A friend of mine who loves to read biographies once told me that Renoir said if painting wasn’t fun, he wouldn’t do it. A lot us feel that way. That doesn’t mean it has to be easy or obvious or come out the same every time. In fact, that’s what we don’t want. It’s fun to paint. It’s work, but it’s fun.

The artistic necessity of lingering in the garden to listen to the bees after everyone else has gone in for tea, or walking farther out on a breakwater than you ought to just to feel the ocean’s spray is a rich way of living. Setting up your palette and paper and containers of water and assorted brushes is a glorious prelude to the manifestation of creating something.

Losing yourself in making a brushstroke and watching as it thickens ...

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