8.31.2012

The Colors of the Earth

Colors of the Earth

Colors of the Earth4

Colors of the Earth3

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.

19 comments:

  1. Loving your experiments with art. Happy PPF, Annette x

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  2. Lovely colors and textures ~ and playful feel to your art exploring ~ (A Creative Harbor)

    Great to have you 'come by' and comment ~ ^_^

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  3. Appreciate your words, thoughts and more... the advice of your friend is well taken (as we say in the court where I work)... and I believe that we are to share the talents we have been given, and God wants us to show HIS heart through it all... (and more!) So glad to hear you will keep on! I for one, will be looking for your heart, as well as... your art! Abundant blessings to you, and I''m sure there is more, too.

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    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Leslie! I think if we just throw ourselves into doing what God gave us the gifts to do, and LOVE doing it all the while, there's no stopping His light from shining! And I love that He provides community for us all who are in this together. Thanks again, and blessings to you too! :)

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  4. and I forgot to say how much I enjoyed the watercolors, textures, and the map, especially!

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  5. Love the combination of the watercolor painting of rich earth with the gorgeous map from the 1963 German World Atlas! Lucky duck finding that at a flea market!
    ♥♥♥
    Happy PPF!!
    Mary
    Mixed-Media Map Art

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    1. Thanks, Mary! You're right--I was so blessed to find that Atlas! I've been wishing for one and there it was, and cheap too! Can't wait to start making art with it!

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  6. your colours and textures just brighten my day... you have a great eye and I can't wait to see what this becomes... and I am glad you are going to continue to blog... I always find that change sets me to thinking I should be spending less time on my work, but I sort of think that is just my brain trying to take control of something... maybe all the changes coming with Kindy are manifesting a bit that way... I am glad you will keep these sorts of posts coming... I really enjoy them...xx

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  7. I considered giving up my blog too. I agree with everything you've posted here. I am looking forward to reading the Grace pages. Love the papers and the colors you've put together.

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  8. i enjoy your writing!i believe you an amazing talent to convey feelings and emotions artist "go through" don't stop...and i am looking forward to seeing what you are going to create...

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  9. It is always a balance, I always wonder if I talk too much and then I don't publish the post. I wish I was braver to publish more, but then I think it is not really art related. But in some ways it is all related, I don't create in isolation so one without the other would be impossible...a constant circle! In any event, I love the colours on this. Beautifully evocative.

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  10. Well hello Sadee -- You have a way with words and your earthiness shows; yes, we all need to give Him are attention and so lovely your blog. Blessings Terri www.morningdewdrops.typepad.com

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  11. I just found your blog and I want to encourage you to not give up on it. You have an amazing talent and you need to shine out. I am delighted to be your newest follower. I am a wife, mother, grandmother, artist, musician, and lover of life. Please come visit; I am excited about getting to know you better through blogging. Connie :)

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  12. Oh I hear you. "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"... yes, yes, yes. I totally feel the same way. I am doing a lot of thinking and sometimes have thought of letting my blog go too. I think you have a wonderful way with words. I find it difficult, finding the words. But I would never guess that from you... your words flow beautifully!

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  13. {Commented over at the new place!}

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  14. You have a fantastic blog! You are so right about the vulnerability of it. I remember those days when kindergarten was starting - now I am facing the reality that college is right around the corner. It is all going so quickly (except the laundry - that never seems to pass in the blink of an eye...).

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  15. I agree, it all goes in the blink of an eye, good words Carolyn. The map is amazing. Blessings, Janet PPF

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  16. I absolutely love your art piece.fantastic and realistic textures and depth and shades and everything.it's really amazing

    Hugs

    Duaa

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