Paint what you see

Yesterday I saw the sky, strikingly blue, behind a row of dark evergreens and a bright yellow-orange poplar. As usual, I wanted to imprint the scene in my memory and paint it. There is something inside me that desires to capture and hold beauty.

As I looked at the intensity of the colors and the gorgeous contrasts, the thought came to my mind, “paint what you see,” not as in, “paint this particular scene,” but, “paint the way you see life; paint it from your perspective, paint it exactly as it appears to you.”

It is very challenging for an artist to capture a mood and try and recreate the precise feelings evoked by a scene. But isn’t this what draws us into a unique work of art? We see a painting and it moves us. It speaks to us without words.

The fall season, in the northwest is so beautiful it takes my breath away. I am intimidated at the thought of trying to recreate what I see, to put it on paper or on canvas. My attempts usually end in disappointment. But every day I can enjoy this beauty as I look out my windows or go for a walk or a drive. The part of me that desires to capture and hold beauty can’t help but praise and thank and honour the original Artist.

The pain passes but the beauty remains

I have been in a lot of pain recently. For some reason my neck is giving me trouble.

Today I thought about the artist, who, crippled by arthritis continued to paint the great cathedrals in Europe. When someone asked him why, he responded, “The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”

Writing requires discipline, persistence, all of the elements that go into completing any worthy project. If we persevere, then one day we will see that completed manuscript.

In an art class, a wise instructor told us, An artist is someone who completes his painting. It’s about practicing, but, more importantly, it’s about completing.

I felt the elation of success when for the first time I held in my hands the completed manuscript of my novel. I had persevered to the end. It was the same feeling I’ve had when I’ve climbed to the top of a mountain. I can scarcely believe what I’ve done. I keep being amazed at what can happen if I simply refuse to give up along the way.

Success builds confidence and one success can lead to another success. I now know what goes into the process and I’ve acquired some skills along the way. It may even be easier the second time around.