Grace, egg tempera painting of egret in ocean by Daniel Ambrose

Grace, egg tempera painting by Daniel Ambrose

I’m breakfasting on the porch of a fabulous coffee shop that recently opened here on the island of Boca Grande. Tropical fragrance of frangipani blossoms mingle with morning sunshine and birdsong in the island breeze.

My solo show at Hughes Gallery opened this week.  Grace is one of my egg tempera paintings that sold along with several others.

The life of a painter entails endless solitary hours in the studio. Practicing yoga with my friends has become the perfect balance to this seclusion. It’s easy to get lost in a painting, slipping into a dialogue with it, alone for weeks.

A tug of war of emotions and intellect ensues between the artist and the work, trying to make real what exist only in the imagination. Which often for me, is more of feeling or glimpse of an image, an intention I want to portray. Nothing is set in stone, and I let each painting unfold to become what it will be.

Michelangelo said. “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

Eventually paintings are finished, framed and installed. Then the real fun begins. Meeting and spending time with collectors.

Art is all about connection—communication. I love conversing with my collectors. Many of them lead brilliant, interesting lives. All have fascinating stories to tell. They bring their life experiences to a painting, often articulating my own intent. It’s an amazing thing to experience. My collectors have become friends and friends have become collectors. Though we may come from vastly diverse backgrounds, art brings us together, sharing in our humanity.

My own life has had its own twist and turns, with many near misses and close calls. This knowledge fills me with gratitude for each sunrise.

This morning sun, this cup of coffee, the people in my life who I love and love me . . . indeed, this very moment, I count as blessings.

The older I get, the more certain I am here by Grace.

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