By W. R. Jones
If you are a painter you have heard the words, “it must be so relaxing to paint.” Ya, right.
When I saw this view the light was barely touching the house. An old woman was standing in her driveway. I approached her to say how I liked the look of her house and would like to paint it. She volunteered to move her car to give me an unobstructed view.
Even as I was setting up I could feel the pressure of the moving light. Calm down, just relax I told myself. This is just a study. I’ve heard this line from very experienced very well known landscape painters. I don’t know if it works for them; not for me. I need drugs.
I threw up paint as fast as I could as the stress of the rising sun pumped cortisol directly into my heart. It really is amazing how someone could think this relaxing.
I tried praying for strengh, I tried deep breathing, I tried thinking about being on the beach with a beautiful normal looking woman, I tried a few shots of tequila. Nothing could still my shaking hand. On two separate occasions passersby stopped, looked at the house, looked at my painting, looked at the house, looked at the painting, looked at me, then said, “would you like me to call your mommy”?
I have all the stiffness of resolve of a steamed noodle. Both times I broke down with lower lip quivering and sobbed, “PLEASE!”
The owner of the house, sweet lady she was, came out later to ask how it was going. I was expecting her to ask me in for something to eat and sort of let my thoughts slip out verbally, so to speak. Where upon she informed me she would be happy to have me in but only had a few baby carrots in the fridge. I told her no thanks, I’m suddenly feeling full.
Still, it is an ill wind that blows no good; I learned a valuable lesson. From now on I’m sniffing the air for the smell of bacon before I ask someone if I can paint at their house.