it was a lousy summer for tomatoes, something in the air made the pumpkins and
winter squash particularly prolific, and we find ourselves with a workshop full
of the stuff.
What we are convinced is a flood of trouble may
actually be a sea of opportunity.
Opportunity by Steve Henderson of Steve Henderson
Like most people of my generation, my primary
experience with winter squash is baked, smashed, and slathered with butter and
brown sugar, and while I've become remarkably adaptable in my grown-up years,
my inner child simply refuses to eat, or make, this stuff, which means that I
have to get really creative, and I am, thinking, dreaming, cooking, and even
writing all things squash (Awash
In the process of dealing with this abundance of
unusual, unlooked for, and unrequested bounty, I came to realize that this is
the story of our lives as artists and painters, because if we don't realize
what we have, then we will 1) miss out on our ability to advance as artists and
hone our oil painting techniques and 2) possibly squander or let rot valuable painting
resources in ourselves.
Maybe you, like me, have been presented with a lot
of something that you're not familiar with and don't want to use. How much
better, you think, to have buckets of strawberries, or chocolate, or asparagus.
But you don't have those things. You have squash --
and if you forget about feeling bad because you don't have strawberries or
chocolate or asparagus, and concentrate, instead, on using what you do have to
the best of your ability, you will 1) advance in your oil painting skills and
2) learn to paint using those valuable resources that are inside you ready to be tapped.
Are you not a dynamic, exciting person who does ad lib demos and wows
audiences to the point that they snatch up everything in your art booth?
Then talk to people, quietly, and get to know them,
and share sincerely about yourself and your oil painting art. Squash.
Do you get cold easily, shudder in the wind, and squint
at outside light during a plein air painting session? Chocolate.
Then brew a cup of tea and enjoy the cozy atmosphere
of your studio. Squash.
Look around you with your painter's eye. See what
you have a lot of, and use it. It won't be the same as what your neighbor or
another artist has, but if you worry about what you don't have, you won't focus
on using what you do.