Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Getting off the Fairway

On the last day of 2010 I played golf with my brother and his 2 sons at a course named the  Links of Challedon.  It was one of natures winter gifts with temperatures near 60 degrees.  This is an annual event and rarely do the temps approach anything this comfortable.  We have played in snow, wind, temperatures in the single digits, and occasionally a day like this one. The weather makes for some higher than average scores, but has little to do with our enthusiasm and laughs.

On a par three somewhere on the back nine I hit a shot to the far side of fairway.  After finding my ball and hitting it near the green I did something I had not done for many years.  I looked into the woods and decided to take a walk to the green via the woods.  The sun was bright and the air still and the crackle of dried leaves under my feet seemed so familiar, as if this was something I did often.  The truth being that with the help of numerous golf teachers and many hours of practice I rarely had to make treks into the woods in search of my golf ball. I should have been pleased with my acquired skills that kept me from the woods, but my thoughts were just the opposite. I had been missing one of the real pleasures of PLAYING golf.  Mark Twain was right when he said,"Golf is a good walk spoiled". Golf is a game invented by shepherds who when  bored with watching sheep decided to have some fun by hitting rocks or whatever they found available into a distant hole in the ground.  I image they must have had a terrific time. Golf is a great game until you keep score. Why we even have a number called "par" is not very scientific.  Why are there 18 holes and not 20 or 10, or pick a number.

All this leads me to the question of why do we have par in painting.  What adventures are we missing by adhering to the ideas of others. We should not let tradition, societal taste, and demagogues dictate the  path we travel as creative artists.  Let's get off the fairway and kick some rocks, hear the sound of dried leaves, stop to admire a hundred year old tree, listen to the sounds of nature and freedom and truly make our painting journey an adventure in living.

"At Ease"