I wrote a few weeks ago over on instagram about God creating masterpieces out of our messes. As I wrote, I was reminded of a painting of mine that started out on a great note. I had a specific vision and even a plan of what it was going to look like. I had prepared a palette sheet of the colors I would use to keep me on track.
I was convinced it would be my first best piece.
But once I started, I became overwhelmingly frustrated with it. It wasn’t turning out at all how I wanted. The colors weren’t bleeding as I thought they would, the strokes of the paint brush never blending together how I intended. It was - to me - a complete mess in part simply because it fell short of what I had in mind for it.
So the painting sat there. On my easel day in and day out just staring at me. Taunting me of what it would never be.
I hadn’t picked up a paint brush since then. I felt stuck, frustrated and completely underwhelmed with my ability to create something beautiful out of it. So I had given up - or I guess, you could say I had given it up. Painting.
Then I had a chance meeting with the President. President George W. Bush, that is. And he said something I will never ever forget. He said “there is a lesson in every brush stroke” and it struck me somewhere deep inside. Tears rolled down my cheeks in a room I could not have felt more out of place in - full of politicians as this politician talked about his deep love of painting.
And it got me thinking.
What if instead of giving up on this painting that wasn’t what I intended it to be, I just sat there and worked with it until it became what it was supposed to be all along? Now, I know this might sound a little new agey- but art imitates life and life imitates art so often.
So what if painting is a bit like our own life story?
We set out with intention, goals and dreams planted deep somewhere inside of us. We mark out the path in front of us and start walking in it. Then - as it always does - life happens and throws a big black blob of paint on top of our beautiful masterpiece we were orchestrating.
We now have to choose what to do with that big black blob. We can either make it into something beautiful or we can walk away from it, letting that black blob stare us in the face for the rest of all time.
WE CAN EITHER BECOME FIXATED ON THE BLOB, OR FIXATED ON IT'S POTENTIAL BEAUTY.
Sometimes the most magical things that happen to us in life are the ones we never intended. Whether they are tragic or wonderful, God knows how the paintings of our life are going to end up, right? He understands the bigger picture and sometimes He has to allow a complete mess to take us in a new direction.
It was this notion - that a painting can really become anything when we don’t give up on it - that set me on this latest mission.
There is a stack of unfinished, frustrating paintings sitting in the corner of my studio. For the last two years I have practiced painting but have never painted anything I felt worthy of deeming “done”.
So I started with this particular painting, sat there and finished it. I came to the canvas day after day, brush stroke after brush stroke, working, layering and manipulating until I saw something together before my eyes that would never have been there if I had been able to create what I wanted to in the first place.
Don’t you see the resemblance? God, the first artist, takes what we thought we wanted and transforms it into something completely new. Something that never would have been done if we had got what we wanted in the first place!!!!
The paintings listed in my shop next week are all transformed from something I didn’t intend into something I now love. They honestly have become pieces of me, intricately woven into my heart and are going to be hard to part with - but I don’t have enough wall space in my house to keep them all!
I hope y’all will enjoy them as much as I do and remember how God is constantly painting our own masterpieces. Layer after layer, disappointment after disappointment, He can see what we will become, and I believe it will be incredibly beautiful.
Stay tuned for the listings next week!