October 23, 2021
Recently I felt called to paint outside. I’ve never done that before. It was a fall afternoon, and I brought my easel and paints to a nature reserve in Österlen, an area in the south of Sweden known for its beautiful light and coastlines. Dealing with the elements of the wind and a wobbly easel, I wondered if I would paint at all. I did my best to have low expectations for the experience, and see it as an experiment. But the light was so beautiful, I just wanted to try. So, holding the canvas (that had flown off the easel already many times), I started with the sky. I painted with quick strokes, with no time to second-guess myself or to think. I just had to keep going. Soon a few people stopped to watch me. They started taking pictures. I felt a little uncomfortable with doing something that is normally so private, but I waved and said hello, while bracing canvas against the wind.
“It’s just magical!” a woman said, “it’s just magical.” She would repeat this about 20 times. This made me so happy. On the way there, I’d been listening to Mary Poppins soundtrack for just that reason… I wanted to feel some magic in my life. It’s been such a hard year. For everyone. I needed to feel hope and magic. And here the woman was, repeating that word again and again. Magic. A few others stopped as well. I told them they could see the final painting on my website. I wanted to continue the connection. And unknowingly, I’d begun my first of 100 days of painting outside…
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Copyright Kristy Lund