It was my birthday.
And so I took the day “off”
to do something I’d been wanting to do for a looong time.
I’ve been dreaming of taking my girls and finding
a pretty place on the farm and doing some painting.
Not that any of us know how to paint.
But we used to watch Bob Ross on PBS
and he did make it look so easy.
The girls would sit and watch in fascination
when they were just tiny tots.
They wanted to be painters when they grew up.
I’d bought canvases on a great sale at the craft store
and they’ve been sitting, waiting.
So on the morning of my birthday, we watched some
painting videos on youtube -- to get a refresher course
on something we’d never done.
And we headed out to the fence along the pasture
where there are some beautiful birch trees
(I remembered taking photos there).
We found a little shade and set up our makeshift easels --
a table with a can of paint thinner,
and two grungy Little Tikes plastic chairs.
It was truly lovely.
Kadence and Cassia are getting to be old enough that
all is not chaos when attempting a pleasant afternoon.
But lest you think that my life is perfect and romantic,
please know that we bought each of the girls an art set for Christmas.
Not a kid’s set, but a real one with paints that stain
and need proper respect and instruction.
And since they required instruction they sat,
not put away, in the corner of the living room.
It wasn’t so bad since they were attractive black boxes.
It was actually the mangled stack of Ranger Rick magazines
under the black boxes that looked bad.
(We had nabbed them from the giveaway box at the library.)
The point of this being that my life is messy.
Only parts are what I would call beautiful.
But those are the parts I try to focus on.
There is something about paints on a palette
with the colors melding together
that just speaks to me.
I told the girls when we headed out, that wherever we went,
the intent was not to paint the whole scene.
It was to be inspired by something. It could be as small
as one flower, or blade of grass,
and to then create art from that inspiration.
It fascinated me how this showed their personalities.
Kadence decided to paint a serene setting of a single evergreen
in the snow with one red Cardinal for interest.
(Beats me how she thought of this in
the middle of an August afternoon!)
Cassie Jo, on the other hand, decided to paint the sky.
She used bright blue with white clouds puffing around.
And bright yellow for the sun.
She is more the wild child.
In fact, she didn’t do one painting --she did two.
And I had to take a picture of the area where she painted.
The bottle of water spilled.
Tubes of paint everywhere – the white tube already
empty from generous overuse.
Me, I choose a place I would like to just BE – in that grove of beautiful trees.
Don’t know what that says, if anything.
But wherever I am, I’m thankful for God’s gifts,
small and large.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith.
And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works,
so that no one may boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”