Day 2. Beginnings are Hard

“Splendidly Small, Brilliantly Blue” 4×4, oil on canvas

Beginnings are hard because they necessarily involve loss. With the first stroke, suddenly what once held infinite possibilities now displays just one. And a completed painting, a recorded song, a finished poem is now only what it is instead of all the infinite things it could have been.

But to do the thing that annihilates possibility is, I’m fairly certain, both quite brave and essential. We are not just mind or spirit but bodies. And our ideas, hopes, joys and sorrows need bodies too. 

I find myself every December daydreaming about my 31 in 31. How maybe this time I won’t do the really really small pieces because why not go just a little bigger? And then January hits, and I reach for the smallest canvas I can find because it’s the only thing between me and giving up entirely. The possibilities are just too big and the small canvas is a metaphor for creating any work of art no matter its size. It will inevitably be the smallest fraction of what it could have been. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. And of course, life doesn’t stop just because I decided to paint every day (a sentence I had to finish after a telehealth appointment for one of the kids called in. I had completely forgotten about it.)

Today’s painting is of a splendid fairywren, a bird I had discovered during one of my very early daily painting practices and have loved ever since. I was really interested in blurring some edges especially since blue and orange are opposite colors (across from each other on the color wheel). What happens when we break the sharp distinctions between opposites? What happens when blue flows a little into orange and orange welcomes it? What happens when we start small, and see what one thing transpires from a universe of potential?


** I’m doing something a little different this year. I’ll post each painting at (or close to) 10 am each day this month and they will be available for purchase on my site. However, the pieces will not be shipped out or available for pick up until February 26, after the run of the gallery show. 


Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

January 2, 2024

Share Post


Related Blog Posts

Day 31. If you want to go far…

  “If You Want to go Far” 24×30 inches, oil on canvas I started this month with a bike, and...

View Post
Day 30. Reteach a thing its loveliness.

“The Bud Stands for All Things” 24×24 inches, oil on paper I discovered this poem last week by Galway Kinnell...

View Post
Day 29. Intuition

“Follow Your Intuition” 9×12 inches, oil on paper My art studio is a 300 square foot storage room underneath our...

View Post

Privacy Policy

This following document sets forth the Privacy Policy for this website. We are bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Crh), which sets out a number of principles concerning the privacy of individuals using this website.

Collection of your personal information

We collect Non-Personally Identifiable Information from visitors to this Website. Non-Personally Identifiable Information is information that cannot by itself be used to identify a particular person or entity, and may include your IP host address, pages viewed, browser type, Internet browsing and usage habits, advertisements that you click on, Internet Service Provider, domain name, the time/date of your visit to this Website, the referring URL and your computer’s operating system.

Free offers & opt-ins

Participation in providing your email address in return for an offer from this site is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose your information. You may unsubscribe at any time so that you will not receive future emails.

Sharing of your personal information

Your personal information that we collect as a result of you purchasing our products & services, will NOT be shared with any third party, nor will it be used for unsolicited email marketing or spam. We may send you occasional marketing material in relation to our design services. What Information Do We Collect? If you choose to correspond with us through email, we may retain the content of your email messages together with your email address and our responses.