Patience – Image or Story?

Patience a new painting and blog post by Dorsey McHugh


Sometimes, I wonder what I love more…image or story.  If this were a race, it would be close.   I understand and value the power of both.  Image is something that comes into my imagination and holds on there until I put my hand to it.   The image then, has a life of its own.  Image begins to write the words.  Story though, such as the True and Patience story which is running through my thoughts all the time, also seems to have a life of its own.  When I begin to record it, or any other story really, images begin their dance onto the canvas of my imagination.  They go hand in hand.  Is it possible that all our senses provide a contribution for our stories?  Recently, essential oils have been weaving their way into my personal story.  There is nothing like the scent of lavender or wild orange to stimulate this imagination!  Taste and touch are also worth examining…think about the taste of your favorite foods.  Think about how it feels to hold a baby in your arms, or how touching provides its own adventure.  The image I am sharing with you today is one of the first in the “ancient love story” which is writing itself into my life.  I really can’t remember if the words came first or if “Patience” provided the words.  Does it really matter?

Patience Loves True

Patience loves true - a new blog post and painting by Dorsey McHugh

PATIENCE LOVES TRUE – 12X12 – acrylic on board


It is another day.  Another day in which to live and breathe and have our being!  I love those words.  Do you ever just fall in love with a word?  Everyone is different. Our favorite words can say so much about us.  One of my favorites is forsythia.  I LOVE the way forsythia rolls off my tongue! (I have no idea what this means about me).  Another word I love is LOVE.  It has its own impact as a sound.  But, more so because of its meaning.  Agape love: unconditional, redemptive, perfect…our Creator’s love for us.  Phileo love: friendship, trust, affection.  Storge love: familial love, natural affection.  Eros love:  a giving of our spiritual and physical selves. Trusting, faithfulness, affirming, supporting, open.  Love only shared with another specific person.  This love empowers us in a way, by its exclusivity.  It is our own.  At its best, it builds us up and focuses our creative energy.  When it is darkened with selfishness or deceitfulness, it can be destructive…painful.

Words are important.  They have meaning.  Words have the power to create or to tear down.  An artistic life chooses words with this in mind.  Ask yourself what you are creating as you use words.  Are you creating a world you want to live in?  This is also worth giving thought to.  I have become focused on using my voice for creativity, not for tearing anything down.  It is my goal to wrap those I love in tender words… in words that encourage.

Words For It (a poem by Julia Cameron)

I wish I could take language
And fold it like cool, moist rags.
I would lay words on your forehead.
I would wrap words on your wrists.
“There, there,” my words would say–
Or something better.
I would murmur,
“Hush” and “Shh, shhh, it’s all right.”
I would ask them to hold you all night.
I wish I could take language
And daub and soothe and cool
Where fever blisters and burns,
Where fever turns yourself against you.
I wish I could take language
And heal the words that were the wounds
You have no names for.

Life is Art

life is art - a new blog post and painting by Dorsey McHugh

Life is Art

Life is art….just think about breathing…or about getting dressed in the morning.  Early in my childhood, my dad and my sister both encouraged me to think beyond the surface of things.  Thinking has turned everyday moments into amazing fantasies…..One moment at a time.  This moment I am in holds so much interest.  I am literally bursting!

The way I approach life, the way I think, the way I was taught to look beyond the surface before making an assessment, has carried me along a path filled with adventure. This adventure has taught me a part of what Love really is.  It has taught me a way to approach “truth” which leads to more “truth”.  When I find an idea or an experience which resonates in me, I put it into my own vocabulary.  But, I hold it loosely.  Most truth is refined in some kind of fire.

