Painting a Picture

23 Jun

I’m not artistic!   Not in the way of picking up a paintbrush and doing a portrait or still-life, that sort of artistic; I might have some bones with word artistry, but no way with painting or sculpting.

But lately I have noticed that I am more aware of my surroundings, like my “artist’s eye” has suddenly been enhanced.

My wife and I, and our two dogs, were out walking along the Chehalis Western Trail the other day.  It’s a walking/biking path along an old train track route, and it stretches for many, many miles.  The Olympia leg of the trail is about six miles long, but then it continues past the Olympia City limits and moves through countryside all the way to the city of Tenino about, gosh, maybe twenty miles away.

Anyway, it’s a wonderful thing they have done, the county planners, paving this trail, a safe place for walkers and bikers.

So we were on it the other day, a good day for walking, cool but dry, and we were surrounded by nature, and I was noticing that the “greenery” was actually comprised of many shades of green.  They call our state the Evergreen State, referring to all of the evergreen firs and pines we have, but I think that does Mother Nature a disservice.  Green is an inadequate word, you know.

The dictionary tells us that synonyms for green include: grownleafylushluxuriantovergrownverdant . . .

But even that doesn’t paint an adequate picture. How about different shades of green, which would include jade and mint and aquamarine and emerald and pine and teal and . . .

So I was overwhelmed by the majesty of it all, and my inability to accurately capture a simple forest setting in words.  And yet that’s my job as a writer, to find the perfect words which capture the perfect settings which surround us daily.

It is a sacred quest we are on!


Working with other writers as a coach has helped me to appreciate writing on a higher level.  Many of my students just want to tell the story. They are in a hurry to just get the facts down, the bare-bones “outline,” if you will, of a story that has been rattling around in their brain for a long, long time.  Most of the work I do, as a writing coach, is to help my students to “flesh out” the details of the story, to help them to set scenes and paint a picture with words . . . and . . . to interject the emotional component to their writings.

It is a job I love, teaching, a job I take seriously.

Writing?  Not a job at all.  Writing is a passion, one I also take seriously.

Go forth and create!  Paint a picture with words and dazzle the world with it.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

27 Responses to “Painting a Picture”

  1. Janine HuldieJ June 23, 2020 at 1:51 pm #

    Aw, Bill I love your inspiring words here today. I still love to write. But my passion lately has been fixing other people’s websites again. So, I figure whatever makes you happy and floats your boat. I mean if it ain’t broke why mess with it! Happy Tuesday, my friend 🙂

    • Billybuc June 23, 2020 at 2:33 pm #

      Janine, you’ll get a chance to return to writing. Luckily you are still young. Thanks for finding the time to stop by. I know you are quite busy, and I appreciate it.

  2. manatita Hutchinson The June 23, 2020 at 2:23 pm #

    I gaze with a heavenly silence, as the sun shimmers through the woods on verdant ground, leaving a trail of shadowy trees and a residual trace of brown. The verdure of the foliage and surroundings… the melody from the chirping of starlings, speak to me of Love.

    Beneath an opalescent sky, my heart dances with serenity, whispering praises to Love. I listen to the sounds of squirrels, filling my soul with beauty.

    There you are. A spontaneous piece about your pic. Enjoy! – Manatita

    • Billybuc June 23, 2020 at 2:32 pm #

      And there you are, my friend, painting a picture with words. Beautiful, as always, you wordsmith!

      Blessings always

  3. explorereikiworld June 23, 2020 at 3:38 pm #

    Well said, Bill.
    Nature is bliss especially when we can get the right words to express it.
    As a writer…getting those apt words to describe is important.

    • Billybuc June 23, 2020 at 3:52 pm #

      So very important indeed, my friend. Thanks for your thoughts, Ruchira. I hope this finds you well. Stay safe my friend.

  4. divalounger June 23, 2020 at 4:22 pm #

    I think writers paint pictures with words all the time–and words are your medium my friend–so I suspect, your artistic eye is more finely honed than you let on–

    • Billybuc June 23, 2020 at 4:51 pm #

      I have a tendency, Audrey, to downplay whatever talents I might have. 🙂 Thank you for your kind words.

      Stay safe and be happy always! You are needed and loved!

  5. 1authorcygnetbrown June 23, 2020 at 7:12 pm #

    Painting with words is the only way that I can paint a picture too! Sometimes I just like to set outside and “paint” what I see. A great exercise that often makes it into my novels! Getting the emotion of the scene is so important! If you can get your reader to feel what you have written, you can say that you have accomplished something.

