With the worldwide pandemic, staying home has been a hardship for many. Fortunately, I am in a secure financial situation, and staying home this past year and a half has been a pleasure for me. Seeing the seasons change through the garden has brought me great joy this year. I have also been teaching myself to paint with watercolors. Some of you have seen some of the paintings that I have done posted here.
Both of these things have taught me lessons that I thought I knew, but came to appreciate at a much deeper level. Caring for the garden and watching things grow has brought me closer to nature than ever. Seeds don’t come up when I want them to, they come up in their own time. Flowers don’t bloom when I want them to, they bloom in their own time. Fruit doesn’t ripen when I want them to, they ripen in their own time. And sometimes there are failures. This summer we had record temperatures never seen before in the Pacific Northwest. A week of more than 110 – 117º F (43-47º C) burned up so many of the plants that I had nurtured all spring and summer.
And learning to paint has been a lesson in seeing things as they are, rather than as I think they are or want them to be. I learned how to draw what is there. Really I learned how to see what is there so I could draw it. Shapes, shading, perspective, just draw what you see. Things are not perfectly round, white is not perfectly white, and shadows fall in places where there is less light. Painting has really taught me to take my time and really look at what is there so that can attempt to re-create it. I learned how to look at colors more closely to see them clearly. There are a million shades of red. Learning to see how colors differ, is it more blue, more purple or more orange, so that I can re-create it. In nature, there is rarely a pure color, it is always a combination of color. I am still a beginner, so I am still learning to see things as they are.