A messy watercolor painting I made (to evoke feelings of rich earth, the scars of tilling and plowing the birthplaces of spontaneous life) grouped with a gorgeously colored map from a 1963 German World Atlas (a treasure I discovered at a flea market a few weeks ago) plus purple polka-dots and an UNO! card. A new collage in progress, I think?
Sometimes this is what "work" look like for me. In my last post I wrote that my heart is entirely wrapped up in my little girls right now, clinging to our last weeks together before they go to Kindergarten. That's still been true for the past couple of weeks. But I've been staring a lot at my paintings and my papers, making these kinds of connections between them, organizing things in my mind and listening to the work telling me what it wants to become so that I will be prepared to "serve" it once the time comes.
"If the work comes to the artist and says, 'Here I am, serve me,' then the job of the artist, great or small, is to serve. . . When the work takes over, then the artist is enabled to get out of the way, not to interfere. When the work takes over, then the artist listens. . . We must work every day, whether we feel like it or not; otherwise when it comes time to get out of the way and listen to the work, we will not be able to heed it" (Madeleine L'Engle, from Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art).What beautiful advice, right? I love this idea that even when we are working more "passively," mulling over ideas and just looking or seeing, we are doing the most important work of all: listening to the work, to the Creative Spirit and getting ready to delve into a new season of passionate, all-consuming creativity. I'm so ready...!!!
But in some work, it is harder to remain consistent than in other work. I want to let you in on a secret: lately I've considered letting my blog go. Not quitting altogether, just maybe posting more pictures and short updates and less of the soul-searching writing. The stretching is painful at time, the vulnerability something I'm not sure I can handle. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes it's especially difficult, as a visual artist, to pull myself out of the images and the colors to find the words that go with them.
Subconsciously, I think, I've performed a little experiment with my blog these summer months. I kept all that was going on in my head and in my heart there--safe in my head and in my heart (and sometimes in my private journal). Yes, a little quiet, alone time is good--as a friend said, just to be still and let the Lord write upon your heart, to cherish your story as your own precious gift for a bit before sharing it with the world. Yes, this is good. But I wondered how this would sit with me--keeping it all safe inside. Would it be enough?
Well, no. It wasn't enough. I'm going to keep writing, and hopefully to write a lot more--here in my "overflow" pages, the Grace Pages. Because I don't want to try and fit it all in here; because sometimes the art should just speak for itself; because sometimes I want to just write and not feel like I have to add pictures to the words. The art blog will continue as usual, but follow along at A Picturebook Grace if you want to keep up with all of my rambling! :)
Update: So I announced this because I thought the timing was right, but actually, as of November I'm still trying to figure it out! Not sure where "A Picturebook Grace" is going to go, and waiting for my blogging momentum to come back. I'll keep you updated! :)
Thanks, friends! Happy weekend!
Linking up with Studio JRU and Paint Party.