Tag Archives: creativity

Walk a minute in my shoes

Do you carry art supplies around with you in your purse?”

This was a question I was asked this week. Although it is true that inspiration hardly waits for the convenience of paper, carrying supplies with me was not something I had ever considered before.

What do I do when I am hiking? What about when I’m on the toilet? What if I lose my purse????

Somehow, I have to carry something of even GREATER convenience with me. Somewhere that LEDs don’t dull and pages don’t bend. Somewhere deeper.

So that’s when I announced that “I carry around my art supplies in my shoes!”

What does that even mean?! I must be nuts. Pencil crayons don’t fit in shoes.

It means I AM the paint brush, pencil crayons, and paper.
I am also the canvas.
My fingers are brushes, ready for work at any time, and I always have them with me. My eyes are the canvas on which I paint the depths of my heart; my actions are the medium I use.

In this way, art supplies are incredibly limiting.

“Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.”
John 8:6

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When the cutlery drawer opens…

As we moved into our new home and began to settle in over a year ago, we began to get to “know” the house.

But I didn’t expect this.

I still recall the first time I viewed the house. It was overwhelming. I won’t go into unnecessary detail, but it was difficult to envision it being mine, and I was convinced that, even though it was propped on the edge of the mountain, there was “no view.” The truth was, I simply hadn’t found it yet.

We renovated before we moved in, changing key elements to provide a sort of “blank canvas” feel. We were starting to unwrap the mystery behind the move. As we began to move in, unpack, and explore, I began to find even more things about the house that I didn’t realize were a part of the equation before. The ironing board hidden inside a drawer. The boiling water tap in the kitchen. Surprise. Joy.

And then something even deeper happened. The more we settled in, the more we became aware of something else. It will seem silly to you. But to me, it is symbolic. You see, there is something weird about the cutlery drawer. If it is not pushed solidly shut (and no one can actually explain how “solidly” and how “shut” we mean when we say this), it will open at random times during the day. Sometimes it opens right after the attempted close.

Other times it opens when I am in prayer.
Or reading something meaningful.
Or just sitting in quiet contemplation.

And then slowly the drawer slides open like an invitation to me that whatever it is that I am doing right then is important. And deeper than I think. And more meaningful than I currently know. The drawer becomes an invitation to the table.

I could say that I love my house, but now I know that it never really was about the house, and it isn’t even about a slippery drawer. As the snow falls in gigantic flakes all around me, the drawer having slide open moments before, my soul just waits, invited, to see and take a part of the present. Where I am. Where God is.

If I had my way I would have purchased the crazy expensive gigantic fork and spoon I found at one of the furniture stores last year. But now I realize that what I have is even better.

“He escorts me to the banquet hall; it’s obvious how much He loves me.”

Songs 2:4

Time to RSVP.

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“Consuming”

Consuming, by Misty Bedwell, feeling paint

This painting was an 18-month-long process that took on many different colours and sizes after the flicker of inspiration first gripped me.  Had I known it would need so much time and uncertainty to become fully alive, I probably would have asked myself different questions along the way.

However, “not knowing” caused me to learn more about these things:

  • I don’t have to know what it is going to look like before I start.
  • The first time likely isn’t going to be the best time.
  • Unfinished is beautiful too.
  • Mistakes are opportunities to be creative.

I have felt so thankful for those who have displayed copious amounts of patience with my process (longest painting EVER!)  In this case, time was a necessary key to inspiration.  If I were brave, I would show you all the “FAILed” prior attempts, but I hesitate simply because I cannot yet describe WHY they didn’t meet the expression I was looking for.  It is the indescribable knowing that it’s not right that draws me back to the drawing board time and again, not with discouragement (as some would suppose), but with time-taught determination.

“Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame.”

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“Play Full”

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Being completely understood as a human being and an artist used to be very important to me. Not that I tried really hard to communicate properly, I just felt sad when nobody seemed to *get it*.

A LOT of assumptions were made in those days…

Over the years I’ve found meaning in the process of trying to find words that articulate what is going on inside of me, and I’ve also deemed the people around me important enough to experiment on. So if you don’t get it the first time, I will try another angle…

This bird is me.

So, here’s to growing little! It’s not that I don’t want to grow up…that would be a waste of time. But I want to forget that it hurt when I tried before and assumed I had failed. I want to return to the place where I “cried & tried” instead of “gave up.” I want to become wiser by taking more risks, simpler by moving more rocks, and free to dance.

Is any of this making sense?! If not, maybe turn your computer screen upside down, nod your head every few seconds and say, “hmmm”…

Let’s get simple together.

“…unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 18:3

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Glow bugs in my heart’s jar

I traveled to Redding, CA this summer in the middle of the moving chaos that was going on at home. The decision to go was extremely spontaneous, and I asked myself several times,”What are you thinking?!” But the flights were booked and there was no turning back.

