I went to an art show recently and felt just like Dorothy did when she first saw The Emerald City. It was magical! I am so inspired by their “Homage” exhibit that I’ve decided to pay homage to them by painting my interpretation of the yellow brick road and Dorothy’s ruby slipper and gifting it to the owner of the Rivers Edge Gallery. 

But honestly, I’ve never painted a thing in my life.

Oddly enough, I have the art supplies in my bedroom closet.

In December I purchased some stuff for a friend and bought extra for me, although I’m not  sure why. But the weeks passed, and turned into months, and each time I opened my closet door, I saw the paints, brushes, and canvases.

“Julia, bring us out into the light! Use us!” They taunted me.

“I’m afraid! I can’t! I don’t know what to do with you!” I replied and promptly closed the door.

But, now inspired, I reluctantly begin.

One thing becomes crystal clear: I can’t draw a shoe or a brick. I begin with a smudgy, yellow, abstract road. But something is off and I can’t figure out what. I try again and again.

Frustrated, I put it aside and go watch television. As I flip through the channels, I see a mountain scene with a winding road, and a vast blue sky.

Excited, I return to the dining room table to paint another canvas. This time I add the sky and the picture gains depth. I go out and buy a sticker of a high heel shoe and “MacGyver” it with some red glitter paint and then glue it to a toothpick so it will protrude from the canvas.

Now covered in paint and tickled pink,  I complete my somewhat juvenile rendition of Oz’s yellow brick road.

Okay, so it isn’t a masterpiece.  I can live with that. And I’ve learned a few things along the way.

Whether you’re creating your first painting . . . or painting the canvas of your life, remember these simple rules:

  • There are no rules. Only advice. And it never hurts to listen; it might even save you some trouble. Either way, paint your picture the way you want to.
  •  Don’t get trapped by your own labels. I had to stifle my inner voice that said, “I’m a writer, not a painter!”
  •  There’s no avoiding it, things have to come out of the closet.  🙂
  •  Proper lighting is vital. Good painting and good living both require clear vision.
  •  Sometimes you have to briefly step away to gain a new perspective. A patch of sky, (or a breath of fresh air), can bring new ideas and help you to focus.
  •  It’s good to improvise. Be flexible. Embrace your mistakes. Have fun!
  •  If you don’t like your picture, just start over.
  •  And finally, when you gift a painting, you’re gifting a part of yourself, and the recipient will surely smile in appreciation of your efforts.

And that, my friends, is priceless.

4”x4” acrylics, “Homage to Rivers Edge Gallery, Wyandotte, MI”, by Julia Kovach, Writer and Artist.

Categories: Adventures, Art, Inspiration/Motivation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

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34 thoughts on “WHEN PAINTING . . .

  1. Lisa Benoist

    Great job and wonderful painting!

  2. Desiree Mate

    My painting would be an endless journey! Because each day brings different challenges, how we handle them will create the next step. The glory of this is we get to take a next step.

  3. It’s precious and cheerful, like you! I have never even questioned myself like you did, and now you gave ME another perspective! Thank you, Julia!

  4. Mary Wloch

    Thanks for sharing your journey down the yellow brick road!

  5. Axel Hamer

    Awesome painting, Julia… i like the idea of the red shoe. I did think at first… it needed the Emerald City in the distance… but then, I thought, your journey is only beginning… life is a long trek, and you never really know what is at the end till you get there, so maybe it’s ok without it! I’ve never painted in my life either – except at school, and later, walls, ceilings and bannisters, mol! xxo

    • Axel, my Emerald City would have been Rivers Edge Gallery, which I considered trying to add, but I was afraid of messing up what I’d already done. Baby steps, my friend! Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it! xo

  6. Yomi-Momoh Oluyomi

    That painting is a part of you, it is spiritual and has the strength of your personality and your passion. Thanks Julia for giving us a taste of you and your passion for the beauty that art is, be it writing or painting. Though in this case we have “the Yellow Brick Road” on canvass, and the pleasure of reading about it’s creation in black and white.

  7. I love your paining Julia. It’s a talent I always wanted to have but never acquired. It’s a joy to admire others, yours has real eye appeal. Hope you share future ones.

    • Thank you so much! You are too generous. I had so much fun doing it. Hey…if I can make a little painting, certainly you can too! Have you ever tried? You might surprise yourself! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment! xoxo

  8. nice done! All art…. is feeling….. No rules! If u tink whole world look like yellow show it 2 us!!! Tink abt life…. so many different colors…. black…. 2 much grey nd if u start see other colors also like yellow roads nd emerald towns, red shoes…. its awsome! So create nd enjoy!

  9. Pat Petroline

    I love it!
    No matter where anyone is on their canvas of life…your simple rules great.

  10. Joanie Woody Foote

    You give me hope that my silly dreams of being an artist……and make my heart smile doing so! Thanks, Julia! XO

    • No dreams are silly, Joanie! And, if I can create this little thingie….why, girl, you could create a masterpiece! Thanks so much for reading and sharing with me, Joanie! xoxo

  11. |

    “Broken Railroad Company”

    How do you like my first drawing? It’s supposed to be broken railroad tracks that recedes to the horizon. I hope to get this on a 1″ x 1″ canvas.

  12. By the way, I like your painting. The red shoe seems to be an invitation to walk down the yellow path.

  13. Lynn Marchant

    Even though you kept those art supplies imprisoned in your closet – that irrepressible Kovach sense of adventure and curiosity just HAD to free them! And liberate them and YOURSELF in the process, you did, Julia. Congratulations on the birth of An Artist! And now I can’t wait for your NEXT picture: the one showing exactly WHAT’S beyond that horizon. At the far reaches of ripe imagination!

    • I swear, Miss Lynn, there’s nothing in the world as wonderful as a review from you! There are moments when you are spurring me on towards these things. And actually, my next post, a piece about surprises was going to be a slideshow dedicated to you, but my computer is too messed up to do it. So I turned it into a blog instead. Thank you so much for reading and leaving your precious thoughts. I cherish them! xoxo

  14. I have owed that yellow brick road all my life.. even when the monkeys fly over head…my advice for painting .. simply feel then paint….feel then paint..love your interpretation of Dorothy… all that is needed is there… check out BEGIN .. my piece on OZ

  15. Lori Hall

    Juvenile is A State of Mind-Objectivity-Creative Inner Child. This is, What I like to call Expression. To some one looking at this painting You would clearly Admire the direction of Endless possibilities. And as you look deeper into the strokes of a brush, you will find that it can go miles and miles without ever crossing the same stroke twice. Artist like Paciso and Rembrandt took their brushes for a walk to please the eye. The eyes have it. Nicely done.

  16. Hmm, I could have sworn I made a few comments on most of your recent blogs? Guess they just disappear with time! Haven’t checked in with you in a while and you sure lead an exciting life these days! “Stay Thirsty My Friends”! 🙂

    • No, your comments don’t disappear, Steven! lol Maybe this one just slipped by, ‘eh? Thanks for reading and leaving me a note! xo

  17. Thanks, Lori! You’re too kind! xo

  18. A red shoe was the symbol for “devil wears Prada” (Movie with Meryl Streep)…and now your red shoe with your painting could become the symbol for a new movie, e.g. the story of a writer “Julia on the way to new horizons” ……at least your painting is a motivator and gives food for thoughts. Well done + Congrat Alfred

  19. Thank you so much for reading, Alfred! And I LOVE your idea for a movie! ha ha! We’ll have to work on that! And I love the movie, “Devil wears Prada” and Meryl Streep is my favorite actress of all time…it just so happens that we share the same birthday! Thanks again and take good care! xoxo

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