recent paintings and news

recent paintings and news

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Desiderata: things that are yearned for (sold)

On the eve of a new year I always think of Max Ehrmann's (c.1920)
words of wisdom:


Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

December (missing Guinn)
oil on canvas
30x36in, 2008, sold


  1. Beautiful words, thanks for sharing them with us, Jan. And thanks for sharing that gorgeous painting - so full and rich and lovely, the cools and warms just vibrate against each other. Happy 2012!

  2. Wonderful words to ponder on as one year closes and another begins. As Rhonda said, this painting is so rich.... and I love the way your brush stokes lead the eye around the canvas. Many creative blessings for 2012.

  3. Beautiful painting. The words are wonderful and is one for my studio wall! Happy New Year to you!

  4. Beautiful piece! All the best!

  5. Thanks ALL for your kind words-means a LOT-Happy New year to you too!

  6. Jan, every summer my 80 odd years old uncle travels from Vancouver to stay with his sister for a couple of months - my mum. And he is always referring to this poem. It is wonderful I must admit. All the best Jan for the new year.