Welcome to the newly refreshed website. The site has been through many iterations since its inception. It began back in the nineties when my oldest son, Will and I, sat down and tried to figure out what an art website should look like. The Internet was in its infancy. I remember working on a transparent blue iMac G3 only having email and a design program, from time to time a window would pop up announcing that the World Wide Web was coming soon! We weren't totally certain what that meant, but we quickly learned. By the time we'd decided whether we should be dot com or dot net or dot org, someone had nabbed the domain name, so we went with BoBartlettArt dot com for a while. We instinctively figured out what a menu bar should look like and where it should be placed. If I remember correctly we drew it out on a napkin, and over the years the navigation tools haven't varied much in terms of placement or function. Over time, many other friends and webmasters (the very talented Mark Gallini, Paul Hesser, Dan Shafer and my son Man Bartlett, who was also able to finally secure BoBartlett dot com) have continuously worked on and cleaned up the site, always trying to keep up with the latest technology and capabilities of the internet. We never wanted it to be text-heavy, we've wanted it to be primarily a visual experience. Essentially, this holds true still, even with fourteen years of messages.. and naturally an ever-expanding chronology. As with making a painting, always trying to pare it down, streamline and simplify it. I want to thank Marina Dunbar, our studio manager, for all of her hard work to build this new version of the site. Thanks, Marina.
Onward. With the help of an amazing grief counselor, Betsy and I have continued to move forward in life. The first noble truth is.. "there is suffering." The knowledge of this keeps one continuously on their toes. Any sadness or joy is tempered. We spent the Spring and early Summer building new studios on Wheaton Island. His and Hers. There is a feeling of heaven on earth in the privacy of our peaceful new working spaces facing the open Atlantic. Knowing that there is suffering, grounds us in all of our emotions, even joy. Nothing is permanent. We are lucky and grateful for the time and space to create. One of the great joys of this realm is that we get to work in it. We are creative creatures and no one here knows what's next. My feeling is that we should work hard while we are here. We may not have such possibilities in other realms. How great that we have bodies (which age and creak) with which we can build and paint and make things.. write, make music and dance.
The key to contentment is trust. We have to trust something. We can build our houses (and studios) and fill them with technology (or not) where we can work and live and gather information. But there are natural laws. These win out every time. Things fall apart. Things age, we age, everything new grows old... or dies in the process. Nothing lasts. This isn't depressing, this is a reason to celebrate. Time has its way with us. We don't have to feign humility (there is nothing worse) as we age, we acquire humility naturally.. or rather, humility acquires us. The more time we spend in nature, away from the technology of the "civilized" world, the clearer we will be.. the more clearly we will see what is, what the nature of reality is. Information, news, comes and goes, becomes outdated, passé, all the latest, on Facebook and Twitter and social media blurs together into blathering babble. But, nature persists, in its ever-changing wonder. I trust nature... with all it's beauty, splendor, and ferociousness.
When I was eighteen in Florence Italy, I was visiting the great Italian fresco painter Pietro Annigoni, I asked him who I could study with, who would be the best teacher for me. Annigoni looked me straight in the eyes, speaking in English but with a strong Italian accent, in his deep baritone voice, he slowed down a bit so as to emphasize his point and make sure I was listening, and he said... "Life is the greatest teacher." Yep.
Hope you enjoy the new site. Be sure to visit the Outreach section which features the work we've been doing with the homeless and elementary school children in Columbus, Georgia. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions and or comments.
Love and Light,
Wheaton Island Maine