Day 17. Wait it Out

“Wait it Out” 6x6, oil on canvas

Since the are usually only 31 days, normally in my daily painting challenges, day 17 would feel like a victory. Over half way finished. 

Only this time, there’s no finish line to measure my efforts. It’s like running. If I set out to do 3 miles, I’ll probably get tired at 1.5. But if I just move the line to say a 6 mile run, I don’t start to feel it until mile 3. 

And honestly, with no finish line in sight, I feel fine.  I’ve settled into the routine. I’m not aiming for any date in the future, just settling in to the rhythm. At least, that is, when it comes to painting. I’m like this little hummingbird on a branch– just waiting it out.

I’m giving away a small painting today to one person on my mailing list. If you want a shot at it, you can enter here: www.denisehopkinsfineart.com/subscribe.

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Day 16. Generosity

“Generosity” 10x10, oil on canvas

I’ve applied the paint pretty liberally today as a kind of reflection on generosity– something I’m certain I’ll have ample opportunity to exercise in the coming months. 

Would you help me in this reflection? What is an act of kindness or generosity you’ve witnessed lately? What are the blooms, big or small, you’ve had the opportunity to see or share?

I’ll go first. On our walk today, my son and I spotted four teddy bears in windows in the neighborhood– the little “bear hunt” people are providing for kids on walks or bike rides. His face lit up. He stopped complaining about having to go on a walk. We got home and added a bear (and a crab and stuffed dog) to our window.  

Your turn!

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Day 15. Change is Hard

“Change is Hard” 12x36, oil on canvas, $720

Next weekend would have been Art in the Pass— a two day market running along the beach and throughout the park in Pass Christian, Mississippi. It would have been my third year participating.

I started the painting I’m sharing today a month or so ago. I was trying to prepare inventory for the festival. It’s very similar to some of my other peacock paintings except that I started with a different reference photograph than I usually do. This time, I was using a photograph I had taken of a peacock at the Audubon zoo. This peacock was going to be different. His posture, ever so slightly altered.

I worked on this painting for quite some time, until I finally gave up, and went back to the photo reference I normally use, the tilt of the head at an angle I’m so very used to. I just couldn’t make the change work, and so I dove, headfirst, back into what was comfortable and familiar.

Like today’s peacock, I’m looking back on these past two weeks and thinking, about how hard change is. How so many of you are handling it like champs. How inspired I am by your concern for others, your willingness to do your part.

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Day 14. Shouts for Joy

“Out on a Limb” 10x10, oil on canvas, $300.00

Poetry has been a gift, a comfort, and a friend to me during quarantine, and I thought this one particularly appropriate. 

The Bluebird

by Emily Dickinson

Before you thought of spring,

Except as a surmise,

You see, God bless his suddenness,

A fellow in the skies

Of independent hues,

A little weather-worn,

Inspiriting habiliments

Of indigo and brown.

With specimens of song,

As if for you to choose,

Discretion in the interval,

With gay delays he goes

To some superior tree

Without a single leaf,

And shouts for joy to nobody

But his seraphic self!

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Day 13. Relationships

“Loner” 6x6, oil on canvas, $125.00 

If I could tell you just one thing…

I impulse bought this book the other week because when I opened it up, it landed on this quote:

“The quality of your life depends on the quality of your relationships. Not on your achievements, not on how smart you are, not on how rich you are, but on the quality of your relationships, which are basically a reflection of your sense of decency, your ability to think of others, your generosity.” — Esther Perel. 

Yes, I thought. Yes. 

Herons are solitary creatures– roaming shallow bits of river or ocean like lonely ghosts with some important message to share if only we could get close enough without them evaporating into flight. 

Today’s Heron, however, reminds me not of that independent nature they so effortlessly model, but of the relationship I have with my future mother-in-law. She shared a photograph of a heron last week, which I’ve used as a reference for this painting. Her friendship, maybe which began over a mutual affection for birds, is just one of the many riches I have, especially in these times of isolation. 

If we were making our own book, could you finish this sentence? If I could tell you just one thing….

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