“Taking Root” 24×24, oil on canvas Buy Now

On day 24 I wrote about “phoning it in,” namely that just going through the motions can feel futile but can actually lead to something more meaningful. When I show up to the canvas, regardless of my mood, ambition, vision, determination I am always rewarded. Sometimes immediately, sometimes months or years later.

Older abstract painting I painted on for today’s painting

day 24 flamingo

Case in point: I created this abstract painting a year ago. I knew it needed something more, but wasn’t sure exactly what to do with it until my little flamingo on day 24.  I also revisited the cold wax medium I’d been so enamored with and have completely abandoned as of late. It was refreshing to get back to texture as my first concern. Today’s painting was built on an older painting whose surface I had no idea would one day look like this. But the work I’d already done created some of the current painting’s magic. The work of the smaller flamingo, the one that felt like phoning it in, was a prerequisite for today’s. 

We don’t ever really know what seeds we are planting and when and if they will grow. Experience has taught me to trust that they will. I think about this often as I fumble through this whole parenting thing. When I try to teach my son lofty concepts like inclusion and respect and they seem to fall flat to say the very least, I remember (and hope) that the seeds I’m planting just aren’t sprouting yet, but that they are taking root. All I can do is continue to show up.