How Marriage is like Painting Together

tim chan —  February 12, 2013 — 1 Comment

[This is an excerpt from our book Fight With Me: How We Learned to be Married, which you can purchase on Amazon or get free on our blog]

The summer before our daughter was born, Olive and I had a chance to work on a painting together. It was the first time we had done this. We had visited Whiffen Spit near Victoria, BC and were delighted with its breathtaking view. Inspired by what we saw, we bought a large, 3 feet by 4 feet canvas and set to work.

Marriage is Like Painting Together

The empty canvas

Painting together was very different from painting alone. We weren’t sure what to do at first or how to start. So we talked about the process, brainstormed some ideas, and tried a few things out. Some parts of the painting we worked on together at the same time, while other parts we worked on individually. Every now and then we would check in with each other to make sure things fit together and decide on what to do next.

Marriage is Like Painting Together

First we painted the sky

The process of turning an empty white canvas into a piece of beautiful art was challenging and enjoyable. At times I would sit back and watch Olive’s talent at work. At times Olive would stop and watch me work. Sometimes I felt frustrated at the part I was working on and was glad to have Olive there to help me. My favourite moments were when we were finished painting for the day and paused to admire what we had achieved.

Marriage is Like Painting Together

Next, we painted the ocean

Marriage is Like Painting Together

Painting the trees and the beach

Marriage is Like Painting Together

Almost done, just need to add the mountains and the clouds

After a week of working together, the painting was finished. We felt an immense amount of satisfaction and pride having completed the work of art together as a team. It turned out better than either of us had expected.

Marriage is Like Painting Together

All finished!

In a way, our lives are like a large canvas, and our decisions and actions are like paint. When we decided to get married, it was like we were saying, “Instead of painting individually, let’s paint together. Let’s merge our efforts and work on this canvas of life together.”

You can see more of Olive and my art by visiting our virtual art gallery.

  • Mandy

    Hey! Just want to say that I was looking at your paintings in your virtual art gallery before reading this post, and Whiffen Spit was definitely my favourite painting. Love the colours and the big cloud wisps. It’s nice to see a featured post on it =)