The Art of Daniel Ambrose

Hauntingly Beautiful Paintings

Finding My Way Home

by | Oct 10, 2017

Rosehips and the Light, field study, oil painting.

I lean my back against a sun-warmed rock and feel the heat leak into my bones. Just breathe.

Just leave me here, scattered among relics of the sea; purple mussel shells, golden kelp and speckled granite. Slake my thirsty soul with saltwater, and shake my body out along crumbling shores of ageless black rocks. Let me lie under green boughs of pointed firs, bedrock land where osprey circle and cry under a hallowed blue sky.

Here is a truth far from promises and lies. A natural truth I can understand.

Sometimes I think life is a wonderful dream. People and places revolve in a kaleidoscope of colors and light. I remember laughing and talking, painting and eating with all my friends at Nanatuck. The sun was shining, moonlight sparkled on Maine water. Then came a rainy night in Boston when yellow doorways pooled their wet light on cobblestones, and gleamed on iron grill-work. When midday sun made saints dance on stained glass windows of an old stone church, and a coyote loped though suburban lawns on a Saturday afternoon.

There were flowers and other fine things. Things that can’t be bought nor stolen. Things that come unbidden, without notice, come like a wild animal to those who sit quietly in the forest.

Did I dream that I painted among rocks and harbor shacks, painted in the sunlight and wind? Drew seascapes in pencil in a Boston studio, perched above gray rooftops amid ancient brick walls?

Where is that border crossing in time when reality become memory? Is reality truer than memory if memory lives longer than the moment? Minutes of reality may inspire Art, but memory can make Art live for centuries.

There once was a light here, of that I am certain. A timeless muse that moved between the spaces of my life. I saw her slipping behind rosehips, and skipping down the stairs like a rabbit, moving among tender mint leaves one morning, and reflecting off the glass of a Sargent watercolor on a Sunday afternoon.

My muse is known by many names, but particular to me, her name means Light. She is my north star. She sleeps in my bones and walks through my dreams. Alone, in the quiet studio hours with my paintings, I leave the limited world of words, and slip into her galaxies of gentle sighs of color and moans of light.

Maybe it was true as some like to say. In the glare of this southern light, I was lost and could not find my way. Still, I know the painted road my muse keeps me on is right and true.

In the searching pathway’s my brush weaves through my paintings.

I have found my way home.

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