Tag Archives: resistance

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.

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Resistance

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.