I Sold a Painting, Started a Series

Let  me start by saying that I have painted before. I have finished others and have given them as gifts, but this is a special event for me, actually selling my work.

The banner of my blog is one of my paintings, too. It was a dream that has returned half a dozen times through life, haunting to be painted, but I was afraid. For years, I’ve dreamed paintings and would wake up thinking how great it would be to paint them. Mostly I would wander down the lane of fame and fortune and what I’d say to Oprah and it all died there.

Somewhere along the line I decided that Oprah would never call unless I actually painted. then, once I began to paint, to lose myself in the bliss of something so simple, Oprah disappeared. This winter scene, however, was my first.

I was afraid I could not paint it. I was afraid it would not be perfect, and it is not perfect. The thing is, however, it didn’t have to be. For the first time in my life, I was happy with it anyway. The finished piece  has more contrast between the left and right, and parts of it glow. Parts of it nearly blind for the brightness. My sister and I were on a crater lake somewhere near Sant Fé in February. We’d left the city warm, with crocuses blooming and that air freshness only spring allows. WE looped south and there it was,  this was a magical spot, we’d found by the road and we found our boots in the trunk, as well as the coats and gloves. It was sixty in town. Forty out here.

My sister set up to draw and I set to climb around a bit. I wanted to feel the place. I stood watching the sun rise and wondered whether the mark between night and day happened right there every day. BOOM. A line just so, on one side, night, on the other morning. I imagined a line, not a gradual lifting into day. I wrote a story in my mind about how day lassoed night and would throw it off to dissipate.

Years before then, Jean Ellen and I had flown to Paris and she woke me up, saying, JEtty, look outside, quickly.  Dawn lay in a pool ahead of me, this pool of light. That was the effect it had on me.  We were headed straight into that pool, it seemed, soon to be engulfed in day. I wanted to paint that, but did not know how. I still can’t. PErhaps one day.

But we spoke of that lake, Jean Ellen and I. And we spoke of our experiences flying into the day, watching the night come at us full throttle. I asked if she’d ever painted the experience, and she said it wasn’t her thing, “But I bet it will be yours. You want the bigger than life experiences, don’t you.”

I guess she’s right. I do. I have since finished the painting that is this blog’s banner. There is more contrast. It is bolder. I have another that is my experience of Pennsylvania jungle, for jungle it is. Hot springs, lush growth you can hear grow when you let yourself. So many greens.

This past October we had a blizzard. It was an anomoly. White on orange and yellow. In the night I was awakened by what sounded like barrages of gunshots. Branches breaking fro the weight of snow on fully leaved boughs. The world was a cacophony of twisted piles of branches, a study of yellow, scarlets, green, and white. People lost their homes to the weight of five trees falling. Flood waters raised to second story windows, and we saw families in flannels and Christmas wraps, huge moose slippers and santa caps the warmth they grabbed at midnight.

It was terrifying; it was magnificent. I was lucky to be in an apartment. My only inconvenience was to be without electricity for heat. Most of my food didn’t even spoil. I walked a bit, disturbed at the five foot walls lining each street. Walls of highly colored branches, coated with a wet, heavy snow. Children had made maniacal snowmen, using dirt to fill in where the snowballs just weren’t large enough. The song “Mad world” went through me, over and over.


Yet I wondered at the beauty. For I do not remember seeing any fall that could rival this. The frozen coating on leaves made them shine that bright morning. There were blinding piles of leaves to entertain. So I painted one particular pile, and my neighbors thought me nuts. I told them that, yes, in fact, I am, but would this prove problematic to them? The couple was quiet for a few moments, then said, “No. It’s about time someone interesting move in Welcome.”

Another blessed change since I’d moved here. In my house neighborhood people affected smiles as they past. Occasionally one might pass the day by asking why my husband and I never seemed to go out. Or they’d ask about the trees. I had so many near my house, wasn’t I afraid. Why would I ever want so many oaks, for heaven’s sake. Or they’d say that they wished the forsythia bush would be yanked out. Other than that, though, they believed my yard was the prettiest in the neighborhood.

But I digress. I painted. And painted.

And it is called simply “October Blizzard.” Within two weeks it has been sold!  I did not have to ask the price, the woman offered and she will pay postage and insurance.

This is the direction I hope my painting will take anyway. I love juxtaposing things when I write, so why not when I paint? And it goes to show the power of blogging, because the woman buying it is a follower of a different blog of mine. The sale has made me cry. I started to shake when I realized it was happening. It was as if a whole new chapter of my life had begun at last. The journey that had taken me out of my home of twenty-one years to my apartment felt true.

I am a phoenix rising at last. I have had false starts, where in the back of my mind were those silly, Maybe he will come back and won’t he be surprised asininity. Unfinished business. I have had so many physicla roadblocks and I nearly did muse;

So That’s that. Here on WordPress, where I do not know yet what I’m doing. Everything is different here, and I want my blog to be different as well. My other blog still teaches me and I will keep it, but this one is about starting over. Fresh. I am exploring the artist in my in a very serious way. I am exploring my MIND in a new way. too.

I truly am starting over and the excitement overwhelms me. I have no idea how long the money will afford me the life I’ve started, but that’s okay. My longterm financial future’s less than stellar. For now, though. For now I have a roof over my head with room to paint. I have friends. I have dreams. I have to ability to turn these dreams into something that can save my life.

It’s up to me to learn how to make it happen. How wonderful is that? Truly. I may surprise myself. I’ve already surprised myself… I’d best get to sleep though, so I can see what happens tomorrow.

I think I am alone in here, though. I wonder whether anyone will even find my blog, let alone read it and stay. Yet I’ll keep going. It’s fun simply to write again.


About jlwriter25

I have been through major life upheavals over the last seven years and, much to my surprise, I find myself following my dreams as I head into my sixtieth year. I am brand new in some ways, though I live inside packaging that is less than stellar to most people. Still, it's my packaging and I've made my peace with the imperfections. The phoenix is my symbol for my life. I hope to read and write the stories of other phoenix boomers as well as my own, or link to other blogs that inspire people to realize that sixty is not done! After fifteen years of working on other people's deadlines to do promotional writings for two major universities, my disability has freed me to fly on my own time now. I have found my voice in words and in paint. I write about my own life and vision, and I paint from nature. I paint from fantasies and dreams in my head. I paint simply for the joy of painting. While I will continue to maintain a highly personal blog elsewhere, I want to inspire and be inspired by life now in this one.
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