Monday Motivator: Attend to the Little Joys

Choose joy. Choose it like a child chooses the … crayon to paint a sky. Choose it at first consciously, effortfully, pressing against the weight of a world heavy with reasons for sorrow, restless with need for action. Feel the sorrow, take the action, but keep pressing the weight of joy against it all, until it becomes mindless, automated, like gravity pulling the stream down its course; until it becomes an inner law of nature.

… Joy is not a function of a life free of friction and frustration, but a function of focus — an inner elevation by the fulcrum of choice. So often, it is a matter of attending to … “the little joys”; so often, those are the slender threads of which we weave the lifeline that saves us.

Maria Popova, “17 Life-Learnings from 17 Years of The Marginalian

10 Little Painting Joys

  1. .Squeezing the first bit of paint from a brand-new tube.
  2. Squishing the very last bit of paint from a tube, then squishing it some more just in case you might get a bit more out.
  3. Putting a brush into fresh paint on your palette.
  4. The first brushstroke, and the anticipation of what’s to come.
  5. Getting absorbed in a painting and forgetting time.
  6. Rediscovering a painting or drawing that you don’t entirely remember but know you did and is pleasingly satisfying.
  7. Surprising yourself with where a painting went because you followed an impulse.
  8. Remixing a colour without struggling because the ‘formula’ has become internalised.
  9. Looking at a painting tomorrow and wondering why you thought it still needed something doing to it.
  10. You-tell-me. Post a comment below.
Painting of a pile of creel nets alongside the reference photo, by Marion Boddy-Evans

4 Replies to “Monday Motivator: Attend to the Little Joys”

  1. 1, coming downstairs first thing in the morning and loving the picture you did yesterday
    2.seeing a fantastic picture opportunity and longing to get the paints out when you get home
    3. Watching colours blend themselves in a wet watercolour
    4.someone saying “oh I like that!”
    5 feeling a picture coming together.
    6 trying a new medium and succeeding with it
    7 finding inspiration in someone else’s work
    8 sitting in the sunshine doing a plein-air sketch
    9 going back through old work and finding pics you love
    10 meeting someone new because you had the courage to paint en plein air in a busy place!

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