Has the world (or time) gone to the dogs?

There are things in life that never change regardless of modern societal trends. Especially when I’m referring to the human senses. Walking in the forest during the peak of the Autumn season or the fragrance of the food from the local market. The simple pleasures of life still hold value because it is part of our most important currency, which is time. What to do with your time is entirely up to you. We all get 24 hours a day to choose how to fill our lives up. Would we appreciate our own time if we kept track of it? There goes three hours on Facebook or two hours at the bookstore. Should we keep track of time to use it wisely. Unlike money, we will never get the time back. However, if we invest wisely, then perhaps our time will become more valuable to our future. I have never really thought much about the future, I have to admit. I can remember being in my 20’s or 30’s and never really thinking much of what life would be like in my 40’s or later. Maybe doing my art has allowed me the luxury to value the present much more than the future? Or is it wiser to keep one eye on the present and one for the future?

Animals have figured this out without even analyzing it. They live in their own universe and march to the beat of their own drum. They only live for their moment. The present is really all they have. There’s no planning for the future. If we share so many characteristics such as love, survival, and emotions and are still attached to our primitive nature, then living like the animals in this respect isn’t such a bad idea? I understand that the brains are rewired differently between humans and animals, and we have different capabilities in process and distributing information. I don’t see anything wrong with planning for the future, just as long as you are living in the present. And that might even be too much to ask for in our human world. What do you think?

Which brings me to painting animals. There is a spirit about them worth painting that I don’t see when painting landscapes. Perhaps you’re not just painting a living, breathing being, but their whole universe in their eyes. Hard to do if you’re just painting a bridge. If the bridge has a soul, then it’s the person who designed the bridge that gave it a soul. We exist because nature exists, so I understand why landscape painting is so important. We paint because we yearn for a connection with other beings and places. Without it, our lives become disconnected and too solitary. That’s not what I want. I have always painted to connect with something that connects with my own soul.

If I enjoy painting animals and hopefully getting better at it, then I must be making some kind of connection with it. Sometimes I surprise myself how good a painting turns out. But the only shortcut is truly developing your skills as an artist, from my own personal experience, is to keep putting in the time. Add some love and passion to your subjects and your work will see the results you desire. That’s the closest formula I could figure out. I’m designing an art course that speaks closest to the heart of an artist and shows you how to not only paint but to have faith in the process. To experience some of the realities of an artist will help you understand what it takes in becoming a damn good one. Sign up for my newsletter and you’ll be among the first to experience the art life from a working artist.

Until then, make your time count. Just 24 hours at a time.

MY DEER, IT’S NOT JUST ANOTHER PAINTING

  • written by Joshua Lance, 4/26/2019

What do you think of when you’re in nature?  Trees, skies, animals?  The feeling you get when you’re outdoors is something you really can’t put into words as much as feelings.  For this painting, it starts with isolation.  Most of my landscapes have always been about isolation because that’s the way my life has felt for so long.  Though I work with and hang around people often, I still feel isolated quite a bit.  And perhaps that’s a good thing, it’s never as negative as it sounds.  To experience isolation on a physical level, you need to get away from it all.  Such as a forest for starters.  You need to hear the voices of nature outside your head.  Make sure they’re LOUDER then what’s in your head.  And just listen.  That’s it.  No big, long books to read or videos to watch.  You must allow yourself the time to decompress and empty out the dirty water that’s in your head.  Replace it, like a blood transfusion.  To cleanse your mind.  Do it as much as possible.  Maybe you’ll become like that deer in my most recent commission.

If you would like a commission, visit my page for details and let’s get started!  Thank you for reading my post.

New Hope Canal Bridge

WHAT’S NEW? MY LIFE IN NEW JERSEY (and New Hope)

  • written by Joshua Lance, 11/3/2018

Taken from an older post never published on my current website


Welcome to my office!

I relocated back to Lambertville, NJ two months ago because of a few important factors.  First, I wanted to reconnect with my old hometown that I lived in as a child.  I am most familiar with this place than mosts.  Even when I was in far-away lands I have always told people about this place.  They must have thought that I was talking about Neverland.  But I would never do that.  In my eyes, it’s a small, magical town by a river.  And when you walk across, you’re in New Hope, PA.  It has so much charm and an ambiance that’s hard to find anywhere else.  Now that doesn’t mean I enjoy Lambertville better than Santa Fe or even Taipei or Kyoto.  Every place has its own special qualities and it’s different to live here rather than be a tourist.  I got tired of traveling and wanted to settle down somewhere familiar.  I knew people in this place that helped me, my family lives close by too.  

ah yes…my life in New Jersey is upon me!

One of my main purposes of being here was to rethink my art and business, to do different things and experiment.  Also, to create a ton of art.  I bought an authentic french easel that was made in Paris.  I wanted something that will last more than a year, I hope I have it for the rest of my life.  It’s that good!  Now owning a gallery would be nice, but it’s quite unaffordable where I currently reside, so I did the next best thing.  I created my own mobile gallery using a dolly.  I put my easel, two baskets full of art, and a small bag on my back that I got from my painting trip to Ireland.  Bungee cords keep it all together and I can roll this whole gallery to any location that is deemed acceptable.  I also work six days a week, three in Lambertville and three in New Hope.  If I have framed work, I place all on the dolly to create my own wall of art.  I set the larger basket of plein-air art next to my easel, and a small basket with very small plein-air artwork from my travels.  So I have about 20 works with me.  If it rains or is too sunny, I can put up my black umbrella where I have my website on.  I have a small wooden palette I clip to my easel to keep it sturdy too.  It takes me around 10-15 minutes to set up and about the same to break it down.  Far less than 1.5 hours for a canopy tent I used to do when I was doing many art fairs years ago.  Plus I have my postcards and phone with me.  Some locations have Wifi due to restaurants which help me use my phone and could show my website or sign up for my newsletter.  Technology can be cool!

Most important why I’m doing this is so I can not only paint a new inventory of local work to sell, I can also meet people and do business in person.  You have to have thick skin and patience with yourself in public settings because there will be all kinds of people watching you, taking pics, getting up real close, making kind or strange comments.  I take it all in stride with a sense of humor.  The cool thing is when people say that they’ve seen your art on social media or painting outdoors before.  In a small town I’m in, I’m learning how to develop a good reputation and it helps that most people I’ve met are quite friendly.  Maybe it’s the magical aura of this little river town, who knows.  But for now, it’s a good place to be.  I’ve created nearly fifty paintings since I arrived in late-September.  I could already see the progress I’m making, and it’s helping me take my skills to the next level.  I’m not joking, it’s always good to improve and refine your craft.  So I’m becoming a better artist and entrepreneur because I’m finally putting the time I need to, then it was worth coming back to Lambertville.

Bucks County Playhouse

Thank you for reading my post, you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter here.  All posted work can be found on joshualance.com.