All Lined Up

All Lined Up

Here we are in a small savanna.  Summer is waning and the flowers are giving us a last, muted hurrah.  With this painting I built up thick layers of paint, which is delicious because then the colors sort of mush together and blend in interesting ways.  When I was out in the field looking for something to paint I was struck by how these plants had formed a line.  It made me think of the children in the neighborhood, lining up and heading back to the classroom right about now.

I’ve been wrestling with some conflict in my life lately and I’ve come to a conclusion this morning.  I joined an art group a few months ago and sadly, it is being run by some bullies.  I’ve been asked to stay by some of the members who are lovely people.  Every time I’ve thought about it though, I find my stomach clenched and my heart starts to race.  Surely, I’ve said to myself, I can get past a few bullies?  Well, perhaps I could.  But it seems to me that some groups attract drama, and that is completely nonconducive to my main purpose, which is to make art.  I want to please the people who think I should “suck it up” (their words) and soldier through, but my gut is insisting that that isn’t the right path for me.  Not for me the meetings and policies and security cameras and intrigue.  No.  I am an artist, not a committee member.  I shall leave and if I lose some friendships over it, then so be it.  I must, finally, choose my own direction, not the one others would lay out for me.  I guess we all have lessons we have to learn, sooner or later!


  1. I like that one very much. Lots of little ones lined up here, too.

    Follow your instincts. I think you will be much happier. Change often brings new positive opportunities. You will see them. That is how you travel in life.



    1. Thank you! Hahah, yeah, lots of little ones about. I’ve been watching the neighbor’s son grow up, now that mine are. This summer he mastered riding his bike~very exciting.
      You are right, Jim. Our instincts, when we listen to them, lead to our right path.


    1. It is a shame, and surprising how they found their way into that setting. Ah well. Sentiment has risen against them so perhaps they will leave soon and it will be safe to return. I think some people can handle that sort of thing but us sensitive artist types are maybe better off alone in the field or the studio.


    1. Every once in awhile I pile it on thick and then play in the mess I’ve made. It’s fun. I should really do it more often. The blazing star is Liatris hespera, and the other is western sunflower. I’ve touched in a little Euphorbia corollata, too. It is a rich site, with Big bluestem, indian grass, switch grass, sand reed and showy goldenrod also growing nearby. Plus a number of sedges. The trees are black oak, Quercus velutina.


  2. This is a cheerful, vibrant scene. I don’t think my friends and I were as colorful or decorative as these wildflowers, as we walked to and from school, but I guess we were blossoming internally, during algebra class. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a lovely painting, Melissa. I would hang it on my wall in an instant. I am sorry to hear about the conflict in your art group. So disappointing that bullies are everywhere. Life is too short to put up with bullies. Be the blazing star you are, and blaze your own trail.


  4. I’m tickled to death — I thought I spotted liatris and sunflower. I enjoy flowers mixed with grasses, so this really appeals to me.

    Wherever people gather, difficulties can arise. Even when conflict is mild, or absent, there are times when simply being in a group reveals things to us about our own preferences that can lead to change. I served as secretary for our native plant group for two years. I did a satisfactory job, I enjoyed the people, and it was fun helping a new group get off the ground. Still, when my term ended, I wasn’t eager to take on another position, or to become more deeply involved in chapter or state structures. Some people like being part of the bureaucracy; I discovered that it wasn’t my cup of tea.


    1. All of our flowers here are mixed with grasses, to the point that the flowers can really look pretty sparse but if you like that, come up for a visit sometime and I’ll take you to some lovely places.
      You are so right about groups. I’ve learned my lesson, that’s for sure.


  5. It made me happy that I too, recognized the liatris, Melissa. It is in evidence everywhere at present, and I really like it because it enlivens these late summer days. Your painting is beautiful, it captures the state of so many meadows at present.
    Sorry to hear about your struggles, but glad you figured out the right way for you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s