This Sunday was awesome. Shauna Niequist was visiting us from Chicago and shared awesome thoughts about motherhood, celebrating and crying with others during the same day, and about the greatness of grandmas.
I didn’t get to talk with Shauna until right before the sevice… and she was still working out her complete thoughts for the day… but she knew that all mothers, new or veteran, need to give and receive grace to one another. In praying about the paintings, I saw that I should write grace in the background…. but I only saw a simple portrait of a woman. That was it. I didn’t see much color as well so I decided that I should do something kind of muted and monochromatic.
During the whole first service I felt very unsure of the painting. I didn’t know if it looked motherly enough. I wasn’t sure it was going to even turn out beautiful at all. That’s kind of the tension you enter into when you put yourself in these places. Once it again it comes down to doing what you think you need to do and just trusting that that’s right… no matter how uncomfortable you feel in the process of it.
It turned out it was the right way to go. People came up and shared their thoughts with me about what they saw in her eyes… how they saw a dualism of joy and pain represented in this single portrait. It seemed the way to go was to keep painting portraits… as kind of an honor to moms. Let Shauna’s words tell the story. And let my images represent the women we were talking about. I ended up doing an african american, a latina, and an asian woman for the next three services.
the last one was my personal favorite.
PS – Afterthought
One thing that I’ve sort of lamented of late is that I never did or probably ever will get to do a MFA in any artistic medium. I can’t imagine stopping the momentum now and going back to school to learn to do stuff i’m already doing. But, i would love the time to spend working…. getting better at my craft. Becoming a better painter. Thankfully a lot of knowledge can be acquired through reading and study…. so I can do that myself.
But the intense studio time would be awesome.
One thing that was great from Sunday realizing that I had done four paintings in a style that I had never really experimented in. I’ve done portraits, but usually i’m using more colors and getting very fine. This monochromatic looseness was a first for me. And at the end of the day, it dawned on me that basically i had just had awesome studio hours to practice something new. granted i did it with limited time in front of over 1000 people… but i’m used to that.
anyway, i’m thankful that even though i might never get to go back to school, the work i’m involved in keeps me stretching and learning new things.
And i get paid to do which is a great bonus : ).