"Why are you painting that?!"…my very first derogatory remark!
On my scouting missions I was drawn to this old, rather scruffy building toward the back of the resort. In fact, it was in back and out of the way…except, of course, for the walkway to the ever-popular tennis courts. (There are a LOT of physically active people!)
I just loved the way the path curved and was edged with peachy concrete, echoing the orangey-peach of the building. Again, with the shadows! Even lovelier because of the warmth of the walkway. The building is being used for storage and a work area, but I thought it looked like it belonged in a rural Mexican village so that's how I painted it. Don't you love that roof?-bent metal, like an accordion. The shrub on the right was blooming out of its mind a very bright pink, which I downplayed so the corner of the building grabs the eye. Little spots of sunlight hit the edging, creating sparks of bright.
We were well into our second week, so this would be my final painting. I was much more confident now and set out with a completely blank canvas…planning to go from start to finish without "pre painting." I can't even begin to express the peaceful joy I feel standing there with paint and panel watching this all come to life. Sometime I will share my painting story, but for now all I can say is I am as surprised as anybody that I am doing this.
So there I am, painting away, and two ladies, finished with tennis, come walking up. Since I'm totally blocking the path, they kind of have to acknowledge me, right? The Nice Lady effused compliments, which I accepted graciously. She seemed sincere and I was happy enough with how my canvas looked and appreciated that someone else thought so too. The Other Lady (bless her heart) looked from canvas to building to canvas to building and then, straight up, said "WHY are you painting THAT??"
You know those moments that seem outside of time? I had one of those right then…in my mind I recalled an instructor sharing some of the choice remarks he got when painting in public. I thought, hey this is my first wise-crack! And then something marvelous happened: from somewhere came... kindness, understanding, graciousness and I heard myself saying, "I know, right? It looks like some run-down, old storage shed, but don't you just love the color and the way this path goes right to it and if I just add a door and maybe some chickens it might look like it's in a remote little village somewhere" I think she sort of nodded blankly and her friend led her away, with a few more parting compliments. But I lingered in that moment of achievement: realizing that loving what I do brings goodness even in awkward encounters.
And for the record, the rooster and chickens? Artistic license.