Slow Down, Hurry Up

September 9th, 2017

This morning’s view out the window. Lovely deer watching us watching them, before they ran off. Now there’s an animal that knows both, how to slow down and hurry up.

Once again we’re at one of our at least annual trips away for making art. After the long and stimulating summer at the Festival of Arts in Laguna, where Anne spent almost every evening and I did half, the break was called for. Besides, Anne wanted to augment her inventory after the satisfying sales. And me, I wanted some concerted time to explore a new direction in my painting.

We’re in Idaho, Swan Valley, in the wonderful log home of friends Jeff and Michelle Aleixo. We’ve converted their great room into a dual studio, one side for Anne, the other for me. We have music, books, books on tape; we watch an occasional video, we take a daily walk. It’s supremely quiet when we want it to be. We see no one.  Mostly we work all day, just the way we love to spend our “vacations.”

It’s what everybody needs, time to explore what’s inside and give a chance for it to come out. It’s contemplative and desultory. At least that’s one idea. At the same time it’s being ever aware of the time, of how few days there are left, right from the beginning. Just this morning Anne commented that it was already 10:00 o-clock, “The day’s half gone!”

Casting about for inspiration, I came across the work of painter Saul Leiter. I liked his approach to strong color and the almost frenetic line work in his figure studies. On further investigation, I found that he was also, in fact mainly, a photographer. He worked in New York shooting black and white fashion and journalism at a high level. But what wasn’t discovered until a decade or so before he died (at 89) was that since the 40’s and 50’s he’d been experimenting with the creative use of color. Watching a YouTube video or so I came to find how, once discovered, he made a real mark in the field, influencing many others.

He had been doing all this work “on the side,” and “just for his own satisfaction.” Most of his life, as he says, he was “an unknown.”

Another thing he says about himself was that he was “lazy.” That term was easily decried with expansive museum shows of his work in his later years, both painting and photography. But it was how he saw himself. He took time with things, didn’t hurry, let his mind do work that can’t happen when it’s always pushed.

And there it is: Slow down, you’ll do better work.  And: Hurry up, there’s only so much time.

That’s where we live . . . somewhere between those two. It’s a balance. As the writer of Ecclesiastes might have said, There’s a time for everything: a time to go, and a time to stop going.

Right now, we’re doing both. Don’t forget to do the same.

P.S.  You can check out Saul Leiter on line, including a film about him, In No Great Hurry, which I plan to get.
P.P.S. Next Thursday’s Blank Canvas blog will show a little more of this Idaho hideaway and some results of our work.


  1. Mabel Pittman Sep 9, 2017
    12:43 pm

    Great advice….and thank you for always reminding us of God’s infallible Word! We’re now at the age where all that makes sense…..sometimes I think we would rather not slow down, but it has become beneficial… hurry up and get it all done. (smile)

  2. Scott Anderson Sep 9, 2017
    1:23 pm

    Great words Hyatt.
    I guess there is plenty of time to live this all too short life to the fullest.
    Always thankful for you, your family, and all the wisdom you share.

  3. Tim MacDonald Sep 9, 2017
    1:57 pm

    You’ve called out one of the constant challenges of my life Hyatt: how to daily “enter into His rest,” knowing I am seated with Him – while wanting to make the most of everyday Jesus seemed to solve the issue by only doing the things He saw the Father doing…maybe there’s my clue.

    Thanks for writing Hyatt – enjoy Swan Valley – gorgeous photo!

  4. Norm Sep 9, 2017
    4:37 pm

    What a wonderful place to go to, and do what you two love best! We’re each like a frame, which sets off something alive and unique and natural God is accomplishing, or “painting” within us. We keep looking elsewhere, rushing to fabricate the art, what we think works… but never quite does. Living in this busy culture, I’ve found the stillness, the quiet in my days is crucial, if not essential. Only then can God realign me with his intents for me, how I’m made, how much he loves what he’s made, and what he’s given me to offer. It’s all in that balance you describe so well.

  5. Jim Sep 9, 2017
    7:57 pm

    Always enjoy your practical wisdom and the way you let us peek into parts of your life, Hyatt. However, I’ve found that I also look forward to reading Norm’s responses to your posts. His words always challenge me to think more deeply than I usually would. Sometimes I wish I would think more like he does — more Normally, if you will. So, your words, Hyatt, not only inspire, they stir up further inspirations. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hyatt Moore Sep 9, 2017
      8:13 pm

      Jim, my sentiments exactly, about Norm, with his calm and penetrating way of thinking. I also appreciated all the other responders here. Thanks for yours.

  6. Allison Sep 10, 2017
    9:54 pm

    That getaway looks idyllic! And deer! Wonderful!

  7. Joel Sep 14, 2017
    12:48 pm

    What timely words for me today! We just finished a hectic 3 week, 3,000 mile, 15-stop road trip and now I’m catching up on work. I saw your email and took a break to read your blog – and glad I did. Your calming thoughts are perfect reminders of the importance of not only all there is to do, but also of the need to stop regularly. Like the rests in a symphony being as needful as the notes. The photo here is beautiful – I’d love to see the painting!

  8. Brenda Crary Sep 15, 2017
    10:42 am

    Thank you for sharing what and where you and Anne are creating and enjoying, all while experiencing God’s beauty right at your door step! What a marvelous work vacation!