The Pacific Northwest is filled with hidden areas. Years ago, homesteaders with dreams, aspirations, and the willingness to work hard, settled in canyons, along rivers, atop plateaus, and amidst meadows. Some of the these places still exist, as working farms, ranches, or simply residential homes.
But many of these places have been abandoned, with an outbuilding, or a root cellar, or — as in this painting, Along the Salmon River — a barn, the silent reminder of children playing, adults resting after a long day’s work, dogs barking, and livestock grazing.
We never pass these places without wondering, “Who lived here? What did they do? And why did they leave? Where are their descendants now?
“And did they fulfill their dreams?”
Because that’s what the Pacific Northwest is filled with: the dreams of people who came out here for a better life, new opportunities, a chance to be more independent and in control of their future. These desires, and these people, still exist today, as thoroughly modern man and woman look about their cubicle and ask themselves,
“Is this it? Is this all there is to life?
No, my friend, it isn’t. Life is a gift, every breath unexpected and ungenerated by our own power and will. As humans, we are made in the image of our Creator, and the reason we feel frustrated is because, deep within all of us, is a desire to DO something with the life we have been given, to make a difference, somehow.
It doesn’t have to be a huge difference, the kind you see propounded in movies. We could grow tomatoes, very good tomatoes that have no spray or chemicals on them, and sell them in the farmer’s market, content to know that we have provided good food to someone, and we did it with the labor of our hands.
But we want to know that there is meaning in what we do, something beyond generating profits for nameless, faceless people who care about us only because we can be part of their corporate business plan. This desire is why Steve paints, and Carolyn writes — we have gifts we have been given, and we want to use them for good.
Along the Salmon River is a reminder of the strength and determination of the human spirit. The barn is abandoned, we know, but the person who built it, and the family who lived there, made an impact in the time and space that they were given.
We honor their hard work, their memory, and their dreams by pursuing our own.
Along the Salmon River is an original oil painting available for purchase at Steve Henderson Fine Art. Like all of Steve’s paintings, it celebrates life, beauty, joy, hope, and peace. There are plenty of people out there painting gloomy art — Steve chooses to use his gift for good.
Read more at Start Your Week with Steve.
Please contact Carolyn@SteveHendersonFineArt.com for information on Along the Salmon River or any of Steve Henderson’s original and licensed fine art paintings.
If you are a manufacturer who would like to use Steve’s artwork on your products, please contact his agents, Matt Appelman (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can see Steve’s Art Licensing page here.
Check out, also, Steve and Carolyn’s products at Amazon.com:
Live Happily on Less: 52 Ways to Renovate Your Life and Lifestyle (paperback and digital book)
Grammar Despair: Quick, simple solutions to problems like, “Do I say Him and Me or He and I?” (paperback and digital book)
Step by Step Watercolor Success (digital DVD workshop designed for beginning to intermediate watercolor students and artists)