    • Billybuc June 24, 2020 at 1:43 pm #

      I absolutely agree, Donna! Those are the moments when being a writer feels sooooo satisfying. 🙂 Thanks for visiting. I hope you are well.

      • 1authorcygnetbrown June 27, 2020 at 9:32 pm #

        I am. I have just been so busy with the garden and the house that writing has taken a backseat!

  6. nightlake June 23, 2020 at 9:35 pm #

    I agree that words fall inadequate to express what we feel. I can imagine the shades of green and the abundant natural beauty that surrounds your place. And the real challenge is to describe it uniquely. Thank you for the lovely pictures.

    • Billybuc June 23, 2020 at 9:55 pm #

      Thank you my friend! It is a challenge I completely embrace, as I’m sure you do.

  7. Sue Dreamwalker June 24, 2020 at 1:34 pm #

    What a beautiful walk you took us through Bill… And yes, Nature is speaking to those hearts more and more who are taking in her beauty through another lens of appreciation.. And as another comment has already mentioned…. You have painted Nature with your words dear Bill…
    And I so enjoyed stepping into your Canvas my friend..
    Hope you are enjoying Summer…. Its a very warm day here for the UK today 30C…. 🙂

    Take care and much love.. 🙂

    • Billybuc June 24, 2020 at 1:51 pm #

      One extreme or the other here, it seems, Sue. Much too hot right now, keeping me busy with watering the garden. But I will not complain. I remember May quite well and do not want to return.

      We are one week away from July. How did that happen so fast? lol

      Thank you for joining me and for the kind words, dear friend. I hope this find you safe and happy.

      Hugs coming your way!

      • Sue Dreamwalker June 24, 2020 at 4:42 pm #

        Yes you had a wet May if I remember.. While ours was Hot and dry… extremes is a good way to describe, both the weather and the world of late 😀
        Take good care also Bill..

  8. Shauna L Bowling June 24, 2020 at 2:39 pm #

    Bill, you’re the master at painting a picture with words. Writers such as you are why I love to read. The images that roll through my mind as I read is attributed to the unseen pen on paper. Literature that doesn’t create scenery and tantalize the senses is not literature. It’s just a bunch of words slapped together.

    • Billybuc June 24, 2020 at 3:22 pm #

      You are very kind, Sha, and a loyal friend. 🙂 But thank you, and I agree about what you said about writers. The good ones are few and far between.

  9. Andrea Stephenson June 24, 2020 at 3:56 pm #

    I always find ‘green’ a hard thing to describe. Sometimes I long for green and nothing will do except vivid, vibrant green, but it’s right that there are so many greens it’s a hard thing to find the words for.

    • Billybuc June 24, 2020 at 4:48 pm #

      Andrea, I am inadequate as a writer to describe “green,” and that seems sad for some reason. 🙂 It does, however, give me a goal to shoot for.

      Thank you always for being here. I hope you are well.

  10. SaaniaSparkle 🧚🏻‍♀️ June 25, 2020 at 5:34 pm #

    Nice blog

  11. Damyanti Biswas June 26, 2020 at 3:09 pm #

    It is always easier when you are doing something you love. Never feels like a job and it never really tires you.

    • Billybuc June 26, 2020 at 3:26 pm #

      Truth, Damyanti! I felt the same way when I was a teacher. I would look forward, each day, to working with students. I am a blessed man.

  12. Sarah Potter Writes July 15, 2020 at 3:27 pm #

    During a telephone conversation with an elderly housebound relative of mine, who lives in the middle of the countryside, told me how much she enjoys counting all the different shades of green she can see out of her window. So yes, there are many shades of green. I love green, which is why my home office room is painted green, so it looks like an extension of the garden view from its window, plus I have two lovely green plants in the room, too (a Mother-in-law’s tongue and a Peace Lily).

    Perhaps I should challenge you, dear Bill, to paint a picture with a brush, knowing already what a supreme artist you are with words. You might surprise yourself. Lockdown has brought on a heavy dose of writer’s block for me, so I’ve turned to drawing and painting instead. Ideally, I would like to end up using my own original artwork on the covers of my books in the future, which would feel like a huge achievement. One thing I know for sure, I could never go back to do a 9-5 job, and would rather have less money and the freedom to be creative.

    • Billybuc July 15, 2020 at 3:41 pm #

      Oh Sarah, we don’t want to issue that kind of challenge. I can’t draw stick figures. I really can’t. It’s kind of sad, really, how bad I am at art. But I manage to live with that deficiency and still be happy, so all is well.

      I love what you said at the end…no 9-5 job for you, or for me. I love living the life of a writer, money be damned. 🙂

      Sending hugs your way!

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