Day 19. Birds of the Air

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“Bird Lady” 16×20, oil on canvas, $540.00

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

When I started my painting practice yesterday, I set an intention of “patience.” Things didn’t go swimmingly at first. I struggled a bit and kept returning to my mantra, trusting that patience would be the thing to see me through. It did. Sort of. 

I started the second round of this figure study on a new canvas before I’d finished the first. Like most of my second paintings this month, it came much more easily (will have it ready for tomorrow’s post). When I returned to the first canvas, I was unsatisfied with how small the figure was on the surface. I wished she were a touch screen and I could drag out the dimensions of her body to make her better fill the space. Instead I just stared at it awhile and then decided to draw into the background with the back of a brush. I drew some simple bird shapes– shocking, I know. 

I miss drawing– it requires patience, I realize. A patience I’m going to try to cultivate because Lord knows I don’t have it yet. This morning found me in my socks running full speed down the sidewalk chasing a school bus that refused to stop and let my son on. Defeated, frustrated, the word “patience” came back to me, and I remembered my birds. I am all hustle and bustle, all reap and sow. I am sprints towards yellow school buses and how-many-times-do-I-have-to-tell-yous. I am fury and I am frenzy. I am learning to watch the birds, scratching their forms into the surfaces of my canvas and my mind.

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Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

January 19, 2021

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