Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The Old Man and The Artist

I have had little time for painting recently and am now feeling bad that I seem to have less time for blogging also. What with the large garden plot my running and so many other things I allow to crowd my life. My garden is looking good and I am happy about that. I am so looking forward to being able to harvest some of the vegetables. I am running well at the present and enjoying walking.

I have been waking up in the middle of the night and hearing music in my head and seeing pictures so maybe my brain is telling me it is time to return to the paints. I sold two paintings last week, ones I thought I had sold previously but had not. The same person who approached me before and asked me to mark them has sold has come back to me and asked if I still have them, so it looks good.

Once again though the message is the same. It is not possible to do all the things you would like to, and more importantly do them all well.  This reminds me of a true story.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, was once approached by an elderly man. The old fellow had some sketches and drawings that he wanted Rossetti to look at and tell him if they were any good, or if they at least showed potential talent.
Rossetti looked them over carefully. After the first few, he knew that they were worthless, showing not the least sign of artistic talent. But Rossetti was a kind man, and he told the elderly man as gently as possible that the pictures were without much value and showed little talent. He was sorry, but he could not lie to the man. The visitor was disappointed, but seemed to expect Rossetti’s judgment.
He then apologized for taking up Rossetti’s time, but would he just look at a few more drawings – these done by a young art student? Rossetti looked over the second batch of sketches and immediately became enthusiastic over the talent they revealed. “These,” he said, “oh, these are good. This young student has great talent. He should be given every help and encouragement in his career as an artist. He has a great future if he will work hard and stick to it.”
Rossetti could see that the old fellow was deeply moved. “Who is this fine young artist?” he asked. “Your son?” “No,” said the old man sadly. “It is me – 40 years ago. If only I had heard your praise then! For you see, I got discouraged and gave up – too soon.”

Yes it is time for me to get back to the painting. If not who knows what might happen and I do have a few spaces waiting for new works.

This blog is linked to my other.   Two Paintings I Hope Are Now Sold.


  1. Good Morning Ralph, glad you are happily busy!
    The power of encouragement is pretty amazing, great story!

  2. Well done with your sales Ralph and pleased that your garden is delighting you !

  3. Ralph..I have too much grass in my garden to plant and too much rain and still cold here!!!Hoping next week will be the week for some gardening. If it doesn't dry up soon..our yards will be a foot deep in grass and dandelions! I love this story. Of course I would think even with the late praise..I would be encouraged to try again! I hope your day is wonderful.

  4. Ralph, your blog posts always inspire me and make me think about how we each can make a difference in other people's lives, if we just look for the opportunities to do so. You seem to be able to do that so naturally. When I read this story I thought about something that happened at school just today with a girl in my class, and now I know what I need to do tomorrow for her.
    Your new plot sounds like a wonderful place. Creating a garden is probably very much like creating a painting, and I bet you'll be brightening the day of many people with gifts from your garden, just the way you do with your paintings. I am looking forward to your next painting too!

  5. Well, Ralph my friend. We only have so many hours in a day. You will do as you find time and energy to do!