What I Can and Can’t Live Without

Have you ever noticed that you think you can’t live without something until it’s taken away? We’ve all learned so many lessons since the hit of Covid this year. Some of those lessons have been harder than others and some have left us focusing on what’s really important in our lives for the better. I’ve certainly learned about what I can and can’t live without. 

A photo of an original oil painting on panel of a landscape painting of a sunrise.

Covid took away things that I enjoyed as rewards and self-care like getting massages, pedicures and manicures, haircuts and facials, getting dressed up to go out for dinner with Monte, the symphony, and travel to art workshops and shows. What I’ve found after six months of not having these things is that while I enjoyed them they weren’t a necessity. 

What I found I couldn’t live without was not upgrading my living environment especially if I was going to be in it more than usual. The dark outdated low light apartment just wasn’t going to cut it to get me through this Covid situation. So I took all the money I was spending on the above-mentioned self-care luxuries and applied it to my new apartment, the one filled with high east-facing windows. I’m a sunlight kind of girl. I can’t live without it. So the new apartment was a necessity for my mental well being and my art. 

Every morning, I wake up before sunrise thrilled to see the sun come up and greet me. Sitting by my studio window with a cup of coffee in the dark silence pre-sunrise fills me with such peace and gratitude. About 5:45 I begin to layout my beautiful oil colors. The juicy and vivid yellows and oranges and the deep cool blue and green excite my soul. I slowly place the little 5”x7” linen canvas on my pochade. Then I move to select the brush of the day. Running my fingers through the bristles I find the right one. I’ll paint this whole sunrise with just one brush. 

At this point, I’ve finished my first cup of coffee and soaked in the character of today’s sky. It’s amazing to me how every morning’s sky is unique and different from the day before. I start laying in all the colors and cloud pattern shapes before the sun makes its grand appearance. Everything is cool and quiet before she shows up. Sometimes it’s dramatic and sometimes it’s calm and serene.

AH! Finally, there it is! The glorious sun. It’s always a surprise to see how the sun will be somehow the same as the day before, yet I still never know exactly what’s going to happen. Will it be hot orange or lemony yellow? How fast will it move? How will the clouds sparkle from it’s light today? The fast and in the moment experience is exhilarating to me every time. 

“O, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth.” – Roman Payne

I’ve painted close to forty sunrises in the last thirty days of living here! This isn’t my first rodeo with sunrises. I’ve painted hundreds of them in my time as an artist. It’s also not the first time I’ve looked to the sunrise as a healing and calming force in my life. Back in 2013, I did a series of thirty sunrises in thirty days because I was struggling under the financial pressure of being a new artist fresh out of college. It worked then and it works for me now.

The sunrise is a sign of new beginnings, hope, and a reminder to me that we all get so many free gifts in our lives. I can live without mani pedi’s, but I can’t live without gratitude, love, sunshine, and oil paint. 

I hope you all see some beauty, hope, and joy through my sunrises. I hope they uplift your soul as they did mine to paint them. Most importantly I hope that you find what you can’t live without during this crazy time and grab a hold of that with all you’ve got. 

You can enjoy my new sunrise series and inspirational quotes here: https://kellifolsom.com/product-category/sunrise-series/

Love in Light, 

Kelli Folsom 

P.S. I’ll be having a very special upcoming sale next week, September 7th, for my sunrises. You’ll need to be on my artistic community newsletter list to get access to it. Please click here to join for free: http://eepurl.com/dpg-_9

Photo of Kelli Folsom's studio, easel, and window.
A photo of an original oil painting on panel of a landscape painting of a sunrise.
Sunrise Twenty-Seven, 5″ x 7″
A photo of an original oil painting on panel of a landscape painting of a sunrise.
Sunrise Twenty-Four, 5″ x 7″
A photo of an original oil painting on panel of a still life painting of a sunrise.
Sunrise Three, 5″ x 7″

Love in Light, Kelli

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