Thursday, February 3, 2011

A lengthy beginning...

I painted yesterday... it felt good and the time passes so very quickly. I painted over so many things... my canvas is monotone. I have to liven this girl up and decide what should go in that void. It's pretty true-to-life- whatever will I end up filling the voids with?

Inspiring words that have been hastily scribbled into my journal in the past few weeks-

Find, cherish, nurture that pearl within
Be still... savor these moments
Seeking the Self I have always wanted to be~
May love fall upon you as golden showers...

 She's being swept away by whatever is coming, being nourished by golden showers of love and a hopeful destiny, and cherishing the most precious parts of herself to build strength from and carry her through.

It's somewhat intimidating... I want to give her lower shape more definition. She needs a face... something more suggestive of one, at the very least. Her arms need to be built up to be more soft and natural. I cut plaid ribbon I'd bought for an apron, cut it in half, lengthwise, and swished over it with an iridescent gold. I used, as I did as a child, things from around the house- white pipe cleaners from the craft supplies I keep for our children and a faux pearl from a broken costume-jewelry necklace that they broke last week. It all looks so clumsy to me now. I want this woman to appear as though she's ready to come right off the canvas and fulfill the destiny that's meant for *her.* And that space to the right seems SO LARGE. It's not a terribly big canvas... 16x20... but I've only half filled it.

Last night, I was wishing that I'd started on a smaller canvas... but at the moment, I'm a big believer in Things Happening For a Reason. Something special is meant to go there- I just haven't discovered it yet. I'm *meant* to discover it.

I did discover that my drawing skills need work. A lot of work... I need to be more economizing in strokes and not contrive the lines I THINK should be there but let the shading spread on its own, to form the shapes and shadows. I went to Barnes and Noble to get the book I'd heard so much about from an old friend... The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. I also happened upon a book about sketching- talk about economy of lines. Sensational learning tool- I'll be referring to it often, I'm sure. Our 6 year-old daughter, who loves to draw, is also in love with it. I think her princesses will soon be presented with shading. lol

While sketching in bed last night, with my husband catching up on all the college games yesterday (Go Orangemen!!), I realized that letting my eyes go out of focus and glaze over produced the best results. It was accidental, at first... I wake up between 5 and 6am everyday and it was midnight, I'd gone to the bookstore for a few hours, then a friend's comedy show. I was tired and could hardly keep my eyes open enough to sketch but the excitement of wanting to try my hand at drawing again was enough to keep me conscious. ;)

Those eyes became her face, which turned on me once I added the too-strong lines of my glasses. Our daughter instantly recognized this woman as me and asked where my glasses were. I need to work on that... or maybe spectacles just weren't meant to capture the soul of one's being? I want this woman to be in paint- the woman who is safe in her every day life, as a mother and wife, but wants to find ways to open her depths and run for her dreams... this is me. She needs to wander from the safety of her fence, gladly recognizes her dreams but doesn't yet have the courage to RUN towards them, but is at least waiting for that courage to come... to leap and be overwhelmed.

Sketchings of a few figures before I decide to paint them. Yes- my women have a heavy bosom, like me. They have a solid, cushioning body, like me. They have broad shoulders and muscular but feminine arms, like me. The more I draw them, the more free I feel... recognizing what I have perceived as my physical flaws and embracing them for the strength they've given me.

I call yesterday... successful!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's time to let loose!

As a child, I was really drawn to crafty things... I devoured them year 'round, as a self-occupying only child of a hard-working (three jobs at a time, sometimes! Days at the county finance department and picking up any waitressing shifts she could at local places) single mom. I'd make little doves made of paper and spring-loaded clothespins to hang in the windows, potholders, string translucent beads on shoelaces and random embroidery floss that my great-grandmother had left in an inherited desk drawer, break apart ruined audio tapes>yank out the tape>paint them like suncatchers, freeze movies to sketch people's eyes... I really loved (LOVE) drawing eyes. Anything that wasnted wanted, I would make something from... I was a hoarder of all things that no one else wanted.

