Paint Anything

Back in November, not being able to convince my husband of the wisdom of adding a new wall between our kitchen and dining area, I up-cycled a bifold closet door by painting a mural on one side and some herbs on the other to make a screen. 

Fortunately for everyone else’s sanity, I was elbow deep in a teaching certificate program and didn’t have time to act on the logical next step-painting actual doors around the house (and step risers and furniture and…), but a seed had been planted.

For some reason, teaching full-time has reignited a need to paint, and that little seed has been sprouting, despite the best efforts of my common sense to smother it. The painting spark is setting back fires that get my easel out every night and leave in-progress paintings hung in the bald spots on the walls around the living room.

It’s summer — art fair and farmers market season — so the paintings are never there for very long. The only one that doesn’t rotate out of the lineup is the screen.

A few family members innocently have suggested painting screens to take to the art fairs, turning a middle-aged artist’s thoughts to all the impromptu canvases in the world still waiting to be painted. But I think I’ll just start with a single screen (with a promise already made to the husband not to sell the one that started at all).

At the Dairy Bar

I had about two hours before we were heading to the movie, so I went looking for a place to paint. I’ve done this spot at the Wilcox Dairy ice cream stand before, but I sold the painting and wanted a bigger one.  The new one isn’t done yet, but I have still got something good out of the afternoon.

I got some water from the ice cream stand and chatted with the woman who is running it now. Fifteen years ago a friend of ours ran it, Planting a beautiful herb garden nearby so customers could sit and enjoy the flowers as they eat their Sundays. Her son and my son were friends when they toddlers. Now the son of the new ice cream lady is helping mind the ice cream stand.

He noticed me setting up my easel and asked his mom if he could come over to watch. I had the sky started and had blocked in the outlines by the time my new companion arrived.

We chatted about how to paint and where to get paint. He said he wished he could pay for lessons. I reminded him that once he started painting, someday he would show somebody else the ropes. Then my young “apprentice” pointed out a crate in front of the ice cream stand that belonged to him. He asked if I would put it in the painting, and I agreed.

I hadn’t got that far by the time it was time to go to the movie,but I’m coming back to it now. When it’s done I think I’ll take my new pal a copy.