I love Yogi Tea…there's a tea for every predicament and I have a couple faves that I drink daily. On the flip side of the label are brief words of wisdom and this particular one caught my eye one morning: "Grace brings contentment." Oh, Yogi (tea), you are so right and in those 3 words there is a world of wisdom! I think I understand what contentment means…at least I know what it feels like: relaxed, peaceful, happy enough, ok with the rest. But "grace"? Do I really know "grace"?
What a silky, smooth word it is, sliding off the tongue like lotion. One syllable containing a universe of meaning. Not the same as "mercy", but a sister of "forgiveness." Grace knows the score, but doesn't keep it; views the ugly, but sees beauty, finds goodness. Grace, from my finite side of it, seems Eternal and reaches into my limits and lifts me up and out. It elevates the meaning of contentment from satisfaction to something else, something higher. Can everything be redeemed by Grace?
If I want to become a better artist, I must have grace with myself. Ego likes to fuss at grace and strains at being teachable and flexible. Grace says keep trying, keep moving forward. Maybe grace has a sense of humor and can laugh at botched attempts. "Look at that," she says, "What WERE you thinking?!" but with freedom, not blame, and fresh eyes to see the next step. I feel that it is A-ok to fall a little bit in love with my paintings, even when they are messy and works-in-progress; grace makes room for that even while pressing me onward toward excellence. It's freedom to fail, because failure isn't the last word with Grace.
I hope for all ya'll (all you all) this Christmas season…GRACE... that brings contentment, freedom, joy.
First off, a shout out to all you brave responders! You made my day and Betty gets extra credit for responding twice :) I am greedy and love the feedback; keep it up, my friends!
Sooooo, yeah. I tried my hand at painting an abstract. You know how you look at abstracts in art galleries and think to yourself, "I could do that!" Welllll, maybe not. At least that's what I think for myself now. It was a little harder than I expected. I mean, there were so many places I could drag the paintbrush. So many colors I could choose. Daunting! Even in my initial decision-making phase, it was just too wide open. I ended up hunting for and finding a picture that gave me some direction and inspiration (see the gallery at the end of the post.) I had already decided to use acrylics instead of my preferred oils, because they dry so much faster. Of course, I am not too well versed at using acrylics, so there was that.
I was painting over a previous attempt a few years ago of a Christmasy scene, so I already had a colorful underpainting. One of the summer workshops I went to this year was in mixed media, so I tried out one of the techniques we learned there: squashing up and soaking tissue paper in a watery glue and sticking it on the canvas for texture and interest. That was fun…and messy. Once it dried, I went to town putting on layer after layer of color, keeping in mind if the subject is cool (in this case) then the background should be warm, which works well if it's not needing a lot of depth and distance. Also trying to avoid large patches of unbroken color which just wears the eye out.
Anyway…I'm no pro but here's the painting! Lucky for me, I can tweak it again next year if I want to. And, for the record, I have no idea why the tree is listing to the left. Must be my astigmatism.
Hello! My name is Wendy and I am passionate about oil painting! Whether in the studio or out in Mother Nature, I get lost in the experience of capturing on canvas the moment and the feel of what I am painting. I pour my love and energy into every single piece of artwork and I hope it shows! This blog is a place where I can use words to talk about art, painting, life, faith, things that make me laugh, and things that inspire. I love every response, so don't be shy about leaving a comment...