We are well into 2017, and I had not really intended to continue my Letter to my Daughter series of painting practice this year. I have taken a nearly two-month break from painting except for a few client projects, and I’ve enjoyed the change of pace. When I was thinking about goals for 2017, I hadn’t decided if I wanted to do another themed series. I’ve really been craving trying out some new looks and media, and I think maybe feeling a little bored with just lettering. I’ve been wanting to produce pieces that are more “solid”. And yet, I seem to always come back to some variation of words + pictures in my work.
THEN, I had a fun experience with my Baby Girl yesterday. I chaperoned her 3rd grade gifted class on a trip to see a science themed “circus.” During the course of some crazy plate spinning, bubble antics and mime activity, they discussed several scientific principles we encounter every day along with an encouragement toward curiosity. One of the performers told the children about the importance of “knowledge” and seeking knowledge for your whole life. But, in answering the rhetorical question of why mimes and boomerang tricks were included in a “science” program, he let the kids know that even when you don’t have knowledge about something, you always have your imagination. And that can take you places!
Baby Girl’s eyes lit up when she heard that statement. She looked at me with pride and said, “I have a lot of imagination!”
Indeed. It reminded me again that against all odds and in spite of any cost, we must treasure the blessing of imagination. In dark or uncertain times, it is imagination that allows us to believe in the reality of hope. In times when we don’t understand something, it is imagination that allows us to believe in the possibilities. And, in times when the flaws of a situation seem to take over, it is imagination that allows us to envision a changed world.
I doubt I’ll begin painting “letters” every day again. But, the journey of sharing with my children will never end, and neither will all the things they have to teach me! The discipline of painting is just one way my soul processes the beauty of these extraordinarily ordinary experiences. Thanks for letting me continue to share them.
I’ve been wanting to circle back to some of the abstract explorations I did last summer, and today seemed like a good day! For lettering practice, there’s a random quote from a book about natural farming I read over spring break called The One Straw Revolution. It’s taken me a while to digest a few of the concepts, and I’m hoping to share a little more about the book on the blog this week.
I’ve been working on some illustration projects this week, and this is my first chance for practice work! Not sure why this lyric came to mind, except I’ve been working with my Baby Girl on some paper craft projects this week too. If there was ever a girl who saw the world through a kaleidoscope, it’s my Baby Girl!
Today I’m experimenting with a few more color grids. We are traveling to the beach next week, where I’m sure sand, surf and shells will occupy my painting inspiration, so I wanted to get in a little more abstract work before then. I like the direction the abstract work is taking this summer and I hope to get a little further with some themes to take into the fall.
Happy Monday! I’m playing with color and pattern again today. I’d love to do these as a series with hand-drawn words in the solid area. Also, this weekend I thought it would be fun to take a look at the painting series all together so far. It’s neat for me to see what common themes may be emerging as I’m giving myself the freedom to paint whatever interests me each day.
I was thinking about putting a word in the blue area on this one. Not sure yet!
I did a little more abstract experimentation for today’s painting. During the process of daily painting this summer, I’ve been consciously trying to focus less on producing a product — a painting — and more on the act of painting and experimenting. It’s been a very free-ing experience, giving myself the opportunity to explore painting without thinking about creating an actual product. Some of the pieces may become an end product. Some of them may be used as studies for something else I want to do later. Some may be just food for thought. And some may just be marking a day in the summer of 2014. What I think the adventure is becoming is a real growing experience for me. A chance to hone the way I look at and approach my own craft. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to do these things each day and to see my children get excited about seeing it too.
On that train of thought, some of today’s piece was motivated by my 5-year-old’s perspective on watercolor painting. A week or so ago when she was painting with me, she discovered that she loved what happened when the colors were allowed to mingle together (a-ha moment!). I showed her a little about using more water with the paint to help that mingling process. She was sold. So, today’s work and the paint drips created by moving the paper around are in Baby Girl’s honor!
Back into the palette after a weekend off! I’m thinking about lines today.