Day 6. If not that, then what?

“Break in the Rhythm” 6×6, oil on canvas

Yesterday I opened my app for a morning guided run and there was a new one available. It really stood out to me because for this 31 in 31 I’ve been thinking a lot about advice and trying to share some of the best I’ve gotten and hopefully practiced over the years. The title of the run? Best Advice Ever Run! The coach takes you on a 30 minute run where he goes over a piece of good running advice every 2-3 minutes. I’ve tried to find a transcript for it because it was cheesy, yes, but it was oh so good, and everything he said was relevant to my art practice. I found myself replacing “running” for “art” at every turn.  

About a mile in, a woman walking, with whom I cross paths just about every morning and exchange a smile and wave, moved off the sidewalk as I approached. She flagged me down. I hate to stop you, she said. In our year + of sharing a sidewalk, we’ve never spoken. I was a little bummed to mess up my run. I was in a rhythm. I felt really good, but, of course, I stopped anyway. She asked me if I was the one who had opened the art gallery down the road; she’d seen it in the Gazebo Gazette. Yes, I told her. You should come by sometime. We talked for a minute. She was sweet. Told me she wasn’t a buyer which always makes me a little uncomfortable because I never assume that and love when people come just to look. I hate to think that when I invite someone to the gallery they think I’m looking at their wallets. I promise I’m not. After assuring her that she’s welcome whether or not she was in the market, we parted ways, and as we did so, she called out, if I ever finish my book, I’ll let you know! I was already three strides aways from her so I just called back, “Yes! Please do!” but really, I wanted to know more about that. 

No luck yet on finding the transcript for the “Best Advice Ever Run” so it looks like I may just have to do the run again, this time with a notepad and pen– can’t you see it– so that I can share some of what I learned tomorrow. I can’t even just listen to it because it’s measured in miles. It doesn’t progress if you aren’t moving. 

But in the meantime, I think my day 6 lesson has something to do with being open to the pauses, stops, the breaks in my rhythm. More often than not, there’s connection to be found there. I love routine. I love order. I love using them to structure a day that can feel overwhelming otherwise. But I never want to be so singularly focused that I miss a connection. If that’s not what all this painting (and panting), designing and scratching, pulling and tugging is for, then what?


*All paintings this month will be available February 4th!*


Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

January 6, 2022

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3 Responses

  1. I know what you mean about being in a rhythm and sustaining momentum! When I get into my groove with photography, I do NOT want to be interrupted. I don’t really reveal this on the outside, but on the inside there have been times where I’ve definitely been seething at people for nonchalantly sauntering into my frame! But that has also led to better shots when I’ve had to find creative ways to eliminate those unwanted elements!

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