Nesting, egg tempera painting of sand dunes and bird by Daniel Ambrose
Nesting, egg tempera painting by Daniel Ambrose

I began this egg tempera painting, Nesting, intent on expressing a single idea. I made drawings, notes and even painted a tiny egg tempera color study to resolve various aesthetic problems before beginning the painting. I wanted to be clear about where I was going. Preliminary studies are like signposts.

I prepped an egg tempera panel and enthusiastically began, an image of the completed painting firmly fixed in my mind.

The final painting looks nothing like any of my preliminary studies.

From the first brushstroke Nesting swept off on a life of its own. Though I wrestled it, trying to pin Nesting down to my way of thinking, it led me in on an unimaginable journey far from my original idea. If this painting had arms and legs we would have been tangled up on the studio floor, locked in a battle of intentions. Mind vs. paint. Consciousness vs. the unconscious.

Paintings do that sometimes. Mirroring life, taking us on unimaginable journeys.

As we ease into a landscape of possibilities in the new year, I’ve no resolutions, only resolve. Striving to make paintings of love and beauty flow from my easel like soulful ink from Neruda’s pen.

And though it means being vulnerable like a lone bird nesting in sand, I’ll share my heart and soul, loving without expectation. Fearless. Because the world needs less hurting and more healing. Kind words comfort, and serene paintings soothe our souls.

This hurting world needs humans who care and create, who dream and do, and overcome. Humans who trust and forgive, honor and heal. Humans who inspire, nurture, respect and show us the light. Show us potentialities and possibilities and lead us on unimaginable journeys of insight, enlightenment and cooperation to a shining future.

It needs you.

“I believe in kindness. Also in mischief.
Also in singing,
especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.

As for the body, it is solid and strong and curious
and full of detail; it wants to polish itself; it
wants to love another body; it is the only vessel in
the world that can hold, in a a mix of power and
sweetness: words, song, gesture, passion, ideas,
ingenuity, devotion, merriment, vanity, and virtue.

Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”
—Mary Oliver

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