On Painting


Maybe it's not only freedom we seek. It seems there's a concurrent search for belonging that has little to do with a conventional sense of familiarity and much more to do with discovery and surprise. It's an interesting thought, these two seemingly opposing threads - freedom and belonging. But they are not in opposition at all. Absolute freedom - from self (pride, fear, ego) - seems in truth to open the doorway to a deeper sense of belonging, a dissolution of this idea of separateness. The ongoing surprise and discovery of oneness exposes the lie of separateness that we form in our early years and spend the rest of our days trying to unlearn.

All of this is experienced in painting.

Welcome Spring
oil/wood 14 x 15"

It's easy to wonder most days why any of this matters at all. Thank you, John O'Donohue:

"And how do you treat the harvest of the unsaid and unsayable within yourself?
Do you rifle it with the latest concepts,
or do you respect it's



       kind of fermentation

and what can actually emerge from it?

How are you, in other words,
about your own sense of mystery,

and what level and quality of imagination
do you bring to imagining who *you* are?

Because I would respectfully submit
that there is a fatal symmetry
between the quality and depth
of your imagining of yourself,
and your ability to imagine
those who sit in front of you
on the most precarious broken thresholds
of their own hearts
and souls.

-- John O'Donohue

Stacy CaldwellComment