“Always on my Mind” 4×4 oil on canvas

This 31, unlike all my previous ones, I have kept a sketchbook. I don’t pull it out every day, but when I do, I try to work out some ideas for paintings I’d like to do instead of just going straight for the oil paint on canvas every time. This does not seem very revolutionary for someone whose full time job is art. This is very much revolutionary for me. 

For so long, nearly every piece I do, I’ve attached to it a desire for it to be complete, marketable, finished. Like an insecure parent trying to live vicariously through her children, I put a lot of pressure on my work to go to work for me and make me look good.

But to actually use a space that is meant only for exploration is nothing short of liberating, and I’m a little embarrassed at how infrequently I visit these soul-affirming pages of my sketchbooks.

Today’s painting is another attempt at the image that is dominating my sketchbook and my thoughts– the Great Blue Heron taking flight. I’m still working out why exactly this is my emblem. I’ve also added some pink flowers in honor of my writer friend Stephanie, who is also doing the 31, and wrote about pink flowers she put on her grandparents’ graves to honor their persistent, audacious belief in her. 

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



Leave a Reply

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Written by Denise Hopkins

More From The Blog

It’s been twenty years since…

I nervously took my first art class in 2000 at Spring Hill College. My professor’s kind but direct handling of me and my work turned out to be exactly what I needed. Unlike my peers, I was just discovering a penchant for art– not at eight, but at eighteen. And so for...

read more

Mary Oliver’s “Hurricane”

I had two friends reach out recently about hardships they are facing. The kind of hardships that feel so unfair, so unnecessary. Both times I immediately thought of Mary Oliver’s poem, “Hurricane” which I have taken to reading nearly every morning. I’d love to create...

read more

Blessing for when things don’t go as planned

  Tell me about that person, again? The one whose life unfolded exactly as they’d hoped and planned it would? The one who by doing all the right and warranted and acceptable things, got exactly what she’d expected? No really, if she exists, please tell me about...

read more