8.27.2011

Studio Sneak Peek: Inspired by Graffiti

The Rescue sneak peek2

Exactly two more months to go until I can say that I've lived in Germany for one year! My art seems to have become much less "tame" since we moved here. I find that I often feel much less inhibited and am not afraid just to splash and splatter the paint, even if I do end up just making a mess.

The Rescue sneak peek3

The painting I've been finishing up this week is a nice balance between chaos spilling over and an energizing peace swooping in to make sense of the mess. The chaos reminds me of graffiti, perhaps was inspired by the graffiti I see everyday in my urban environment, the graffiti that I have slowly become to accept and even appreciate as part of the "experience" of living in a big city.

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graffiti2

I love the contrast of linear urban structures of brick and cement covered in wildly growing ivy and graffiti, the wild outpourings of nature and the creative release of sometimes troubled but still-expressive human hearts.  It is a part of the world's story of making order of chaos, clinging to hope in the midst of despair.

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These are photos of what I would call "amateur" graffiti on a very minor scale.  Our city is on the quieter northern edge of Hamburg, so while you can still see it everywhere, the graffiti is a little thin here.  But when I walk or ride my bicycle past this parking garage and through the overpass, I often think of my former self, the me who once said that I didn't think I could move to Hamburg because the graffiti bothered me that much.  Of course, it wasn't only the graffiti--it was also the lack of sunshine, the cold winters, the scarcity of truly delicious hamburgers in Hamburg (ironic, don't you think? :)).

When in 2007 hubby and I first began the more serious discussion of possibly moving to Germany, I had come to the conclusion that I just couldn't do it.  Basically, I wasn't ready to give up the coziness and safety of our adopted "hometown" near Denver--the one with the beautiful mountain views and the picturesque daily life of morning coffee with one of my best friends (who literally lived just down the street at one point), afternoons of uninterrupted painting with the cool Colorado breeze blowing through the screen door, the occasional bike ride to the library or antique store in old downtown, quiet evenings reading or watching a movie with hubby.

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Living in Germany might sound "picturesque" to lots of people--and sometimes it is.  But for me, I had already found my "ideal" little life, and I really liked it that way!  Add in two beautiful little girls who arrived one-after-the other in 2009 and 2010 and life became even sweeter (minus the uninterrupted afternoons of painting and the quiet evenings snuggled up reading with hubby, of course)!  But we felt called to step out of our comfort zone, to face a new life that would sometimes hold minor but difficult realities that I would honestly much rather run away from.

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So when I see the graffiti, when I really look at it and hold it in my sight, I acknowledge the truth that a perfectly picturesque life is something that can't exist in this life, while still believing that beauty can come out of the mess.

Join me again in a day or two when I will reveal the finished painting and an inspirational story of people who refuse to look away from an ugliness much worse than graffiti.  And click here for another sneak peek of this painting in an earlier work-in-progress post!

Update: I blogged about this finished painting and a couple of real-life heroes here.

Joining Studio Sneak PeekPaint Party and Imperfect Prose.



23 comments:

  1. Looking gorgeous - and inspiration is everywhere indeed! :-)

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  2. wow, so very cool sadee! love this. xo

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  3. So far I'm loving that painting before it is even finished! =)
    I'm looking forward to seeing it when it is finished.

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  4. WOW! I'm loving it as it is and it's only a "work in progress"? Can't wait to see the finished piece :)

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  5. Really nice Sadee!!! Love it all.....

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  6. This looks magnificent. If moving halfway across the world does this for your painting, then I might have to start packing.

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  7. WOW! LOVE IT! So beautiful, colorful and creative! Your work is amazing! Happy PPF! POP ART MINIS

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  8. What a gorgeous piece Sadee! I love the energizing peace swooping in to make sense of the mess. The colors are beautiful! And I love your inspiration. Beauty can come out of the mess... so, so true! :)

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  9. Love your artwork ~ love your style ~ thanks, namaste, Carol (Share the Creative Journey) Happy PPF!

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  10. Wow Sadee, what a gorgeous painting and inspirational post! You are so brave for making such a move and change in your life. You are on this new venture for a reason though and it seems you are already seeing some of the peace and magic that is born out of chaos just like each shining star emerges from a nursery of fire and gas! Deb

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  11. Oh wow Sadee your painting is so very gorgeous. Thank you for showing. Happy PPF, Annette x

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  12. Wow, such a vibrant, glorious piece!

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  13. This is gorgeous! Looking forward to seeing it finished!

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  14. Wowee - your painting is fantastic... The colors, the textures, the line work... beautiful! I can definitely see the graffiti influence :)

    xo
    Kristin

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  15. Sadee that is insanely brilliant! I love the inspiration and every thought that lies behind. Art always comes out of somewhere and I love your story. I moved to Greece (one year ago) from pretty and fairy-like Denmark and it's not been an entirely easy move (I certainly do not love everything about it!) but sometimes it's unknown why we do what we do - stepping into the unknown. My dream country is America and I can well believe that there are cosy things you miss but just think of the vivid art that would not have seen the light of day. Amazing things comes from struggles.
    xo

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  16. Thank you, everyone! I feel truly blessed by every single comment I read...only wish I had more time this week to write back to all of you.

    The finished painting is coming soon...

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  17. I think this is simply beautiful and that it was inspired by the amateur graffiti that initially bothered you so much makes it even better, i think. I loved reading about your fears and doubts in moving away from where you were happy. I've never been to Denver (although most of America is still on my wish list) but I've visited many parts of Germany and love it there - so efficient and organised compared to the UK! Anyway, I'm glad to have found your blog via Paint Party Friday and will look forward to seeing more of your wonderful work.

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  18. I loved seeing your beautiful art and little glimpses of where you live. This was such a great post...I loved how you reminded us that beauty can result from a mess. You are such a good writer too. Thank you for sharing! :)

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  19. Now that I've taken up photography, I can appreciate the beauty of graffiti. It's an art form just like anything else! Love your piece - colorful and vibrant! I can definitely see the inspiration :)

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  20. Love how God can make something picturesque out of chaos. And love how you guys stepped out of your comfort zone into an unknown place.

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  21. You are surrounded by inspiration. Love your work this week! Happy PPF!

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  22. Super interesting post and love the painting. Hope to see a lot more

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  23. Beautiful. If you don't mind, I think I will start following your blog. I long to be able to create beautiful art effortlessly, but for me it is still a painful birthing process to get it out.

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Thank you for being kind with your words and generous with your time!