Among my favorite gar­den relics is an ornate­ly-carved con­crete bird­bath that I’ve lugged around since we bought our first house in 1992. Originally one of a matched pair, the blue-green fin­ish and detail­ing that caught my eye so long ago is now fad­ed and chipped, but that doesn’t seem to mat­ter to the feath­ery hordes that descend dai­ly to splash in the pit­ted, shal­low reser­voir — a reser­voir that I reg­u­lar­ly replen­ish dur­ing my ear­ly-morn­ing meanderings.

Sharing space and resources with oth­er liv­ing crea­tures has enriched my life beyond mea­sure — and it pleas­es me to know that this par­tic­u­lar ves­sel has refreshed and sus­tained count­less birds, insects, rep­tiles, amphib­ians, and mam­mals in three Kentucky coun­ties over just as many decades. Keeping it clean and full of fresh water seems a small price to pay for the joy it brings to us all.

When the recent hot spell forced me indoors, I picked up my paint­brush to dis­tract from the with­er­ing heat and humid­i­ty. A palette of cool blues and greens seemed the per­fect choice to pay homage to my beloved bird­bath and the live­ly spar­rows cavort­ing in it on that swel­ter­ing after­noon. The paint­ing is small (about 5‑by‑8 inch­es) and was done quick­ly — but the plea­sure in mak­ing it was immense.

With sum­mer bear­ing down on us all, I hope you’ll try a cre­ative indoor activ­i­ty that refresh­es and engages you. Watercolor is a fun and easy medi­um that any­one can enjoy. The trick is to relax and let go, immerse your­self in the process with­out attach­ment to out­come. Experiment. Play.

It’s sum­mer­time, after all — let’s splash!

splashdown
“Splashdown!” by Adra Fisher. Watercolor and pen. (Click to enlarge.)

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    Adra Fisher grew up in Winchester, moved away in her ear­ly 20s and returned a quar­ter of a cen­tu­ry lat­er. She enjoys all types of art and encour­ag­ing oth­ers to live creatively.