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.