I close my eyes and I see the swirling rainbow of colours…the yellows and greens, the blues and reds, orange and purples; the occasional splash of white creating a pastel swirl from the primary colours surrounding it.
“What do I paint today?”
Various pictures flash quickly behind my eyelids…they flicker like I am in the REM stages of sleep and dreaming.
“Flowers! Beautiful, colourful flowers! That’s what I’ll paint.”
Out comes the easel from my storage closet. I twist the screws one by one, extending the legs to the right height, then I flip the easel board up.
Next comes the bag full of paints, brushes and other painting supplies that I’ve collected throughout the years. I smile. My breath comes out in staggered bursts. Nothing feels more exciting than having a paintbrush in my hand.
“Which canvas size do I use this time?”
I go into the storage space in the basement and pick the right size.
“Aha! This 16 x 20 should be perfect.”
I search for the used yogurt containers from the bag of my painting supplies and fill both with water, then pull two sheets of paper towels from the kitchen. I lay them on the table beside the easel and turn towards the iPod dock. Classical jazz or romantic music, anything slow and inspiring, helps me get into that zen-like bubble where nothing else exists except the photograph I picked, my easel, brushes and the acrylic paints spread on the table.
I sit on my swivel chair and stretch my arms in the air. I start by sketching the image with a light pencil, squinting my eyes to envision what it would look like on the actual canvas.
I pick up my palette and squeeze some paint. I dip my favourite brush into the water, swirling it by habit. Then I touch it on the paper towel I’m holding in my left hand. I pick up some burnt sienna and then some white, swirl it together to blend it and start painting.
I am lost in my own world. Nothing exists except the empty canvas that fills up with paint. Slowly, the image takes shape. The swishing of the brush against the canvas, the blending of the colours as I swipe my brush with the flicking of my wrist. I am caught in my bubble, oblivious to the world around me. I do not hear the ringing of the phone nor the cars in the street outside my front door. I am on a different plane in my own universe.
It takes a few hours and a few shuffles of music before I swirl my paint brush into the water for the last time.
A contented smile forms in my lips as I look at my creation. I revel in the satisfied feelings in my heart for a few moments.
Then I stand up, put all the brushes in the water as I walk towards the sink. I wash my brushes under running water with some soap, following the proper techniques of how to properly wash them. After each one is clean, I lay them on a paper towel to dry. I put a lid on the yogurt container where most of the paint was rinsed off and put it aside. Maybe later I could drop it off at the local fire station for proper disposal.
Then, I put away all the other painting supplies, putting them inside my bag.
I leave the painting to dry on the easel.
In the meantime, a nice cup of coffee is certainly called for.