fresh look

In Creativity
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About a year ago, just as I was starting to emerge from a long, hard season, a lovely fellow Viewfinder and I were chatting about what was next. Post-caretaking, post-pandemic, post-sorting out my long-ignored health woes, and in anticipation of an empty nest not too far around the bend, I felt utterly flattened and lost for even the tiniest spark. I was aware that this could easily become my new default mode, sleepwalking through life. And when Kirstin asked what the one thing I’d like to do, if I could do anything would be, without missing so much as a beat, I replied, “learn watercolor,” It surprised me, how sharp and fast – how decisively – that answer emerged from the depths my inner fog. I didn’t do anything about it at the time, but that question and my answer planted a little seed.

About half a year later, I was back in my happiest place, an art room, taking watercolor classes from a marvelous teacher whose work I admire. It’s been a many decades hiatus, but being in that room is even more life-giving than it was in my school days. Perhaps because I know better now than to  take it for granted.

I’ve recently begun my second session. While the first had a carefully structured lesson plan designed to take Beginners from zero to still life in eight classes, now that I’ve advanced  to Intermediate, we have a bit more  flexibility with assignments, and students aren’t all working on the same subject in lockstep. Which is how  I found myself staring bleary eyed at my computer screen into the wee hours earlier this week. I was reviewing thousands of files on my external hard drive with an entirely different eye than I’d ever considered them before – as subject matter for a painting.

Perhaps some day I’ll share paintings. Today is not that day. But these old photos might be reincarnated as paintings one day. The editorial license and the translation from a literal representation to the suggestion of an image in watercolor is helping me to see possibilities in old photos, not only those I was originally pleased with, but in others that had issues, as well.

So, thank you, again, Kirstin, for the excellent, and perfectly timed question.

If you are in need of a shake-up, friends, consider me asking it of you right now.

What is the one thing you’d like to do most if you could do anything?



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