Thursday, July 17, 2014

Art: Counting feathers or NOT


Some of us are just too serious.  There are times when we just need to let go and play with ideas instead of thinking that we need to do a serious, saleable piece each time we begin one.  I find that when I do allow myself to relax and just have fun with it all, I personally, like the finished product better.  But early on, I was around many artists that were successful at selling their work, actually counting the feathers on the ducks in their paintings and they were….. tremendously stressed out.

The thought that everything had to be just so-so, has remained with me throughout the years.  Even though much of my work doesn’t reflect that, I was attempting to achieve perfection and it has been very stressful.  Occasionally, I have allowed myself to just let it all go and have fun.  I love that free feeling so much, but still can’t seem to stay there.

Early on in my life as a Christian, I was taught much the same way about worshipping God.  I had to be perfect.  Don’t wear this and don’t wear that, don’t go here and don’t go there.  Pray at this time of the day and for this long and about these things.  If you do this or that, you won’t go to heaven or God will be mad at you. 

As humans, I now know that we can never achieve perfection as far as being judged by others on this earth.  We are made in the likeness of God, so therefore we are perfect in His eyes.  We will surely slip and fall, but He knows what we are capable of, He created us.  God gave me freedom to worship Him and be happy when He revealed to me through His Word, Galatians 5:22-23, which is all about the Fruits of the Spirit.  The wonderful things that God has given me to do that I can do with His help.  I can’t battle profanity and promiscuity in the work place, but I can concentrate on being more like Jesus, emphasizing and practicing the Fruits of the Spirit.  I can’t solve the problems of homelessness, but I can give when I can.  I can’t keep someone from getting mad at me, but I can practice longsuffering.  I can’t always keep myself from getting angry, but I can replace angry words with kind words, understanding words and good deeds.

I hope that someday I can experience the same freedom and peace with my paintings that God has given me in my day to day life.  There are still battles everyday that I find I want to jump on the bandwagon of, but when I rein myself in and focus on what I should be doing instead of what I shouldn’t be doing, it’s a much happier life to live.

So whenever I find myself starting to count feathers, I pull  back and focus on the surroundings.  The beautiful clouds, the color of the flowers, the sun rise or sun set; these are all easier to see and bring into perspective than all the feathers on a duck.

Galatians 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.


About the painting:

I started out as usual, thinking I was going to copy this photograph I took exactly.  I quickly realized that I was trying to hard and just began to enjoy it.

This is watercolor pencil, black, gray and acrylic white on wood pallets placed in a barn wood frame.  The stenciling around it is a lace paper doily.

Here’s the photo:



Photo taken while working:


DSCF2044 (634x800)


Finished piece:

If you’d like to see more of my work please visit my page at southern sky art studio.