still life is one of many painting subjects, and one that has lots of options for bright color
As a kid, did you ever say to one of your parents "Mommy/Daddy, I'm bored"? When I said that to my mother, the response was usually a list of things that she thought I should do that I didn't have any interest in doing!
Apparently Covid-19 has caused an increase in boredom, with people staying home to prevent the spread of the virus. Being bored is a sign that we're not engaged in what we're doing, even if it's a supposedly meaningful activity. And, if it's too easy or too difficult, we can get bored.
landscape is also fun, these are only 4" across, and were both painted from the same photo
That's so interesting! I thought that boredom only happens when we have nothing to do. The idea that in the middle of a task one could be bored is new to me. Maybe I've staved that off by constantly listening to podcasts while I'm doing things that don't require lots of thinking.
Here are some ways to keep boredom at bay:
If you're stuck doing something that seems boring, you can rethink it. Maybe the why behind it will make it more palatable. Cleaning the house comes to mind...
Making a schedule can help. If it's routine to take a walk first thing every morning, it becomes easier to do. For me that went from being a have-to-do, to my favorite part of the day.
Adding in a few treats each day can make a difference. Taking a break to watch that TV show that only you think is funny, a cold popsicle on a hot afternoon, a piece of chocolate...
Time with other people, even if it's only on zoom or the phone, can be a boon. A regular dinner meeting with friends, a chat with your mom (brother, sister, cousin), looking up an old friend, or even a group text, keeps us from feeling isolated.
flowers are a favorite painting subject of many people
My favorite way to avoid boredom is to work on learning something new. But apparently, that learning needs to be in a manner that's not too easy and not too hard. Both situations can take us back to boredom. And that's why a really good teacher is needed, to keep the students in that sweet spot.
My husband and I have been taking French a couple of nights a week for the last few years. And we've learned so much! You won't be surprised to hear that we have an excellent teacher, who really knows how to hit that sweet spot. I try to do the same thing for my painting students. And that's why I teach a special class for the true beginning painter, where we break things down step by step, starting with choosing materials, including every step to make a solid painting even for those who can't draw, and ending with cleaning and storing the brushes and other supplies.
simplification is a key to learning to paint
As fall approaches and outdoor activities become less viable, more of us will be looking for things to do indoors. If you'd like to dig in to learning something new this fall and find painting intriguing, why not join us in this weekly class? We are starting at the beginning and leaving nothing out. Check it out here.
My reference on the study of boredom and how to avoid it is here.
Christmas Cove - July 26
I know, the words "2020" and "summer vacation" don't seem to belong in the same sentence. So many of the options we usually think about can't happen this year. What's the essence of a summer vacation? For me it's leaving behind the normal scenery and cares of every day. You might think that since we're retired, we're on vacation all the time, but it really isn't the same. Getting away is the ticket!
Tenants Harbor - July 28
A couple of weeks ago, we went out on our boat for a 10 day trip. This, to me is a classic summer vacation. New scenery almost every day, so there's no house and lawn work to do. Lack of internet and post office means that bill paying, and keeping up with the news aren't on the agenda. It's not glamorous, more like RV camping than staying in a hotel, but the scenery can't be beat.
Vinalhaven - July 28
Hurricane Isaias cut the trip short, but it was still a great time. We've done this many times, first on our sailboat when our son was a child and more recently on our mid 80s lobsterboat style cruiser. I've almost always taken paints, but not that often used them. This year I was determined to do a painting a day. But which medium to use? I wanted to work on my water color skills, and, there isn't much space on the boat for wet oil paintings, so that settled it. And I think the ease of set up and clean up made it easier.
Vinalhaven - July 29
I wanted to try adding pen and ink to the water color. There are two ways to do that, either before the water color or after, so I tried both along with some classic water color with no ink. I painted in a sketchbook, which is freeing in a way, because the paintings are personal and can't be framed or sold. Experimenting was a lot of fun.
Between Bold and Devil - July 30
On these trips we spend the nights on our boat either on a mooring or at anchor. There are two kinds of places: harbor towns and nature spots/islands. I enjoy the former for the restaurant meals (not many of those this year!) and being able to take a walk, it's hard to get enough exercise on a 35 foot boat. The nature spots are beautiful and we can sometimes go ashore to explore.
Bucks Harbor - August 2
I hope you too have had a chance for a change of scene and to leave everyday cares behind for a while. It definitely clears the mind, and I find after a week or so, I start thinking about what comes next and making plans for life on shore with renewed energy. I wish that for you as well.
our boat anchored down east
These paintings were all done in the late afternoon when the light was good. I'll leave you with a flip through all of them in my sketchbook. I thoroughly enjoyed the painting experience, and it's so nice to have the book to remember the trip!