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  • Writer's pictureHilda Van Netten

Be Still My Heart

Last week I thought I'd settled on the subject matter of my next painting. I have a folder on my desktop titled, Art Pictures. In that folder are pictures I've taken over the years that I think might make a good painting. I even sketched it out - late fall garden plants rimmed in hoarfrost. It would have been a great challenge.

But, then I was given a gift. And that gift changed everything. Late last week, I took a walk around the gardens and was shocked to see that around 10 different kinds of mushrooms had popped up! One of my Monday students suggested I put them in a bowl on the grass, photograph them and paint them. (She knows that painting things in bowls on the grass is dear to my heart.) I am running out of interesting bowls, so I found a stump covered in moss and arranged some of the mushroom bounty there. Below is my reference photo. How exciting! I've figure out grass and sphagnum moss in past paintings. How difficult could this moss be? 🥴

So, there's the sketch.

And, just to orient myself in the painting, I've painted a thin wash over the random pine needles. Painting the mushrooms will help me to remember their names for future years when they make their appearances.

I love the idea of spending weeks and weeks with one painting. It gives me license to listen to all the podcasts I want and not feel guilty.

I feel this way when working on painting:

“You can talk with someone for years,


and still,

it won't mean as much as what you can have when you sit in front of someone,

not saying a word,

yet you feel that person with your heart,

you feel like you have known the person for forever....

connections are made with the heart,

not the tongue.”

C. JoyBell C.

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