Saturday, August 09, 2008

Life Lessons and Mud at Wildcat Creek

Wildcat Creek
Oil on Panel

Painting outdoors is not my strong suit. I am not Bob Ross, I can't make it up in my head. I am not Larry Seiler who seems to make the most beautiful work out of blobs of paint. Instead, I am more like Wile E. Coyote who seems to be foiled at every attempt to get that road runner no matter how well he thinks he plans.

I do enjoy painting outside. I enjoy the sound of the water trickling up the stream. I enjoy the birds chirping. I enjoy all the natural distractions. I enjoy the fact that this is a lot closer to a landscape than I have ever done before. I am grateful that my husband shoved me out the door with my paints and supplies and told me "Don't come back without a painting." Sometimes he knows me better than I know myself. I needed to make this.. this.. mud.

Not being good at landscapes is not a very good excuse to not go out and do them. If anything it is more important that I do them. If I work on my weakest skills then eventually, those things that hold me back will no longer persist. This theory has worked well in other areas of my life. I was horrible with managing money until I dug in and started balancing my checkbook daily. I could not keep up with laundry until I started doing at least a load every day. If I really tried, I could come up with lots of examples.

While this painting is not really very good. The values and contrasts need punched. I was not nearly aggressive with the paint as I could have been. My true conquest was that I came away knowing more than I went in with. Sometimes it is easy to overlook such treasures in life, but it is those small tidbits of treasure that really add up. When you think about it, there is treasure all over this world, but treasure chests full of treasure are pretty hard to come by.

I knew I needed to be done when the sun came out and changed the color of everything I was looking at.

So I took a quick snapshot, packed up my things and came home feeling a little more accomplished. My soul felt restored from all of the natural meditation painting provides and I had a painting to give me passage back into my home. The gatekeeper was pleased.

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