August and September 2007 Paintings
Among these paintings are several of my personal favorites! The end of the summer always brings with it a sense of sadness for me. I love the warmer weather - love being outside - love the slower pace... and just as I'm getting rested from the previous school year and feel I've found a good pace for personal and artistic growth - gears change abruptly, and I'm back in the frantic pace of public school teaching.
This past summer, as it began, I felt at loose ends. I knew I needed to find a way to exercise creativity on a daily basis. I knew I needed to grow - internally as well as artistically. Journaling is a very critical exercise for me... a way to process life as it happens and my feelings - a way to understand all that is going on in my world and figure out where I need to be going. For weeks, this summer - I felt the compelling need to discover what I should be doing before the summer evaporated! My journal entries reflect the restlessness I was experiencing. But, within the first few days of July - I had started my daily painting commitment. What a valuable decision! It has brought so much into a clear focus... not just in the act of painting - but in the act of being intentional about being creative - and being tenacious - and stretching my understandings in many different areas. All this can be summed up into meaningful personal growth!
What caused me to go this direction? As I think back, it all seems serendipitous! Very unplanned ... a "stumble upon" kinda thing. But looking back, I see now that it has the distinct fingerprints of God's direction rather than accident. I've developed a deeper understanding of how I am created, though artistic interest is no surprise to me; I've always loved art. But maybe for the first time I've realized that this is more important than just what I find intriguing ... this is something instilled within my spirit - and to ignore it, push it aside for more practical things, or give it last priority - really dishonors the gifts I've been given and the Giver of those gifts as well. It has been a good thing to come to a full realization that God, the Maker of beauty and himself the artistic Creator, takes pleasure in my use of the gifts he's given. Maybe that, more than anything else this past year, has been my greatest breakthrough!