Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hope Springs Eternal

I have an old, yellowed print hanging on the wall in my studio that reminds me to never give up. I saw it in an antique shop years ago, and commented to my wife how much I liked it. She immediately formed a plan to buy it, and on my next birthday she presented it to me as a gift.

It is a framed reproduction of a 1907 pencil drawing by an artist named Malcolm Stewart. A fairly extensive Google search has not yet revealed any facts about who Malcolm Stewart might have been. Nevertheless, I have chosen to assume that he has depicted himself in the drawing. It is a picture of an artist sitting at an easel, with a large pallet balancing on his left arm. He is leaning forward, with his right hand holding a brush against a canvas. Surrounding him in his sparse and dilapidated studio are several other canvases, some of which have a word written on them that no one ever wants to accept - REJECTED.

The print is a constant reminder to me that no matter how bad things get, there is always another day, or another idea, or another plan to change whatever issue or scenario may be getting me down. Over the years, I have faced rejection in many forms. When I was in my teens, I often submitted cartoons to national magazines, only to later receive a rejection letter. I have, occasionally, finished a painting that either I have rejected, or unfortunately, my customer has not been totally enthralled with. I applied for an arts grant that was not approved, sold art that was never used as intended, and have been passed over for jobs for which I had applied.

Regardless of the reasons, I learned a long time ago that it doesn't do me any good to feel sorry for myself and complain or quit. Through a combination of self-examination, analysis of the issue, and sometimes prayer, I have learned to accept these negative events, and usually gain valuable lessons and wisdom from the experience.

The title of the old print is perfect: Hope Springs Eternal in the Human Breast.

1 comment:

CousinK said...

Oh my..... my cousin the philosopher! Sounds just like you. AND it sounds like your aunt Irene! By the way, I can see why you like that print. It's a prize!