I had the pleasure of corresponding with Isabel de Anda, a fine art teacher and rancher in Paraquay. She introduced me to one of her students, Juan de Dios Valdes, “as a calm and modest painter with tremendous conviction and pristine approach, no influences in him yet, just the world as he had “eaten it” with his hungry eyes.” The young Juan de Dios knows about aspirations, the need to grow constantly and quotes Eduardo Hughes Galeano, an Uruguayan journalist, writer and novelist whose books have been translated into twenty languages. Juan de Dios is truly a master painter in the making.
As we grow older and need to cast off our smugness, we should honor our youth so we can re-activate the gifts and creative skills we have ignored for so long. A childlike reality will help us become what we are meant to be.
Utopia lies at the horizon.
When I draw nearer by two steps,
it retreats two steps.
If I proceed ten steps forward, it
swiftly slips ten steps ahead.
No matter how far I go, I can never reach it.
What, then, is the purpose of utopia?
It is to cause us to advance.”