Weekends are not always the best time for art. With my husband home, I don’t have the uninterrupted time I enjoy when I paint, not do I have the peaceful, quiet environment I need. Instead of hearing gentle music or nature sounds around me, I hear car chases, foul language, and shooting — all those staples of the action movies my dear husband loves to watch. I certainly don’t begrudge him his television time. He works hard all week while I’m relaxing in the comfort of our home. He’s entitled to watch whatever he pleases.
I spend most of my weekend time reading and studying. I review Dutch grammar, listen to lectures on a variety of topics, read classic short stories, and browse various art sites.
Yesterday, however, those usual activities weren’t fully satisfying my need to do something creative. I’d checked out a new art book from the library. I’d helped one grandson with a bit of watercolor painting — he’d seen the orange I had setting out on the counter and decided it would make a good subject for a still life — and I did a little bit of sketching.
All of those things were whetting my appetite for more, but putting on my painting clothes and making a huge mess of the kitchen just wasn’t all that appealing. What else could I do?
Well, I could play around a bit.
I grabbed my phone and started taking pictures of various paintings in the kitchen. My husband was giving me strange looks, but soon enough he was back to an episode of Mission Impossible, and I was back to my little art room, as I call it. It’s not where I paint, but it’s where I sit, think, meditate, read, and otherwise refresh my creative energies.
Recently I completed a painting that just didn’t satisfy me. It’s an all right painting. Not awful. Not great. Just completed.
What could I do with it — just to have fun? What digital manipulations could I use to make it more interesting? I decided to put it into the Windows Photo Editor and see what the painting would look like using different filters.
Since I’d worked a lot on creating thick, impasto brush strokes in the painting, I wanted to bring that out. I tried a filter that sharpens the image. It showed the texture much better. I changed colors. I saved. I did the process again, once more playing with different filters. I saved. Again, I ran through filters, played with light and color, and soon I’d created something I really liked. I saved again, added a frame, and smiled. I’d taken a painting I wasn’t happy with and turned it into something that made me feel both creative and happy.
Yes, I like it. It was a fun way to spend a little time, and the bright, cheerful image truly did make me smile. I hope maybe it makes you smile a little, too.