In response to the “Paint a picture prompt (Show me don’t tell me) I answer in this way.
I sit in the middle of pictures as I write this post. Collages of my children and grandchildren are interspersed among artworks that line my walls – my paintings, my collages, my drawings. There is a comfort in them that is hard to explain. They connect me to a part of myself that I am so good at keeping distant. They are almost a travel log each capturing a story of a life on the edge of living.
Somewhere in life I began living an unfinished life, hiding on a shelf the remnants of what I didn’t think the world would want. As a part of my journey to move into life again, I chose to go deeper into the canvases in my home. What had I decided to abandon and why? Were there some I would want to take up again. Were there others I needed to let go of to make room for new artistry in my life?
Here are a few of the unfinished canvases in my life.
This one, recently started, is simply free collage. I am just letting myself choose from things around and listening to that artist child deep within who is longing to come out and play. It sits on the table behind me as I write where I can stop and add something any time I want to. It is healing knowing that it doesn’t have to be a show piece. It can just be play. There are deep thoughts in what is happening here though. I think through play some of my questions are surfacing that led me to this place of solitariness in my life.
2. The vision worth waiting for.
I know where I want this one to go. Finding the items I need to finish it is another story. I am content to wait. The vision here is clear. I have something I want this to say and finding what I need is a bit of a treasure hunt, a way to continue to explore the corners of our city.
3. The abandoned dream.
When first began the vision was so clear that searching for the materials drove me until I had everything I needed. The story the vision held would change my life if I embraced it, but to do so I would also have to allow myself to let grief surface. 5 years have passed since the dream that is only started here began. Will I have the courage to go through what I need to face in order for this dream to find a place in my life?
I had set up my easel in my parents living room two years ago when I went home for my final goodbyes to mom and dad. The colours began to flow across the page. “I think you should paint me cattails” The insistent repetition called up old memories that rolled in my stomach.
My inner artist struggled to breath. It was for them. I could ask her to paint cattails.With the resilience of a child artist, I began to add cattails catching the chance to play with lines. I could see where I could go with this. I just needed…..
“That’s enough. If you add anymore you’ll ruin it.”
It was hung in a place of honour on my parents’ wall. “My daughter is a painter. Look what she made for us.” It took everything in me to look at it and know that was all they wanted of what was inside me.
Old visions changed holding a promise from the past but seeing something greater than what was. There is a beauty in each that call to each other as I look at this broken image. It will be a canvas worth hanging with pride if I have the patience and the willingness to learn what I need to do in the place connecting the old to the new.
I look forward to that day.