A lot of readers who saw my two posts about taking painting lessons (here and here) asked whether I have any examples.  Really, I don’t have a lot, since I have been painting only since last year (and have maintained a law practice and numerous other activities at the same time).

I had failed to paint and draw for a long time because I felt I simply couldn’t do it.  I also didn’t like the idea of others judging my work. So I started to paint. Perhaps the few paintings below illustrate that — yes — I really can’t do it and should never plan to give up my day job.  That’s not as important as the fact of having made the effort.  And by showing these images to you, I’m overcoming a basic inhibition that resides in all of us — the desire to avoid embarrassment.  Overcoming resistance is an important trigger for creativity and a vital life practice. To lean a bit on Star Trek, resistance is fertile.

I could judge the images below, but in all, I’d say I’m fairly proud of these first attempts at an activity I had stopped doing 40 years ago.  More importantly, as I explained in my prior posts, taking up painting has brought other benefits:  peace (there is a powerful zen aspect to painting), increased attention to the world around me, and increased willingness to do other things I thought I’d outgrown or simply had no talent for.  So with that, here are my efforts:

Above is my very first completed painting – a mountain in Alaska, south of Anchorage, which I saw when I was up there arguing before the Alaska Supreme Court.

This is my second completed painting – the Jade River Bridge, in the Summer Palace outside Beijing.

Same subject, but this time done in acrylics in the Fauve style.

Just playing around with styles a little bit, this is small a study of bamboo.

This is a Santorini sunset.  I note that this work is derived from a photograph of a Santorini sunset available on the web (which can be seen here). I have tried without success to find the person who owns the copyright to that photo. If you read this and are the owner, please let me know. I have no intention of any copyright violation.)

This is a more recent painting, completed a couple of weeks ago, of a rose.

Let me know what you think.  I hope these materials will spur you to pick up a paint brush and give it a try — or to do something else that you felt was too silly or embarrassing to do. As I have  mentioned in the past, I believe people on success tracks take take too few risks, rather than too many.