Monday, 14 March 2011

Little Unattached Moments.

 How easy it is to become possessive of the things we hold dear, and that in many cases can be a good thing. But there is a need to be aware of what it can do, and what it means, and how we can so easily miss out on other joys.

I remember a fellow blogger asking me what it felt like to sell a painting. The person wondered if  I did not feel the loss of a part of ourselves. She felt she would end up running down the street after the person wanting her art back.  It is true that our art does become a part of us, and when we say farewell to it we are letting go of something very close to us. On the other side of the coin, what do we feel when somebody tells us they do not like what we have lovingly produced? It is so easy to feel a personal insult.

Hundreds of years ago, one much more wise than I will ever be said this, “When we become attached to things we need to be aware that nothing can ever be permanent and all attachment has the potential of pain within it.”

So I may not be a guru, or full of wisdom, but can I recommend little unattachments. Yes my spell checker tells me that is not a word, but I like it, and I use it.

We can all find it in our hearts to give little things to our friends. I find it easy to give vegetables from my plot to those who live around me. We can give art to friends, they are like our art part of us, so it is not that we are really giving away a part of ourselves. What I mean by, “Little Unattachments,” is just the next step.

I have sold a few paintings recently and I feel pleased that this is the case. So last Friday I decided it was time for an unattached moment.

I had my pastels out. I had the other half of the pastel board left over from the painting I have now completed. I painted a picture similar to another one I had done recently, one that had been met with many favourable comments. I put a mount (matt) on it and placed it in a see through plastic protector, and headed off for a walk through the village, taking it with me.

I know that when people see me with a painting, whether they know me or not, they want to see what I have been doing. As expected it was not long before somebody asked to see it. As I was showing it to this person another lady came along. She looked at it and said, “Oh I really do like that , that is beautiful. Did you do that son? “

I told her I had and asked if she really did like it. When she said she did, I told her that in that case she could have it, and I hoped it brought her much joy.

As I left I saw her telling everybody around her what had happened.  Did it cost me much? Not really. Was it difficult? Not at all. Did it make somebody happy? It seemed so. Did it do me any good? That is not an important question but it did help me to understand what that wise man all those years was going on about.

Go on have a, “Little Unattachment Moment.”

This blog is linked to my other.  The Finished Painting


  1. Ralph, I rather like what you did. Hmm...we, perhaps I should use I, I, do get attached to stuff as well. That is a beautiful idea! I think I will do likewise over here. I'll let you know how it goes.

  2. Oh Ralph what a great time you must have had giving that painting away. I am always told I should never giveaway my art not even to family but I do. I sent 4 of my small plein air paintings I did last summer for my family at Christmas..they loved them (even had wonderful mahogany plein air frames. ) They were heavy and not cheap to ship but my family loved them and plan on circulating them amongst each other over the years!! I love to give art to children who come to the open studios. But all of that is planned and I like the surprise of your gift.

  3. Totally agree---but I just can not part with my Triumph Spitfire. I would love to be buried in it. lol. Like Tutankhamun..I want to "take it with me" Great story, the lady loves her new painting.

  4. I've only ever sold three pieces and those probably because 100% of the proceeds went to charities. That said, I have given away a few...And it sure feels good because as you mention, it is like giving a bit of myself as a gift.

  5. Unattached moments. What a wonderful concept. I love what you did. She will probably give you more publicity than if she had paid for it. Your goodness and generosity will return to you.

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