Painting – “Gently, gently…


..and oh, so carefully.”

Fine Art America Link

The tag-line of my website is; “Living and learning through the creative mind.”

And this painting taught me a lot about life this week.

 I learn a great deal about life through the process of painting, and the many hours of observation and listening while I work. I believe it is the same for pursuing any endeavor. Living life is certainly a big job, and life is something we all have in common on a daily basis.

Over the past few years I have come to realize that if I get out of the way and pay attention, the painting will paint itself. That’s the challenge. Each painting is an opportunity to experience when I don’t do this as well.

As in life, my job is to listen and not “be” the creator or a bull in the china shop, so to speak. Not so easy to do. Life truly does have a plan in every moment, and it is always a good one, if I am not desperately seeking fulfillment out of doubt.

This requires the courage to trust my inner most self, not the self with its hair on fire. Doubt is always my first trip and fall. Trying to be the creator or “the boss” never works for me, it is unfulfilling and the results are always pretty bad. In life we tend to want to know the outcome before we begin, don’t we? Before we take any risk at all. If we don’t know the outcome we tend to force an outcome, or play “lets pretend.” When the outcome doesn’t match our fantasy, we feel defeated, or blame others.

Back to the painting. This painting is my second attempt, okay, it’s my third. The first is so embarrassing, it would hurt your eyes.

When I began all over for the third time, all I knew was that I was painting an elderly hand, and the lighting was vital. Once this was completed I was right on the edge of moving in and “making up” a background, but I stepped away and took a walk. On my walk, I saw this image on the porch; (yep, that’s my left foot in the bottom right).

This was my inspiration for the background design. Yea! I also knew a bird would be resting on her fingers, and once this part of the painting was done it still felt too uncompleted. Again, I walked away. Keep in mind, this painting took me 5 days to paint. Then I walked back and looked at it again, and again, like checking on a sleeping baby, listening for the next step. While cleaning, the idea for the second bird in the palm came to me. It appears to be quite natural now, but I had to wait for it. The three extra stems in the middle ground arrived next, and then nothing. I began to doubt, wanted to throw in huge splashes of bright colour and almost ruined it. Again, “Gently, gently…” came into my mind for this painting, and as a new life mantra.

Gentleness requires a great deal of strength … and courage.

A friend sent me this message describing the painting; “I am caught by the emotion. The beautiful juxtaposition of the brightly colored birds, so precise against her lovely translucent skin. It is really moving, capturing life, old and new, beginnings and endings, always cyclical.” – Thank you dear friend.

That was my experience of participating in this painting.  Life is a juxtaposition of collaboration or control. In collaboration, we all win.

 and thank you for reading.

4″ x 6″ Mini Print here.



    1. Thank you so much Nick! Writing about each painting and the process experience, has always been a challenge for me, so imagine my delight reading your comment! Thank you again for the encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. There is so much wisdom in this post I don’t even know where to start commenting. “Trust your innermost self and not the self with it’s hair on fire.” That pretty much sums up my goal in life. I want to be better at listening to my inner self, the spirit, the higher power, or whatever you want to call it. Another good idea – Stop running around trying to be the boss of everything, because sometimes letting things fall into place naturally works just fine. Good thoughts, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, imagine how delighted I am for your comment, thank you so much LL! Both of the quotes are, at times, my biggest challenges in life and they can come up often. For me it requires a lot of self discipline. (Putting out the fire). I have a friend that says, “check yourself before you wreck yourself.” I interpret this as; unless there is blood, or a weapon, lol, respond slowly and thoughtfully (trusting the innermost self). Sometimes it’s very difficult in the moment but has never, never let me down 😊, and saves me a lot of regret later. It’s a process in trust, 😇. Thank you again!


    1. P.S., yes, my friend has quite the “eye.” I love her patio, she fills nooks with colored glass and when the light shines through it’s like sitting in a stained glass window… amazing! I like to photograph the colors for future inspiration!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so touched at the beauty of your interpretation. I visited the painting again and took a long look at it through your description, and I am so very grateful for your deep insight and kindness. Thank you so much, I will treasure your words and the gift you have given me. Thank you again, so very much, from the bottom of my heart!

      Liked by 1 person


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