Today I wanted to paint. It was a rainy day, so I was inside the house. I wanted to paint, but was feeling sort of uninspired. Here’s how I got over it: I put a canvas on the easel, and opened some paint. Even if I’m not inspired, I can apply paint.
I reminded myself that I could paint over anything I didn’t like. There was no risk.
I started with black, and made marks with paint. Without cleaning my brush, I switched to yellow. After a little while, I added blue to that green. As that began to dry, I mixed some light aqua, and then a little plum.
I went and did something else for a while, but now I was feeling inspired.
The act of painting inspires me to paint.
When those cool colors had dried, I came back with red, then orange, then yellow.
Cobalt and white rested on the surface, adding dimension, receding all the way back to that black that was still peeking through in places.
Tomorrow I will look with fresh eyes and see what is there. I will be more detached, looking without a paintbrush in my hand. I think the painting will tell me what it needs.
I can’t trust my feelings. I didn’t think I had a painting in me today. Just colors lined up in my arm, waiting for their chance to slip through my fingers and out the end of the brush.
I am at a crossroads. The time for a change is coming, and I need to keep my eyes open so I’m ready for the exit.
Every exit is an entrance somewhere else. The transition comes with loss and hope, like reading from one paragraph to the next. We carry the information we gleaned. Transformed, the new stretch of highway becomes our path, and our life story continues.
The scary unknowns become familiar. We survive and wonder why we were so worried.
All winter, I long for nights when I can sit outside by a fire. Tonight is pretty much a perfect night. Sweatshirt weather.
26 years ago when I planted these trees, I never thought about how the squirrels and chipmunks would love them. Those guys are messy, and get into places where they shouldn’t be. I get to fulfill my childhood dream of catching the little animals, of seeing them up close before relocating them.
I’m kind of amazed that I am still here. This is by far the longest I’ve ever lived in a house. 30 years so far!
I think about leaving. It’s one option on a long list of possibilities.
See that tree behind me? I used to park my car over the top of it. It was only a few inches tall. That was before the fence. Now it’s 35 or 40 feet tall.
This doesn’t look like the same place. Do I look like the same person?
I don’t take the creative impulse for granted. Distractions come along, and can steal that away from me for a while.
I haven’t painted much over the last six months. An ongoing problem arose that has demanded far more of my time than I wanted to devote to it.
I’ve said that in order to start painting, all I have to do is pick up the brush and dip it into some paint. It really is true. The act of painting motivates me to paint. I have two canvases on side by side easels. One is an abstract, the other is a scene of a white pine. These are familiar paths for me. They are friendly themes, and serve as a springboard to take a dive into discovery and play.
I spent time painting with a very imaginative kid today. I wish I could read back the things he said while we painted. He is uninhibited, and he thinks things that I would never imagine on my own. By sharing his ideas and dreams, he lets me in. Even if I don’t remember all of the words, they become part of me, and I end up wondering who is mentoring who. The truth is, we can all mentor each other.
We talked about clouds, about positive and negative space. Tapirs and more floating cities. Our minds are malleable like the paint, so the subjects change, both in our conversation and on the canvas.