Perspectives

I have always loved to write, but I have other interests, too. One major interest is painting. Years ago when I was a busy mother of five children, the youngest being less than a month old, my husband insisted I take a class at my local technical college–just so I could get away from the kids for a while. I ended up taking a Painting and Sketching class. I’m not good at drawing, but something different happens when I have a paintbrush in my hand.

Last Saturday I started a painting, not knowing exactly what I wanted, but just loving the feel of brushing paint on the canvas. As the painting developed, mountains under a cloudy sky took shape, then foothills, a lake, and a house, with bushes and rocks in the foreground. It was a pretty typical painting for me. But something was wrong. It didn’t look right. It needed something more. So, I added a rowboat and a dock. Because my hands were shaking, the rowboat looked awful. I tried again. Every time I tried to make it better, the rowboat got bigger, until the rowboat on the lake was bigger than the house.

YUCK and DOUBLE YUCK!! I was tired. I was frustrated. I was ready to toss the whole painting in the nearest trash can. I dipped a paper towel in turpentine and wiped off that part of the painting. Then I turned the painting to the wall, easel and all, and left the room. Painting was supposed to make me feel good, but I certainly didn’t feel good that day.

Four days later I was calmer, I had finished an important writing project, and I had bought some flowers for my garden. Life was much more peaceful. I faced my painting again. I worked on all aspects of the painting in a much happier frame of mind. However, there was still something lacking in my painting. I thought about it for a while, then I added some huge pine trees in the foreground. What had seemed lifeless, became much more interesting. Those trees took the ‘blah’ out of the painting and turned it into a ‘yeah!’

It was all a matter of perspective.

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