Three children, a home and 8 years of my husband later, I'm finding myself looking for some way to express the ME that has been buried by busy-ness. Our first home has occupied me for nearly three years now... there's little left to do unless I suddenly come up with the kind of money that would allow me to rip off the roof above the kitchen and build a few new rooms that would seriously make this room Rock.Out.Loud. lol. Those DIY projects were GREAT for releasing my frustrations... with life, relationships, comfort, self... but I have a lot of leftover emotional chatter. There's only so much I can say to my ear-weary husband, who never stops me... he knows I just need to get it out while he stays silent. But it's not getting out... I'm repeating myself.

So I'm going to try my hand at painting. It may not be much but if I can form what I'm feeling, perhaps it will actually get out. And maybe the good things my soul is repeating to me can stay out and be preserved. I need it. I always want to be "productive"... to contribute... and all of this inner chatter is stopping me from doing so many things. They're an emotional block to the rest of me.

We'll see what happens...

Oh yes- the pinot noir IS handy!

 Ahhh- what to let out first? I stained the canvas, slightly, with a tea wash earlier...
 Not to be outdone - ever - Evie joined in for a little show...


Be still- be restful- explore your deepest self in these dark days of winter...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Taking a moment to savor...

Today, with the swirling clouds of snow and teeth-like icicles hanging across the windows, as if to protect us from the approaching blizzard, I'm inspired to take a moment.

I'm being forced  today, to really and truly SAVOR all the simple joys that already surround me:

~First off, blogging from a mountain of enveloping, warm, clean laundry.

~The little girl who fell asleep - here and now - with her sweet pink hand on my bosom, her favorite comfort. Even though it has been two and a half years since she weaned, she always comforts herself by sitting in my lap with a hand to my warm breast. Does she even remember the thousands of hours she spent there while I nourished her body and she nourished my soul? I think that, deep down, she still feels that deep connection to me. How blessed I am, to receive such affection!

~There are a pile of books waiting for me and the children, to be read from a cozy couch, while covered with a cozy quilt, in front of a warm fireplace with the soft light of winter glowing through the windows...

~Looking forward to watching Gwen learn at the kitchen table. Homeschooling her is an amazing gift- I'm able to actually see her mind excitedly burst with greater cognizance and growth.

~The tea time that will inevitably follow... my big girl sharing her ideas and imagination and sweet chatter with me. A quiet pocket of complete contentment in a sometimes hectic day. I can always rely on a moment of mindful rest with my eldest daughter. <3 If we're feeling up to it, we might even try our hands at making shortbread... these days, she's so excited to learn that she'll pull things out of the fridge and cupboard and ask me what we can make from it all. That girl is so very precious.

~Having a room of my own, as selfish at it sometimes seems to me. A room with a lock, even! Knowing that I can escape there, among colorful fabrics, ribbons, wide dishes of threads and beautiful brooches... to either sit back in my armchair with a quilt over me and REST or pick up a few things and decide to make something of them. I love knowing that choice is available to me... it's not a workshop/sewing room. It's a room for me, where I can just be still or create or work through frustrations.

(And there are nine more beautiful pieces, waiting to be pinned up and admired...)

~Knowing that a chicken curry will be waiting for us at dinnertime. Oh- Crockpot, how I love you. lol

~Spending a rare evening with my husband home from work at a "normal" time. He so often works until 9 or 10pm that having him home to eat dinner with us, ready the children for bed and sit to down to relax together before *I'm* in bed is a real treat.

~I know that even after I fall asleep, my sweet blondie-boy will sneak into bed with me and tuck his body against mine... and I will instinctually hold him close until morning. This crazy man-child becomes an angel when he sleeps. I sometimes wake up to him stroking my cheek with his pale, soft hands- *as* he sleeps. He's done this almost since birth... I'd wake up to his hands stretched out, on my face.

Even in the absence of all that I might sometimes consider the Worthwhile Things, these are actually the Most True... the Most Worthwhile... the very Tenderest Moments of my life. These kinds of days remind me to be still in them- to really savor all the goodness that already surrounds me. These simple, sweet,  real things that are the roux for whatever I do in the future or whatever comes my way.

Today is a precious day. I hope you're enjoying your own...