Obeying the Rules



Rules.  We’ve been ruled by rules from the moment we first drew breath. Some of us take them in stride and others chafe in their close proximity. Think about it. What is the first rule you face when you awake? The alarm goes off, you open your eyes, and you think: “oh, damn.” or “oh, yea!” Every man, woman and child thinks, says or is told, “it’s time to get up and get ready…” That my friend is a rule. What would happen if everyone got up but didn’t get ready? Ha!

Laws are rules, like the street sign shown above, but rules aren’t always laws. There are rules at home, at work, on the street, at school. There are rules in the military, the Federal Reserve, Disneyland. You get my point.

Personally, I don’t really mind rules – unless they interfere with what I want. And they never really did. Interfere. Till recently. And it hurt, I mean really hurt! I was in shock and denial but as things became clear, I saw what a candy ass I am. Yes! I’m not as tough as I thought. I was conditioned to always follow the rules, but it’s the ones I let slide that are the issue. Somewhere along the way, I learned things went softer if I said, “I didn’t mean to, I’ll never do it again…..;” “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see…..;” “the dog ate my paper” (oh, oops).

We all have a weakness, mine is not paying attention, not being alert, and expecting a bailout if I get in trouble. Hmm, that’s stuff for a child, not a woman my age. Am I humiliated? Well, duh.

I haven’t been alert, I haven’t been aware… I’m aware now.



As a creative, making art sets me free from a world I often find constricting. I love the phrase “There Are No Rules In Art.” Creativity allows me to fling wide my arms and run downhill until I tumble and roll to the bottom panting, breathless, and laughing. Painting especially offers a liberating moment, and in that moment, however long it lasts, I’m free to expand, experiment, and express myself in anyway I want. And that is truly wonderful!

While working on this commission in August, I stumbled onto a technique that I rather like. These three examples are works-in-progress (WIP), but I’m showing them here only as a demonstration. The whole idea is a process of “Remove.” I remove as much paint as I can to restore the white of the paper. Notice the apple blossoms on the tree. I have taken them from painted to unpainted. What I like about this is the ultra-soft edges. It lends itself ideally to these blossoms. Can you see the effect?

This technique goes against the “rules” of watercolor painting, but as I like to say–

There Are no Rules in Art


Happy Tidings and Laughter this Christmas.

Joy and Peacegirl-with-pin-cushion




Illustration: Girl with Pin Cushion, Watercolor by C Hintz@1991, Private Collection Photograph by Linda Robinson ©2005 Photo from Flickr under creative commons license.

8 thoughts on “Obeying the Rules

  1. An awareness happened. There isn’t any one event or incident that has shaken me or turned me cynical. There have always been difficult rules and those less difficult, and then some are downright easy. Don’t you find some rules more difficult?


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