Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Painting smiles, one day at a time.


I started making little paintings when the Covid craziness started, back in the middle of March. Originally I thought I was going to send a card to someone each day, in the hopes that it would make them smile amidst what felt like panic and fear. Then I realized I’d have to go to a store to buy cards. And they were expensive.

Nature in all it’s colorful forms

I don’t exactly remember the first time I googled ‘easy water color pictures,’ but there were a bunch of ideas. I started saving ideas into a folder, not anything specific for people, just little things I thought I could replicate. And I had some old, dried up watercolors on a pallet from years ago…and some paper somewhere in a bin in the basement.

So what the heck, I hand cut some rectangles the size that would fit into a small envelope and started out. I’d paint something and if it wasn’t too awful I think about who in my address book might like it. And then I’d send it off.

One a day, a little bit of a smile, sent through the post office, to someone who might be surprised and happy to get mail that wasn’t advertising or a bill.

A rustic little scene of a friend’s favorite beach in Maine.

Eventually I started looking for specific things for people I knew. A crane for someone who always has a family of cranes she watches each year. Musical instruments for musicians I know. A black cat for a friend that has three of them at home. Another black kitty for someone who’s black furbaby just died.

This little goldfinch just popped off the page and definitely made me smile.

I started watching youtube tutorials and trying to recreate the fun things I saw there. A lot of that is abstract, filled with doodles and color. Those are so fun, but harder to place in good homes.

I’m still doing this, though now I don’t mail one every day. It’s taking me longer to get them done, some of them are getting more complicated and have required more than one attempt.

Different kinds of art, something for everyone.

I haven’t shown you the failures yet.

Still, I’m plugging along. I posted on Facebook a week or more ago that I had completed a few, and now I have a list of people hoping to find smiles in their mailboxes someday. I’m working through the list…but I’m also just doing stuff for fun.

Remind me to tell you the story of this little bird.

My biggest challenges are those for people where I have a specific idea and I’m having trouble executing what’s in my head. Some of you may fall in this category. At this stage if you haven’t seen a smile it’s because I’m stuck on something that isn’t working and I’m still trying to figure it out.

Sometimes I get in my own way, you know?

These went to family in Norway, representing things we saw on our visit last year.

And, of course, if I don’t have your address, well, it’s hard to mail you a smile. I just sent some to our family in Norway, and I have one ready to go to Canada, but I’m not showing you that one because it hasn’t left yet and I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise.

These were all so fun to do!

Anyway, this is a rambling post just to share with you all the fun stuff I’ve been doing. The pictures in this post are the latest pieces, done since my last post about all of this. I’ve sent 80 so far, but I’m definitely slowing down.

Guess this was my purple and blue period.

If you’ve received one of my smiles I hope it worked and you’re smiling still. If you haven’t, and you would like to, well, message me on FB or email me, and I’ll add you to the list.

Be patient though…you just never know when a smile will strike!

An osprey a day…no wait, that’s not how it goes…

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

48 thoughts on “Painting smiles, one day at a time.

  1. I love all your cards and I want to say that you are very talented with your drawing and painting. I am doing the same as you but mine are not as detailed as yours. I had ordered a 100 pack of loose sheets of watercolor paper and just ordered some large envelopes. These would be cute to sale in sets of 8 with envelopes and tied with a ribbon. Give etsy a shot it might surprise you how well you do.


  2. Your card is STILL sitting out among other precious items. It’s so cool that you do this and that you’re such a talented artist.


  3. You and your artistic talent! Music, photography, painting, blog writing. Katie has a very talented Mom!


  4. These are fantastic. I see just as good, and lots that are way worse at art shows. I’m sure it’s good for your soul too.


  5. I think you are very talented!!


  6. You are so talented!! And your post made me SMILE!! Love all, and I wish I had time to try my hand at water color. I Love how you can enjoy some beautiful water color paint crafting and share smiles too! So FUN! 😀❤️


  7. Every day I look at the card you sent. And I surely do smile. Dawn, you truly have a flair for watercolor, not an easy medium. What a fabulous, creative way to deal with this pandemic. Kudos to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. These are wonderful!


  9. Beautiful- I’d buy them! (instead of store-bought “Greetings”)


  10. You just made me smile. Ok, story time for the little bird, k?


  11. Love the purple and blue owl — and I’m glad you’re still doing this. Lots of smiles coming to folks in the mail, as well as smiles on your face when you’re creating. A win-win! (I don’t see any Shelties in that mix — guess they’re pretty hard to do, huh??!)


  12. In my “purple and blue ” image there’s a sheltie shape that I doodled on. Sent it to a young lady who plays clarinet with me in our band. She has a sheltie named Violet so I put a violet on at the bottom. That’s as close as I’ve come to doing a sheltie. So far.


  13. Dawn your cards are just too beautiful for words. Every one of them. You are so talented.


  14. Hi, Dawn – Not only is this an incredibly thoughtful and generous thing to do, your cards are very beautiful. You have talent! I saw a post from Laurie Graves about the card that she received. You defiitely brought a smile to her face, and to all of our faces just thinking about the kindness and what we can do to show extra kindness to others. It needed now more than ever!


  15. You brought a smile to my face with this blog post.

    Nicely done!


  16. What a fantastic gift, spreading smiles and heartfelt warmth. And those postcards are so beautiful!


  17. That is some pawsome painting. Perhaps Katie could do some pawprint painting.



  18. You’re doing beautiful work! I’ll bet even the “failures” look good.


  19. Dawn, Your cards are beautiful and your generosity to personalize the cards to the recipients is amazing. Thank you for sharing some of your artwork on your blog. Have a great week ahead!


  20. Love your artwork, who ever gets a card is truly blessed:)


  21. Wow – very impressive, and kind, you’re doing great! That’s a wonderful way to spend time during this pandemic. I bet you’ve created many smiling faces in the process!


  22. Wow Dawn these are amazing. Works of art


  23. Pingback: So about that spunky little bird | Change Is Hard

  24. Dawn, you art watercolors are so full of joy. I love them so much. Thank you for the card and thinking of me. I have it up in my kitchen and makes me happy each time I see it so I put them on a little vessel for you. I hope you got it in one piece. You are such a talented and special lady!


  25. Pingback: Still painting smiles | Change Is Hard

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