On Surprise

This was a difficult subject for me. My daughter. How can one portray correctly one so close? I did my best. I still might do some work on the background or clothing or hair.

My Daughter
My Daughter

And because I really have nothing more to say about that I offer this poem that really speaks to me.

Expect Nothing

Expect nothing. Live frugally
on surprise.
Become a stranger
to need of pity
or, if compassion be freely
given out
take only enough
Stop short of urge to plead then purge away the need.

Wish for nothing larger
than your own small heart
or greater than a star;
Tame wild disappointment
with caress unmoved and cold.
Make of it a parka
for your soul.

Discover the reason why
so tiny human midget
exists at all.
So scared unwise
but expect nothing. Live frugally
on surprise.

– Alice Walker

10 thoughts on “On Surprise

  1. BeeHappee July 13, 2015 / 11:31 pm

    She is beautiful and looks like you. 🙂

    • Renee-Lucie Benoit July 14, 2015 / 12:00 am

      Oh thank you. I love my kid. It is beyond me to adequately express how much I love her!

      • BeeHappee July 14, 2015 / 4:42 am

        I like her look in this painting, so confident, so much personality, and dreamy beautiful eyes. Renee, you had been such inspiration to me.

      • Renee-Lucie Benoit July 14, 2015 / 2:17 pm

        Thank you! But really? Inspiration? I’m flattered. How can I be an inspiration? To the contrary, Bee, (Christina?) you are an inspiration to me to continue to aspire to greater insight and thoughtfulness.

  2. Olive July 17, 2015 / 5:47 pm

    Really beautiful subject, interpretation….I can tell you love her. I understand (a bit) how much of you goes into each piece. My eldest, at 17, amazes me with her watercolors and pen and ink sketches. She is really committed to each one and does not really like to show people, still young and sensitive 🙂 I just try to provide the materials I can find over here and she leads the way. I recently convinced her to open a deviant art acct and post some….my way of getting her into being more comfortable with showing her work. Have a look if you are interested…hope it is ok to post a link:

    She is really into traditional art and gets inspired with books and hikes. I am going to show her your blog now….. Thanks for making beautiful things for those of us who cannot!

    • Renee-Lucie Benoit July 17, 2015 / 6:43 pm

      I checked her stuff out. Very nice renderings! She’s well on her way to having command of line and form. All she needs now is a good teacher (they’re hard to find) and to just keep doing it. One thing I would suggest to develop her eye would be to have her start drawing from live objects. Stop copying photographs. Ok to draw from imagination. But drawing from live objects, while very difficult at first, is the only way to make the hand and eye get together so the hand has control to do what the mind sees. What I was taught, and I think it is true, is that once you master the control you can give it up and do whatever you feel. Of course that’s just a rule and it’s a good one but rules were made to be broken so in the final analysis the passion for art is what really carries you through.

      • Olive July 17, 2015 / 10:16 pm

        Thanks for the kind reply! She refuses a teacher or art school…She says she wants to learn her own way. She does not copy photos, though, this is visual stuff ( from inside her head). Still, it is so very interesting how you artists can do all of this….

      • Renee-Lucie Benoit July 17, 2015 / 11:44 pm

        Oh I would have thought the pictures of wolves would have been from photographs. My mistake. Then, fantastic, she’s got her own determination and that is just right. Many many artists and very fine ones at that have been self taught. The cool thing about making art today is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. It’s just whatever works. Tell her for me. You Go Girl!

  3. Olive July 18, 2015 / 9:09 am

    Sorry to keep chattering away, but you might enjoy hearing I just woke up and found her in the garden, sketching away (birds and trees). Thanks again for your experienced advice. She is a stubborn one, but i love her 🙂
    I just think it is wonderful that you still enjoy using your hands and simple tools (as opposed to the computer or not bothering at all with art). The process is fascinating. Merci!

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