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A painting is a short story.

It is an essay,

A poem.

The idea comes to you and you turn it this way and that. You do several sketches. Do some research. Go back to the place of inspiration. More sketches.

You do a trial painting. It doesn’t work – but you can look at it now. See how to do it better, try it another way. Think about it. Or put it in a drawer. Pull it out several months later and see a new way of starting it.

A painting is a short story, an essay, a poem.

You get it to flow more easily, look more effortless. There are good things that happen but it -perhaps – begins to get to busy.

You get a clean piece of watercolor paper, or a new canvas, and start again — fresher, clearer, trying to have every square inch contribute to the whole. Nothing extra. Until you say, “That is good,” and decide to share it.

A painting is a short story, an essay, a poem.

What do they say when you tell them, “I took five new paintings to the gallery”? Do they ask what the paintings are about or even if they are large or small? Do they ask if they are complex ideas or simple ones.

Do they ask if you struggled over them or they came easily, if they took you in unexpected directions, if there are themes you resolved or want to explore further?

Do they ask you anything?

  • A painting is a short story.
  • It is an essay,
  • A poem.

If you had siad, “I just bought five new outfits,” you would be asked what they were and form where, and what color? If you said you read five good books, they would want to know more.

A painting is a short story, an essay, a poem.

Read it with your eyes.

Hold it in your heart.