To be honest, I didn't have much 'downtime' as I packed my calendar with activities, but when I came home and stopped for a moment, I drew.
In high school, I took art, joined the Art club and was constantly in awe of the gorgeous paintings and drawings my peers produced. I'm a realist by nature (I think that's the mathematician in me) so I gravitated to still life, pen & ink, charcoal and structure. The pieces I saw around me felt so grand, that I was content to stay coloring in my lines. It was SO HARD to do anything flowy, and honestly, I don't push through 'hard things' very well. I drew through college, got married and drew pictures for 'our someday nursery', painted name plaque signs for some date-night cash and always got the bug to join a crafters fair every Fall. I enjoyed giving my Bible study ladies a personalized drawing at the end of class and I'd paint for the occasional request, but I never considered myself an artist. Until this year.
I joined a great exercise & Bible study girls group in January and after a few weeks, our leader had us share our favorite verse. So I did a little sketch for each girl with their verse. Then we did a study on the Armor of God and I couldn't wait to get home and paint a piece for that. Same for the next study and the next. With March turning our lives upside down, painting was now my only escape from the no-school, home-all-day crew, so early mornings and late nights became the way for me to find a bit of normal in this 'unprecedented' season. I started a zoom painting class for some friends, just so we could take a hour to not think about Covid, and it lit up my soul. I watched YouTube videos, I tried out new mediums and I found out I'm obsessed with watercolors. The way the paint moves across the page and responds to subtle touch enthralls me. So I'm painting. And painting some more. And I'm still learning and I throw stuff away and try again. And that's ok, because I haven't quit.
I feel like this art is a snapshot of my heart. Some days it's pretty and some days it's not. Sometimes I'm shocked at how the mess I walked away from dried beautifully different. I love the smiles I get when I give away a piece or share a phone screen saver or finish a request. Because I'm learning that a painting is just a little way to have a heart to heart, no matter how close or far you are.
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters." Colossians 3:23
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