This renewal of art in my life has been pretty great overall. In the back of my mind this whole time, however, there's been something weighing on me. What I was best at all those year ago in school was drawing. Abstract art, which is all I've done so far, is something I'm really new at, so it's kind of an anything-goes type of thing. Drawing, on the other hand, took me a really long time to get halfway decent at, and I've literally been dreading trying it again, because I knew would be confronted the effects of my bad decisions and years of not practicing. The thought of it just made me sad.
I have been eyeing a pair of my favorite shoes for a couple of months now, and thinking, "Hmm, that might be pretty to draw." Then I would ignore that thought for a while, but it kept creeping back. "Fine," I said. So last week, I decided to make myself do it, because I need to keep moving forward, and it has been starting to become a roadblock for me creatively, and I am not about to give in to that whole nonsense again. I put on a worship album (Ghosts Upon the Earth, by Gungor), lit a pumpkin spice candle, and got to drawing. Here's what happened:
I've never gotten choked up over anything I've done before (although I was pretty excited the first time I painted this year). At a certain point when I was working on this, I just started getting all teary-eyed, when I realized it was starting to actually look like what I was drawing from.
Please know that I'm not trying to show off or say that it's the best drawing ever. I know it's not, I can see the flaws and things that I could have done better. For me, though, this is something huge. I would have been happy when I was done if it even slightly looked like anything recognizable, and it definitely exceeded my expectations as to the skill level I should be at right now. It's not everything, by any means, and I do know there are plenty of things I need to work on and practice, but this turned out so much better than I deserved, really. I'm not even sure how to communicate what I've been feeling, other than to say, I'm just overwhelmed, I feel incredibly blessed. I feel as though I have been given a second (or third, I guess) chance at this. I have felt this is an area of my life that has needed redemption for such a long time, and to finally get it back, then have it die again so suddenly, was just terrible. So to actually have another chance, to not be as far behind as I was expecting. . . there just aren't words. In my mind, this opens up so many possibilities as to what I might be able to do in the future.
I am in such a different place from when I was a kid. Back then art was just something I did as a natural part of my life. I didn't really understand the concept that God gives us gifts, and they are for His glory, and that they are to be shared. I just did it because I'd always been doing it and I liked to do it, and didn't realize what I was losing when I turned away from it. Just the fact that I've actually shown people the pieces I've been doing is huge, I was never open about art (or other creative things I did) as a kid, unless I was in class and had to show people. Even writing about it is big for me, I've been having a hard time writing these two posts because it's been such an important growth process for me, I've not been sure how to explain things sufficiently. Plus it's a whole new area of vulnerability, and I am not good at being vulnerable (but trying).
And I must say this: THANK YOU to my friends, my dear friends, who have been so very supportive and encouraging in this area of my life over the past months. You have been so gracious as to let me actually show you my pieces, and have given such kind words. If I did not have all of you, asking how things are going, asking repeatedly if I've been doing any work lately, challenging me to keep going, I may have quit at some point. Keep bugging me, please and thanks.
To have a whole piece of my heart come back to life is not a small thing, God has been doing such an amazing work in my heart to bring me to this point, and I am more than thankful, because I know without a doubt it would not have happened without His hand. I don't really know what this all means for me right now. I'm not sure yet how to integrate art back into my life; so far it's been an awkward, slow, and sometimes painful process. I don't know what God wants to do with it. But, finally, I am willing to pursue it, willing to open myself up to creativity, determined to keep going, and open to what He might want to do in the future. And honestly, even if it just ends up being something nice that I can do and enjoy once in a while, I am glad that God enjoys it along with me, and likes that I do it, created me to do it, and encourages me because He loves good things and loves when I do good things for Him, whether I have a big audience or not, because He is good.
So very good.