April Jeppson: Feel the weight lifted with a little painting

Published 8:45 pm Friday, September 29, 2023

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

Well folks, I did it. I took the day off. I’m always thinking and even talking about how I need to refill my cup and step away for a bit. I understand the importance of taking care of yourself and I fully believe that as a whole, our society is just too fast-paced. I encourage everyone around me to take time and relax, be with family and not worry about work for a while. It’s apparently easier said than done for me.

April Jeppson

My mother sent me a painting tutorial a few weeks ago. It was fun to watch this person take a blank canvas and turn it into something so pretty. It reminded me of how much I enjoy painting, and how much I enjoy painting with my mom. She told me to look at my calendar, pick a date and she’d come visit me for a painting party.

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After the children went to school, we pulled out our supplies and compared colors and canvases. She set up the table with paint brushes, paper towels and all the fun utensils that this video said we would need. Then we pulled up the video, pushed pause and went to work.

When I was around 10, my mother took me to a community ed painting class. A cabin surrounded by snow on a cold winters night. I remember working on the fence and getting frustrated that mine didn’t look as good as my mom’s. I also remember really liking the way I was able to get my snow to look fluffy. The painting still hangs in my parents’ house.

I think my mother is an amazing artist. She would argue that she enjoys painting, but she’s no artist. I beg to differ. She was “fooling around” with watercolor a few winters ago and painted a man fishing from his boat. Instantly I could tell that it was my father in the picture, how cool is that?

I remember watching Bob Ross as a kid and finding his laid-back style relaxing. I would try to create a happy tree or cloud and get so frustrated that it didn’t look like how I pictured it in my mind. Realizing that I genuinely love to create things, I came to terms with the fact that abstract or impressionist art would be more my style. Do you think it looks like flowers? Then perhaps it is. Oh you see a beach at sunset? That’s exactly what I was going for.

My mother and I made it to the point of our painting where they encouraged us to let it dry for a bit before we continued. So we moved to the living room, had a little snack and stumbled upon a tutorial where a lady uses a balloon to make the most gorgeous orchids. I’m not sure if we will succeed or laugh till we cry at our hideous creations, but we are excited to try it next.

I’m only halfway through our day together, and I already feel the weight lifting off my shoulders. My back hurts a bit from leaning over my canvas, but seeing the paint on my hands as I type makes me happy. I’m not sure if I’ll create any happy trees today, but I know I’m working on creating a happy April.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.