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Gilded Idyll - Giclée Art Prints

Gilded Idyll - Giclée Art Prints

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 Artist Statement

“Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?”

Mary Oliver wrote these words in a poem titled, “Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branches?” When I first read this, I heard it echoing all around me, a ghostly voice whispering a quiet revelation that knocked all the wind out of my lungs.

Of course I had I had known this truth - that I wasn’t really living. I knew it and I pushed it aside. I buried it beneath to-do lists and commitments. I called it necessary. I used it as a measure of success. Too busy to live. Too busy to breathe. I simply kept going long after everyone else went home.

I took rest in little sips, only if required, in order to keep hiking up the mountain of achievement. I assumed that since I liked to keep busy, that meant I liked to work constantly. I no longer believe that at all. I think one can be busy chasing joy, peace, rest, and comfort alongside success.

What is the use of succeeding, if you aren’t actually living?

I began to imagine a different life. I gave myself the gift of envisioning time spent beyond a desk. The permission to have breaks, evenings, days off. A life where I can watch my daughter grow up with a mother who is always here for her. Where I know the smell of summer grass and the feel of sunshine on my weary body. Where I know the pursuit of joys that don’t make me any money. A life at least half offline and out of office.


When I daydreamed of simplicity and serenity, I thought of a field of sunflowers at dusk. I saw tall, velvety stalks waving in the breeze. The early autumn air still sleepy and warm, like a familiar old blanket perfumed with leaves and bonfires. With reverence, I noticed the heads of elder sunflowers bent forever eastward, while young buds sought to face the fading light, a worship hymn to the sun.

Sunset rays streamed through the leaves. Dust motes floating in the thickness of the amber tinted air, like bubbles in honey. In my dream of peace, I laid on the soil and felt the quiet thrum of the earth. Ancient things rested beneath, while the buzzing of bugs sang over my head. I let every worry escape my body, and simply existed in my dreamy, golden idyll.

Just a person, living a life.

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