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"Give and Take"


About the Painting

This painting came about as I was rendering service in a way that I was finding particularly draining. I alone shouldered the burden of serving so much that I dreaded having to help. I couldn’t understand why something that should make me feel good was actually making me feel worse.


I came to the conclusion that by making myself boundlessly available, my own needs were not being met. I imagined that in a perfect world we would all take care of each other’s needs, so that we in turn can help someone else. Regrettably we aren’t there yet. Periodically we need to take stock of our own situation and recharge ourselves, so that we can serve more effectively. Service is, in effect, a way to learn the balance between giving and taking. Just as we shouldn’t be forever taking, we also shouldn’t be giving until the tank is empty. It’s okay to have boundaries. It’s okay to acknowledge one’s limits. We can serve best when we have something in reserve from which to draw.

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Blog Post: Creating the Composition


Samantha Has Started Tracing-- what?!!

Ever since I started drawing, I've been told time and time again, "Tracing is cheating." Likely you've been told this before, too, and, like me, now hold this belief as a principle of the gospel of art.


I've gone to great lengths to not trace. I've looked down my nose at Tracers. I've expounded on how photography has limits and how tracing warped imagery is like shooting yourself in your tiny distorted foot. I've erased and redrawn things over and over if it happened to be a bit too small or in the wrong place. In short, I've clung to the precarious ledge of principle on the steep slope of inevitability.


Inevitable, I say? Yes, at some point everyone, even the great and stubborn Samantha, has to bow to efficiency. One reaches a time when one must ask oneself: "Is this belief helping, or hurting?" And Samantha has finally reached her breaking point...

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