Sunday, April 30, 2006

Every day, it's a-getting closer

So here's my brand-new idea: I am committing myself to do a painting for every day in the month of May.

They can be tiny.

They can be crap. :)

They can be about anything I want.

At the end of the month, a month that has a solid week of recitals and hours of driving time and packing up the kids to bring to my parents so the house can be perfectly quiet, I will have done 31 paintings. I may hate them all! I may have one I love, or I may think all of them are my best work yet. But I do know that I function better painting than when I'm NOT painting. And hopefully after 31 paintings I will learn something new.

So...who wants to join me?

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Graphics to link back and use for your own "Every Day" journey:

NEW! I started a Flickr group here: Every Day In May. Go! Share your stuff!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tulip afternoon

While the babies were having a nap, I snuck out and painted up a storm.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

the mothers' retreat

On Palm Sunday weekend, I went on an amazing retreat, for moms, by moms. This was my second year going and I plan to do it every year from now on... it was that great.

What speaks to me most is that we are all a sisterhood - a wonderful tribe of women who are mothers who can all share their knowledge with one another. I felt like I had so much to learn from the wisdom of the "seasoned moms", and that I, amazingly, have some wisdom of my own to share. Moms need to support and nurture each other. I would wear it on a shirt, broadcast it on the news if I could.

While last year I felt the focus on Motherhood speaking to me, this year what jumped out at me again and again was the focus on the relationship between me and my husband. It's very easy to concentrate on the kids and their needs - they're in your face all the time! I came away from this retreat with a renewed plan for Paul and I to schedule more dates together, time to talk together each night, and most importantly, to pray together and for each other.

So... some ideas I really liked from this weekend:
  • motherhood is holy by nature. We tend to think of ourselves as inadequate or not a good enough mother, when in fact we're blessed by being a mother.
  • the idea that you have seeds of faith (like my necklace!)
  • I have this written in my notebook - I don't know who said it but I love it: God has loved us into being. and: All true prayer leads to love. and: All prayer is good.
  • that you can pray "in the chapel of your car"
  • scripture can be very powerful - we talked about posting favorite verses around the house where they can catch your eye and inspire you. Some ones I really liked this weekend: Fear is useless, what is needed is trust.
  • It says in Paul's first letter to Timothy, You will be saved by having children. That got a round of applause!
  • A priest on the retreat told me to look at Lent as a time of thankfulness and gratitude and hope, instead of sacrifice. Revolutionary for me.
  • That you can fast from negativity, from gossip, from fear.
The weather was wretched, but I did feel called to be outside and sit with the flowers that were just starting to come up. When I feel called, I go! So when there was some free time, I wrapped myself up in my coat and sat outside and wrote in my journal in a pen the color the sky should have been that day.

And the best part - my mom was my roomie! :) We didn't stay up TOO late.

ps: For those of you who asked - I did make a clean version of the quote from the poster I made! Click here to get it: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (in watercolour, of course) Print it out and post it, or carry it in your wallet.

Monday, April 17, 2006

A little understanding

I try to go for a walk every morning to clear my head and prepare myself for a creative day. (My three-part plan, which is beautiful when it actually happens, is journaling first thing in the morning, a walk before work, and painting at night.)

Yesterday during my morning walk, a thought was nagging at the back of my brain; that sometimes friends, no matter how well-meaning, disappoint you. I was feeling annoyed and let down, when this little bottlecap caught my eye. As I leaned down to pick it up, I realized that I've let down friends myself; and if I have hope they can forgive me, I need to do the same for them.

I kept the bottlecap to remind me...

A little understanding.

A little forgiveness.

note: I've started contributing to The Drawing Club, a super-inspiring collaborative site brought to you by the wonderful Michael Nobbs. Dive in and read lots of good stuff! New posts from me every Tuesday.

Illustration Friday: Spotted

I saw the Nature special "Tall Blondes" and was so enchanted by the tales of gorgeous giraffes, that I ripped off a piece of paper bag and started sketching right away. While I was painting away, I learned that giraffes actually do make noise! Amazing... I heart PBS!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Illustration Friday: Speed(y)

Watercolour, marker, paper bag. 30 minutes.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

On Retreat

This weekend, I'm going once again on the Mother's retreat. I don't feel like I can get away right now, but for me that's a sign that taking that time is exactly what I must do.

Here's the poster for the theme of the retreat - who knew you could watercolour on shiny posterboard? I have a small business card with this quote on it that I used to have taped up on my desk where I could look at while I worked. (I should do that again.) If you want to print this out and tape it up on your desk or stick it in your wallet, feel free.

More when I get back...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Wanted: one coder

I'm this close to kissing Blogger goodbye for its inability to be able to tag posts into categories. I've tried patches and workarounds, and am considering completely moving to something else. I'm spending hours trying to learn code instead of painting.

I'm looking for someone to code a template for me using WordPress or TypePad (or if you have another suggestion, please let me know!). All I would need is the template, I would do all the design/CSS work.

Need to:
* tag my entries in categories
* carry over four years of Blogger posts
* back up files to my own server
* customize it with my own banner and navigation
* have pages show up properly in Technorati and RSS feeds
* learn enough so that I don't have to bug you if I need to change it

Will barter for a painting or artwork for your site, and chocolate-chip cookies. Interested? Contact me (take the text in all caps out of the address) or leave a comment below.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Illustration Friday: Spring

Acrylic and watercolour.