January in September

September 1st, 2017

A photo taken this year by a participant at the Huntington Beach Art League. I’d just given my lecture and was heading into my demonstration. Seems the caption could be “rarin’ to go.” A good statement for this time of life.

It’s the 1st of September, my personal New Year’s Day. It’s when I take pause and look back and look ahead. As the years increase, there’s more to look back on than ahead to, but that’s not how we’re made. It’s hope that keeps us going.

Looking back on this particular year, I’m satisfied. Not that there haven’t been blunders, things that should not have been said but were, things that should have been done but weren’t. But there were plenty of accomplishments, travels, words written, paintings painted, family nurtured, relationships formed or deepened. I’ve even composed a partial list, thinking I’d share it, but no real reason.  It’s all past.  It’s now and tomorrow I’m all about.  Just like you.

At this point in time, I’m grappling with which of my many interests to zero in on painting-wise. I’d like to say that’s new, but it’s not. I just came across this quote that heartened, by Marc Chagall:

“The dignity of the artist lies in his duty of keeping awake the sense of wonder in the world. In this long vigil he often has to vary his methods of stimulation; but in this long vigil he is also himself striving against a continual tendency to sleep.”

To keep awake the sense of wonder in the world . . . a duty!

I’ll take that.

Here’s a story:

Some years ago, while living in British Columbia, I was strolling with a friend in his garden. He was a retired medical doctor, a devoted Christian, old to the point of needing a cane, his face a road map of wrinkles. At one point he stopped, looked at me and said, “It’s a great time of life.”

I’ll take that too.

Onto the next year!

For all of us.


PS  This really happened. I was just now reading (again) a text on mediaeval history and came to this sentence: “Yet, as an old man of 74, Boniface still longed for a fresh world to conquer . . . “
What a coincidence: my age today, and my sentiment exactly.


  1. Tim Shank Sep 1, 2017
    7:30 am

    Very inspiring. I wonder what wonders the world has in store for us today? Thanks for keeping us from nodding off and missing them Hyatt.

    Happy birthday!!!

  2. Elizabeth Hammond Sep 1, 2017
    7:44 am

    So well said, Hyatt.

    I sold INSPIRATION Boutique & Gallery a month ago…my 73rd Birthday. I am at a point of looking forward with excitement and wonder for what’s next….Most of the time!

    Best Wishes, Elizabeth Hammond

    Ps. When I left, 2 of your paintings were being used by the new owners. A local couple named Julie and Pat Mazza. They know they are consigned. Julie is also an artist and wants to continue with the idea of a gallery.

  3. Ashley Sep 1, 2017
    8:29 am

    The struggle against sleep is a struggle for us all- how easy it is to close our eyes and fall. Prayers for a wonderful new year. Looking forward to seeing where you go.

  4. Norm Sep 1, 2017
    8:41 am

    The Happiest of Birthdays to you, Hyatt! “Haven’t I come to bring you a sense of Wonder?” Van Morrison. It could be God speaking, really. Lots of truth to this idea. It’s my first and foremost goal for each of my piano students, and my own playing. Songs without words, like paintings, to stir up longings, hopes, wonder. Often it’s a well-timed piece of art that draws us into the sublime… the eternal. “Behold, the sparrow… the lilies.” The Nazarene did this, and many followed.

  5. Denise Buczek Sep 1, 2017
    9:54 am

    “The dignity of the artist lies in his duty of keeping awake the sense of wonder in the world.” This seems so poignant in the wake of sadness, hate and tragedy in which we humans find ourselves these days. Today I wish you the continued gift of a child’s heart so that through your art — we are inspired with the beauty and yes wonder of this world and humankind. Happy Birthday Hyatt! I am so grateful for you and the joy your paintings have brought to our lives.

    Denise & Paul

  6. Lesli Bonanni Sep 1, 2017
    11:28 am

    Dearest Hyatt,

    Your words of wisdom always inspire me, and I am honored to know you. Your curiosity and enthusiasm for life are obvious, your generosity profound. I will continue to look for a “fresh world to conquer,” as you will. And savor the many surprises along the way, of course. Like meeting you. Thanks for the unforgettable words today!

  7. Mabel Pittman Sep 1, 2017
    3:12 pm

    Happy Birthday! Your day is on my calendar, but thought it best to respond to your great blog……Ed was 83 just two days ago and it always seemed to us that you were so young……still does…..and we’re praying your next year will bring delightful new horizons for you…..not really thinking your art will be better…..hardly possible,……but life can hold great wonders for us as we grow older…..and since you’re looking for those wonders, you’ll find them…..have a great rest of your day.

  8. Patricia Rody Sep 1, 2017
    3:37 pm

    H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y H Y A T T ! ! ! Here’s to “still longing for a fresh world to conquer” for you in the coming yearl . . . I know I still do!

  9. Steve Moore Sep 1, 2017
    6:33 pm

    Just change the age number to 72 and then…them’s my sentiments exactly (well, not entirely exactly — gotta change the muse metaphors from art to music!
    Happy birthday, big –and much admired — brother.

  10. Suszanne Droney Sep 2, 2017
    3:33 pm

    “Rarin’ to go” definitely fits your personality, Hyatt, by all that you have shown and continue to show as accomplishments: eloquent written and spoken words (ministering to others in the most spiritual and knowledgeable way with researched quotes from terrific sources) and your art. Keep on Rarin’ in all your future endeavors.

    I remain one of your devoted followers.

  11. Sandy Frykholm Sep 2, 2017
    3:57 pm

    As I have from day 1 of our acquaintance, I so admire your energy! And now you have mentioned the word “medieval” so I must know: what book are you reading and what ‘Boniface’ is referred to? Do tell.

    • Hyatt Moore Sep 2, 2017
      4:59 pm

      When was that? Late 80s? Working together in Dallas. The textbook: Mediaeval History, Europe from the 2nd to the 16th Century, Carl Stephenson, 1935. Winfried (680-754) was a West Saxon monk who took the name Boniface, an effective missionary to the Germanic people, in the end slain by pirates.

  12. Kristan Sep 3, 2017
    11:25 pm

    Happy Birthday, Hyatt! I love the Chagall quote. It is so true. My young children remind me to wonder at the world, but their wonder also reminds me that I used to wonder more. Thank you for being an inspiration in many ways!

  13. Laura Pedersen Sep 4, 2017
    12:18 pm

    Such a great way to live and celebrate your life!
    Your words are always such an inspiration to me, as are your Paintings, and You!

  14. Acacia Bergin Sep 6, 2017
    9:47 am

    I’ve always liked how you take a fresh start on your birthday and it works so well, with it matching the start of the school year, too. I realized my October birthday has been a good restart time for me, too, as it gives me a little extra cushion after the school year starts, and I’ve been marking changes according to my last few birthdays. I love the quotes you shared. (Little update: We were in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan camping all weekend. What a beautiful area!)

  15. Rebekah K Jones Sep 14, 2017
    5:13 pm


    Happy birthday to you. You must be 74. Thought about you but there are just too many birthdays in September.

    Life goes on.

    Becky Jones