mindful marks

watercolor painting of a purple circle and line


I didn’t get a painting done in January. Both my PCA and I were not feeling well during some painting days so that meant I didn’t paint. When I did paint, I was struggling with a painting of a sloth. I kept making “unrecoverable” errors – painting where there should be white space, losing control of the brush when it was loaded with dark colors, etc. So I would start over. I think I started over at least three times.

This month, I decided to paint a flower made a series of unrecoverable mistakes and ended up with this image. Yuck. I don’t like this at all.

Part of my mind is yelling about how this is a sign that my painting days are over. I don’t want to listen to such catastrophizing. I find James Baraz’s definition of mindfulness helpful: “Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).”

Do you hear that, catastrophizing mind? It won’t always be this way.

I wanted something for this month’s newsletter so I picked up a brush and made the painting above.

Usually, painting is a mindful activity for me. Brushstroke after brushstroke, I am lost in the flow.

My goal now is to be kind to myself and honor my creative process. We will see what the next month brings.


Posted on

February 29, 2024


  1. Warren

    Well, here I am, proving that art — good art that touches some place inside me — is in the eye/brain of the beholder.

    I like your painting of the downy gentian. I found it intriguing, a challenge to follow the energy and seek the story it was telling.

    To me, it was a wildflower struggling with strange spring-in-February weather. I made up a half-dozen other possible meanings, but like all great art, it was intellectually and artistically stimulating.

    To Me. To uneducated me.

    So thanks!


    • Kate

      thanks for helping me see this painting with new eyes.


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