How Long Does It Take?

Posted by Kathleen Self on June 5, 2019

I cannot count how many times I’ve been asked, “How long does it take to finish a painting?” To answer this common question, I will tell the story of a painting I finished this week.

Once upon a time, when I was a little girl in love with colors, I crocheted a poncho of many colors (yes, this was in the 1960’s). I especially loved a pretty blue next to a fresh green, and confidently crocheted a thick band of blue, followed by a band of green. An older woman told me that you should never put green next to blue. I was quite puzzled and felt sad and disappointed about my color choices. I rarely wore the poncho.

Fifty (yes, 50!) years later I took a walk in the beauty of a Colorado May. To my great delight I came upon a field of perfect blue wildflowers, blooming in a large swatch of fresh grassy green. I took a photo on my iPhone, which I always do to keep track of beauty that will someday inspire a painting. That photo was taken in May of 2018. In May of 2019 I was casually scrolling through my photos, and stopped when I saw the sweet blue flowers growing in the newly greened grasses. I was so happy to see this! Our Winter this year on the Front Range has been long and cold, and because of a broken ankle and subsequent surgery, I’ve been forced to stay inside for months. I decided to paint a quick watercolor sketch in my journal; nothing serious, just some colorful splashy fun. I liked it so much I decided to make an 8″x10″ watercolor. A month went by, and now in June I am finally able to stand at my easel and I painted the perfect blue next to a fresh green! I am very happy. If God can make blue flowers thrive amidst green prairie grasses, I am sure that blue and green are perfect next to each other!

Does this answer the question of how long it takes me to finish a painting? I’m not sure if it does, but I do love blue and green, and the delight I had in painting this week goes so deep in my soul. I am grateful.

Blue Flowers
oil on canvas 12″x24″