Day 11. Like Water and Oil

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“Water and Oil” 9×12, mixed media on paper

I’ve got to admit it. A few of the people in the 31 group hit their “frustration” day already and my first thought was, “Already! Thank goodness I’m not there yet” and as though immediately summoned by hubris and karma, the frustration and the “what am I doings?” came to me full force this afternoon as I was trying to decide which of three kind of “blah” paintings to finish.

I opted for play over perfection which I thought would release the stress but instead increased it. The photo inspiration for today’s sketch came from Love More Hot Yoga studio in Covington. Just as I was ready to completely succumb to the day 11 “I’m so over this” I remembered what the instructor said when I took a class there about a month ago– “Do your best”.

My best is attention and effort not crippled by worrying and hurry. I played around with a little sharpie sketch today. I added watercolor. And then oil paint which are essentially mortal enemies– they don’t mix. But when the watercolor is thin and nearly dry and the oil paint is thicker and layered on top, there were zero issues. Yesterday I talked about the “fat over lean” principle and how I broke it. Today I threw away the oft cited caveat in life and in art that oil and water don’t mix. Sometimes common sense is a better guide than hard fast rules.

This image feels far fetched since I’m not feeling very balanced or zen or any of those other yoga words. My best today didn’t feel like the same best as other days. Fortunately, I’ve been at this long enough not to worry too much. Whenever things have felt this frustrating and overwhelming something good is always on the horizon.

What do you do when you lose your zest for tasks you love? I’d love hear about it (and probably try it).

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Denise Hopkins

January 11, 2018

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