Tag Archives: art

An Artist

Edited: Congratulations, Lisa Notes! You won the giveaway! 

I stepped back. And for the first time, after four years, I felt like an artist.

Four years ago I picked up pastels and began. Learning to blend. Learning to mix colors. Learning to draw. I took along aside our son. His gift evident from a young age, we knew it needed to be nurtured.

We have an amazing art teacher. Encouraging as she teaches, allowing us to choose the medium and guiding as we experiment.

My son gravitates to pastels and sketching, seeing easily how to draw a subject. His tender heart seen as he sketches animals and his fascination with architecture shown in other subjects he chooses. His gift amazes and inspires me.

The drawing aspect of lessons was difficult for me. With our teacher alongside, I was able to sketch a few landscapes, and while the paintings I did hold meaning for me they still seemed uninspired.

But there is something about painting. Something about creating a piece whether inspired from a photo or your own imagination where a spirit can find release. So I kept trying, kept showing up at the blank canvas.

I soon found a love for acrylic and abstract. Pairing colors comes natural for me. Finally unafraid to experiment and fail, I begin. Brush against canvas. Colors blending. Layer upon layer. I push myself out of comfort trying different textures and techniques.

I begin discovering my voice.

Many paintings later I still never felt like an artist. Until this one. Inspired by a friend’s story of redemption, I wondered if I would be able to translate the image in my mind to canvas.

Colors chosen, I begin. Colors brushed then blended into one another. Background layer then another and another. It’s the layers that build perspective. Depth. I step away taking deep breaths, knowing from experience it will eventually emerge. It does. When I get to the point where I think it may be finished, I step back.

And for the first time I feel like an artist.

Four years after picking up pastels and then brushes, I felt like I had created a piece of art. The cliquish words of other artists who define art as their way and no other no longer haunting.

Too often comparison paralyzes art. We overhear others remarks and see upturned noses and we think we aren’t good enough. I know first hand how creatives are prone to insecurity, always wondering if we are good enough.

But here’s what I’m discovering: Art (or any creative pursuit) isn’t about comparing our work to that of others. No, it’s simply about growing and sharing the gifts God has given us. Comparison only steals the joy we will find when using the gifts and talents He gives.

I still have much to learn, much more to experiment with, but I am no longer afraid to call myself an artist. And through the process, God calls me to encourage others.

So this week I’m taking a step that really feels more like a leap. I’m putting my art out there with more to be added in the coming days. Would you please stop by and maybe share?

To celebrate, I am also giving away a piece here on the blog! Just leave a comment to be entered to win your choice of one of the pieces below. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only and ends Friday, May 10.

Eucharisteo Art

I mentioned in this update post about my One Word 2011 that I planned to paint an art piece with my word. Last week at art lessons I began. This is the final product. I’m not a great artist, but being able to paint and create is so good for my soul and spirit. I love how this turned out. It’s a little messy, imperfect, layered and exactly how I wanted it to look. I let go of all my expectations when painting this. Sometimes I’m too uptight and it shows in my paintings, but when I relax and let go that’s when I love what I have painted.

Are you doing anything artsy/crafty to keep your one word for the year in focus?

Stolen Breaths

The moon glows full, bright, outside my window.

Thoughts of wonder sparked.

Questions surface from a grateful heart.

How often rushing past, breath unstolen?

Without pausing, awestruck?

What secrets those wonders might reveal.

What truths might God whisper?

Hearts unprepared, rushed.

Mysteries remain unseen.

Painted sunset, streaks of yellow, pink, orange, purple, red splash against sky.

Art, given by creator, so often unnoticed.

Rustling winds, mountains pasteled in Autumn colors,

Waves lap along stone cliffs. Jagged snow laden peaks.

He paints. He speaks.

Slowing, gazing, listening.

What of worth can I offer for the art I see?

Breaths stolen by the Creator’s canvas.

Priceless creations of only glimpses I see.

Able only to offer amidst the grace.

With only a heart of gratitude can I pay.

You Are Creative

You are creative. Yes you. You reading this. You are.

I have friends who think I’m creative. Sometimes I think I’m just crafty. When my tendency to compare myself to any of my creative friends or to people like Ali Edwards shows up I don’t feel so creative.

But comparison is fraught with danger.

My son sometimes struggles with his attitudes and feelings about his music lessons. Music comes fairly easily for him. I’m under no delusions he’ll be some famous musician. My expectations are realistic. The visual arts come do come quite easily and naturally for him and he’s quite confident in those artistic abilities.

But there are days with the music he will say in frustration “I want to quit.” We don’t push our son into activities. I realized long ago the important role the simple act of play is in his life. He needs it to process and quiet the many thoughts and ideas running through his mind.

But music is the one area I push and encourage. It is something I believe is important. I wouldn’t push him if I didn’t believe he could do it. Beneath his frustrations with his music, though, lies the comparison trap.

We are blessed to have a gifted music teacher for him. But Squirt can be a perfectionist (like his mom) and at times will begin comparing his abilities to the abilities of others. This time to his teacher’s abilities.

I wish I had learned this one truth as a child or teen – don’t compare yourself to others. As I’ve talked and encouraged Squirt and helped him refocus his perspective I began thinking. How often do I compare myself to others I consider more creative? Too often if I’m honest.

We are all creative beings. Yes we are. Don’t argue.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1

God created. And WE are created in his image.

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1: 27

Notice how many times that is repeated. If we are created in his image then we ARE creative.

I am creative. You are creative. My Squirt is creative. Even my friends who think they are not creative really are creative in some way.

I wonder if it’s our almost compulsive need to compare ourselves to others that stifles our creativity. God didn’t create us all alike did he? We’d look like robots if he did. So why do we expect our creativity to look like the creativity of someone else?

If we think about the people considered most creative in history I believe they all have one thing in common: they didn’t compare themselves to others. They weren’t afraid to be who God created them to be and leave the thoughts of others behind.

So as I encourage my Squirt not to compare himself God is teaching me the same and that yes I am creative. In my own way I am.

And guess what?

So. Are. You.

Art by Squirt

Just wanted to share some of Squirt's latest art pieces.

This one is a charcoal sketch of our dog.

These last two are oil pastels he did of landscapes.

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