Tuesday, January 05, 2021

a place of encouragement


I created this piece during an exceedingly frustrating abstract art lesson that
kept going from bad to worse with each layer. In an exasperated attempt
to 'erase' my 'horrible mistakes' I literally washed the paint off the page in
my kitchen sink! What appeared was this beautifully textured background
which now I wish I could re-create😊 . As Miles Davis said,
'Fear no mistakes. There are none.'

These heaven-above-heaven-below, walking-on-clouds endless shallows are so mesmerizing, so inviting, so beautiful and safe and welcoming, my soul suddenly pops out, all cramped and wrinkled, from the confinement of its inland button-hole. 

It wants to park and live right here, sprawled out, naked and unashamed, on this endless beach. 


Not a single argument comes to my mind to shut down the fantastic idea.

"Mom! MOM!!"  The Mom-Hat lands on my head bringing me back to earth.

"What?  WHAT???" I always think that M-O-M is a code word for some kind of dire emergency, not unlike the Morse S-O-S. 

"What happened??" I yell without even trying. 

"Nothing happened. Everything is just fine. Look, there is a snowman!"

I look up, and sure enough, there is a snowman, hat, 'broom', baseball bat and all, perched on the beach ahead of us.  

It most certainly is the ugliest Snowman I've ever seen, but somehow that doesn't matter, because as we approach to inspect it, we are surrounded by a joyful crowd of thawed-out Canadians, who are so pleased that somebody - ANYBODY- showed interest in their masterpiece.  

They laugh and point out all its special features as I take pictures. Then, we give them thumbs up and they wave enthusiastically as we continue on our way.  Their happiness is quite contagious and trails behind us long after we can't see either them or their creation.  I know we must be kindred spirits, our hearts set on building a Snowman on the beach. The only difference is that they got to build theirs and I didn't get to build mine. 

Surprisingly, in this moment, such 'unfairness' doesn't bother me. Doesn't bother me at all.   

In fact, as I reflected on their contentment and joy - which became OUR joy -a thought crosses my mind that... 

... sometimes...

it might be as - or, perhaps, even more - important 

to encourage other artists in their creative attempts, 

no matter how quirky, small and seemingly insignificant they may appear, 

than building and showing off my own perfect snowman.

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