Saturday, November 12, 2011

Painting and Golf, the similarities are astounding

You may think I am reading much more then I am painting because of these book posts but believe me I am painting. I squeeze in the books just before going to bed. So hear is another one I highly recommend.

Golfs Sacred Journey ( seven days in Utopia) You may or may not have heard that they have recently come out with a movie about this book. It was hearing about the movie that inspired me writing about the book. I purchased this book some time ago for my Husband ( then fiance) for his birthday. He loves golf and is very good at it. He began teaching me golf when we were just dating, I remember him telling me how it is so much a mind game, how much you have to stay focused. Even then I saw parallels to painting but it wasn't until I read this book that I was convinced.  In a nutshell this book is about a professional golfer who on a very important tournament pretty much failed miserable, from one bad shot it snowballed to a complete disaster, his nerves, emotion, mind got the best of him. He leaves the course ready to quit golf and drives out in the country stumbling upon a make shift golf course owned by an old man who was once himself a professional golfer. This is Utopia and the old man, Johnnie, becomes his teacher, counselor, mentor for seven days in Utopia as he learns about vision, confidence, focus, emotions, and trust. He is stripped down, broken and humbled as he is faced with his fears, doubts, pride and failures. Early in the book the young golfer recognized that he had traded Unconditional love for the love of his pet dog and the conditional love of his performance on the golf course. His life was out of control.  In the book, his teacher, Johnnie  gives him lessons each day in a most unconventional way, the lessons are not only about Golf but about life.  There are lessons about Conviction, Faith, Emotional control, Vision, Truth, Trust and many others.

I just found it so interesting, maybe because I am a painter that I apply everything to painting, but I do believe there are parallels in the emotional control, the trust, the conviction of what I am doing as I paint and to not let a random response from a viewer throw me off of my game. Of course as a painter I found Chapter 5 the most exciting to read because the mentor Johnnie actually uses painting to help teach the young man a lesson in golf. In this lesson he introduced the acronym S.F.T See it, Feel it, Trust it to help him get his game back. "We must paint the shot with our eyes first, before our body can produce it accurately.." As painters we too need to first see the finished painting in our mind before we can reproduce it with our hands.

Though the book is about Golf and for me I see the parallel of playing golf and painting, there is a much deeper thing going on in this book, and that is the state of this professional golfer's soul. Early on in the book this young man recognized that he had traded unconditional love for the love of his pet dog and the conditional love of his performance on the golf course. His life was out of control.  By the end of the book Johnnie is able to speak truth into his life "you have been controlled by your performance in life and the opinions of other. You have lost sight of what it means to live a life of significance. You see, success is a destination while significance is an eternal calling. " Amen to that.

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