COVID-19 info for December 2022: Orders are being fulfilled on schedule. December 9th is the last day for canvas gicleé orders, and the 16th is the last day for magazine and paper print orders. In-store pickups are permanently discontinued; instead, we offer domestic expedited free shipping on art prints and magazines and free freight shipping on oil paintings. Please contact us to arrange international shipping or if your domestic delivery appears delayed.

Al Young Studios Newsroom

The Spirit that moves artistic endeavor

Late one Saturday evening, after a long and intense week of painting, I came across these images while browsing through the Studios' archive. As first one and then another of these pictures filled the screen, I found myself instantly captivated and rejuvenated as I stepped into the miniature worlds inside each frame and found myself surrounded by nameless shapes and infinite hues.

The few minutes I spent looking at these pictures were as restorative as a stroll in the park. Even though I had spent a week rendering such things by means of paint blobs at the end of a brush, I wasn't even loathe to muse upon the techniques and phases by which I would approach the task of painting these images. I knew, of course, I would not paint them, but not because I was tired: I simply had other things to paint, more suited to the kind of visual stories I like to tell.

I never cease to be amazed at the resilience of that Spirit that moves artistic endeavor. It never tires. I do, but it doesn't. Somehow, no matter how many thousands and thousands of brushstrokes will be involved in even the tiniest painting, that Spirit embarks with boundless enthusiasm and remains undaunted. It never flinches at the number and complexities of problems encountered along the way.

No matter how much I plan and prepare, there always comes a point at which that Spirit is ready to begin or re-commence, and, at that point, it does not matter how much or how little I know about what lies ahead: It is simply time to be up and doing, and no other course of action or inaction will suffice. And, like the few minutes I spent lost in wonder with these simple images, that Spirit is also the Spirit that provides beauty everywhere, and is just as much about rest and renewal as it is about striving.

Photograph by Ashton Young

Photograph by Ashton Young

Photograph by Ashton Young

Tags: 2012, Inspiration and creativity

Browse articles by year: 2022 . 2021 . 2020 . 2019 . 2018 . 2017 . 2016 . 2015 . 2014 . 2013 . 2012 . 2011 . 2010 . 2009 . 2008 . 2007 . 2006 . 2005 . 2004 . 2003 . 2002 . 2001 . 2000 . 1999 . 1998 . 1997 . 1996
Browse articles by topic: Art lessons . BenHaven Archives . Blank art diaries . Fine art photography . Framing . Illustration . Inspiration and creativity . Isles of Rune . Limited Editions Collection . My Fathers Captivity . News . Novellas . Oil paintings and prints . Operations announcements . Orders and shipping . Overview . Portfolios . The Papers of Seymore Wainscott . Project commentaries . Recipes by Nancy Young . Recommended reading . Recommended viewing . Temple artworks . The Storybook Home Journal . Tips and techniques . Tools supplies and operations