“Look at the Birds of the Air” 9×12 inches, oil on paper

Every 31 takes me on a different trail through the same forest. One year I discovered the magic of watercolor. Another, my ideas and hopes started to grow as plants and flowers from the heads of human figures, a concept I’ve been playing with ever since. One year I created images based on stories of bravery people had sent in to me. 

This year, my big discovery is working on paper which seems to change everything in a way I’m not yet able to describe clearly. 

Today’s painting is still about my birds. And maybe some of the blue sky I referenced on Day 15. The thing I love about this month’s practice is that it forces me to take it one day at a time. I can neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns. I go to sleep at night not knowing if inspiration will visit the next day, and if it does what it will look like. 

And even though I’ve done several paintings this month I’ll never show, they are as much a part of this one-day-at-a-time practice as anything else.

Her timing isn’t always great. She runs late, forgets her keys or Stanley cup or sunglasses and has to go back to get them a few times. But inspiration always comes, eventually. She’s a pain in the ass. But she’s never, not yet, been a no show. 


Please note: All 31 paintings will be on display at our gallery celebration February 24th from 5-8pm. The show will also feature other artists who have been part of a 31 in 31 community.

st joseph painting



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Written by Denise Hopkins

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