I'm pretty sure that's somewhere in Genesis, while God was creating all sorts of delightful things. Why else would God have spent so much time describing the amazing birds and landscapes and oceans, if we weren't to use them as models for things to draw and paint and write about?
I've had a need to paint lately...almost as strong as the need that often holds me captive--to play with words. Something in my soul has needed again to feel a paintbrush, to create something vibrant and life-filled, to use big bold colors and potentially even bolder brush strokes. My "safe" color-pencils, though often a medium of choice, weren't cutting it. Pastels seemed too limiting. Pen and Ink felt too heavy to hold the subject with any integrity. The only thing that would do is a big canvas and super bold oil paints. Nevermind that I haven't painted at all since the two random pictures I did in seminary.
I spent the morning with my sketch, and did the color blocking for a painting that I hope to love. But that's the thing with oil. If I don't love it, I can paint over it or blend it into something else. Or if I really don't love it, I can pretty much scrape the whole thing away. But even if I don't love the finished product, even if I can't get the paintbrush to convey the emotions I'm feeling, I LOVED the process. I'm only beginning, but I felt so free as I was watching the strokes take shape in front of me.
And I loved the types of Oil Paint--the kind that thins with water. No nasty turpentine, no hours spent cleaning brushes, no reeking for two days, no long drying times. Every thing I didn't love about oils is gone. Now I can just paint without all the hassle. Where was that when I was doing a lot of painting?
As DH is in his busy, workaholic season, I'm glad to have something just for me. I can be nerdy and play classical music and leave the windows open. I can create the scenes that have only been visible to my mind's eye.
Lookout, boring eggshell walls. You may be next!
"Graceland" is the name of my favorite song and album. It's by Paul Simon, but more importantly, it's what "home" sounds and feels like to me. We always listened to this album as we traveled from my home in Tennessee to my parents' childhood homes in Florida. But today, it's also a pretty good snapshot of my theology. Somewhere I really believe that the Christian journey is all about a wild trip to Grace-land. As I see it, Grace-land is the place where God is waiting to meet even us–with all the baggage and brokeness that we tote with us. Grace-land is the place where we will be received with open arms, even though our attempts at “getting it right” have been miserable failures at best. But, I think, every step we take is a step on the journey to Graceland.