What are you grateful for being a painter ? #2 - by Valery Bremen


Valerie Brennan / Paphos Cyprus

I am grateful for the solitude and space being a painter. When I am in my studio working I feel in the present, in the moment and alive. I love the openness of process when I paint. Painting feels fundamental to who I am, second nature and it feels authentic. I am grateful that I am still learning

Lucy Mink Covello / New Hampshire USA

I am grateful for Steve, Gianna and Nico. I am also grateful I saw so many friends this summer. I was with my kids outside a lot this summer and inside. I watched my son learn how to fish. I am grateful to be able to go slower as a parent and a painter because things sometimes feel way too competitive and too rushed and that's not where I am. I am grateful for this summer with two kids who are not yet teenagers. I have still managed to paint in between hours here and there and during random days if they were both somewhere else.

Sabine Tress / Cologne Germany

Without wanting to be overly dramatic I must say that I don´t know how I would be able to cope with life without having my studio and my work. It´s more than just an excuse for being able to hide away from the world outside. Being a painter allows me to evolve, understand, sulk, laugh, lern, dialogue and rest. Every day is a step forward even if it sometimes does not feel this way. Yes, I am absolutely grateful for being an artist.


Susan Carr / Massachusetts usa

Painting a poem called  “I am grateful”.

Painting is the moon and I am starting to howl

Painting floating inside of my teacup six in the morning OM

Painting in dusky fingered roses the sea laps my ankle

Painting on the blackboard painting on the test painting no cheating

Paint me another round and make it ultramarine this time baby

Bottom of the ninth bases are loaded and I’m up to paint

Painting fleshy pink knobby knees up to my nose nipple coral red round the top

Painting faster, faster running out of paint

Paint flickers deep in cave wall images of paint in four legs and two

And the wind cries paint

Just one more paint, just one more paint, just one more paint, just one more

If I only had a little bit more paint

In the forest of paint chop wood carry water

Tricky inclusive ironic clumsy chewy frenzied subversive highbrow lowbrow talky talk talk

Paint is on the menu   

Painting next time will be the best time because this painting is almost the one but not quite, not quite

Painting dressed in black without a sound snatching the jewels under cover of night

I am not old; I am not young I am merely a painter

Painting between two day old pieces of bread painting instead of a glass of milk

Watching painting it is a very good show

Sleepy now will cover myself up in old paintings to keep warm

Hey how come you are so poor? Painting stole me away

The dream of more paint it started like this

Julia Schwartz studio 2016.jpg

Julia Schwartz / Santa Monica Ca

I am grateful that I have a community of friends, mentors, and heroes who have become 'my people.' Even though we so often work in solitude, it is good to know there are others out there. 
It's also good to have an all access pass to art, and that can take many forms- virtual looking; seeing/being/taking in the world- light/air/sound/color; and especially the making. Making art takes so many forms- from luscious oil on linen to the low-brow dirty paint water on scrap paper, and everything in between.  
Art can teach, can hold, can transform, and be transforming. I am immensely grateful for that in this simultaneously long night's journey and too-brief existence.

me in studio taken by Denise Sfraga.jpg

Mary Devincentis / Brooklyn NY

It took a lot of years but eventually I realized that being grateful is a state of mind which can be cultivated. So, on a meta-level, I am grateful to have made that discovery and put it into practice.

As an artist, I feel grateful for the entire arc of my life, the good times and the difficult ones, the losses as well as the gains, the highs and lows, the hard and the easy, the beauty and the pain. Because every experience, every struggle finds its way into my work, where there’s a chance some part of it may hold resonance for others.

The freedom that is possible living as an artist is something I deeply appreciate, including the freedom to develop and express a personal vision and the freedom to create my own schedule, structure and pace.

I am grateful for the contemplative aspect of an artist’s life: the spaciousness in which to ruminate, daydream, imagine, be silent, receptive, and solitary.

Until fairly recently I worked in relative isolation, with just enough time of my own to paint and not enough time to seek out and nurture fellowship and affiliation, so I am profoundly grateful now to feel a part of a vibrant and welcoming arts community.


Bonny Leibowitz / Dallas tx

I’m grateful for a rich studio practice. Making work grounds me and allows me to explore, discover and take risks. I’m really grateful to recognize where the work wants to go and for being responsive. So compelling; the way the mind opens up, how perceptions shift and something new emerges out of memory and history.

I’m grateful to experience the work of others, online and in person. I love the way a piece or body of work can so directly speak to the gut, it’s an unexplainable bond with the work and the artist. How fortunate to connect and dialogue with a community of thinkers and makers.

studio selfie.jpg

Rebecca Young Atlanta, Ga / Huntsville AL

My painting is the only place I am able to be my complete self.  Good or bad its the only thing that gives me a complete sense of accomplishment.....a complete sense of me. I think its pretty incredible that through my own language and understandings I am able to create this whole other world that I am able to experience who I really am and share it with others.  Letting out all my awkwardness and quirks, allowing chaos to be chaos,...  "my world exists in my painting"!!


Yaara Oren / Tel Aviv

  1. For the fact I found an occupation in which staring and observing are an advantage and are not considered as being distracted or daydreaming.

  2. For the fact I get to keep on playing.

  3. For the fact that my fellow artists are creative, thinkers and sensitive.

  4. For the possibility to do things exactly as I think they should be done without the need to settle or satisfy anyone.


Magda Dadziak / Chicago

I’m grateful for the ability to do what I love (even when it gets frustrating, impossible and hard), to be able to express myself freely, and to be able to spend time working in the studio problem solving and playing around. I’m grateful for quiet time alone, solitude and to be able to spend hours working and contemplating.  I’m grateful for artist’s communities, meeting other artists, exchanging ideas,  having a dialogue, being inspired. And I’m thankful for my supportive family and friends.

Kimberly Rowe / Berkeley CA

I am incredibly grateful for having the ability to paint.  I feel like I’m so rich because of it.  I look back and remember when I began studying art and felt removed from it.  It was something outside of me.  I wanted so badly to be in a place where art was my life, but I was observing more than being.  I did assignments and didn't have a particular point of view.  Yet I couldn't help but keep plugging away.  I think of the title of a book by the late Wayne Dyer, You’ll See It When You Believe It.  It seems to me that it took me so long to get to a place of truly believing it.  And then somewhere along the way I must have crossed over the bridge.  I enter my sanctuary when I walk into my studio.  It is the place where I can make my own magic.  I always feel like I’m dancing and playing, even though there are times of hard work.  Painting is being totally present.  It is being intuitive, improvisational, and discerning at the same time.  It is accepting and expressing my own power.  I feel a sense of complete freedom and joy; I feel like I can do anything.  Since I began painting, I have transformed my own being and gotten to know myself on a deeper level than ever before.  What an incredible gift that is.