by Janis Gaines

Painting this morning…


© September 5, 2013
Asheville, NC

I have had an artistic burst lately. Bought myself some paints and brushes. I confess I’ve been reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron — a GREAT book, but I didn’t foresee this little adventure. I haven’t painted in forever, and even then, it would have been when the kids were young. Art has never really been my thing. Maybe I have a small crafty bent; I did needlepoint growing up and I used to make fabric-covered photo albums, but I rarely indulge it and my artwork is so amateurish. I don’t think I have a natural talent for it, but I’m pleased with how this painting turned out. I always wanted to take art in high school, but I was too busy singing in chorus and I wasn’t willing to give that up.

I was inspired to do this painting as I had actually seen a few hummingbirds the night before at my friend Sarah’s home. I used to have a special feeder up at my old house, and I have missed seeing these tiny birds up close, so this was a treat for me. A few years ago, I remember taking the kids to see a professional catch, take measurements, band, and then release hummingbirds at The Bird Watcher by the Mall of Georgia.

This painting was done with acrylics on drawing paper. A lot of it was an experiment and there are things I would do differently, but overall, I hope it’s a glimpse of good things to come. I hope to do more. In fact, I have signed up for a pastel class this Saturday. This was before I painted this picture. It would be cool to be able to illustrate my own poems. Right now, that seems impossible, but who knows? I’m open to it.

When I finished, I sent a pic of it to my mom, who is a very talented artist, but she hasn’t painted in a very long time. She was surprised and loved it and then said I should frame it and send it to her. SHE should be painting and then sending them to me. She has true talent, and I hope I have inspired her. She could easily be doing things like this and so much more. One time, her own mother painted a whole set of fine china that is very lovely.

My youngest daughter Elizabeth has a natural gift for art. I hope she will keep drawing and painting and pursuing her talent. I think it’s important to have a creative outlet and to develop your skills to be really excellent at something. She could be great. I’m not seeking to be a great painter necessarily, but it’s another fun, creative expression to have in addition to writing and music. Who knows — maybe I will write a poem to accompany this one someday.