The promise of a new year.

There is something unique and exciting about the new calendar year, isn’t there?  Each year as we prepare for the holidays, we are anticipatory and excited – driven to reach out to friends and family and co-workers until we hit an exhausting pitch of social engagement.  Now, more than at any other point in the year, we have high hope that we can make things different in the year at hand. We foster a frantic desire for wrongs to be righted, hearts to be mended, and balance to be restored. We start diet’s, we make plans, and we dream dreams.

I am admittedly one of those dreamers. I chose to skip the frenzy and retreat to the comforts of home and hearth with my spouse and our favorite relaxing activities. For me that includes time at the easel so I began two paintings the day before my holiday break with a plan to finish both by the time I returned to the campus. One was a 16″ by 20″ and one was a 24″ by 48″.

The larger painting is a tavern allegory and has been fun to dither with off and on the entire holiday break. That painting is almost done but not ready for showing yet.

The smaller painting, however, I worked hard at for the first day and then set it aside because I wasn’t quite sure how to pull off what I wanted to do. Today, on this wonderful first day of the New Year, I set aside the large piece and went back to the smaller canvas with its night scene. This was the right day to finish it.

Although the setting is out on a large body of water it is not a painting about loneliness. While portraying a time deep in the night, it is not a painting about fear or darkness. Nor is it a painting about apprehension. 

It is a painting of peace, and trust, and faith and promise. It is a study of still nights and calm waters. Typical of my work, it is also about light and the love that light often represents. For those who are troubled by any number of the challenges this world presents, may this New Year bring you peace and hope. For those who are preparing for an especially difficult journey, rest assured, all will be well.

I give you, Hope’s Nocturne.


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