Yes, I DO know how silly that sounds! And that's the whole point really, because "Poopsy-do" is a silly term coined by the late artist Helen Van Wyck. She died of cancer - I'm not sure when, but some time ago. Her half-hour art lesson show airs on PBS, and RVPainter likes to watch it on Saturday afternoons. Because it comes on after my favorite show, "This Old House Hour," I often watch it too.
Poopsy-do refers to a blending technique in which you apply oil paint sideways in quick strokes and then smooth it out with vertical strokes. First you "poopsy," then you "do."
So I'm not trying to give you an art lesson here - it's just what was on my mind this morning. I think it takes a tremendous amount of courage to go on TV and give instruction about art and say words like Poopsy Do that everyone is likely to make fun of. It's hard enough being an artist without subjecting yourself to mockery!
Helen had the courage to just be herself, perhaps because she was so good. But which came first - the being good, or the courage to be herself? It's likely that both developed along the way, in a kind of iterative process. As she grew as a painter, she also grew more comfortable in being herself. The more comfortable she was in herself, the better a painter she became.
I think we can all take a lesson from Helen, but I'll speak about it as a writer. To become a better writer, I think you have to be willing to let your true self shine through. The better writer you become, the more you're willing to be yourself, seriousness and silliness and funny secret words and all. There is some equivalent of Poopsy Do for writers - I think it's called revising :-)
How do you Poopsy Do?