A few years ago, I had open-heart surgery.   I was born with a faulty aortic valve and lived into this era of medical accomplishment.  What was not available to me at birth, became routine later in life.  So I am still on the planet, beginning this new adventure of writing, and teaching and making more art.  I determined then, to live until I die.  I began to turn my face toward not just doing art, but being art.  The title of Joanne’s and my book “Be Your Finest Art” grew out of that moment.  Without the encouragement and the support of other people, I would not be here. I have also come to see relationship, conversation, kindness, laughter, (failures even) all as an art form.  My choices are usually easy.  Positive or negative?  Life or unlife?  I am going to make that choice with my eyes lifted up.  Lets do this together!  Lets value what is truly valuable!

Report on Innovat8e Conference

Where I want to be - a new blog post by Dorsey McHugh


This is an image we used at a recent innovat8e conference in Franklin.  There were 30+ participants, mostly professionals:  Our exercise was to look at the painting for a few moments and write our impressions as if having fallen into the adventure of its imagery.  Here are a few of the stories:


Scott Stearman, Sculptor , Green Mountain Falls, Colorado:

“On the edge…stopped…I look at the distance and wonder…a place I’ve never been…it holds adventure or treasure or wonder…I think. 

How do I get from here to there?” 


Clark Gaither wrote:

 I know this place.  It’s familiar to us.  I want us to be on one of those boats.  I want to fly over the horizon with you, to see what is there…

“The question is: 

Is it the two children talking or the two birds?  Or both? “


Sherry wrote:  “Ethel and Mildred:  (the birds)

M.  Aren’t these 2 youngsters precious?

E.   Yes, I love how they bring us snacks when they come.

M.  What I’d love to learn is how to fly.  Look up there and see that Eunice.  She’s flying all over the place and feeling the wind in her hair, while I pluck at the ground for a snack.”

Kiss the Chef

Kiss the Chef a new blog post by Dorsey McHugh


Art is not about things. It is not even only about beauty, though of course art can be and often is beautiful. Art is about relationships. Everything I write, or paint, or listen to, or even taste for that matter finds it origin in human relationship. There would be no art without us. It takes very little to figure this out. The art of relationship fuels everything. Music, scent, taste, story are all part of this lovely, moving, sad, glorious story. We are here together and all our stories are about us or about our relationship with our maker. Our stories are valuable. The first words we speak, our first kisses, the first time we do anything are all reason to celebrate. We celebrate all we can find to be thankful for. Art is a tool for telling, listening to, and understanding all our stories. Get in touch with yours! See what good may have come from an experience that seemed bad at the time. Learn how to share them. You are the only person who has lived your life. You are unique! I wonder, if we do this more…will we gain more compassion? Will we fight less? Or will we at the very least, find ways to choose only those battles which are necessary? I wonder…

Post script: When we begin to understand our own stories, will we love better? Will we treat each other with more respect? I’m just asking…

Catch Dorsey Live Tonight on Finding Your Voice Radio!

Joel Boggess and Pei KangCatch Dorsey LIVE tonight at 7:00 CST on “Finding your Voice radio” with Joel Boggess and Pei Kang Listen live – and call in – 225-209-6188. #artists.   They will be talking about the business, #artistry, and #expression.

Listen live –

Sailing Free

Sailing Free new blog post and painting by Dorsey

Sailing Free

Those 2 words paint such a picture.  I’m listening to Jeff Black singing his song “Same Old River”.  I have loved his music for a very long time. His voice is filled with soul, his lyrics are an example of “true” art.  Before I knew my own mind about that, I knew Jeff was living in the heart of it.  So, I’m listening to him.  I am letting the music dance around inside me while the lyrics keep me upright.  Finding art is part of what keeps me breathing. It is reason enough to worship and rejoice.  Reason enough to be thankful in every moment.  At times, I have been tempted to think the glass is half empty.  Now the scale is tipping consistently toward the glass being half full.  In addition to that, I am moving in the direction of finding the glass running over. I know now that the fastest way to peace is to help someone else be thankful.  The quickest way to success is to help someone else succeed.  When we give grace to someone else, we deposit into our own account that same grace.  We will find mercy when we sow it. At just the right moment, we will find ourselves “sailing free”.


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