|Valerie Sjodin copyright 2011|
Just over a month ago I went through my art drawers and slots in the studio. A number of failed paintings emerged. I loved burning one in the fire pit, and tossed some, but some I kept to paint over… an act of faith, for redemption. Then last week, when I was filled with angst, I took one out to work on. It failed even worse than the first time and I painted a few wide swaths of gesso over it in frustrated resignation.
Last week we were blessed with a weekend at the beach. It was so good to get away, relax, walk on the beach, recover from being sick, and enjoy each other's company without a schedule. I found myself looking at trees beginning to leaf out, taking photos, and being fascinated like a child filled with wonder. I watched the animated movie The Secret of Kells and loved the artwork. I looked through my Celtic art books and doodled, and when I got home, perused Jane Davies blog. Yesterday, feeling inspired and that there was nothing to lose in a painting a canvas already ruined twice, I set out to paint it again. This time feeling free and with more vision. The sun was shining as I went to the studio, got out a stick of charcoal to draw a design on the canvas, and began to paint and collage with a sense of blessing and collaboration. Sheer joy.
Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.
-from Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV