Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Mentor: Finding Courage, Wisdom, Inspiration

"Mentor" by Jim Carpenter, Acrylic on Paper, 10" x 10"

 Well, just so you know how organic it all is, I didn't know the etymology of "Mentor" until after I looked at this painting and understood that it was about teaching and learning, teacher and student.  I thought that this soaring figure might represent the spirit of the mentor, one who teaches and guides the apprentice.  For a fuller understanding of the term I looked up the definition of "mentor" and discovered that the word has its origins in The Odyssey.

"Mentor" was a friend of Odysseus. When Odysseus left for the war  he placed Mentor in charge of his Palace and his son, Telemachus.   So Mentor was a guardian.  But, on occasion, the goddess Athena sometimes entered that palace disguised as Mentor and advised Telemachus.  Athena was, among other things, the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, and the arts.

Here  is the start for "Mentor."  It was left over from a paint out I participated in several years ago.  I had prepared several 10" square substrates by covering Stathmore Aquarius II watercolor paper with Acrylic gel medium.  Dissatisfied with my painting efforts I did what I often do, I lifted all of the paint off of the image with isopropyl alcohol.  And this is what was left.   I liked it and knew that some day I would paint on it.  I have looked at it many times and just never had the "courage" to tackle it, and waited to be "inspired."  How appropriate it is that this would turn into "Mentor."  


  1. It is wild how things surface, isn't it? Very touching painting. And I like the story!

  2. Interesting how what you create actually teaches you, doesn't it?

    1. Yes. It fascinates me. there must be some learning theory to explain it.