Don’t Put It Off

105182105411111CDPby Neva Bodin

Sometimes I have aha moments that slide into some fissure of my brain and I forget what I learned. But this week I believe I have one I will stick with.

I have a passion to paint. I love oils with which I paint landscapes and wildlife mostly. But life seems to get in the way.

A painting I did from one of our camping spots high on a mountain. The coyotes and rabbit I added later.

There have been years that I have gone without painting, which I discovered as a great outlet when my first child was a toddler—because we moved, started working full time, etc. Yet there have been moments I connected with someone and we started a painting class.

To digress…one of those times we painted weekly at a nursing home where I also worked part time. The residents would gather around, watch us paint and eat our cookies.

A lady in her 80’s who would observe us from her wheelchair, appeared each time as soon as she could get a nurse aide to push her down to the dining room where we were set up.

One day she remarked, “I always wanted to paint.” So my friend Kathy and I encouraged, brought her up to the table, shared canvas and paints and coached her. She was sometimes late joining us due to waiting for someone to push her wheelchair to the dining room.

After a few times of missing part of the time for painting, this lovely lady came to painting one morning pushing her own wheelchair! She had her art supplies in the seat. And she always walked to painting after that. And shared how she now looked at the world differently, really observing scenery when her son took her for a drive, studying how she would paint that scene, what colors she would use. She went on to put her paintings on greeting cards.

My attempt at watercolor. It sold..

But, back to my “aha”. I have seriously neglected my painting the past couple years. Family medical issues have played a part, as have other adventures, such as my writing pursuits for which I’ve received some income, and my occasional shifts at hospice.

At home, I think I’ll reward myself when the necessary chores are done. But by then, I’m tired, and depressed. And because I’m reaching but never getting the carrot dangling in front of me, I feel tired and energyless. (Not a word my laptop says, but it fits me.)

A couple weeks ago a fellow artist said, “Let’s get together and paint once a week!” Being a “yes person” I said “Okay.”

The Challenge

We have met for 3 weeks, and this past week I have started my day with working on my painting, instead of saving it for the end of the day when I don’t have the energy.

And lo, (it’s almost the season for ‘and lo’ as in “and lo, there were shepherds abiding in the fields”) I have more energy and enthusiasm to tackle the rest of my day. The excitement of doing what I love and even being pleased with most of it, (some Hereford cows I’m working on are just not shaping up like they should) seems to rejuvenate me physically and mentally.

A painting I did from a photo of Grand Teton my daughter took.

So, don’t put off the things in life that are worthy of pursuit and bring you pleasure. They are balm for the soul to use a cliché. I don’t know about you, but I’m not getting any younger!


19 thoughts on “Don’t Put It Off

  1. You are so correct Neva. Do what you love and the rest is a gift. Love the work you showcase and here’s to more wonderful paintings. Doris


  2. Absolutely true! Sadly, for me, the thing that I allow to fall to the back burner is writing itself. Though it’s one of the most soul-nourishing things I do, it’s the thing that I “get done when I have some spare time,” which is almost never. And by the way, your paintings are gorgeous!


    1. Thanks Joe. You are very kind. I hope you can “just do it” when it comes to your writing. You are certainly talented in that area and we shouldn’t waste the gifts we are given. Spare time may be a figment of our imagination, designated time might be a better way of looking at it. Seems more important that way!


  3. Thank you for sharing your beautiful art with us, Neva. The words you write are so true for all of us, I think. I tend to try to get all my work done first and do the things I love after that. It’s never worked well because the day goes by quickly and when I have the time, I’m too tired! This is a great lesson in loving ourselves enough to put ourselves first and do something we love, which, in turn, makes a better person all around because we are happy!


    1. I totally agree with you Linda. Thanks for the kind words. I think it’s true that we gain wisdom as we get older, and these lines we gain are not wrinkles, but wise cracks! And I especially like your last statement as to why we become a better person.


  4. Beautiful words Neva- “Don’t put it off.” I’m starting to be a bit more ‘selfish’ in my choice of pursuits for exactly the reasons that you say- I’m pretty confident that I’ll feel a whole lot better afterwards. I took some watercolour lessons when I was a teacher and enjoyed them, but I’ve no natural artistic talent. Your paintings look great to me!


    1. Thanks Nancy. I think everyone has some gift they can use, either to help them love themselves, others, or the creator. And using these gifts shouldn’t make us feel selfish, but I know it does me! So, let’s embrace these pursuits that make us better people! Thanks for your comments!


  5. You’re very talented, Neva. The paintings are beautiful! I have no artistic talent as far as painting or drawing. My mom would draw and sketch all the time when I was growing up. She even went to art school. Sadly, she never pursued it and doesn’t draw at all anymore. I think it’s so important to find time to pursue those things that make you feel alive and give you joy because after a while, you’ll forget what it felt like (which I think is what happened to my mom). Great post, Neva!


  6. Beautiful paintings. I love to paint, but I have not been able to do it for a long time. The last painting I started–I almost tore up, but Del said he liked it. I kept it overnight, and then I liked it too, but that was more than 10 years ago, and it’s still setting on an easel. Someday… Thanks for the thoughts. Glad you are back to your painting. Cher’ley


  7. Love your paintings, Neva. And glad your finding the time to pursue a love like painting. I took like landscapes over portraits. I especially like looking at landscapes done by artists who lived in other centuries. The paintings allow me to imagine what it would be like to have lived during other times.


  8. Impressive artwork Neva. Having people to work with can definitely make a difference and once passions are indulged there is a richer, more full life. I took a drawing class with charcoal and loved it. I’ve wanted to go back to sketching, but haven’t had the time. But writing is what I love and I need to do more.


  9. Your words are just the encouragement I needed! I leave my writing to the last and rarely have put fingers to keyboard except for “the making of story to make money…” As I’ve indicated in previous posts and reflections, I’m planning some significant changes in the future, in upcoming year actually, and that includes being “money-focused” and saying “YES” to others and “NO” to myself. I have stories that need to be shared and others still in need of telling so 2016, LOOK OUT! 🙂 Your paintings are lovely, Neva, and yes, you need to pursue this artistic talent more! Thanks so much for sharing!!


  10. Neva, I felt my body relax reading your blog and viewing your paintings. Thank you for the moments that put me in that place.

    God has surely supplied the subjects, hasn’t he!!


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