This morning, I walked into the studio and plopped into my chair. I was immediately charmed by two conditions that, quite frankly, I had forgotten.

The first: I had forgotten how much I love the smell of my art studio—unique aromas are everywhere depending on where you stand. I adore the smell of oil paint, and to a degree, understand why a mentally off-center artist, like Vincent Van Gogh, ate his paints. If I walk a little to the side, I smell the Turpenoid. A little further to the side and I pickup the scent of the wax candle—not used for painting. That’s for the artist.

The Second: I had forgotten how much I love taking my morning coffee while examining, exactly, where I am in the long and protracted battle to defeat the painting I’m doing. It’s like officers in the Civil War, riding their horses to the top of the mountain and looking down on the battlefield. Over the years I’ve learned paintings do NOT want to be painted. The blank canvas is NOT your friend. They’re resistant to the whole concept of being art. They’re very unyielding. They want to remain blank and empty. In fact, the stubborn little bastards intend to fight me at every turn. And, they’re slippery and evil about it too.

Being an artist is all about beating the damned things into submission … until they sit up and beg like a good little puppy.

However, the really cool part happens during the split-second I get my first glance at what I accomplished the previous session. Then is when I (sometimes) can clearly see exactly where I need to be to see after next battle. See? I told you it’s like war. You gotta win individual battles in order to move freely about the area.

I guess my intended message is how much, and how many, fond memories of being an artist are bathing over me nowadays. The little things are so incredible. I’m constantly meeting little vignettes I remember that make me smile. The memories have been wonderful.