Hi Friends :)
I've thought long and hard about what to write about in this first blog post of mine. I feel like I'm supposed to tell you all about me, that I've been married to my Ray for 28 years and that we have two great kids. Blahblahblah. Seriously, whenever I think about typing that, that's what I hear in my head. Although that stuff is all fine and true, what I really want to write about is connections.
Every year I host a few art camps in my home. I get to spend a week making art with young people, getting messy and having a great time. (You can read more about my camps on my events page). Ever since the end of my first camp this year, the idea of art and connections has been dwelling in my heart.
There is always a connection to the piece of art that I'm working on, even if it's just a doodle. The connection can come from the subject, the inspiration, or my location. For example, I love water and often depict it in my art, but I get a different feeling while painting water when I'm at home vs actually painting on the beach. While at home I might be thinking of how it feels when I'm near water (seriously, I must be a mermaid because so much mermaid art comes out!) but it's more spiritual for me when I'm actually creating out in nature. Often the connection is to God, making art can be a form of worship. Sometimes I'm not aware of what the connection is at first, my heart tells me things through my art when I'm quiet enough to listen.
I love making art with my friends or family. I cherish the time we spend creating together . Before my friend Katie moved across the country we made canvases together. I can't help but think of her when I look at mine. Over a year later and it still brings a smile to my face. As I go through my art journals I see art that I did with my mom, reminding me of afternoons full of art and cookies. Those memories are a treasure for sure. Heart connections.
My first camp this summer consisted of three girls, ages 10-12. Two of them are cousins and first time campers. The other one has been doing art with me for a year and doesn't know the other girls. I was a little concerned going into this week. Would the cousins be cliquey and ignore the other girl? My little art buddy and I are very close and often do art together, just the two of us; would we unintentionally leave the other girls out of conversations? Would everyone get along ? Then the art started and I forgot all my fears.
I had a front row seat that week to how creating together connects you. Art is magic, I'm telling you! I watched these girls encourage and support each other all week. Their voices were so authentic, it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. I challenged them with some of the projects: they sanded wood, sewed on buttons and learned new mediums. During each project they cheered each other on. They took pride in not only what they accomplished but what each other did too. I overheard them tell each other "I like how you did that", "I like the colors you used" or "That looks really good." Once, when I complimented a girl on something she did she told me that she got the idea from another. They were so good about sharing ideas, offering advice and encouraging each other.
By the end of the week, their friendship was solidified. The three of them even ganged up on me, deciding they wanted an overnight art party at my house at the end of summer! (I'm seriously considering hosting a late night event for them, I'm not brave enough for all night!). The very last day the cousins were going to a movie after camp and they wanted their new friend to go with them. I love that. I love that they made these friendships and connected through art.
Two weeks later the cousins were at my home again for a two day event that the other girl had previously attended. They spoke so fondly of her. They brought up their art time together and things they had done. They also revisited the idea of an all nighter and just naturally included their friend, even though she wasn't there. It made my heart happy to know that those connections they made are still there.
These girls and their relationship remind me of some of the online friendships that I've made with other artist. I think of all the times that we've cheered each other on during both our artsy journeys and our life adventures. This website is only a few weeks old and I've had so much encouragement and congratulations from friends across the world. Friends that I've never actually met but are connected to through our love of creating.
So, that's where my heart has been...thinking about the actions of these three young ladies. How not only are connections made through art but how incredibly important those connections are. Marveling at the awesomeness of it all and being grateful for it.
I'm looking forward to making some artsy connections with you.