Did I Do That?

urkelYears ago, like so many others, I loved watching “Urkel” on Family Matters, a popular sit-com. In case you somehow missed it or have forgotten, Steve Urkel — portrayed by Jaleel White — was a clumsy, bumbling nerd who seemed to leave catastrophe in his wake wherever he went. When confronted, he always asked, “Did I do that?”

When it comes to catastrophes, I think my kitchen would probably qualify right now. I have paints and brushes, thinners and linseed oil, rags, paper towels, old newspapers, and an assortment of paintings setting around to dry. Oh, yes, I have my easel there, too, of course. My art space has begun taking up so much room, in fact, that earlier this morning I moved the table as far toward the corner as I could. My plan is to spread out an old sheet before I set to work painting today.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I love oil painting. The act of spreading paint across the canvas is soothing and relaxing. It goes without saying that playing with color is always fun. But most of all, I love oil painting because I’m so surprised — and pleased — with the results I’ve achieved.

Here’s one of my recently completed works. When I finished it and stepped back to look at it, my first thought was, “Oh, my. Did I do that?”

Morning in the Mountains by Judith Kraus 9 x 12 Oil on canvas
Morning in the Mountains by Judith Kraus 9 x 12 Oil on canvas

Unlike Urkel’s remark, mine was uttered not in the face of a catastrophe but in viewing what was — for me — a tremendous success. Did I really do this? Each time I look at the painting, that question comes quickly to mind again. So does the answer. Yes, I did this. I painted this scene, and I intend to paint many more.

Since finishing this painting, I’ve had every family member who has seen it wantingย toย “claim it and frame it” for their walls.ย  I’ll probably keep this one for myself, but I’m going to be doing many more landscapes: mountain scenes, forest scenes, lakes, rivers, and whatever else I see in nature that catches my fancy. My plan is to start using larger canvases. Once I have a nice collection, I’ll let family members choose their favorite.

It’s a refreshing change from my earliest days of “becoming an artist” when I was so embarrassed about my drawings and paintings that I didn’t want anyone to see them. Now, I’m happily sharing my oil paintings. With a big smile I can say, “Yes, I did that.”

I hope you enjoy my mountain scene too.



  1. I feel your enjoyment and pride in the painting and your words! Fantastic, and I love the peacefulness of the scene you have created. I also like how you mention how nice the paints feel to work with – I think that’s a lot of painting, too, not just how it looks but also how it feels to be doing it.

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    1. You are so right! The simple act of putting paint on the brush and then putting it to the canvas does have a good “feeling” to it. I never experienced that with watercolor or acrylics. Painting with oil feels almost mystical as I watch the colors create a scene. I’m heading off this morning to buy a few more canvases. I keep going bigger and bigger ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s a good sign, I think.

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    1. That was yesterday LOL. Today…aargh! I’m pulling my hair out. Of course, that’s to be expected any time we learn something new. We’re going to make lots of mistakes. That’s good, of course. I think we learn more from our failures than from our successes. Let me tell you, today’s painting session was a crash course in what not to do! The test now will be to see if I can salvage the canvas. Oh, what fun LOL!

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  2. I would say, this one is your best yet ๐Ÿ˜I really liked the mountains, water and reflection in the water. It’s amazing Judith. I can see your love for oil painting. ๐ŸŽจ

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    1. Thanks. This has definitely been my most successful painting. Today’s attempt was a disaster LOL. I just sat down and wrote a post about my painting problems. It’s scheduled for Friday. Be sure to check back and have a good laugh at my oil-painting woes. But, of course, that’s how we learn.

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    1. Thank you! It is a hassle, I must admit, especially since my “art studio” is a corner of my kitchen ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Other than the mess, I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE painting with oils.

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