Unpacking My Library
Tales From the Garden

Celebrating a Small Win

This month, the prompt from the Ali Edwards OLW team is all about celebrating our small wins . . . which is a really great topic for any month, actually. (I highly recommend thinking about the little things you DID accomplish . . . rather than all the things you didn't get around to.)

Anyway, I thought I'd share one of my small wins with you today.


Last spring, I was experiencing a bit of a "breakthrough" with my painting. I could actually tell . . . that my paintings were improving; that all the lessons I'd been learning were coming together.

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I was finding the time (making the time) to do a little painting every day, and that regular practice was beginning to pay off for me.


I was challenging myself and trying new things . . . just going for it in ways I didn't before. I was becoming more confident -- and more comfortable about taking risks.

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But then . . . I needed to clear out my "studio" (I laugh when I call it that; it sounds so pretentious . . . and it's really just my desk in Brian's old room where I have my painting stuff permanently set up) so Erin could use it as her office during her month-long stay with us.

I packed up my painting stuff (and there is a lot of "stuff" involved), and moved it to a work table in the basement where I planned to continue painting every day. After all, I was on a roll! 

But you know what? I never touched the stuff again once I moved it down to that table. I didn't even arrange it so I COULD paint. It just sat there, making me feel bad every time I walked by. So that painting of the barn up there? The first painting in this post? It's the last thing I've painted since mid-May. Even after Erin left (a month ago now!), I just left all that painting stuff sitting in a sad heap on that work table.

But over the weekend, I decided enough was enough. I forced myself to clear off that work table in the basement, and drag all my painting stuff back up to my (ahem) "studio" and set things to rights again.


I haven't actually picked up my paintbrushes yet. But that's not really the point here. I took the first step. I put things back together, which paves the way for my being able to paint again.

And that, my friends, is a small win that I'm celebrating today.


How about you? What small win might you be celebrating this month?



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Bravo to you! That looks ever so inviting! I need to do likewise... set up a "permanent home" for painting (and the living room ain't it! lol)

Your painting is so inspiring Kym! Thank you so much for sharing! (and I ordered some new Arches paper yesterday!)


I sure hope you pick up your brushes again soon. I love seeing your paintings and they are all so nice! One small win for me was rubbing all my kitchen cabinets with orange oil - now they are shiny and smell so good!!


That barn watercolor is really exceptional, and I'm so glad you moved your painting stuff back to where you'll actually use it. Hmm ... my own small win is that I'm prepared to cast on and knit a baby sweater today. If I accomplish this, it would make two sweaters for me this year, and that's some kind of record!


Kim, Those paintings are exquisite! You are so talented - thank you for sharing (and inspiring)!


Your paintings are beautiful!

Small win: I found a "daylight" LED bulb for the lamp in the living room. Now I don't have to sit on a kitchen stool to do my cross stitch. I can be comfy. It's a game changer.


This is a great prompt and I am happy to hear you are claiming this small win. Your paintings are really amazing. My small win is getting out for longer walks every day after a slump.


Your paintings are so beautiful, I especially like the painting of the barn. I've been in kind of a rut lately when it comes to creative and household projects. I really need to snap out of it! I did make a bit of headway by cleaning up the clutter that had accumulated in my sewing room and I guess that's a start!


Your barn painting is exquisite! I have loved watching your talent evolve and can see how you've honed your style. Nicely done!


How fulfilling, to see your own forward progression! A real testament to daily practice. Boy, I love that barn... what a pleasure to scroll through these a couple of times.
And, I'm all about the small win. (If it weren't for the small ones, I don't know that I'd have many wins at all! Not self-deprecating--just realistic at this stage of my game. They sure rack up, though. And I celebrate 'em!) This week, my small wins have really mounted in the garden and my laundry room. I'm enjoying the process of establishing both spaces!


I hope your next step (or your third or fourth next step) is to pick up your brushes again. Lovely stuff. I have been sick with COVID this week (mostly just a dull nuisance) and have been painting with Let's Make Art. Not sure if I'm improving, but I'm having fun. My small victory is that I started (and now have almost finished) the Alabama Chanin kit I bought over a year ago. I *am* enjoying it, and thinking about what's next.


Gorgeous paintings! Thanks for some beauty in my day.


I have to say that I'm so impressed by your painting! I think this post is a good reminder that sometimes all the motivation we need to get back to practicing something is the right set-up. Clearly for you, an important part of the painting process is having that studio space.


Your painting are beautiful, I particularly like the barn and also the woman reading. I'm proud of you for taking the step to re-establish your painting space in your studio. You'll have a brush in your hand again in no time, I'm sure.

kim in oregon

Glad your studio is back! I can't think of a small win except maybe not killing the hanging baskets?


Kim, so glad you are taking steps to encourage you to paint. The work you showed us is so incredible and worth taking time to continue. Don’t you sometimes think there should be more hours in the day to pursue our interests?


Wow. Your paintings are wonderful, Kym! I love that barn!!! I never know what to call my room... sometimes it's Studio, sometimes it's Workroom, and sometimes it's Office. Mostly, for the past MANY months, it's been A COMPLETE MESS! Now that the family brouhaha is winding down, I'll make it a priority to clean it out... and set things right so I can DO something/anything!


I love your paintings!


Love your well-observed subject matter. And your color palette is just the best. (Color being the first thing I am drawn to - be it paintings, clothing, home decor, anything really.). Keep it up, Kym!


Oh. Right. Small wins. Don’t have any particular one but have fallen into the habit -as has my husband - to celebrate small wins at the end of a frustrating day. Such as scratching off an item on a repugnant to-do list, finding a mutually good Netflix movie (we’re awfully picky), or maybe discovering a computer hack we can easily perform without needing 10 videos to explain it to us. Of course there are some days that I’m just thrilled I made the bed that morning:).


Kudos to you for recognizing and celebrating a win. Moving and reorganizing a creative space doesn't seem like a "small win" to me. Your painting is beautiful.


Your paintings are wonderful! The two of women remind me of Picasso's early years. Or Matisse, or Toulouse-Lautrec. Your persistence is paying you back, with dividends!

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