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The Introvert Paints

I am that introvert.  In this blog, I’ll talk about a day trip I took with Sarah and Robert on Friday.  I’ve known for a couple of years that I am introverted, but hid the fact as best I could, because of how our society still views that.  I’ll talk, below, about a book I found that eases my apprehension about introversion.  Also I’ll touch on some artwork that I saw on our day trip, on a visit to my favorite art supply store in Annapolis, and on a painting that I started on Saturday.

Sarah had some research to do for a historical novel she’s writing.  It took us up to Baltimore and Annapolis.  While we were there, I got to see some great paintings in a museum.  They inspired me tremendously.  They were painted by a family of artists – the Peales.   This painting is of General Samual Smith and was done by Rembrandt Peale in 1817.   Rembrandt’s father (Charles Willson Peale) named three of his nine children after artists – Rembrandt, Rubens, and Raphaelle.   Another artist, who’s work I much admire, is Sarah Miriam Peale, cousin to Rembrandt Peale.  I read that an artist should have three heroes.  Rembrandt van Rijn is my first and lifelong hero.  I think Rembrandt Peale and Sarah Miriam Peale are now heroes as well.  They painted many famous people and did it amazingly well.  Lafayette sat for Sarah four times.  Rembrandt Peale painted George Washington.  What an honor that must have been – for both of them.

I also saw the original handwritten words to the Star Spangled Banner.  It is only viewable for the first ten minutes of each hour.  A copy is on display the rest of the time.  We were trying to figure out what the words are that he scratched out.  What might the song had been.  It’s wonderful and amazing that someone thought to save it all those years.  I would very much like to travel up there again and spend more time.

I got to spend some time in my favorite art supply store, where I purchased some brushes, paper, canvases and books.  I absolutely love to buy art supplies.  It feels like I’m actually buying HOPE, DREAMS, and POSSIBILITIES.  It means I’m going to paint, to create, to utter something that’s on my heart in the best way I know how.  I’m terrible with spoken words.  I have moments when I do pretty well, but moments only.  I lack self confidence and so I feel pretty convinced that I have nothing to say that anyone would want to hear.  People are in such a hurry that it feels like you have to bullet your points.  When I send out emails, it seems like my point needs to be made in one sentence and, if I have more to say, it had better be a short set of short bullets.  I’ve learned that I’m seldom able to speak that way – in single sentence messages or in bulleted lists.  The good thing about me is that I don’t expect anyone to speak to me in that way either.  I’m interested in what you say and will pay attention and take it within me and dwell on it.  So. Art supplies look like possibilities to me.  If I do a good job, those possibilities, those messages from my heart, can turn into something that will hang in a gallery, waiting for someone to receive them.  It may be a few people who stroll through and get the message and are better for it.  It may even turn out to be a person who wants to take it home with them.

Books – I got to go to Barnes and Noble Friday, too.  I could spend all day in a store like that.  I know electronic books are all the rage and I have a lot of them myself.  I like electronic books, because I love having them to read while I’m at lunch or waiting for someone.  Whenever I have just a few minutes, I can get out an electronic book.  I’m less likely to take time while at home to read.  I love to read, but I love to do other things even more.  I do love actual books, too.  I love the smell and the feel.  I like to flip through the pages, looking for something.  I bought several books Friday, among them, a book called Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe.  What an amazing book.  It’s freeing.  I’m only on page 17 and already I’m discovering things about myself that I never knew before.  Everyone is a mix of introvert and extrovert, but each person is more comfortable with one than the other.  Introversion is seen as a negative thing and so introverts have tried and tried to look like extroverts.  I’ve learned so much about myself in those seventeen pages.  I’m learning that it’s okay to be introverted and that there are some amazing strengths in that.  So I look forward to reading more.

Lastly, I’d like to share with you the stage-one image of a painting I’m working on.  I started it on Saturday, with those art supplies I purchased on Friday.  It’s just an underpainting and not even fully there yet.  It’s definitely not fit for sharing, but I find that I’m so encouraged when I can share a painting through the various stages.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe I like to go back and look at how it progresses.  Even though this painting is in its infancy, I’m pleased with it and my hope is strong that it will go on and be completed.

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