How to Redeem a Bad Day (and an Overworked Painting)

texture detail

I had a really bad day last week.  And even in the midst of it, I wanted to do something to redeem it, to add some sweetness to the bitterness.  So I grabbed a discarded painting with beautiful, spontaneously created texture and I slopped on too much paint and too many colors and overworked it to the point that I thought there was no saving it.

It felt good and therapeutic to create in such a reckless way. To make something wild and channel my frustration into a mess of color and to feel satisfied with the process of expression, even without the satisfaction of a beautiful end product.

Daisies, Roses and Blue Thistles

And then Hubby came home with flowers.  Sunny orange daisies, soft yellow roses, violet chrysanthemens and blue thistles.  I was struck by the way the colors of the flowers echoed the colors in my painting and I knew that even though it seemed this mess was beyond repair, I had to keep going, to keep wrestling, even if I had to scrape away a few layers to let the light back in again.

Sometimes growth is watered with tears.

tears detail

So I painted some more and laughed as my littlest daughter ran back and forth from the kitchen, in-between bites of her peanut-butter-and-Nutella toast, just so she could wipe her chocolatey face on my skirt (in what I'm thinking was an 18-month-old's attempt to cheer me up).  After another touch or two, I think this painting might actually turn out to be an odd little favorite of mine!  

I thought of these joyful lines from one of our favorites storybooks, Michael Rosen's classic We're Going on a Bear Hunt: 

"Oh oh a river!  A deep, cold river.
We can't go over it,
We can't go under it,
Oh no!  We've got to go through it!
Splash splosh!  Splash splosh!  Splash splosh!"

Take heart, friend!  Whatever you're up against today, you can overcome it.  But the only way through just might be to dance 

Update: Read more of my pondering and see the finished painting here!
Thursday link: Imperfect Prose


  1. what a sweet post Sadie......
    I cant wait to see what youve created.
    Makes me think of how God, our creator, can redeem something in our lives.

  2. Before you said something about the color of the flowers, I was thinking about how they are so beautiful with color! I love your painting and your words on this post. They are so beautiful and a reminder to look for and bring color when the situation seems anything but. Have a wonderful day!

  3. Love this! I've had some paintings like that. You've inspired me to pull those discarded ones back out and rework them. :D

    P.S. Can't wait to see the end result of this one.

    P.S.S. Those flowers are AMAZING!
    My Blog

  4. LOVE THIS!! I need to remind myself to dance in the rain more. :)

  5. ..Sometimes growth is watered with tears...i like this and i think you're right..love the painting..

  6. How extraordinary these images, the colors, the textures I can almost feel even in this virtual world...

    While the Dervish Dances - http://cathykozak.com

  7. nice...i am glad you were able to redeem the painting...i am a sucker for texture in art...and way to go hubby...and the little as well for their own love given...smiles.

  8. I truly enjoyed your words and your pictures!
    May you dance well in the rain and enjoy the sunshine when the storm has passed.

  9. :) thank you.
    dancin in the rain!

  10. I want to see the finished painting!
    And I'm with Brian, your husband is the man.

  11. wow! i love this post sadie! i feel a kinship with you, as i often try to pick myself up by spreading too much color on canvas... but really, is there such a thing as too much color? and i love that your little girl tried to cheer you up by kissing your skirt... :)

  12. I love your header!!! Funny: I was just reading _We're Going on a Bear Hunt_ to the baby, and don't you know? You can't go over it; you can't go under it; you've gotta go through it! Blessings to you, Sister. Here from Emily's Imperfect Prose...

  13. The beauty of your artwork, photos, and words... This is an excellent post, Sadee. You have the ability to stir one's emotions with your creations, just like what you did to mine. I love your blog! :-)

    Take care and God bless. :-)


  14. Thank you all for taking the time to leave a comment! Your words are a blessing to me today as I finish up this painting. Stay tuned for a new post later today!

  15. Heart warming post as usual! I love the colors in your piece and I am happy that you had flowers to brighten up your day..They look so fresh! I really loved the phrase you used : sometimes growth is watered with tears

    Stunning art piece once again!



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