Thursday, June 29, 2006


I am a closet paint by numbers fan. I admit it freely- and this is my first public admission. No one is really aware that I do this- even my DH hasn't really seen me paint- I do it when he is out with the guys and I need alittle peace and quiet. It's alittle like meditation for me- I just get into a groove and the time flies. This is the picture I have been painting now for close to 3 years.

I was travelling in paris one summer and very inspired by the artwork. We just been out to see Monet's garden and it was in full bloom. While I have some artist skill I have never felt comfortable using canvas. I have painted on walls, fireplaces, porch floors and driveways- but never a canvas. I wandered into a department store and there was this paint by numbers painting. I had no idea it would be difficult- and I initially got it thinking I would pass it along to my niece. Unfortunately when I spoke with her (or fortunately for me really) , art really wasn't her thing so I figured I would give it a try myself. It's alot harder than I initially thought- and the numbers are written on the canvas are really really small. Some days I wear reading glasses when I am working on it so I can read the tiny light brown numbers on the canvas. I have to say that I never thought it would turn out looking so decent- and my goal has been to complete it and have it framed. Then I plan to send it to my friend who I travelled in France with- and who gave me hours upon hours of teasing because I bought a paint by numbers canvas in France and hauled it all the way home.

Believe it or not, I actually learned a great deal about life from this paint by numbers picture.
  • Don't be afraid to make mistakes.
  • Don't be afraid to not follow the directions- they are really more like guidelines anyhow.
  • Mix it up a bit- color is the foundation of life but we don't all see them the same way.
  • Exlpore and try new things.
  • Different isn't bad, sometimes it is just different.
Funny what you can learn from a paint by numbers. I like the first one the best- I can't even find the mistake I made in the picture so far and I confess that sometimes when I was working on it and I got tired- I used the color I had on the brush whether that was the color I was suppose to use or not.

Anyhow, overall I think the thing I enjoy most about painting it is that I get be comfortable with not having perfection. I'd like to be perfect- but I'm not. What I love about being creative is that perfection is what the finished project looks like to ME. I have a hallway in my house that I painted years ago. The paint is uneven, streaked and I even got splotches of it on the ceiling. DH walks through the hallway and shakes his head in exasperation- that I have not yet fixed it. The thing about it is... the color is perfect. I love the color of my hallway- I don't even get bothered the terrible paint job. It has a perfection all it's own and I like that when I walk through it I not only get to revel in the color surrounding me- but I am also reminded that life isn't perfect. It's not a bad hallway to walk through as I head out the door and into the fray of living.


ChicagoGirl said...

The painting is beautiful and so are your words.

sube said...

What a lovely post, and a great reminder.

Meg said...

Definitely a lovely post, Ellie. I have often seen those kits in craft shops and wondered about them. It sounds like fun.

the waiting line said...


ms. c said...

I love the painting! (Would never know it was paint by numbers!) It's really special. Your perspective is wonderful too!
Good to hear the IUI went well, and thinking of you in the next couple of weeks.

GLouise said...

Wow- what a great painting. I may have to try it out for myself!

Hopeful Mother said...

Sounds really fun. You're right, there is a lot we can learn about life in paint-by-numbers.

Lovely painting and lovely post, Ellie.

I hope your 2ww is going fast!!!

Pixxiee said...

That is lovely - I really like it. And I love your hallway too - just like it is :-) You'll make it perfect when the time is right and not before!

Hugs, thinking of you (and the dog that eats plastic!)