Two landscapes in watercolor

I Stopped Writing & Started Painting

I stopped writing this summer.

I don’t know why. After poking and prodding at the strange absence for several months, I asked my girlfriend if I could stay for 5 days in her little garage apartment to figure it out.

A few days before I was due to begin my retreat, I began to realize something. I had been thinking I needed to figure out how to continue writing or say goodbye to it (depressing thought), but I finally realized that what I really need to do, at the most basic level, is simply this: make art.

And I needed a low barrier to entry—nothing requiring lots of purchases, or highly specialized equipment/space. In fact, I wanted to use things I already had around the house. I looked in my little craft bookshelf and found watercolors! A travel-sized paint set and two watercolor pads were there just waiting for me.

my paint set and a few brushes
My paint set and a few brushes. I thought I might paint an apple, but have not so far.

On my first day of retreat my girlfriend and her husband left a note on my door, clipped to one of my lifelong favorite candy treats (Haribo gummy bears, only the clear ones!): “Bob’s making chili and cornbread for supper. Come join us 6:00. PS: He wants a painting of a maple leaf in return.”

Invitation to dinner, Haribo, plus a special request
Invitation to dinner, plus a special request

It could not have been a better beginning point and I set to work, painting maple leaves. Later in the week I tried painting other things. Doodles, patterns, trees, some little landscapes. Now I’m off and running, and no longer feel my departure from writing as a painful ending, but just the opportunity for a new beginning.

Bob & Judy's maple leaf
Bob & Judy’s maple leaf (based on this photo of mine)

I’m two weeks in now, and enjoying the journey. If you’d like to have the first look at all my paintings, get first dibs on originals, possibly commission a custom painting, get access to the past 3 years of poetry posts, or just support me and the arts, you can join my Patreon page here:

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Two landscapes in watercolor
Two landscapes in watercolor

Thanks for sharing the journey with me!

2 comments on “I Stopped Writing & Started Painting

  1. I am glad that you are enjoying a new outlet for your creative energy. Paint on!!!!

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe

      Thank you so much, Valerie. You have always been such an encouraging voice. That is a big gift in the world. xoxo

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