Day 7: Don’t worry, I’ll get there. Eventually

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“Ponder” 10×10, oil on canvas

I have these leggings that are too tight, but what they lack in comfort they make up for in pockets. I chose those this morning for the pockets. 

I can slide a caseless phone in the side pocket and because the pants are tight, it doesn’t budge, even on a run. Which is what I was doing. Or redoing. Let me explain.

A few years ago, I was visiting my friend in Nashville. We’d probably had one too many glasses of wine, and my friend decided that, given that they both lived in Nashville, she absolutely could and definitely should become friends with Kelly Clarkson. So she did what anyone would do and slid into Clarkson’s DMs, told her why they were such a good friend match, and asked her to coffee. I hate to report that it went nowhere. No response. I know you’re shocked. So was I. 

But yesterday, when I couldn’t find the transcript of that Best Advice Ever run I was telling you about in my last post, I decided it was probably a good idea just to message the source, the writer of that particular run, Nike Running Global Head Coach, Chris Bennett. So I found him on instagram (only 99.2 thousand followers!) and with the boldness of my inebriated friend, sent him a DM telling him how much I enjoyed his coaching and asking if there was any way to get a transcript. 

I realize now (and honestly only just now) that this would be a much better story if he would have answered, which he didn’t. But lucky for you, that’s where the leggings come back in. I needed to be able to pull out my phone frequently to take notes. I had to run the run again, this time, writing down all the nuggets of advice that I thought so perfectly applied to painting, or writing, or any of the creative pursuits of the 31 in 31. 

I did it. I wrote them all down. I have the list. And I’m going to share it with you, but for today, the best advice I can offer is this: doing the same thing over and over again is not insanity; it’s practice. On my second listen to the run, more sunk in. I got new insights. I ran slower, but I learned more. Don’t know what to paint or write or draw or play or sing? Try the thing you did yesterday and see how going at it again changes things. You’re not the exact same person you were, and your environment isn’t precisely the same. See what happens. 

In the spirit of all that, today’s painting is a Carolina wren… again. I painted one on day 1. Today’s is more about the background, the negative space is the star.

I’m going to make my typo-ridden notes into a blog post soon. But for now I’m just going to say “wren again” a few more times as fast as I can and celebrate another day in the 31 being accomplished. It feels good.

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

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Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

January 7, 2022

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4 Responses

  1. I hopped over to read about the DM thing and found I’m actually really interested in this running app too! Isn’t it awesome that we can find the lessons we learn in life apply so fully to our art practice too?

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