When my oldest son was still in college, he mailed me a book called: “Russian Lacquer, Legends and Fairy Tales, Vol. II, by Lucy Maxym. At the time, he was in Russia performing with a musical touring company from the university.
He wrote in the inside cover: “Dear Mom, I saw these Russian lacquer boxes in Sitka and couldn’t help thinking of you. Even the smallest boxes are very expensive, so I thought this book was a real deal, plus in it are over 20 fabulous fairy tales. Notice the similarity of “The Flying Ship” to the movie Baron Von Munchausen.”
I still enjoy looking at the paintings. Imagine! Each detailed masterpiece is done on the lid of a black lacquer box! That fact alone is inspirational. The breathtaking beauty and precision of these compositions makes you realize the incredible patience that is required for something as lasting and valuable as a well-thought out painting.
My son goes on: “Maybe you could put together a few favorite stories from these and I’ll illustrate them.”
At the time, he was an up and coming artist, majoring in advertising. I was not yet an artist, but was working as a freelance writer. Shows you how quickly life and the roles we play change over time.
Today he is a consultant and science teacher after being nominated Teacher of the Year by his peers. My son was right about one thing, I am lifted by these illustrations. I can literally spend an afternoon examining each scene and reflecting on the stories behind them.
I am also intimidated by their detail and the enormous energy that went into each design. It is good to aspire. We need to spend time viewing the classics and the masters-of-their-craft to see what we can learn from them, but not at the expense of our own promise.
Some of us are more detail oriented than others. We each have limitations of one kind or another. But unless we plant the seeds, the illumination will not germinate. How many dormant seeds do you have lying beneath the surface? When was the last time you watered them with the necessary nutrients to help them grow? We need to recognize that practice, time, and a valiant effort come before success.
- Define your dreams.
- Note your progress no matter how small.
- Compare this year’s work with the last.
- Adjust your attitudes and eliminate negative thinking.
- Construct and re-structure your goals; each month if necessary.
- Look at the big picture. Baby steps are magnified when you see them altogether.