Last week I was somewhere and was asked what do you need to feel good? The thought that immediately popped into my mind was that I need a sunny day. Is that dumb or what? No one can change the weather. You get what you're going to get in that department. Sun, rain, snow, it's out of my hands. But I can imagine it, right? So that's what I try to do. When things get crazy I try to remember to go to the beach on a hot sunny day, in my mind. Sometimes it works.
Today is a cloudy, rainy, but warm day. Not my favorite, but I can live with warm. I'd rather have hot and humid. People don't understand it. I don't care, I need it. I could get myself down for the day if I think about how the winter is creeping up on us, but don't tell me to move because that's not happening. No matter that I live in the New York suburbs on Long Island, I need to be in close proximity of the city of Manhattan. I may not be going there often, but nearby is good enough. I know it's weird, don't ask questions!
Last week was great hot and sunny weather for September. You bet I took myself to the beach for some R&R. Yup. I packed the essentials, (food and iced coffee) and drove out there. In fifteen minutes I was sitting in my chair in the hot sand with very few people on the beach. I remembered my watercolor set and found some broken shell pieces for when I was ready to paint. But first I breathed a nice long sign of relief that I had arrived! Yes!
I fished around in my bag for my camera so I could take a couple of pictures. It wasn't in one pocket, not the other, not in the bottom of the bag. Well, OK, I'll get the phone out and shoot a few pics, I thought. I couldn't find that either. So I was without a camera or any device of communication. Let me tell you that was kind of scary! What did we do before cell phones? We were free. But in the 21st century, being free is not an option. After a little bit of panic and anxiety I decided I better get it together, paint and go home.
Thank goodness I found those bits of shells otherwise I didn't have a good subject. This beach is so long there's just ocean and sky, no little bay or curve of dune to be interesting. I hadn't eaten the apple I brought so I arranged it with the shells in the sand at my feet. There's just something magical about painting things in the bright sunlight with the reflection off the sand. The shadows are sharp and the bright light evens out mid tones so there's no need to squint.
It's a good feeling to work with color and form, to be able to forget where and who I am. Some people have the ability to be out of their body at will, their mind off in another world. For me, it's this moment that I'm gone. Nothing exists but the brush moving against the paper. I don't have to speak. I have no thoughts in my head, no worries, no concerns, nothing but an empty brain. I might not even be me. I almost don't exist. It's great.
I sketched out the apple and shell bits in watercolor paint only. Blending in straight color, making the shapes take form and moving quickly enough to get it done, I finished and was able to lay back in my chair to let it dry. Breathe in and breathe out, and sigh. I was there, I painted and I was done.
|Broken Shells (c)2010 DST 5x7 Watercolor|