The trip was weeks ago now, and looking back…I can see how it all began. My glow bugs. During that time away I carried my heart along, transparent like a mason jar…and then, there was a shift. Something changed inside. I found a glow bug. And then two, then three…

When I got home, we moved the next day and life became a flurry of unpacking and coordinating tradespeople, trips to Home Depot, packing and unpacking. Though I carried my little jar around with me, I had no time to crack the lid to process what had happened while I was away, and it seemed like it may have even been just a dream.

Now that the new place is unpacked, I have been staring at the treasures in my jar. As I write this today, I am unthreading the lid and setting them free.

Freedom. What does it look like? Is it a physical condition like looking out at the beauty from the top of a mountain? Or is there even more to it?

I was singing at the altar that day…My eyes were closed. I was conscious of only the Lord and me. That was when I saw the scene unfold before me.

Everything was sepia…like it had been tea-dyed. Beautiful, uneven, messy, artistic. I saw a piece of paper with words on it. I tried to read it, but before I could, a pair of hands reached down and began to fold the paper; and the words began to be pressed deeply into the middle until I could no longer see them. More folding ensued. Then, I saw that the paper had been folded into an airplane.

Hard to describe how I know this because I saw and felt nothing. I just knew. But there was a breath…and the paper airplane caught the flow and took off. No sooner had it begun then the wings of the airplane turned into the wings of a bird.

The bird flew briefly and landed on a brown bush. I mean EVERYTHING was still sepia colored. The bush also had no leaves. Instead it was made up of quilted pieces of material all grafted together. Perched on the tip of a branch, the bird began to sing…

I was mesmerized. Instead of a sound, tune, or whistle…little words began to flow out of the birds’ mouth on tiny pieces of paper. And each time the bird opened its mouth to sing, a new word came out.

They appeared almost as if they were alive, and they began to float towards a low-lying cloud that hovered like fog in a valley. When the words reached the cloud, they began to dangle like crystals from a chandelier. It was so beautiful to watch, I wish I could have grabbed a coffee and sat down and just adored the whole scene. But there was more.

Another breath came. Again, not sure how I knew. They all just simultaneously dropped… this time heavy like rain; and when they landed on the dirt, everything turned to full color!! The brown, what first seemed so cozy and artistic now paled in comparison as gardens began to team with the most vivid life I had ever seen.

Woah.

God, what are You up to now?

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My life is a radio…how loud can it go?

Do you ever feel like you are being watched?

I am convinced that someone somewhere has been recording my life these past few months and it is continually being aired (unedited) to the entire world. Everyone can see it but me. The type of reality show that best represents what is going on is the kind where you are renovating trying to renovate a house on time and on budget, juggling the help, dealing with the pre-teen color flops, trying to keep things looking how you imagined them and trying to be nice at the same time (someone tell me how to do this), and coordinating the schedule overlaps…and ooops…I didn’t get to that one on time…I guess those two will have to fight it out. At the front door. Of my house.

The show wouldn’t be very entertaining if I were a perfect human being. So if you haven’t tuned in yet, just look for the blood on the ceiling… maybe on HelpMeTV or WakeMeWhenOver Channel 5. Either way, I’m sure I will be looking back on this transitional event of my life with stars in my eyes, realizing that WE DID IT!

So why am I writing this on my art blog? I was actually hoping to star in something a bit more poetic…about how the new house is my canvas and I my brush is my mind. Ha. Well, this is all that fits right now. My LIFE is an open door of amazing possibilities. What will I do here? What do I hang there? How long do I wait for a deal and when do I buy? Will it fit? Will I like it once it’s in? Does any of this really matter anyway?

And…I suspect that it has never been about the details. The challenge of maintaining peace in the middle of the organized madness will be pondered in the closing chapter. And then, the next one will start as I begin my mission of meeting the neighbors and trying to figure out what God planned for us in this house! (FREE PAINTINGS FOR EVERYONE!!!!!)

The least I can do now is…

FEEL BLESSED!

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(Picture of my dog smelling the “roses”)

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reveal

There are times when we think and hope and pray, and we are convinced we know what God has in mind. (In spite of myself, I do this.) In the shadows of the unkown, some may assume confirmation that He can’t hear us, doesn’t know us, and doesn’t care. We grow cold. This painting reflects the cold and dark areas of our hearts that we don’t like to acknowledge.

But He does see us.

It’s not how we assume it is. His plans are not like our plans. We may think we know what He wants, but God responds to what actually is best for us. Believing this truth revives our hearts. This painting also reflects the growth of believing His promises for us.

This weekend, His promises were revealed to me, and I had a choice. Would I doubt His plans or would I respond to them, even though they were different from my own?

Lord, make my heart fully Yours. My plans do not truly matter at all…only Yours do.

“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. (Ezekiel 36:25, 26 NLT)

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