Inspired by my visit to the mountains this weekend, I woke especially early this morning to create a dreamcatcher for my studio. Our daughters have always had a dreamcatcher in their rooms which has been reassuring for them when they awake at night and I wanted this physical symbol of peace to grace my space. I trudged through the piles of snow we received over the past two days and decided to use a branch from our red dogwood as I love its colour and pliability. Then I borrowed hemp twine from my daughter's craft stash and incorporated a stone from our garden to represent the spider. I didn't have any feathers currently so I decided to create a few with watercolours and paper until I come upon some 'gifts' from nature. They actually seem perfect for a painting studio. I've read that traditionally a dreamcatcher is no larger than a man's hand, so I knew that I wanted to create a larger size, but not too large.
This is a lovely way to begin a painting day, and the new canoe is coming along well. It's always a surprise to me when I allow myself to select colours and shapes based on an intuitive reaction to the work. So, I won't know how this will end up until it is finished, though I do believe the first three paintings in this new series are now complete. Honestly, I had no preconceived idea that I would complete an entire painting through this class and now feel wonderful about being well on my way to a new series. I love the fact that I've been able to incorporate some of what I learned, combining it with what I know and love, and to create something so bold for me, something I've been attempting to capture for the past seven years and struggled. Though it's very interesting to see that some of the work I've been doing on my own was already well on its way in this direction. I guess in my heart I knew what I was looking for.
At the same time, I've been reading Ann Voskamp's 'One Thousand Gifts' which is really wonderful in helping me to connect my traditional faith background with what I've been practicing and studying now. I truly believe a good life is all about gratitude. My word-of-the-year, STILL, helps me to focus on gratefulness as well. Learning to stop and allow has been a great lesson for me. Letting go of control is difficult for a person who has been raised to feel that the only way to get anywhere in this life is by being 100 percent in control. But I was a daydreamer and a sensitive and so I struggled when I attempted to live my life in that vein. Last night I hosted the High School Art Gala at our library - and though I'm not great at public speaking I felt that the evening went well. We had a nice crowd who attended the event and the work is absolutely stellar. The choir touched my heart and our speaker was witty and wise and really connected with all the kids. All because I allowed myself to let go of control and let it all happen as it should.