Day 8. See the good: Northshore Free Art Friday

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“See the Good” 6×6, watercolor on panel, FREE!


My day 8 painting is one I created last Friday for an event created by local Northshore artist Rob Fairburn. He created an instagram page (@noshocollective), which hosts Free Art Fridays where several artists throughout the Northshore area hide a little work of art somewhere in the community. They leave clues on their instagram pages that Rob then shares on the collective page. It was even featured on News with a Twist

I’d followed these Northshore Free Art Fridays online so I was excited to participate in one. In keeping with the spirit of my 31 day painting challenge this month, I wanted to try something different– watercolor. I’ve used watercolors on an off throughout the years but never very seriously. In fact, when I started to think about this very post I thought I’d start out with a long list of disclaimers that began with “I’m not a watercolor artist” and “I haven’t used this medium very often.” Then I thought of my group of 31ers, the truly inspiring work they’ve been doing, and my own list of ever-growing 2018 goals. I’ve taken to creating yearly goals by category. In the parenting department I wrote down, “look for the good.” Lately, I have found myself reprimanding more often than I praise, and I’d like to work on flipping it a bit. I so often find exactly what I am looking for.

If “look for the good” is to be my new mindset this year,  I thought I’d start with this painting. Mentally I edited “I’m not a watercolor artist” to “I’m someone who isn’t afraid to try new things.” 

“I’m not used to this medium” became “I enjoyed exploring the way the water works vs. the oil”.

On the back of my painting I left this message for the finder:

The finder of my painting! The idea is that the finder then posts to instagram letting everyone know the painting was found.

I paint exclusively with oils. The blue heron painting you found is a watercolor and quite a stretch for me. I found the water harder to control– it goes where it wills. Do me a favor, if you’d like, and try something today that’s a little outside your comfort zone, big or small.

According to North American Native tradition, the Blue Heron brings messages of self-determination and self-reliance. They represent an ability to progress and evolve. The long thin legs of the heron reflect that an individual doesn’t need great massive pillars to remain stable, but must be able to stand on one’s own.

In the background of the painting I’ve written, “Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.”

For years I’ve been drawn to blue herons and have often watched them from a canoe or paddle board on the Bogue Falaya river. I hope you find their message of quiet strength as reassuring as I do.

I’m grateful to Rob for starting this fun project. When I grow wary and overwhelmed with the business of art,  it reminds me that art is fun. When I was hiding the painting, I felt like a kid on a scavenger hunt at a sleepover birthday party.  if you want to see the project evolve and maybe even find some free art make sure to follow @noshocollective on instagram. 








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Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

January 8, 2018

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3 Responses

  1. So on point, Denise! I went out of my comfort zone today as well! I might have reprimanded myself a bit too much, though the overall experience was positive 🙂 Also, I just love the greens in the background of the painting. They really complement the blues in the heron and on the water.

  2. This is gorgeous! You definitely ” don’t control” watercolor well. That’s the point, after all, right? 😉 I love the idea of the hidden art. Would like to start that around here!

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