“The world is overflowing with things to paint, waiting only for you and your imagination. Your final assignment of this course is to paint a watercolor of any subject you wish.” One would think that after three months of drawing and painting under my direction, the students would have been happy to be set free, to paint whatever they wanted and not what I told them to paint. But no, of all the assignments during the semester, this one caused them the most dismay. Why? I wondered.
A few said that “the real world was intimidating;” there were too many subjects to choose from. They felt lost: “How do you choose?” My advice was “if you’re in doubt, just paint whatever happens to be in front of you.”
That watercolor class ended a long time ago and I forgot about the assignment until one morning when I looked out of the window of my studio and saw the house next door getting a new roof. This painting has nothing to do with dreams or mythology or symbolism or any of the other things that make me wonder. It’s just the result of being in doubt and following my own advice.