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Inspiration in color and white space 


I haven’t been writing a lot lately, at least not here. Not writing goes against everything I believe I should be doing if I want to get better at it. Creativity takes practice, above all else, and I’ve been lazy and disconnected.

Or, if I’m interested in not being so hard on myself, I’ve been busy. Life has been busy.

Those aren’t good reasons to not do something that reminds me I’m alive.

I went looking for inspiration at the Hobby Lobby store in town I hate.

Somewhere in the back aisles I found a new, vet amateur hobby – a way to jog my creativity. I bought a relatively cheap set of watercolors and a book of paper and I started painting. 

The first night I painted trees and mountains and flowers before settling on just making colored lines and shapes and learning to read the way the amount of water dictated the depth of color. 

I didn’t make anything special. I didn’t even want to show the people I love most- it was nothing – because I’m not a painter. I don’t claim to be a painter. I don’t care to be a painter. 

I used to laugh because my best friend’s favorite artist paints giant single color squares and rectangles. Mark Rothko got famous doing something I thought I could recreate for about $7. She’d always explain it wasn’t Rothko’s shapes, but the way he painted them – the lines and textures inside each one.

I never saw it.

I started spending more and more of my alone time studying the shapes different strokes made on the pages of watercolor pad and the way a light touch could draw a cleaner line. 

I see it now.

I’m still not a painter, I don’t pretend to be or even to know much more about Rothko or anyone else of his caliber. But I’ve found what I needed. 

Sometimes the inspiration comes from what is added to the page with the artist’s diligent intention. 

And sometimes it comes from what was already there, in the white space That remains between strokes of color. 

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