I’ve joined a Facebook group for a week of thinking about our art and what direction we want to go in. Over 5 days, each day we are given a prompt of something to think about and then a live video (noon pacific time zone, so 8pm here) with some practical tips. Due to the time difference each ‘day’ will straddle two days for me so although today is the 2nd day of the challenge, I‘ve only just finished the task set for day 1 and have seen the prompt for day 2, but not the video.
This morning I finished a zentangle style picture of Psalm 40:1-3. Disappointed that the black ink has run slightly as the pens are supposed to be waterproof. Next time I’ll paint the colours and then do the ink work. I also need to practice more as often I am not as accurate as I would like. As I went for my prayer walk this morning I was reminded of how thankful I am for God bringing me up from the mud and mire of depression and all that he has done to put a new song in my mouth. Much of the driving force behind my art and blog is that other people will see God’s love for themselves and put their trust in him.
I may do some more to the yellow strip with the words Many will see etc….. but I wanted to get on with today’s clue for the challenge:
Question: what ONE word sums up how I want my future art to feel?
Question: What’s stopping art from feeling joyful and easy?
Answer: Lack of skills and often ideas of what to do.
The practical video was a demonstration of how to play and notice what you like and enjoy about applying different colours etc to the paper to create something that will be indicative of your chosen word in the first question.
My first effort was abandoned as I had applied some candle wax but overdid it and so very little paint was sticking. My next effort started with the yellow strokes and at one point I felt they looked like palm leaves. This lifted my heart in praise – Hosanna! The additional pink things left the picture feeling that it lacked an overall cohesion. It could almost be 3 separate pictures placed side by side. The pink yarn is from the dress I finished knitting recently. I think I probably over-worked it (a common mistake I make – I just don’t know when to stop!)
I went back to the first effort and found that some paint did take,, and also the use of a green OHP pen (non permanent ink) was fun. Again, I over did things and regret the addition of water to smudge the bottom left corner as it lost some yellow that had been there.
Moving on to think about Day 2‘s clue:
- Question: What is the one time, place or thing in my past that reminds me of how much I love making art?
Answer: Difficult to think of one time, however there have been many retreats in the past when I have played in the art room, creating pictures that enabled me to express what God was doing as part of the process of healing deep inner hurts over many years, and many retreats.
- Question: In what ways am I different than the person I was back then… and what do I still have in common with that version of me?
Answer: I am not now needing deep inner healing. Thank God I am now well and no longer living with the black dog of depression snapping at my heels. This is due to many years and various sessions of professional counselling as well as prayer for healing, and retreats. My story of transformation is entitled “Are we there yet?” Is a spiritual journey of redemption and recovery from depression to discovering the joy of being me in poems, prayers and pictures, available to download (See the tab at the top of the page).
One thing remains from those days of retreats and art is the desire to express something of God in my art. I started attending an art group and to improve my skills so that I could do this. And somewhere along the way I found that I also enjoy painting landscapes. I often find I pray best outdoors and wonder at the beauty of creation and thank the Creator.
Here’s an example of a piece of art created on retreat over a week after Easter in 2001. It was on my study wall for many years as a reminder.
Looking at what I produce now and comparing it with that, I can see that I have developed as an artist. Not brilliant, but nevertheless improving and enjoying it. So if you think you can’t paint or draw, just take a crayons and scribble some lines and fill them in. Add words etc as you feel moved to do so.