Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My Birthday Came First....

For my birthday this year, Brad hired our babysitter that used to come help me regularly when Thea Belle was first born. He hired her to come for an entire day! So I could try out my new acrylic paints I had been given for Christmas. I have never really used that kind of paint -- I did oils when Atticus was first born, but they are so messy and toxic especially when you don't have a dedicated studio space (I have a desk in the corner of our bedroom -- one desk for sewing, drawing, etc.). So I thought acrylics might be a possible medium to try. Well, the day began well -- Brad surprised me by sneaking in after dropping Atticus off at the bus and leaving a spinach and feta croissant from my favorite patisserie waiting for me when I woke up. Then I got the younger boys dressed and Thea Belle and I dropped them off at preschool. TB and I came back home and I had a good hour reading books with her and playing together. Then Meagan came around 10 in the morning. It took me an hour to get my reference photos printed off (I hadn't had time the night before) and then discovered that my sketch book was m.i.a. -- Looked for half an hour to no avail. By that time Meagan took TB to go pick the boys up from school while I made everyone lunches up. I was pretty discouraged because I hadn't even go the paints out yet let alone done any preliminary drawings. But I decided to force myself to switch gears, pick a different project than I had originally chosen and just jump in. It wasn't supposed to be about results -- It was to learn a new medium, to hopefully enjoy doing something I love doing that needs a stretch of time without interruptions. So I jumped in...

So I ended up with this funny painting inspired by Deke (not really intended to be a portrait). I was thinking about idosyncratic 1960's portraits you find in thrift stores sometimes. The kind that are kinda pulp fiction-y and a bit cartoon-y-flat. I learned that I dislike how fast the acrylics dry making blending clunky -- resulting in a kind of paint-by-number look. I think I will definitely look into some of those drying-retardants you can use to mimic oil painting.

Good things that happened that day: 1. I still love drawing and painting. Really, really love it. 2. I got to listen to like 4 sermons while I was working. 3. The kids were all super interested in what I was doing -- the three boys ending up painting with Meagan. I was happy doing this spilled over on to them and made them excited to try it. I try doing that with the kids all the time but I rarely join them -- There is too much helping and cleaning and helping and cleaning. 4. I felt so filled up -- I came back into parenting that night and the next day with such a better perspective and so much more to give. 5. I feel more hopeful about the future -- that I will be able to one day work toward making pieces of art that are hopefully worthwhile (skill worthy of God the Great Artist - Creator and joy and truth-giving to others) and closer to what is crowding and singing in my head. I don't think these paintings are good but they are much less horrible than I expected from not practicing these things for years and years. That encourages me. 6. I discovered that a close friend of mine is a painter/drawer -- and though we have talked of many substantive and personal things and though our families have hung out together in each others' homes many times, I never knew this about her. I felt like I had found my friend all over again. 7. I was able to see and experience that kind of support and enthusiasm Brad gives to me everyday -- in every part of my life. Just one of the reasons I love him more the longer we live this life together.

And because I had so much fun, after the kids were in bed that night I did another tiny painting while Brad read books on the bed next to my desk.

Oh yeah, and the spring flowers at the top of the post -- Brad brought those home to me in the go with this palette, a different kind of bouquet, right?


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