Tuesday, February 28, 2006



Leslee runs art, yoga and meditation courses from her barn in the Dordogne. On yesterday’s postcard painting she wrote this insightful comment:

“I am going to be unpopular here but I believe in taking a more Buddhist approach- we simply suffer when we are attached to the outcome, in this case, having to possess one of these little gems. Isn't it enough to be mindful of how you feel when you first see it, and how if affects you the rest of the day?”

Her comment felt like a southern breeze moment of understanding in the middle of a fierce mistral of “I want it now baby now”.

We have been answering hundreds of emails from potential buyers - some disgruntled, some patience personified - with their fingers on the button. We are trying, and probably failing, to convey the spirit of this one man’s daily brush practice; his humble warm up. We are attempting to make people see that there may well be a bijoux landscape or still life out there for them in time if they just let go and give the poor guy some time to paint! Meanwhile, as Leslee says, the beauty of the project is that they are out there for all to savour.

Yesterday morning, Julian and I stood on the roadside amidst the rubble of dusty painty t-shirts, mink poo-filled rusty bean tins and wormy beam bits that we had dumped from the window of the hayloft in September. On the spot we made a commitment to start work on the gallery. We even decided to have someone else – preferably someone from Canosmose - do some work for us.

A postcard sized painting and a mimosa bobbing visit to the market later there was a knock on the door and Yves – the dancing bio-dynamic hemp man himself – walked in. We hadn’t seen him for months but he must have caught the vibe on the approaching mistral. Hugely in demand and an expert in the field of organic building and restoration, it seems he has chosen us without us even having to call. He wants to build a dancing hemp floor for my yoga practice, and fill the dynamic stones with a lime mortar which will ‘rayonne’ into my cello practice whilst serving as a backdrop for J’s still life paintings…..

After a year of very hard work and a particularly disastrous beginning to 2006, I think the landscape meant for us popped up on the screen just when we had let go of the purchase button.


Anonymous Anna said...

When I am trying (often) to force the universe to fit my needs, my partner Andrew often tells me: "Just leave it to the great god, Tao." And things do seem to work out, beautifully, on the let- go. Your post just reminded me of that, Ruth, and I wanted to post the Lao-tzu quotation again as it seemed even more apposite here:

"As the soft yield of water cleaves obstinate stone,
So to yield with life solves the insoluble."
Will be following this renovation with happiness - for you, and with hopeful anticipation for me that I'll be making a similar transition at some point soon.

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Julia said...

you know, I asked Julian to paint a picture for me, of papery garlic and shiny aubergines and anything else that he thought would right...

Having been an anxious control-freak all my life it was hard to let go and trust him. I wanted to order the picture square inch by square inch...

My painting is not what I had in mind when I first e-mailed him..
My version would have been sterile and dull

Julian has painted for me a vibrant and exciting picture... I absolutely love it and I am so glad that I relaxed and left it to him paint it as he thought fit

Life is not about being in control, it's about being flexible and open and seizing the day

I would ignore the impatient and disgruntled wannabe owners and focus on the people and projects that inspire and please him

and apologies for taking over your comments to discuss paintings!

12:11 PM  
Blogger ruth said...

thank you Anna for the beautiful quote which seems to be doing the rounds now. I've read it at least 7 times and it always feels fresh and clear.

...and Julia for your moving honesty about control and abandon in terms of commissioning an artist to create a painting. You are a model of commissioning. I can tell you that whatever you did within which allowed you to 'let J go' and paint what he wanted made your commission one of the happiest he has ever done, and I think you can see that in the painting. I find it really playful and light. You also revealed your generous and playful spirit rather than telling him what you wanted and I think he met you in the middle. The whole thing was a joy.

9:15 AM  

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