“Long Road Ahead” 36×36, oil on canvas Buy Now
As my half marathon approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about running as a metaphor for painting. The way it’s manifested itself most lately is this: I’m not that good at mile 1. It’s always, inevitably my slowest. Do you know what miles I am pretty good at? 8. 9. 10 even. Inertia I suppose. Once I’m already in motion, I get the hang of it. I feel good. My legs remember what they’re doing or what they’re aiming for. It’s easier for me to continue than it is for me to start. The success (completion?) of the first few miles makes the following ones more rewarding. I’ve already experienced success. Adding to it is far more gratifying than trying to get to it in the first place.
On one of my longer runs recently, as I neared its completion feeling strong and relatively fast, I thought about how if I never struggled through hundreds of mile 1s and 2s I’d never see how good I was at mile 8. In a December where my inner voice has worried and complained, lamented and chided, on my run I did the opposite. I thanked my 1 mile-in self for not giving up. My 8 mile-in self was pleased.
So here we are on day 1 of 31 days of painting and inertia is getting the best of me. I’m not already in motion. Day one takes greater effort than day 31 will. It’s easier to stay in motion.
So I’ve opted to finally complete a painting that I’ve been working on for months. It reminds me of my junior high friend who changed her hair color every week or so.
But the layers are finally working. I love the gold showing through the light grey-blue (the whole thing used to be gold). I’m happy with the energy of the line in the middle. It, appropriately, feels like a road. And here we are, right at the beginning.
This January, twenty other creative folks are joining me in this 31 day, let’s call it, adventure. And I want to gently remind you, yes you, that it’s not too late. Mile 1 is hard. But if you don’t struggle through it ,you might never know how good you are once inertia is your friend and not an obstacle. Let me know in the comments if you want me to add you to the closed 31 in 31 FB group– it’s place for kuddos and virtual high fives. A place for accountability but never criticism.
And if you’re already going on your 31 day challenge, I’d love you to post a photo of your day 1 accomplishment in the comments. Just hit the little photo icon.
See you tomorrow. I promise it will be a little easier.
P.S. Just like in October, all my 31 paintings this month are discounted for two days after they post.