Starting small

It’s been a long time since my last post…. That sounds similar to a confession.

And maybe it is.

Part confession, part apology, part excuse. Although I have had many things to write about since August when I last posted, I haven’t been able to put my fingers on the keyboard and write. I most definitely needed to write out my thoughts but I didn’t. I knew it would help me, but I didn’t do it.

Why? It’s hard to say. Maybe it is just human nature or obstinance that keeps us from doing what we know we should do. I know I find myself coming up with all kinds of reasons NOT to do things. I’m too tired. I can’t pull my thoughts together. And the biggest…. I don’t have time. It really doesn’t matter what the reason or excuse is, the end result is the same.

I’m trying a different thought process this year.

Instead of “have to do’s” I am going to come from a place of “want to do’s” . I am changing my mindset for 2022.

And this is why: I read a blogpost of Seth Godin on December 31st and a light bulb came on in all the dim places in my mind.

Here is the post:

Don’t Waste the Good Days

“If you’re feeling creative, do the errands tomorrow.

If you’re fit and healthy, take a day to go surfing.

When inspiration strikes, write it down. 

The calendar belongs to everyone else. Their schedule isn’t your schedule unless it helps you get where you’re going.”

It just gave me chills reading that again. Illuminating. Maybe it is just the exhaustion of the last year that made me need to read that. But I needed to hear it.

I am starting this year still exhausted from all of the emotions, upheavals, turmoil, and tragedies of 2021. It wiped me out. That kind of just sit and stare into space “wiped out”. My reserves are depleted.

What I have to work from is what I have right this moment. I am starting from scratch. So I am taking it slow and thoughtful. I am going to try to come from a place of taking advantage of the moments in front of me. Moment by moment.

If it’s a beautiful day to be outside painting. That’s what I’m going to do. If I feel like painting the marsh that I saw on my drive in to the studio, then I’ll take down the painting on the easel and start the one I feel like painting. If I just need to sit and watch the ocean for a couple of hours to fill my soul, then that’s what I’m going to do. I am starting small this year. Moment by moment. Day by day.

After having been out of the studio for about 2 weeks, I’m finally back in. I mulled over what to paint, going back and forth in my head. But nothing felt right. I killed some time by sorting through some of my older paintings and getting rid of others that I had lost my inspiration and inclination for. But I still found myself struggling over what I should paint. Light bulb! I realized it needed to be about what I wanted to paint instead.

And then I settled on something small. A chaotic little painting about the small things in life. A subject that goes unnoticed most of the time…. a small butterfly flitting through the weeds on the side of the road. The flowers are Beggar Ticks, or what we used to call wild daisies. They spread everywhere and are mostly seen as nuisance. But they have pretty little white flowers that the butterflies love, especially the Fritillary. The flowers may be nothing more than tangled weeds but they are important.

As I wove the color and shapes of leaves and flowers through it, I thought about the frivolity of this little painting. It won’t pay the rent or the electric bill. But it feels important. It felt like the perfect thing to be painting on this first week of January. It needs to be painted.

Happy New Year!

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I am a landscape painter living and painting on the Georgia coast. Painting and writing is a way to reach out and share my observations, my experiences and my inspirations with you. It is how I tell my story and the story of the wild, beautiful landscape where I live.

3 thoughts on “Starting small

  1. Your comments are so uplifting. When I think of my life it’s not the big events that only stand out it’s the tiny moments. I have either brought pain to another person or brought joy. I have either thought a crass thought or a really profound thought. I’m sure that you get the picture. And all these moments add up to what is called LIFE. I guess we just have to decide how to think it and live it over and over and over. Maybe that is why our lives are broken down to seconds and thoughts and small stuff. We cannot cook a meal without some thought and decision and prep work. Maybe our so called down time is more beneficial than we know. Through all your turmoil you have managed to create a gorgeous painting. You create beauty. Marc loves you for what you are. Your mom loves you for what you are.
    Dottie, I’m writing these words for me too. I often need to hear what I have told you. We are in this together.

    Like

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