Art2Life Breadcrumbs challenge day 4 and 5

This mornings prayer time was good and gave me the prompt for my art work. I did think about painting whilst I did morning prayer but decided against it. The verse that caught my eye and heart was:

Psalm 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

I was going to write that on a painting based on yellow circles. I love yellow and find it a joyful colour. There’s something from my childhood that I refer to as the yellow dress incident. I was a little girl (possibly about 5 years old) and had a hand-me-down yellow bridesmaid’s dress from my cousin. I had worn it to a birthday party and then disobeyed my mother who had told me to go and get changed before going out to play. I got an old fashioned over her knee smacked bare bottom for my troubles. This left me with a deeply held (and until discovered in prayer and counselling unknown) feeling that mummy didn’t love me and a fear of letting go and just playing when it came to art. It has taken a long time to learn to not worry about making a mistake with art and to simply let go and let the paint do its thing. This probably explains why I prefer acrylics to watercolours.

But on holiday I leave acrylics at home and bring crayons, felt pens and watercolours. However when I came to the yellow circles and expanded on them I played with water and some burnt sienna which I put a blob of straight onto the paper and then spread out. I let the water run through the paint, turning the paper around to make it change direction. I then dried it with the hair dryer. However when it came to writing the words on I was more drawn to the closing prayer about Christ as a light. It is based on St Patrick’s breastplate.

Today’s questions are interesting.

  • If my dream came true, what would my art and life feel like?
  • What stories do I have about why this isn’t possible for me?

Answer: In a way I am living the dream (as they say). I am doing what I know God intends for me as a parish priest. It feels complete and right and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. That doesn’t mean there aren’t days of difficulties when retirement looks very attractive. But I am almost 5 years away from then and between now and retirement I know I am fulfilling God’s purposes for me. However, I also know that art is more than a hobby, potentially. My dream is that I will develop art and prayer to reach out to others to help them to make their own art and connections to God through it as I have done in the past. It feels affirming and good when people respond to my art through this blog and facebook. If my book ever gets published then my hope is that it may lead to opportunities to speak and minister to others. (My book is entitled Are we there yet? – see tab at top of page). Covid-19 has put a halt on much of life – I had been due to start leading retreats with CARM and in our own parishes I have not been able to lead the quiet days for healing which include art/craft activities for those who want them.

Our holiday here draws to an end. I will not have time to do any art and have packed away my things. When I arrive home I shall have to get ready for Sunday worship as well as Annual Church meetings (2 of them). But I hope to find some time perhaps on Sunday evening or Monday to do something to complete this challenge.

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