I gravitate to the color blue. I guess because blue reminds me of the ocean. That, and I paint a lot of landscapes. I paint the sky and then I keep painting blue.
I love a beautiful sunset but I struggle with using orange. It reminds me too much of a bright orange sunset painted on black velvet. If you grew up in the seventies, you know what I’m talking about. If you didn’t, let’s just say it was a shade not found in nature.
Anyway, this collection is not about orange. This series is about the seasons of life,
getting out of your comfort zone, stretching yourself. And how it’s a
little uncomfortable, right?
I got pretty comfortable when my kids were little. I knew (or thought I did) what was before me for the next 10-15 years. Sure, things changed, kids grew up, the challenges were different, but we find a level of comfort in the sameness. The rhythm of the school year and the summer. There were still big events (and little ones) that threw me. Losing my dad and my mother-in-law, teenage
speeding tickets, our oldest leaving for college, friends getting sick and
getting better. Every day was not happy. But at my core, I knew what I needed
to do each day. I was a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, and an artist.
I’m still all those things.
But empty-nester hood is looking me straight in the eyes as my youngest works towards high school graduation in the spring. And I’m not sure what’s next for me in this new season. But I’m figuring it out. I’m still the person I used to be before I was mom. Now I’ll get to be that girl (ok, woman) again. To stretch my comfort zone. And its ok. I need to get up and do what I do and challenge myself a little each day.
This seems silly, this challenge of painting orange instead of blue. But it’s metaphoric. A reminder of all we are capable of when we don’t let ourselves get too comfortable. Comfortable is ok, but there is also a season for trying something new. When I was 30 I wanted to jump out of an airplane and get my scuba certification and now I don’t. I can stretch myself in other ways. In my work, my art. I still want to sit in a café in Italy and drink wine in the middle of the day, to set up my easel in Provence and paint the Pacific in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Not today, but today I start by painting orange.
Which turns out I really like. Who knew?
What small change will you make?
There is a time for everything and a season for every
activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastics 3:1