To recap my last post, I’ve been an artist most of my life. I took a deep dive in college where I learned more about what it’s like to experience creative flow. The part I didn’t mention in my previous post, that we’ll use as a jumping-off point here, is that after college I stopped doing art for 20 years.
I ended my college career in art working on a degree in new media. It was a brand new field combining web design, animation, and other digital bits. I interned for, and was hired by, a Fortune 500 company to be part of their E-Business department…and I was sooooo bored. Designing corporate logos and updating websites felt like soulless work. That’s really because God was telling me, in no uncertain terms, to be a teacher. I was in design for the money, I missed making what the university categorized as “fine art”, and my heart had always been geared toward teaching. I took a big leap. But I think I might’ve over corrected.
When I started teaching, I slipped exclusively into books and didn’t even give my art a backward glance. I’d decided I wasn’t good at it. I didn’t have any “big ideas” for art. What I didn’t realize then was that I hadn’t failed. So many great artists experiment and fail. Show and fail. I was not at peace with failure. I don’t regret the decision to teach in the slightest…I feel like that’s my earthly calling…but I think it was naive to divorce myself from the work of my hands.
About a year ago, I picked up a graphite pencil and sketched my dog. I was always a portraitist and preferred acrylic paint. I had it in my mind that I could not draw animals. But I did…sitting on the couch on a Saturday night with hands that needed something to keep them busy.
Pretty soon I was falling down the watercolor rabbit hole…another medium I’d written off in my younger years. That first time back into a deep groove–in feeling as if I was at once completely and wholly focused and present, but also sliding along on someone else’s rainbow–I was hooked all over again. But this time, something was different. My faith was being rekindled through Scripture writing, and suddenly I was not alone in the flow.
I’ll leave this for now, but more is coming. Thank you for reading. Thank you for supporting me in this journey.
6 thoughts on “Art as Prayerful Meditation #2”
Love love love. So glad you are finding your way and that I’m along for the journey!
Awww! Just adore you! Thank you for being my bestie.
As a fellow teacher with an earthly calling for it, I FEEL YOU. I was also raising and supporting my daughter. Both of those are big work, and my work as a teacher is creative work but it’s largely for other people. So I think that’s why it’s both satisfying and frustrating not to do the other creative work I feel compelled to do. This past year I’ve kept reminding myself to pray before I write and so often I haven’t. Like you, I am not alone on this journey.
I love this. Thank you for this.
Yesss! Teaching is so much about pouring out and into others. I personally feel stuck when I can’t do other creative work. I try to remember to pray before art, too, though I’ll post another installment soon about how I can get straight into a prayerful meditative moment with my visual art. I find that much harder to do with writing. Painting and drawing are much more intuitive for me. There’s more coming! Thank you for being along for the ride!
Love this! I don’t have the artistic skills that you do, but I do love time for creativity (I do stamping — “art for dummies” 😉 ). I’ve found that when I neglect time for creativity, time for reading, and time to just be still and quiet, I turn into a mean, mean mama who is ready to tell the whole world to “shut up!” And yet…I get tripped up with false guilt of thinking I’m being selfish for wanting/craving time for these pursuits. Note the word “false” in that last sentence! I think creativity in whatever form is part of who we are meant to be. It’s so important that we make time for it and encourage one another in these endeavors. And, it makes us kinder, gentler people when we do. 🙂
Kudos to you for jumping back in! I’m trying to get back into blog following more regularly, but like most things, it’s a process. So glad you posted on Insta that you were doing this — it was the reminder I needed to come stop by. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Susan! It’s so good to see you in my comment box! Stamping is awesome, and it’s so relaxing. I’m the same way–mean without my creative, introspective time. I hope you’ll share some of your stamping with me sometime! Thank you for stopping by! Merry Christmas to your bunch! ❤