Day 24. The Magic of Phoning it In

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“Sunlit” 10×10, oil on canvas $200.00 [creativ_button url=”×10-oil-on-canvas/” icon=”” label=”Buy now” colour=”red” colour_custom=”” size=”medium” edge=”straight” target=”_self”]

I woke up this morning early. I was ready to paint something entirely different than what actually transpired. As I was going through some of my photos, I stopped at the flamingos I’d photographed this summer at the Audubon zoo.

I’ve explored this image before. In fact, this one looks a lot like some of my previous paintings of the same subject. I meant for it to be different, but, out of instinct or maybe mental exhaustion, I just went for the same colors and shapes I had in previous attempts.

And then as I was walking my six year old to school, I remembered something important– progress sometimes looks like the same painting over and over again. It’s rarely linear. That’s my whole thing, after all– I don’t wait to be inspired. I paint regardless. Sometimes that means something that feels a little like phoning it in. Progress is tricky like that. As I moved on from today’s painting, dabbled on a few others, I saw an older, abstract painting sitting in the corner of my studio. I’d put it there because I knew I was going to add to it. But its been sitting there for months.

After three smaller paintings, I took the palette life, some cold wax, and a paint stick to the larger abstract painting. Spoiler alert: it’s now a painting of a flamingo. It’s a painting (so far) with a richness I think I’ve been hoping for this whole month. Finally.

It’s a painting I couldn’t have done without today’s.

It’s a lesson I know and constantly forget– the less than glamorous days in the studio are part and parcel of the magic. So sometimes when things feel particularly gloomy, I remind myself that the really good stuff is just waiting in the wings, I just have to keep going so I won’t miss it when it makes its appearance.

Not sure when the bigger painting will make its appearance, but it will definitely be soon.

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Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

August 24, 2018

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