asked me once why I paint so many houses and cottages with
warm, glowing windows. At first I didn't know what
to say. After all, how does an artist explain why he
paints what he does?
thought a lot about that question, though, and now I think
I have an answer. I paint glowing windows because
glowing windows say home to me. Glowing windows say
welcome. They say all is well. They say that
someone's waiting, someone cares enough to turn a light
person like me, who grew up in a single-parent household
and often had to come home to an empty house, that
"someone's home" glow is irresistible. It
draws the eye like a brightly wrapped present, a promise
of wonderful secrets inside. Can you see a brightly
lit window without even the smallest urge to go peek in,
to see what the people are doing and what their lives are
like? I can't either.
as I am dabbing brushfuls of golden paint on those
windows--whether on a rambling Victorian mansion or a tiny
little fishing cabin--I am always imagining a world of
family gatherings, of quiet times spent in the company of
almost smell the toasty aromas of popcorn or pie
baking. I can hear the lively sounds of laughter and
perhaps the tinkle of a music box. . . .
too, is what I imagine going on behind the glowing windows
in my paintings.
conversation--about books, about old movies, about hopes and dreams,
about the many blessings God gives us. Conversation that can
occupy a whole evening. Conversation where people's lives
touch in a meaningful way.
That kind of
conversation has almost become a lost art in our high-tech
age. We became aware of this loss during a summer we spent in
a little English village. There, social activity is built
around the town pub. People gather there to eat a simple meal
or drink the famous English ale, but mostly to talk and laugh.
Here in America,
we've installed television sets everywhere so that people never have
to converse. Even restaurants have given in to this trend, and
it is often difficult to find a table where you can escape the
distracting glare of a television set. Have you ever walked at
night by a window where the television light was on? The light
is dim and cold. But walk at night by a window where a fire is
flickering, where a candle is lit, and see the difference. The
warm glow in the windows is so inviting that it draws you in.
It's not high-tech
entertainment that puts the warmth in the windows, but human
connection. It's human warmth that makes up the golden
glow. And I think that most of us are instinctively drawn to
And yet the glow in
the windows is not reserved solely for families like mine. The
warmth is not exclusive, not unreachable. The windows can
shine wherever you find a resting place for your heart.
I think of my
mother. She and my father parted ways when I was very young,
and she has lived alone for nearly twenty years, since the day my
brother and I left for college. And Yet her house always glows
with that "someone's home" light because my mother, more
than almost anyone I know, is serenely at home with herself. . . .
You can put that
same light in your windows by surrounding yourself with your work
and your play and your memories. If you love art, cover your
walls with paintings or prints that speak to your soul and bring you
peace. If you love music, put the piano in the center of the
room and keep the stereo tuned to your favorite station. Pad
the sofa with fluffy pillows. Drape a soft afghan on your
favorite chair--and put a favorite book nearby. And yes, you
might want to light a candle on the windowsill.
You also put the
light in your windows by sharing your life with others. Invite
neighbors or friends for an evening of checkers or chamber music or
conversation, giving them a taste of your life.
But most of all,
you put a light in the window by coming home to yourself. By
becoming friends with who you are and who you can be. by
finding a resting place for your heart.
a place you're
yearning to be.
A place where work, home, and play are
properly balanced, where people exist
peaceably, where relationships flourish.
A place where there's time for what's really
important. Picture life the way you're hungry to live it,
in your deepest heart of hearts.
Picture simpler time.
Like his warm, engaging paintings, this
celebrated artist will help you discover how
to create calm, not chaos; peace, not
pressure, in your own life--a life of simpler