The vanishing point is hard to miss in a good painting; it’s absence is often apparent in mine. So, before we left Dallas, I took a picture of a tool Tori Pendergrass used.

vanishing point

Finding the vanishing point


I have a problem with perspective – so, it’s hard to make things and people look real; to pinpoint where the light comes from, where the shadows are. Yes, it would be a good use of time to take a class. But, I’d rather keep painting (I’ve made up my mind; don’t confuse me with facts, right?)

Right now, I am working on a painting, a scene in my mind: a memory of sights that went deep into my heart. A moment I took for granted – opening a door, and seeing a splash of color on a gray day, against a large window; beyond that window was a view of Mill Creek, before it would over-built with so many homes.

I wish I could return to that moment, take my place along with fellow painters, and learn more about watercolors. My perspective on that day was I didn’t know how treasured a day it was.

So, I’ve painted and adapted it several times. And I wanted to do it again. You can tell a master isn’t at work. Can you tell I love geraniums? I add a bit more each time I paint it, but never apparently the vanishing point.

vanishing point

Where’s That Point?

I added to my memory of a perfect morning – a morning I didn’t appreciate for its quiet perfection.

I’ve done it before.   A flowerpot is tumbling off the table, shaking others with its movement. What happened? A black cat lurks from underneath – was he chasing another critter, a mouse or insect?

A memory isn’t easy to paint – especially if I add in editorial comments.

  • Is it just bad luck – as a little black cat might represent? Or,
  • Is it an undetected agitation – something that either shook the table, or annoyed the cat? Or,
  • Is it I just love red geraniums—the more the merrier, no matter the mess?

We all need a proper vanishing point, too — not just artists. Something that enables a realistic perspective in and on the world today. I need a vanishing point that keeps me right-sized – and reasonable.

I can’t just paint over our problems with happy geraniums and impish cats.

So, I look again at the Cross – and see the shape, dimension, and shading of so much – and some of which, I don’t recognize what I am seeing. I commend it to you, whether or not you paint. However, I am not sure what mercy and grace would look like if I tried to paint them. How would you represent them?

It’s surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time. ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

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