Saturday, March 21, 2009

Practice Makes Fun

When I was child, nothing was sweeter than getting that 64-pack of Crayola crayons with built in sharpener. No matter how hard I tried to keep them pristine, each waxy cylinder with its unique moniker eventually become little nubs of color.

As a child, I would spend hours coloring and creating my own children's books. I would sneak sheets of computer paper away from my father's printer, fold them in half, and staple the pages into a book. I would plot the design of each page and often used animals as my source of inspiration. My favorite was the one about a flea community living on the back of a dog, inspired by a Looney Tunes cartoon. You know the one I am talking about, right?

Eventually, I was introduced to the world of color pencils and markers. That's when I began to "publish" a comic strip that was similar to the story line of Archie but had the drama of All of My Children. I'm talking love triangles, betrayal, and black mail. Pretty sophisticated for an eleven year old, I guess, but my loyal readers (a couple of girls in my class) seemed to love it.

But then the Sharpie came into my life. Ah, the Sharpie. It's indelible mark made its presence known on all too many high school projects. And it's only gotten better with time.

New Sharpies!

My faith in the tool has even had me to forsake the lowly pencil as I rarely sketch with it anymore. When I draw with the Sharpie, I am deliberate in my decision making process as an artist. Each detail is bold and wants to be seen.

So, you can imagine my excitement when I treated myself to a four-pack of two tip Sharpies. These sketches may not be perfect, but practice certainly makes for fun.

Green Sharpie

Blue Sharpie

Black Sharpie

Red Sharpie

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Passion Rekindled in the Heart

I went to church this morning. I had not gone in a while. And I almost didn't make it.

I woke up in the warm comfort of my bed and debated with myself all the reasons to stay home. "You need to do laundry. Those dishes aren't going to do themselves. You need to prepare your paperwork for the IRS. Your husband is sick. You should stay home with him. There's a reason they call it Lazy Sunday..." But I convinced myself to get dressed and headed out the door.

As I opened the front door, I was greeted by the unfaltering rain and gray overcast sky. "You just spent a half hour curling your hair. Don't want your efforts to go to waste, do you?" I paused for a moment, and held my breath as I scurried to my car.

Water began collecting on the interstate. Some cars slowed down, some cars sped up. "Geez. Let's try not to get into an accident. You should have stayed home in bed."

I make it to the church with fifteen minutes to spare. As I approach the entrance, an attendant flashes his sign at me: LOT IS FULL. "Ugh! Now you have to turn around and park at the satellite parking lot. You're not going to make it on time. Might as well go home." But a spot becomes available thanks to a departing mini-van.

I grab my umbrella and decide to walk to the church. I can make it if I try. I begin to follow the sidewalk from the satellite parking lot to the main road in the rain, only watching my feet as I go. Suddenly, the sidewalk ends, and I find myself halted in my tracks, the threat of puddled clay mud laying before me. " See? It wasn't meant to be. Just turn around and go home." As I turn, the church shuttle stops and the driver asks if I need a ride to the church. I hop on and thank the patrons on the bus for stopping to pick me up.

When I finally make it to the church, my friends have saved me a seat. I sing and let the music fill me up with hope. I sit and listen to the sermon: "A Wise Man's Heart is Guarded by the Sword of Truth." And one thing resonates with me above all others: Proverbs 18:14 - A person's spirit can endure sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?

As I sat and listened to the pastor's message about how one's heart is the vault to one's soul, I realized that, sometimes, I am my own worst enemy. I am the one who doubts my passion above all others. I am the one who has made excuses for holding back. And yet, I am the one who yearns to rekindle my passion with art the most. I just needed to hear the message.

Passion Rekindled

"Love is always open arms. If you close your arms about love,
will find that you are left holding only yourself."
- Leo F. Buscaglia

A Work in Progress

In my 30th year of life, I am embracing the fact that I am a work in progress. The vision I had for my life is quite different than what I had imagined for myself when I was younger. I dreamed of being a writer and an artist and traveling the world. I used to spend hours writing poetry and sketching the world around me. But as I began that voyage into adulthood, I tried to follow a more "sensible" road in life. And though I wouldn't trade any of the experiences I have had for anything in the world, I still wonder how my life could have been different had I pursued a different path.

I am a believer in the power of the universe and feel in my heart that everything in life happens for a reason. Though my life is not what I had pictured it would be, it is still filled with blessings. Regret is like a disease and can weaken the soul. So, instead of living with regret, I am challenging myself to use the time I have left on this earth to explore opportunities in art and writing and make it a part of my life again. I am not seeking fame or fortune - just a chance to experience those simple pleasures again, those things I enjoyed before life got so complicated.

I don't know how this will evolve, but I look forward to the journey.


“What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Here is the key to your earthly pursuits.”
- Carl Jung


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