A Waking Angel


Dear Artist,

The “artist’s statement” is a relatively recent convention. Many are filled with obscure illusions and pretentious prose — as if words might somehow add a glow of importance to the work at hand. But I never cease to be amazed at the quality, the honesty and beauty of some. Take, for example, this part of the statement of 22 year-old painter Leanne Cadden:


“Chief Dan George” 1993
by Leanne Cadden

“I think each one of us has a bank and its name is time. Each morning it credits us with 86,400 seconds to invest during the day into growth funds of happiness, health and self-satisfaction. It’s my goal to utilize each day, every precious waking second, not dwell on the past or stress about the future. If I fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is mine, for I believe that those who spend their seconds to their utmost potential are the truly wealthy.”

When I see an approach like this I see a future laced with joy and success. Leanne realizes that progress is not a given; it has to be earned through the careful use and respect of time. There is humility here and the understanding that proficiency is not quickly won. Her statement is also full of the wisdom of others. Even Calvin Coolidge is invited into her service:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

I’ve noticed that those set to grow keep fine company.

Best regards,


PS: “The greatest achievement was at first, and for a time, a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul, a waking angel stirs.” (James Allen)



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