Dreaming Life’s Sea

I am so pleased with myself today. I set targets, wrote the down and still achieved everything after a short period of procrastination… well facebook actually. My list read: 4 hours ‘working’ ; Ironing; creating a healthy vegetarian dinner and I did it. I also cleaned the lounge carpet and the washed the kitchen floor along with all the other little things I have to do. I say cleaned the lounge carpet loosely. I sprayed it with one of these marvelous spray cans and out of ease brushed it in with a -, hard brush, but it wasn’t on my list so that’s a bonus. My 4 hours were spent today on the painting with lots of short breaks I might add.

Painting for me is really therapeutic and as I paint my mind wanders in places I have never been, places I used to belong in and that special place to me that connects the real with the surreal… today, I did another coat on the panoramic picture and concentrated on the sky. second coatNot a good clear image but I have added the general shape and colour of the ocean and some ‘white horses’ to give me something to develop. Mainly I concentrated on getting the sky right and I think I have got it the way I want it to be, for the moment.  Again not a clear image but you get the idea. Today the light was not really good enough so I might have to repaint it tomorrow depending on how the day is.

It was while I was doing the sky that my mind wandered. I am happy with the way it is at the moment but once I do the sea everything changes. It reminded me of the way life is and just how I connect to nature. If the sky is clear and blue the sea is a wonderful combination of deep blue and turquoise and seems so clear… ok maybe not Hastings beach where I come from originally, but other less muddy beaches. If the sky is dull and cloudy the sea becomes grey and dreary too. A stormy day sees a choppy sea that froths and bubbles angrily to the shore, even the harbour at Portsmouth gives me the impression of a million invisible cats lapping at the water as its tiny waves are tousled by the wind. Then I think about life. Are we not exactly the same? do our reactions not reflect what the sky dictates?

This morning the sky was a beautiful blue that had been streaked with mother of pearl clouds. A perfect morning and I was inspired to achieve my list. I should have painted then instead of cleaning because by the time I had finished and turned to my brushes, the sky was grey and cloudy and a fine drizzle had dampened my energy. I painted anyway and the sky on my canvas lifted my spirits despite the dreadful light but I am not happy with the result. I also know that once I get the sea with its magnificent swell painted and the foam splashed rocks I might have to change the sky. A picture is never just a picture. It is a series of captured emotions that are dictated by the mood of the world I am trying to create and each coat is inspired by the next. It changes as much as the weather does until finally the image is satisfied and blends perfectly. Distance, shore, sea and sky all become the whole in their own time. I never know when a picture is finished until the picture itself lets me know.

How much we also connect to the world around us. The ebb and flow of life creates as many colours and atmospheres that surround us and alter our mood accordingly. It may not be as dramatic as the sea and the sky but often is just as emotional. In a group of friends we laugh and relax, any troubles are forgotten for that moment in time and our conversation is carried on the common shared feeling. In heavy traffic and sitting alone in the car unless there is a distraction, some good music that carries our thoughts away, for instance, we become stressed and up-tight. There is no one to take that stress for us and we have to carry it, grey and dismal until the traffic speeds up. By then the mood has infiltrated our life. Maybe a sunny day will improve things? We feel such a swell of emotion when we see our children smile or hear them laugh. The time we spend playing with them in the park, at the beach or at the pool makes us happy, we feel light and sunny. That can change in the blink of an eye from a gentle tide that splashes to the shore to a raging storm-tossed ocean that leaves us unsure. Sitting in an armchair with a pet on your lap or by your side is calming and leaves a gentle feeling of peace inside us. There are so many scenarios of how our external world affects our internal feelings and when I am painting those are the thoughts that drift through my head.

Each of us is like a tiny wave in a huge ocean, each turn of the tide, wind blowing, ray of sunlight or cloudy sky changes the way we behave in our world. And then I stop and think how much I appreciate that, unlike the sea, we have choices. And as rough or as kind as the world cares to treat us we have options. We can make decisions that can change our world and colour it any way we want. We don’t have to go with the flow if we choose not to.

Today I went with the flow but although I achieved a lot I was floating with the tide. The day was grey and I was grey with it. I look forward to painting the sea and the rocks  tomorrow; the sea has emotion, passion and life and the power to change its world. Maybe the tide will be bouncier, the sky will need to be bluer, the sun shining. Either way my life will be richer because I have this amazing gift of dreaming as I paint.

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