So, I’m a pretty high intensity, high stress person. I worry about everything most of the time.
Take today for example, I was freaking out about several things. Crying, worrying, the whole shebang. I know enough about myself that I can’t just wallow in that anxiety or self-pity or whatever it is, I need to get busy and think about other things. So I started knitting and watching a movie. And that helped for while the movie was playing but then it was done and my mind started working up again.
So I decided to plan my next painting. Painting is just a super soothing motion and time for me. I just focus on the paint and nothing else. I get so caught up in putting stuff on a canvas that I stop worrying. And it’s nice because even just thinking about doing it helps. I didn’t actually paint today, but I thought about it and that was enough to curb the distress. Talking to a friend helped even more, and finally just forcing it out was best.
Until today I never thought too much into how good painting makes me feel. It wasn’t until the thought of painting helped me that I realized how awesome it is that I have something so soothing. Something that makes me feel, dare I say, serene.
Over the summer I painted this little canvas blue and green, and it looked like a landscape. But every time I looked at it I got this rush of comfort. Somehow the way the colors and brushstrokes worked together made me feel lighter and happy. It was awesome. I had planned for that to just be an underpainting but when I saw it I couldn’t cover it up. I waited a week or so to get back to it because I didn’t want to ruin it. I hadn’t put too much planning into it, but I ended up with a figure meditating under a tree.
Now, I don’t meditate (although I’m interested in learning how) but putting that figure in that pose seemed so appropriate to the feelings I had towards the landscape I had created. The tree was just a last minute addition that was necessary for the composition, but I love trees and I’m extremely happy with how it turned out.
I titled the painting “Serenity.” There’s this line in a Brand New song called “Not the Sun” (something I titled one of my paintings once) that goes, “be my serene/ tell me you know what I mean/ you set on me/ but you are not the sun.” It’s one of my all time favorite quotes by one of my all time favorite bands. The first time I heard that line I felt so relatable (it was a bad time in my life and was totally applicable to my situation). And what it’s saying, at least to me, is that people look for someone to be there serene or sun, but that’s not what we need. We need to find those things in my own life.
I think I’ve found that in my life through painting. I’m so grateful and I hope everyone can be as lucky as I have been.