Whenever I’m desperate for an indoor activity that will last for more than five minutes, I whip out the girls’ paints and set them up at the kitchen table. They love, love, LOVE to paint. Sophie is especially enthusiastic. But we’ll get to that in just a minute.

I photographed a recent painting session because I really want to learn how to use the manual settings on my camera, and I need practice. (So now you’ll understand why almost every shot is poorly lit and out of focus. I’m getting there.)

As I scrolled through my shots later that night, I began to notice a pattern.

Let’s call it a study in order and chaos: Lily and Sophie. Big and little. Yin and Yang.

Lily approaches her palette, brush in hand, with the delicacy and precision of a brain surgeon.

And Sophie? Well, she goes all in.


Lily’s creation begins to take shape. Carefully. Slowly.


Sophie realizes, hey, why smear just one hand in the paint when you have a perfectly clean other hand too?


Perfect palette still in tact. Nary a smudge. Self-portrait in full effect.


Dissatisfied with the results of her two-handed-plop-and-smear technique, Sophie opts to add some “texture” with her brush.


A masterpiece taking shape! (Note the palette. Still pristine.)


The brush clearly not serving her purposes, Sophie flips it over and paints with the other end.


And then … an epiphany! Why paint on paper when I can paint on myself?



And there you have it. Eight minutes of indoor fun, followed by 42 minutes of clean-up. Every single one of them totally worth it.

Love these girls.

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2 Comments on a tale of two artists

    • You’re my inspiration! Plus, I can’t stop trying because I’m counting on you to give me hell if I do. 🙂

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