As I sat at the back of the beach at Paignton last week, painting a watercolour of the beautiful scene before me, I heard a woman say to her friend, (neither of whom I saw, as they walked above me on the promenade), “oh, what it must be like to be able to just sit and paint like that”
I was slightly abashed because I do not consider myself to be skillful in my art, but what I do value is the solitude I experience within my own thoughts as I try to represent the scene in front of me in watercolour.
A few moments later I heard another voice shout out from the back of me “That’s awesome Mum!” followed by a “Wow”
I turned around, whilst still seated, to see a young boy of about 10 years of age with his Mum, praising my work.
I felt such gratitude for his kindness and I said to him “Thank you, you are most kind, but I am just an amateur and you too could do the same if you acquire some paper, paint and water”
After they had left, I felt disconcerted by the judgement I had made on myself about my lack of skillfulness after he had just praised me.
In truth, I was pleased that my work had inspired the enthusiastic reaction from him and perhaps it will inspire him to paint too.
As for the lady who had passed by and suggested that I had some claim to paint over her, I wish I could have said to her in that moment, which I say to her now – just do it, do what your heart desires and be content with the doing, not the outcome.
My wife and daughter returned from their morning coffee and my wife said to an almost complete work “that’s good” to which I replied, “you can save your breath on anything less than an awesome!, but thanks” (joke).
My next blog will be : Giving in to Temptation