Painting to music is a natural occurrence for me. I usually only paint with music in the background unless I am somewhere that I have to engage others while I paint. The choice of music seems to always be the same or close to the same. I like old country music because it reminds me of my Dad and our many thousands of miles of road trips. When I was younger I hated country music. My sister and I painstakingly road in the back of the car desperately trying to read or sleep or argue just so we could focus on anything other than the music. When walkman and headphones came along it was heaven! Now that I am older I look back at those times with a smile and laugh. Two things that I love to do when I am painting. I guess that is why I choose the music I do to paint to. I have to admit I am an old soul and I do often also listen to Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis as well. I get great happiness, comfort and joy from this music. In all of their collective talent, these musicians and entertainers can be thought of as people who devoted their lives to spreading compassion through their art. Whether they meant to or not, living or dead, their music soothes many souls. I am one of them and that is a great legacy of compassion to pass on. I can only hope that my small cups will be around decades from now giving those that they have touched a sense of compassion, a smile and maybe a laugh.
I know you are asking yourselves "what does a blue hen have to do with 100CupsofCompassion?" Well, first let me tell you that the picture of the rooster in the middle is there only because I love him. He sleeps in and doesn't really crow until around 8 or 9 am so he is pretty laid back. He lives up the street and I guess we can call him "free range" as he just kind of walks around his yard. At any rate, I digress. So, what does a painting of a rooster and a pretty lady with a cup of compassion have in common? This is where THE BLUE HEN comes in...The pretty lady with the cup of compassion is my latest "victim". She owns THE BLUE HEN and it is my favorite breakfast/lunch place. This is a local eatery in historic Lincolnville, St Augustine, FL. and they work hard! The place is always full and from what I hear they moved further into Lincolnville and really helped to pump up the neighborhood! Good people doing good things, that sounds a lot like Compassion! The rooster was painted about a year ago and I have had him hanging around (much like my neighborhood rooster)until I could find a good home for him. He now resides at THE BLUE HEN because every blue hen needs a good rooster and every good neighbor deserves a little compassion.
This week I met with a person that I have known for over 15 years. Her story of compassion far out weighs mine and most of us "normal joes" on the street. In her early 30's she had a very lucrative career in real estate. She was on the elusive "fast track" to success but through a series of life changing events she gave it all up to pursue a life of mission work. She gave up the money, the house, the cars, the gym membership and the clothes. All of it. She joined a large organization that sends people out into the world to build the kingdom of God through compassionate acts like sitting in small rooms in remote places with a person going through withdrawal from drug abuse staying up all night to ensure that person's safety and to give support. She lived in a tent in the middle of the dessert with no running water to help women and children in exile and she is now on her way to work in a distant land to help Muslim women on the streets gain personal freedom from the underbelly of the human trafficking world. She has given her life and comfort for the sole purpose of helping others. She is an amazing women, author and Christian leader. She embodies the word compassion and I wish her all the best on her journey and hope that the very small cup of compassion that I left her with will let her know in some small way that I respect her, her life's work and that in my eyes she is a role model on how we should all treat one another in this great, big world.
(no pictures were taken or names given to protect her anonymity)
By getting out into the community, I have the opportunity to meet strangers, engage in conversations, and give my paintings away to COMPLETE STRANGERS! In practicing using my Art as a form of compassion, I must overcome my ego to use my time, talent, and money to create an original work of Art to give away, not for sale in hopes of making someone else’s day a little brighter.