Tag Archives: resistance


I knew today would be blog day and I knew I wanted to have a new painting to blog about, but I sure didn’t know how much I would resist actually painting something outdoors. It’s my big dream. I should wake up in the morning excited at the possibility of trying it, right? Instead, I’ve been a little bit terrified of trying it, all week long. I procrastinated most of the week away and then, yesterday, I decided I really had to make myself paint something – anything.

I put on some old clothes. I checked my painting kit and made sure all the paints were in there, along with brushes, tiny canvases, a small panel, flow medium and a collapsible container for water. I checked my Sta-Wet palette to see if the paints had stayed wet. They had. I got a bottle of water and I started looking around for some kind of container to bring the yucky water home in. That stumped me for a while. Then I went to the garage to look for my tie-dyeing apron. I did not find my apron, but I did find lots of empty dye containers. I rinsed one out and put it with my painting supplies.

It was getting pretty warm outside by then, so I packed a couple of small cans of Coke in a cooler and put that with my painting supplies. I added a folding chair to the growing pile of things I was planning to load into my car. I put some larger canvases in a bag. I started loading these things up. It took several trips to the car and back, but I finally felt ready to venture out into the world.

I got in the car and drove to a nearby park. I drove around the park, looking for something I could paint. Nothing caught my eye. I drove to another park and started slowly driving by the playground, while mothers of small children eyed me with suspicion. I saw an attractive wooden building I remembered from my Girl Scout days, but there was no way to park close enough to it to paint it from my car. By this time, I had decided that I wanted to stay in my car. I didn’t think I would be shy about painting in public, but it turned out I was not just shy, but terrified. I wanted to find something I could paint from my car. I kept driving.

Finally, at the other end of the park, I spied a wooden fence and a small palmetto. I thought that I might be able to paint that. I parked the car. I took out a sketchbook and did a quick sketch of the scene. I quickly realized that all that stuff I learned about perspective would come in handy if I could just put it into practice on that fence. I did my best and finished my sketch. Then I pulled out a toned canvas and started sketching on that.

Soon, I was ready to try adding some paint. I looked around for my Sta-Wet palette. It wasn’t there. Somehow, I had loaded my pile of supplies into my car and left the Sta-Wet palette at home. I couldn’t paint without a palette and it was getting pretty hot in the car by then, anyway, so I gave up and went home.

This morning, I tried again. I looked at the canvas with the sketch on it and the perspective was really pretty horrible. I decided to try a whole different park and whole different idea. The park I found today has a lake with trees around it. This time, I had loaded up my Sta-Wet palette, so I could actually try painting once I finished my sketch.

Sigh…I still have no idea how to paint a landscape en plein air, but I plan to learn by trial and error, and that means I have to make a lot of errors. It’s hard to share this early attempt, but I am trying to remember that I will get better and my later attempts will look great when compared to this one.

Ringhaver Park

Ringhaver Park

I’m counting on it.


Sometimes, resistance is not futile. Sometimes, it just wins. I woke up this morning knowing I had a lot of work to do in order to get the tie-dye business ready for a market day this Saturday. I also knew that I was facing strong resistance. I was tired and I didn’t want to do anything at all, much less work outside. In August. In Florida. The first thing I did, after finishing my Morning Pages, was check the weather report. Dyeing is important, but pre-soaking is the first step and that requires at least five or six hours of sunshine. In spite of the fact that I live in the Sunshine State, we haven’t had much of it this summer, so if the forecast gives me hope, I need to be putting things on the line. The Weather Channel gave me hope. Over breakfast, I checked the paper; no hope there. It said we had a 40% chance of showers. Well, obviously, that went to press hours ago, so the TV forecast should be more accurate. I checked a local station and it also said we would get no rain today.

I sat down to look at my tally sheets and see what I should put into pre-soak. I made lists. Making lists is my favorite thing to do when I’m trying to avoid actually working. Lists are important; they need to be done, but if I’m making lists, there is probably something more important that I should be doing. That’s as far as I got with my plans for pre-soaking. Though several sources had told me there would be no rain, I saw dark clouds hovering over my back yard when I went out to get started on the pre-soaking. I came back inside. I updated our Facebook page, whining about how I couldn’t decide what to do. I replied to some comments. I said to myself, “Woman, you have got to get some work done today!”

I decided to go back outside and look at the sky. It was still too cloudy for pre-soaking, but I thought I could get some dyeing done. The things that were highest on my priority list were a few items my daughter had tied yesterday – things she needs before the weekend because it’s going to be a costume day at the market. There is no way my daughter will let a costume day go by without dressing up. She needs those Rainbows!

I was moving in slow motion while I set up my dyeing table. It was hot and my resistance to working outside was still strong. I was pushing myself and my self was pushing back. I threw a plastic tablecloth over my chest freezer to turn it into a dye mixing station. I set up the blender and the measuring cups and the jars of chemicals. I was determined to get some dyeing done, resistance be damned. IN YOUR FACE, resistance!

Then I went to the garage refrigerator to get out the dyes that were already mixed. I shifted a quart container out of the way so I could get at the caddy that holds the eight-ounce bottles. I started to pull that out and it caught on the quart-sized container of Raspberry dye. I watched that container fall to the concrete floor and split open. Once that slow-motion fall was over, I sprang into action, picking up the container and running outside with it, dripping Raspberry dye all the way. I set it down on the driveway and went in search of another container that would hold the dye. Once I poured what was left into the second container, I started cleaning up the mess, trying not to be upset about losing a pint of dye. It could have been worse. I still had a pint left.

That was when I decided that the resistance had won. I don’t care what the Weather Channel says. I don’t care what my inner critic says. I don’t care what anyone says. Today is not a good day to dye.

A fine mess.

A fine mess.