Independence and the Inner Distance


Here it is — the first of my posts dedicated to word requests. “Independence” is for my Aunt Sheila, a retired teacher, a mother, a grandmother, and much more.

Noting that Aunt Sheila liked my “peace” banner, I gave her word a similar treatment, letting it billow over a medievalesque flowery mead.  A goldfinch presides over the scene, perhaps eyeing the thistles for future seed.

Independence is closely associated with freedom and liberty.  You might define it as room to act without undue hindrances. Or it could mean the absence of ensnaring dependencies.  And yet…

“No man is an island, entire of itself.”  —John Donne

Complete independence is, of course, an impossibility, as expressed in the Robert Frost quote, “You have freedom when you’re easy in your harness,” or the Bob Dylan song, “Gotta Serve Somebody.”

But as a useful part of the whole, there are times to spread one’s wings and progress in one’s “inner distance” as Antoine de Saint-Exupery put it.  In this pursuit, may we float as lightly as butterflies.

Here are Miss Flibberty Ribbit and Lady Ringabelle, to demonstrate.

Butterfly Yellow, Butterfly Blue


Butterfly yellow,

Butterfly blue,

Sometimes going with the wind,

Sometimes where he wants to.

~Tanny Gupton Barnes

Day Lily And Chicory


My next post will feature Mama’s word, or should I say, mum’s the word!

Write a good one!




Independence and the Inner Distance — 9 Comments

  1. I feel so honored to be the first one to receive a post of my chosen word! It’s a beautiful drawing – how much for the original or a print? What medium do you use for the paintings/drawings on the blog? They are all soooo gorgeous! Of course I love the quotes and poetry which accompany your art! You are so talented and sweet! The art at the bottom – “day lilies and chicory” – is it painted on a plate? It is beautiful!

    • It was a joy to paint this piece! I am happy you like it.

      “Independence” is my first piece in casein paint (similar to gouache, opaque watercolor. Not the same as milk paint, which contains lime) It’s about 5 X 7 inches and could go into a standard frame. I do not yet have a way to make prints. I’ll contact you with more information.

      Mostly I have been painting watercolors, because they have such freshness and vibrancy, though I have a lot to learn. The flowers at the bottom are a photograph cropped into an oval. That’s an old floral tablecloth in the background.

      Thank you for the encouraging words!

  2. I know that I say this every time, but this is my favorite post yet. The art is both beautiful and includes anthropomorphic frogs and the conflict between independence and civilization is always a fascinating topic. Keep it up!

  3. Lovely, as always! I like the quotes and the art work. I would love a whole book like this, to peruse and meditate upon.

  4. :)) I shouldn’t be up at this hour but I enjoyed my late night visit to Clutchpen!

    Regarding Aunt Sheila’s question, could you make quality copies of your original artwork using the print service at Office Depot?

    • We’ve been asking around. Thanks! I usually take a picture or scan for use here. Our scanner is not sufficient for print quality, but next we are going to try a better camera and tripod with natural light.

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