Day 5. Daily painting: What’s worst is best

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“Comfortable Ground” 4×4 oil on canvas

When I started this month, I thought perhaps all my paintings would be of great blue herons in some form. There was the one that appeared to me on my run, rising like a promise of places yet to be traveled. And then I filled my sketchbook with ideas about them. If I were to assign this month a mascot, this bird would certainly be it. 

What is worst about daily painting is that there is not always time to flesh out ideas and you have to keep going anyway. What’s best about daily painting is the very same. You keep going. You pick up your tools and do something, anything, even if you can’t do what it is you would like. There is always the next day. And the next.  That was the case today– I opted for something less fleshed out while the ideas simmer. Maybe it’s actually the burner on which they simmer. I’ve painted this image at least 100 times, but somehow I’m still finding new ways to see it. 

The heron on my mind (and in my sketchbook) is in flight, moving. I played with it on day 2, but it still lingers. And until I can muster up the energy/effort to see where those wings will take it, I’ll paint her just standing here, patiently waiting for the skies to beckon so strongly that she has no choice but to leave that comfortable ground.

All my paintings from the month will be available February 3 at the gallery and online February 6.

 

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Denise Hopkins

January 5, 2023

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