Creativity ignites the spirit of artistic expression and offers unique flair to those inspired.
But what inspires and ignites creativity in true artists? What makes their work seem to leap from the page and somehow come alive?
How long does the spirit of creativity live on through the art they create?
Today’s post focuses on the story of the life of a master painter. But it delivers a lesson beyond the tale of an artist and walks you on an exploration of a love to create. It implores you to see beyond the obvious and to see the details and colors of love.
A love of life, a love to create (and not in just one way,) and a love of the wonders of nature and beauty, wrapped in an attitude of gratitude, makes this a compelling and inspiring topic to share with you.
If you’re like me, what I’m sharing will make you want to go create. So enjoy:)
Meet Laurie Anderson, Entrusted with a Legacy and Artist’s Story
Keeping an artist’s legacy alive and well is an unbelievably challenging proposition, but Laurie Anderson of Alexander Art does it beautifully and graciously. Her latest huge and dynamic undertaking to celebrate and extend the life and spirit of Master Painter Bill Alexander is a perfect example.
For what would have been his 107th birthday, Laurie teamed up with Show Producer Gord Isman to create something extraordinary. Together they worked to hit the 100k subscriber mark with their YouTube efforts, adding even more excitement to the recent LIVE documentary-style celebratory event!
Viewers were treated to an inspiring, sometimes nostalgic, emotional, but honest rendition of a true Renaissance man and his life story. But, the beautiful paintings and other artifacts Alexander Art reveal, include many never before seen.
The colors and depth of this Master’s work jump out with the life, love, and a three-dimensional feel that’s breathtaking and colorfully exuberant even over video. Even after years and years since they were initially created by Bill Alexander.
TV Firsts by Bill Alexander
Many were done live on tv in an extremely short time. All were painted straight from Bill’s head and heart, none from a setup or scene.
It seems there are a few souls who leave their essence and the colors of love Mother Earth bestowed on them long after they’re gone. But not many.
How fortunate I feel about learning of one such man, a man who spread joy and love with every stroke of his paintbrush. A paintbrush so ingrained in his soul, he says he was born with it in hand.
And with his “mighty brush,” he painted a life worth talking about, examining, and replicating in our own endeavors in creativity, artistry, and life.
Perhaps most importantly, the lesson to keep going, keep trying, and keep picking yourself back up, no matter what, is most revealing of his character and attitude.
Keep Painting: You CAN!
Still, one of the most beautiful things I want you to know about Master Painter, Bill Alexander, is the zest and zeal he exuded in sharing his love of art and spreading his gift of oil painting to anyone and everyone. Anywhere. Anytime.
The first artist to win an Emmy Award for teaching his craft on PBS television, Bill’s unscripted paint lessons came to be adored. And many of his fans gush to this day of the delightful memories he instilled.
“What a wonderful soul he was, teaching and touching your soul at the same time! Even today he is encouraging and making millions of people believe that if he can do it, so can you! We love you Bill and always will!” ~David G.
“I can’t thank you enough for teaching me to paint.” ~TCL
“I was in a small shop in Huntington Beach in the mid 1980’s and they had several paintings of Bill’s for sale. My husband and I carefully looked through them and bought one for his parents. My mother-in-law was a huge fan of Bill’s TV show so it was the perfect gift. My son now has the painting in his home and loves it.” ~Theresa S.
“That was an amazing tribute to a kind soul. Thank you!” ~Carolyn A.
“Bill was a true master artist. I much prefer to watch Bill as he painted, I cannot explain it but he made it all seem attainable and free.” ~Paul W.
To give so many the power to create is only part of the magic Bill Alexander transferred to his audience of friends.
“I absolutely loved watching Bill with his enthusiastic and happy face, he would make you just want to paint and after watching him mother nature would always look more beautiful than before.” ~Hugh T.
“Every time Bill says I love you, I’m so moved…I look at my art and see Bill..and can’t thank you enough.” ~Patty P.
Many called Bill “the happy painter,” and his battle cry “Fire In” is the equivalent of Nike’s “Just Do It” in inspiring people to get off the sidelines and join him in painting. Bill had an “Almighty Calling,” and, in truth, I don’t think he could stop himself from painting; he relished every moment of it.
Laurie Anderson of Alexander Art, and torch-keeper of Bill’s dream to continue to inspire, confirms as much. Her stories of older gentlemen Bill having more energy than the film crew are both telling of his vigor and touching.
But the touching stories don’t end with tv. Because Bill’s “happy little trees” or “happy clouds” and delight in the “almighty light,” and more, didn’t end at the edge of the canvas. No, not at all. Bill Alexander’s appreciation for life and everything around him in the beautiful world was something he celebrated with gratitude each day.
According to Laurie, who worked directly with Bill for 11 years, he was always joyous and caring of others. He always wanted to share the happiness he felt through painting with everyone else to experience utter joy, too.
Watch or listen to the video to hear Laurie’s accounts of Bill’s illustrious life that will surprise and delight you. His warm spirit, generosity, stick-to-it-ness, and gratefulness are part of him throughout his life. Find out:
- How painting won Bill friends in a POW camp and changed his world.
- What Bill painted on leather as a young man.
- What instrument Bill played and loved.
- How Bill’s conviction to the paint formulas he perfected cost him, personally.
- The way Bill was able to paint his way around countries and explore the earth’s beauty.
- Bill’s paintings were all created in his head, using his creativity alone, not photos, settings, or sets.
- Why Bill was compelled to put fish BACK into the ocean.
- What oil painting technique Bill perfected and taught.
- Where Bill’s paintings are today.
- More things you likely didn’t know about Master Painter Bill Alexander, worth checking out!
Bill was an extremely talented painter, yes, but an artist in other ways as well. His creativity drove him, moving him to both observe and create, every single day. He didn’t think about being an artist, Bill just was one.
When you take in your surroundings with inspiration and awe, noticing details, colors, and a mighty world to dip into to easily find creativity, your creative flow may turn into a waterfall. A mighty waterfall of appreciation for life and inspiration from it. And, quite possibly, a feeling like you can instead of you can’t.
At least that’s my take. What about you? I’d love to know what you think in the comments below.
Full Disclosure: I had a tiny part in this project and production and I’m so grateful to Laurie and Team for allowing me to participate in such an exceptional experience. Thank you, kindly.