I bought a new calendar last week. I brought it home and I put it on the kitchen table, still in the bag, for a couple of days. I knew I needed to take a look at it and see how many days I had left to meet my blog goal, but I was still (am still) fighting a cold and I didn’t want to face it. Eventually the need to know was stronger than the need to avoid the whole subject, so I took out my new calendar and I counted the days left until my blogiversay. There were precisely twenty.
How bizarre and what a coincidence! I needed exactly twenty more paintings to meet my blog goal for the year. The message was clear: it was time to start doing one painting per day. I hauled out my paints. I found a tiny canvas (hey, I said fifty paintings; I didn’t say what size they had to be) and I found something to paint. It had been weeks since I had tried to paint, so I picked something easy – a nice, round grapefruit.
I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about starting again after such a long break, but the minute I picked up the brush, it felt like coming home. It felt like diving into a well-loved book or stepping into a warm bath – or taking a well-loved book and reading it in a warm bath. Is it a good painting or a bad painting? Who knows? Who cares? I painted it and while I was painting it, I lost myself in the process. That’s the reason I want to paint.
It’s a good thing, because the next day, I tried something a little more challenging. I looked around the house and I couldn’t find any more round fruits. I found a plant, a succulent in a ceramic blue dish. It looked doable, so I decided to try and paint it. My goodness, that plant has a lot of parts! The weird thing is that you can look at a thing and think you see it, but when you start trying to draw it or paint it, it suddenly has all these little curves and spines and shadows you never saw before. You start thinking, “Just what, exactly, am I seeing there?”
Okay, so that one was a great learning experience. I don’t hate it and I’m glad I painted it. Today is the third of the twenty days and I decided to do something that looked as if it would be easier, a couple of bananas I found in my kitchen. I tried to find something round, but there just wasn’t a round fruit or vegetable in there that I hadn’t already painted. There were bananas. I painted bananas.
So far, so good. Three days, three paintings. Here’s hoping I can keep this up for seventeen more days.