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Michael Henry Ferrell    

Golden Member

Art has been a tremendous blessing to me, it has given me solace in times of difficulty and heartbreak. The process of painting is a form of meditation and has helped me understand myself and the world I live in. In my humble opinion art should bring joy to all and in my paintings I try to express the happiness I found in the world. People and their interaction with their surroundings and their fellow travellers is an important theme for me. We are all travellers, our journeys are all different and we traverse life weaving through highs and lows, what is important is how we view these experiences and what we learn from them. I will soon be 70 and I am still learning, still open and still excited about the future. 
My art has been my salvation and it has given great joy, I know want my art to perform one more major task, I want it to help others less fortunate than me. None of choose where we are born, who our parents are or the political world we are born into. Many children find themselves in refugee camps, with no future, no education and worse of all no hope. I want to give them hope by providing for their education and to this end I have made a solemn vow to give all the proceeds of my paintings to charities that support education in refugee camps. There is an old saying in my native country ‘There but for the grace of God walk I’ I think that this is something we all should say to ourselves at least once a day. 

I had no formal art education and guess many people would say it shows but is that really important? I paint from the heart, all my paintings have stories attracted to them and I get just a little upset when people don’t want to hear them. Each painting is a moment in time that I have experienced and painting is my way of immortalizing that moment. 
For a time in my twenties I was a set designer and painter for theatre, this experience taught me to paint fast, paint out of instinct and to follow my heart. When painting large backdrops there is little time to think it’s all about gut instinct and speed. I still paint fast even though I am working on my smaller canvases, I try to separate my brain from my heart, I loose myself in my canvases and enjoy the freedom that gives me, for those periods of time I am in another world, and I enjoy being there. If (and it happens) I find myself struggling with a painting I will abandon it, put  to one side, normally up against a wall and leave it till I get that aha moment. Life is too short to agonise over it and I have faith that in time I can answer it’s challenges.
If I have a message to give to the world it is, be happy, live each day one day at a time, don’t put off for tomorrow and always be grateful for the many blessings you have in your life. There are many who have no future, who are not blessed like we are. Give love to all, giving is so much more rewarding than receiving.   

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