This week when I stopped by to look at a decorative painting job, the lady in charge told me her clients absolutely loved the switch plates that I had painted to match their granite countertops. The construction crew had completely reworked their condo but they were most thrilled with the switch plates. I have had this happen several times lately. I paint beautiful murals and other decorative things in a home but if I do the switch plates, that takes center stage. Men especially love it. They show them to everyone who comes into the house. It is curious to me how such a little thing as that completely turns them on.
Luckily, I am and have always been attracted to details. When I look at a piece of granite or marble my mind automatically breaks it down into layers of color. Then I scrutinize the color drifts and spots and specks of color. Sometimes the drift and spot color is muted by an overlay of the base color. Lastly there’s the sheen….glossy, satin looking or matte. It all plays an important role when creating a fool-the-eye-work of art be it switch plates, faux tile or marble columns. I also apply this technique to the mural work and my portrait work. The details of shadow and light…the textures of grasses against the sky and sand and what is buried in the grasses such as sticks and twigs, fallen over grasses and so on. It’s all layers of color and working with shadow, light and highlight. Before starting a project, I study the subject and learn to “see” what is actually going on with what I am painting. In animals and humans bone structure and posture tell the story of who they are and how they feel at that moment in time. It’s all in the details and the ability to know what you are seeing.
In thinking about all of this, I have come to realize that life is in the details. We live in a hurried and busy age. Sometimes it’s hard to take a breath. People have access to us 24-7 especially if we carry a cell phone around all day. The more family, friends and co-workers we have the more this is so. Constant interruption divides our focus and we gloss over the details of life that make life grand because there is simply not enough time for everything. I thank the Lord that my years as an artist have taught me to slow down and to live in the moment. I pay attention to details and especially to the people who grace my life not because I have to but because I truly want to. I love to hear their stories and I feel blessed that they share their lives with me.
I think to have a full and blessed life we need to shut out the outside world. Turn off the electronics if just for a little while. Pay full attention to your surroundings and how you feel in those surroundings. Savor the moment. Most importantly, savor the people who are important in your life. Look into their eyes when they speak to you. Listen to what they are saying and how they look as they speak. Notice the freckles across the nose or the well-earned crinkles at the corners of the eye that makes them who they are. Pay attention to the details and they will love you for it. In turn you will see what beautiful souls they truly are and it will touch you deeply.