Six For Gold, for now

Six For Gold, for now

Six For Gold, for now

Six for Gold, six sparrows on sea oats. Egg tempera painting by Daniel Ambrose

Six for Gold, egg tempera. Private collection

The idea for Six for Gold and nine companion paintings came about six years ago after my Grandma Dewey died. She was 104. The seed of inspiration for a series of ten paintings germinated when I wrote this post about her: Grandma Dewey: Lullabies and Laughter.

Six for Gold received much attention at the opening of my solo show in January at Hughes Gallery and sold right away. Often viewers are surprised at how profoundly an original painting moves them. They search for words to describe the experience and come up wanting. Expressing the depth of our lives cannot be conveyed in any one form. We need Art; poetry, literature, music and dance, sculpture and painting to communicate and share the rich and colorful spectrum of our own experiences. Thomas Merton writes in No Man is an Island:

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. The mind that responds to the intellectual and spiritual values that lie hidden in a poem, a painting, or a piece of music, discovers a spiritual vitality that lifts it above itself, takes it out of itself, and makes it present to itself on a level of being that it did not know it could ever achieve.”

Art can take us out of ourselves. As I write this, the Coronavirus is permeating our country. We are advised to distance ourselves from each other and not shake hands. We are told to self-isolate and refrain from human touch.

Distancing does not mean denial. Maybe we need a break from this whirlwind consumptive world. Maybe we can take this time to turn inward and deepen our intention toward life and find meaningful ways to connect in our relationships.

Artists have been self isolating for eons. During long hours in the studio I often listen to audio books or podcasts.

Here are a few that are not endorsements, only suggestions:

Ultimately, I pray we come out of this pandemic with more understanding and compassion, and a desire to make a more beautiful, equitable, sustainable world.

For now. Let us not forget the healing touch of our hearts.

Egg Tempera Workshop in Maine

Egg Tempera Workshop in Maine

Egg Tempera Workshop in Maine

Egg Tempera workshop in Port Clyde, Maine

I am happy to announce I am teaching my first egg tempera workshop in Maine, July 25 – August 1, 2020.

The location will be at a rambling old house on the water in Port Clyde. The workshop is 4 days. However, I’ve made arrangements to have the house for 7 nights. So it’s a 4 day workshop with a bonus 3 days thrown in!

This is the first time I am sharing my spiritual approach to painting and techniques in egg tempera that took me a lifetime to master.

The luminous island light and landscapes are incredibly inspiring, and the folks in Port Clyde are so friendly. You can buy lobsters right off the boat! It’s amazing how a few summer days in a small fishing village can be so rejuvenating to the spirit!

I want to share my passion for this special community, holistic approach to landscape painting and the fascinating medium of egg tempera painting with you.

I have created a webpage for all the details. Visit this link for more information.   Email me or contact my assistant Suzanne at Suzanne@danielambrose.com for any questions.

The Beckoning

The Beckoning

The Beckoning

The beckoning, oil painting of beach path to rising sun by Daniel Ambrose

The Beckoning. Oil painting by Daniel Ambrose

Forty years, three months and twenty-one days ago, I sobered up. I got off the dead-end road I was headed down, and took the beckoning one — as the poet Robert Frost penned, the one less traveled.

As 2019 comes to a close, I look back in wonder on it and the preceding years with gratitude. Grace has brought me here today.

From the earliest time I can remember, when I was four, I have been filled with a yearning. A yearning to be outdoors, under an open sky, among marshes, birds, beaches and sun. My joy and sense of well-being frolicking amid my primal friends grew into a desire to express the wonders, appreciation and miraculous things I experienced in nature. But I did not know how.

Highly sensitive, my inability to articulate the ineffable grew into an anger and frustration directed inward. This combined with tragedy and adversity brewed a wildness and self-destructiveness that almost overtook me. I came to a fork in my life road and made a decision.

Life’s major decisions are the turning points. The moments that you can’t relive. Once decided, irreplaceable days of your life are invested. You make a choice, commit with all your heart and live out your decision. That day all those years ago, I chose life.

I began to express myself in creative, constructive ways. I built a house, started a sign business, made furniture, stained-glass, grew flowers and embarked on a spiritual journey.

On the 6th year anniversary of that day, I took up painting. It took 10 years of self training to paint soulfully, with intellect and experience.  I believe I learned more about myself than I have about painting.

I know for certain that my spiritual and art quest saved my life.

Art has given me adventure and the best of friends. As I look back on 2019 my heart is filled with gratitude for everyone who has walked my road with me, if only for a few moments. You are all so dear to me. Thank you.

In those dark days many years ago, I could never imagine that art would bring me three greatest, talented friends. Mary Erickson, Don Demers and Eleinne Basa. Together we founded the American Tonalist Society and in the spring of 2019 held our inaugural show in New York City.

Who knows what 2020 and the next decade will bring. I have no resolutions. Personally and professionally I am at peace. I only desire to live each day mindfully, doing meaningful work, learning to be kinder, loving more…

… while the beckoning continues.

Happy New Year, my friend.
Peace, Love & Light
Daniel

The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.