You Might Not Like This One…

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I need to come clean. There’s this place I don’t particularly care for, and judging by many of your social media posts, a lot of you apparently do. Can we agree to just disagree?

I’m not a fan of Disney.

Which is why it’s a funny story how yesterday I found myself riding in circles around the parking garage for nearly an hour in what used to be “Downtown Disney” now “Disney Springs” on a mission to retrieve the credit card I’d, amid the chaos of being in such a place, left at the T Rex restaurant (I know it’s my own fault, but I’d really love to blame Disney). Earlier that day parking at Disney Springs had been a breeze, and I didn’t understand why it was such a big deal when the dinosaur restaurant didn’t have a wait to be seated for lunch. Hours later and that place was a mad house.

Through I series of unfortunate events I booked a “Legoland” hotel not realizing it was, in fact, located in Orlando and the advertised shuttle to the Legoland theme park was actually about an hour and half ride. I read Legoland hotel with shuttle and I just assumed…

I’m on a birthday trip with my, as of today, five year old. He rode on an airplane for the first time, and, don’t tell, him but he’s within miles of Disney for the first time.

Him: “Why does that bus have Mickey ears on it, Mommy?”

Me: “….”

The chaos and consumerism and toddler meltdowns seem embedded in the fiber of this town. I’m usually a pretty good traveller. I do my research ahead of time and things seem to move along pretty seamlessly. This time, I’m embarrassed to say, is one hot mess after another–park tickets that mysteriously don’t scan at the check-in, more driving than I’d ever imagined, and the list unfortunately goes on.

The beautiful thing is that my precious five year old is completely oblivious to the many setbacks of our long-awaited trip. He doesn’t even realize how ridiculously short the lines were for rides at Legoland. All he knows is that his mother finally let him drink the forbidden gatorade instead of just water and that the ride where you get to shoot green targets with laser guns is the best in the park (we rode it five times).

But I write an art blog, right?

Call it a stretch, and I won’t blame you, but I can’t help but reflect on all the times I’ve worried too much about the flaws in my work and don’t even consider the joy I experience making it or, I dare say, in other’s viewing it. A bad painting, I think, is far better than a blank canvas. And a Legoland trip with some hiccups is far better than no trip at all. My less-than-stellar performances at the easel set the stage for my better ones. I don’t make successful paintings despite the mess-ups, but because of them. And, God as my witness, my next kid trip will be far, far better planned than this one was.


A few weeks ago I wrote about painting feeling like work. Now that I’m on a vacation from “work” I’m itching to get back to it. You can see my newest collection not yet available on the site Sunday, July 23rd in Bay St. Louis. Details here.

A few of the newest paintings I’ll be showing July 23rd


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Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

July 17, 2017

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