife to join you, I invited my husband and now we are a happy threesome!

  8. Happy Anniversary - and hopefully many, many more years with EDM and your other blog friends.

  9. This is actually very touching--you didn't need to paint onions to bring tears (but I'm glad you did). Really good work posted here. Happy Anniversary--keep the mistress.

  10. Happy Anniversary Dan! Your acrylic is beautiful- I especially like the reflection. And I treasure the story of you painting with your mom.
    Congratulations on your hard earned successes and thank you for sharing them with us. I'm so happy you share your art here- it's meaningful and valuable to those of us who follow. Art on!

  11. Happy Anniversary Dan! I'm not nearly as eloquent as you are with words! This was fun to read...but I was sort of surprised. Only three years? Bravo! I hope you have a happy, wonderful fourth and many more!

  12. Happy Happy Blogaversary Dan!! What a marvelous post!! I just love the love letter. But I do think we must be in love with the same person (art, that is). Oh well...Art sure does get around. Hee! Hee!

  13. Leslie said: Dan, I just love your artwork- those onions are amazing! But what i really enjoy is your sense of humor!

  14. Happy Anniversary. Lovely onions, even if they do make you teary eyed!
    Happy Painting.

  15. Happy anniversary Dan, love the onions and the love letter,it brought tears to my eyes.!

  16. Wow, Dan! This post took my breath away! Fabulous artwork, and so clever, and funny! You were incredibly talented at such a young age! Thank you for the mention too. You have been a big part of my renewed love for art! Happy anniversary! I guess it must have been my anniversary recently too, and I didn't even buy any flowers for Art much less write a love letter!

  17. And one more thing...I have these water-miscible oil paints just sitting here. You've inspired me to get them out, before they go my acrylics did before they were ever even used!

  18. Man...that scratchboard sketch is something else! (came back to look again!)

  19. I love this post. The acrylic painting looks awesome, and the sketch of your brother when you're, that was awesome! The scratchboard art...has a lot of passion, a lot of strength =) yet another masterpiece!

  20. You have made the connection for so many of us. Thank you.

  21. Your onions are making me cry too Dan. From your artography, I learned we lived in parallel universes. Very few of us knew what to do with our talent. We didn't even know it was a talent; It came with the package that was us. We knew art was considered child's play, from crayons early on to being an elective in curriculums heavily weighted down with reading, mathematics and science. We knew artists didn't make much money and we noticed the cost of living was high. We chose the two Ps--paychecks and perks. I shouldn't say we; I should say me. Suddenly retired, the talent is alive and art and is better than bridge, canasta, mahjong and book clubs. I have never looked, but I doubt there's a blogging group of mahj players boasting bim, bams and dots who can paint flowers. Great post!!!!! Didn't touch me at all. LOL

  22. Awww....what a sweet post! Yet I don't know where we would all be with out you Dan! I enjoy your insightful and fun perspective on art making and really appreciate each and every comment you leave for me. I am so glad to know you in this art blogging world. And that onion painting is fantastic!

  23. I'm glad you two got reacquainted because you were clearly made for each other. The onion painting is great, but so are the two pieces from when you were 15. It's strange how we can push away things that afterwards seem so obviously made for us. Happy anniversary, I wish you share many more!

  24. I am so glad that so many of you related to this post. I didn't really expect anyone to be actually touched by it, but I guess I should have given that so many of us have returned to art after long absences. Thank you all for your encouragement - I'm glad you like the painting. I am also happy you all like what I did 36 years ago too, but kinda jealous that my teenage self outdid me in a way. Linda Roth is right - I pursued a paycheck, and that is what I have had - I think pursuing the heart is the way to go. Of course, I don't know it the other way around - the path of a struggling artist. And as a young man, I was not wired for that struggle. I hope to find out about it now to some extent, but in my non-paycheck time, as I have a family that relies upon me. Thank you all so much for your support, it means so much to me.

  25. Sorry for a delayed comment.... I just have just had the worst times with the new layout of Blogger, its hard to use and its not very artistic. This post is fantastic, I can so relate and my drear husband knows my art is number one. He even knows when Im upset or moody, is to tell me to go down and paint something (he knows this will calm me down, well 98% of the time).
    Right now Im missing art like crazy and its driving me mad, all the painting Im getting down these days are for walls. But soon, very soon this will be done and I can attack my canvases and sketch books... Cant wait!!!

    Beautiful sketch of your brother, that was really well done for a young lad. So Happy Anniversary and I hope you took this time to paint and draw. Love your art and writing, so looking forward to see what you will post next.

    Happy Anniversary!!!!!

  26. Hi Dan, I guess our jobs now as artists that have returned to brush and paper is to make sure the younger generation understands our pleasure. Happy Anniversary!Keep up all your good work.

  27. Dan, I've been very remiss in my blogging this Spring. I missed your anniversary and am quite ashamed that it's a month later before I add my belated Happy Anniversary! I'm glad you and Art found each other again. Thank you so much for sharing a taste of your journey with us. I can relate on so many levels. I love your onions, and the story that goes with them is PRICELESS! Happy Creating! -Don