Day 9. Nightmares

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The leaves are withered

So I give. Water will heal

Truth? Death by drowning

Indulge me. Like day 8, it’s another haiku about my poor houseplant (and maybe some other stuff). Last night I dreamed I was doing a wedding painting at a very bizarre non-wedding (I think the couple had gotten married the year before? It was more like a house party). Anyway, I was trying to paint it on a four inch by four inch canvas. 

Well, it went about as well as you’d imagine, and then I just felt it wasn’t enough so I kept trying to do more canvases thinking that if enough of them teamed up, it wouldn’t be so sad. Unfortunately, it was the art version of the dream where you’re trying to run but your legs won’t move because those other canvases just wouldn’t take a stroke. Nothing was happening. The event was almost over, and I had four inches by four inches to show for it. I also had a pocket full of cash I definitely didn’t think I deserved. 

I know I don’t have to analyze this one for you. 

Today’s painting is a little figure study I did from a series of expressive model poses I found online. I didn’t draw it out first, just applied the shapes with my knife to form the figure– something I’ve not much experimented with before. I must admit, that dream is really getting to me because as much as I enjoy this little study– the shapes, the colors, the sadness it invokes– I feel like it’s just one piece of a larger series. She belongs in a little row or collage of other figures revealing other emotions with their bodies.  

When I paint at weddings I always hear some form of this from some form of someone’s uncle– “Wow. I saw you when you first started and now it actually looks kinda good!” I don’t know how to explain to people that paintings have to be built stroke by stroke. It can’t look like a person until it first looks like a blob. It can’t have ten colors without first having two. So I’m going to leave it here– one painting. One step. One day out of 31. 

I’m acknowledging all the insecurity my dream revealed but it’s not going to take over my life. I’m going to (over)water it with acceptance, humility, and, why not?, a little self-love. Death by drowning.

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Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

January 9, 2020

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