ART & INSPIRATION BY KATHY BOECHER©
Last week I posted about taking advantage of the good days. I planned on a rerun the next day, but having overdone it the day before, led to less strenuous activity. I love my garden time and even though I was a sweaty mess, Paul said I was “glowing.” Not sure if it was the perspiration or the joy of digging in dirt.
The next day was another picture perfect day so we decided we’d enjoy the day instead of working. So I suggested we get out our easels and paint outdoors. Since Paul never says no to painting , we did just that. However I’d forgotten what it was like to paint plein air.
Preparations often take longer than the actual painting time. My easel hasn’t been used for some time so the first piece of business was getting it dusted off and set up in a shady spot. There were a few more trips inside to get my paints, a canvas, some water and brushes. In the process, our dog Gage managed to escape from the yard.
Gage is a runner. That’s why we have a fence. We also have a number of feral cats in the neighborhood who love to taunt him. I quickly dropped my canvas and took “chase,” while Paul got in the car to search him down. I am not a runner. I’m not even a fast walker, but I pressed on. I got sight of his long white tail making its way behind one of the houses. I hobbled as fast as I could, but he was long gone before I ever got there. Thankfully, Gage just turned eleven, which means he’s now surpassed me by one year. He isn’t as quick as he used to be either. We somehow managed to corral him into the car and back to the fenced in yard.
At last it was time to paint. Gage curled up next to my chair. I put paint on my palette and began applying it to the canvas. It was a perfect morning to “catch the light,” as Paul noted. I slipped my brush into the crimson paint. The fingers of my now arthritic hand also fell upon the paint and became covered with what looked like a bloody mass. Despite the dog chase and the newly painted fingernails, I managed to come up with a painting.
Sometimes the things we plan for each day, can turn into something totally unplanned. The enjoyment we hope to experience through something different may quickly turn into disaster. The way we handle those obstacles is going to affect the way the day ends. I realized that my body is aging fast and I better do something about getting back into shape. I learned that my dog still can outrun me. I discovered the joy of painting outdoors comes with many challenges. In the end, I enjoyed the beautiful day with the man I love and had fun creating some art too.
Most of all I’m reminded that you have to laugh at your circumstances. Can you imagine a woman running after her speedy dog at the rate of Tim Conway as an old man? Can you not laugh at all the things that can go wrong when trying to create art in nature? When we can see the funny in things, it makes the icky seem a lot better. I’m sure God had a few good laughs that day too.