Would I have stopped painting six years ago if I had known that one day the pleasure I had known all of my life would hide behind a locked door? It seemed as if I were blindsided that year; a year during which I not only received a new shoulder, but they also removed all my teeth, and a broken tendon assured that I could no longer enjoy even a walk around the house. I’ll admit that I did feel a bit sorry for myself, but using my father’s approach to life in general, which was “get over yourself”, I decided to find something else to fill in the gaps.

I had always written; through my early years I became well acquainted with the publishing community, who delighted in enclosing polite regrets as they returned my manuscripts. But I had never considered blogging. Actually I wasn’t sure what it was, until Cheri suggested trying it.

My blog, and all the wonderful places it has taken me to meet so many wonderful friends, has been the spice of life so to speak.

Suddenly a few weeks ago, for no apparent reason, I decided to paint again. My eyesight has been steadily “heading west”, but I thought I would give it a shot.

I have discovered a trait that many children raised in the military acquire early in life; when you are transferred to another post, you rarely look back. As my sculpture studio emptied out with kilns, wheels, slab rollers etc. sent off to their new homes, I knew I would never work with clay again. I paint in a room in my house, which I felt heeded to be emptied of all things painterly, as I probably wouldn’t paint again either.

Once I had made up my mind to paint again I needed to replenish my supply of everything. The internet is a wonderful shopping venue, and I bought new brushes and paint, saving me the trouble of trying to find what I wanted in the local art store.

After a day cleaning out the studio and arranging paint in the old pallet, I confidently set out to do a very simple painting.

Whoa. In trying to do a very simple sketch, I found that the lines completely disappeared into the paper. Suddenly there was a locked door. Certainly a disappointment. As some of you may know, a great deal of my work has been in portraiture of some detail. All of which entails a preliminary sketch. I should have know it might happen, because I find myself writing over a previous item on a grocery list, so that when I get to the store, I have no idea what I had intended. Dr. A is a wonderful shopper who follows me around and read the labels.

Anyway, I look forward to learning a new way to paint after 80 years. No identifiable subjects, just apply paint on paper. My first teacher in the second grade said: “first wet your papers children”, and that is the way I advised beginning students of watercolor during my 25 years of teaching art. Bear in mind that art is in the eye of the beholder, so bear with me my friends.

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

24 thoughts on “OPENING LOCKED DOORS”

  1. Dear AK I am very happy that you are going to paint again. It is a wonderful and healthy decision. You style will be new. Fumigation guys have not shown up yet today and are now stuck in the horrible gridlocked Mission Blvd traffic. Meanwhile the propane is off and house is freezing. Plus, no food.

    I leave for AZ but when I return on March 12 we are going out for lunch. I will email you to set a date.

    Looking forward to your paintings. Love Cheri

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Loss always brings new things. It’s an old cliche, but I have always loved the saying, tht when one door closes, a window opens. You will paint again…it will be new and refreshing. So many blessings are being sent to you!


  3. Oh, the indignities of aging! Just be open to whatever comes. You’ve already created so many wonderful paintings and sculptures, you’re entitled to paint for your own amusement now. Put on some music and fingerpaint, if you want.


  4. Mrs. Lauderback, glad to hear about your painting resumption. Hope something interesting and new comes of it! I have developed a tremor in my right hand, which is making sewing difficult. But the real hilarity comes when I attempt to eat a salad–lettuce everywhere! And getting a spoonful of soup to my mouth is another round in comedy. I guess if you can’t laugh at the indignities, you might as well give up!

    Love you, see you for our birthdays!


    1. Hi Deloris, It’s have to laugh, but it ain’t funny McGee. You have to admit, nobody ever told us about all these indignities, so it’s always a surprise. One we can all do without. Love you too dear friend. See you sooner. Mrs. Lauderback


  5. What a positive, sweet, stout spirit you have, Kayti. Many would have given up after your year of setbacks, but you found blogging and gave us all the gift of your art, words, and personality. Now you return to your painting. May you find your way with it, and, in doing so, be blessed with increased happiness.


    1. Thank you Aunt Beulah, you are too kind. I’m sure you would do the same. I am finding that working at tasks which require seeing clearly adds a certain sense of excitement. I’m reminded of a saying from a few years ago: “let it all hang out”!


  6. It just cracked me up to read those words — “Wet your paper, children” — and suddenly be right back at my finger-painting easel. I could even smell those paints: the red, blue, and yellow that also were the colors of my first grade reading circle chairs.

    Who knows what direction you’ll head? Instead of finely detailed portraits, there may be abstractions, filled with glowing color. Or, there might be landscapes, or what a friend calls her “mind-scapes” — worlds that only she can see.

    And there’s the heart of it, I think. We see the world differently at different times of our lives, and we express our vision of it differently, too. Clearly, your art will be different, but it will be yours, so it will be art. No question about that.

    And, yes: hooray for online shopping!


    1. I tried a couple of the milo paintings but my photos of yours from your blog turned out much lighter, plus when I printed them they were even lighter. I lost your blog and can’t remember its title. Maybe if I refresh my memory it will be easier. Your photos are so clear.

      We had a tremendous amount of rain after begging for it for so long. Lots of damage and flooding up here. Not with us though. Now cold and clear for awhile.


  7. Very nice to take up painting again. It just seems that we should always be willing to give it a try and even if our results aren’t quite what they used to be, so what? Have fun and enjoy. I look forward to seeing some of your pictures posted on your blog.


  8. That’s a great decision. From your post I can make it out that you are really fond of painting. The decision to paint again will help you a lot. My best wishes are with you. You have the talent in you and would be able to paint the best of the paintings of your life.


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