“Alaskan Glacier” by Jim Carpenter, Watercolor on Yupo, 9” x 12”
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“It’s time to say no to jobs and yes to fun, freedom and pleasure. It’s time to be idle.”
The Challenge: Cruise On Labor Day
When I retired from teaching in 2003, we set sail on a cruise from NYC to London on Labor Day. The significance of sailing on Labor Day could not be overlooked, as it was the first time since I was 6 years old that I was able to take a vacation on Labor Day and not be restricted by having to go to school the next day. And so it seems most appropriate that this 30 Day Challenge begins on Labor Day, reminding me that I paint because, like cruising, painting is saying yes to fun, freedom, and pleasure.
I'm Working On Being Idle
The theme for the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge is “On Being Idle.” Now that does not mean that I will be doing nothing. It means that I am going to focus on eliminating any notion that what I am doing is a job. I am, after all, retired. I paint because it is fun. I paint because I love the creative process. I paint and I write because reflection is pleasurable.
Why did I choose to paint Alaska for my first painting in the challenge? It would seem a welcome choice given how hot and humid Gainesville, FL has been this summer. And I agree that was part of the argument for it. But, that isn’t the only reason. About 8 years ago we took a cruise to Alaska. What could be more leisurely than a cruise? What could drifting in a bay watching glaciers calve be besides a leisurely activity? It would have been more leisurely had I not felt the need at the time to take a thousand photos of the glacier. And honestly, with all of that snapping, I never painted a painting of the glacier, in part because who in Florida would buy a painting of a glacier? Right? It’s not the right market. See? That’s an example of “job” insidiously creeping its way into my daily existence, and blocking my fun. So, today, I gave myself permission to paint it. The boss is easing up!
“Alaska” is a watercolor on Yupo Watercolor Paper, a slick plastic surface that can be challenging and fun at the same time. I just ordered a supply of Yupo from Dick Blick Art Materials, so, yes, I will surely paint on it again in the next 30 days.