Saturday, February 3, 2018

Living In God's Abundance

I'm participating in a 30 Day Art Challenge in which we create a piece of art daily for 30 days. When I've tried this before I haven't been able to keep up, so it was a dismal flop. The difference is, this time we are given a prompt, sharing, and support each day. Somehow that makes it easier for me.

Today's prompt was to create a self portrait illustrating what it would look like to live in God's abundance. My first thought was, "Boy, is that challenging!"  For me to draw a self portrait we're talking maybe a month if I could even do it at all.....not a part of a day.

First, the message I got, which I know to be true, is I'm already living in God's abundance! So I knew what I wanted the portrait to look like. Then I found an app called Photo Sketch Maker and transformed two photo of my grandsons and me. It went from photo to portrait drawing in seconds. I was impressed. Someday I may try to paint it but for now, well....take a look.  I live in this abundance of love in my arms! And I am so grateful.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Surviving Widowhood

Becoming a widow is on no one's bucket list or life plan.

Morbidly speaking, maybe it should be since it is inevitable that one of a partnership will go first. One goes. One stays. The one who stays has a lot of work to do.  Emotionally and practically.

Maybe you've talked about it with your spouse. We did that. But once it happens in your life, you realize the scope of loss is beyond you.  Like a tsunami of sorts. It  knocks you off your feet. It threatens to drown you.

When it was my turn to walk this walk, my family,  counsellors, and friends all threw me a rope. They put their arms around me and were there every way possible.  Sometimes I let them in, and sometimes I just treaded water, gulped and sputtered all by myself.

Approaching the one year anniversary last summer, I proactively booked out June and July.  Get away from that next wave which threatens to hit you.  "You are so brave", they said.  "I admire you."  Well, I'll take it but, really, I'm on the defensive. Running away from it. I was getting the h____ out of Dodge before being submerged...again.

It's been 18 months now and I should have  a grip on this, and most days I do. I go to sleep and wake up with prayers of  gratitude on my lips. I am truly blessed in so many ways.  My very best friend now is God. His spirit never leaves me in the cold, always there when I call, directing my path. Loving me.

And yet...still. A. Very. Hard. Walk.

Inspiration To Live Well Sandra Wilkes Art

Monday, December 4, 2017

Dog and Cat Paintings

When Buddy passed away I didn't write about it. It was somewhat surreal. Making sure he didn't suffer when I was beginning to think he might. I mixed up every Rx I had in the house to make a cocktail to help him sleep until the vet opened at 7:00.   "Just don't hurt, baby."  Holding him, rocking a baby that didn't move. Talking with him and being completely present with him for his last night. I always dreaded the pain I knew Larry would feel when Buddy left us. They were so close. But, Larry left first so that was a mute point, and my sadness was secondary to my job to help Buddy "leave".

I painted this pet portrait of Buddy years before and I'm so glad I have it to remember him.

But today it is all about this cat. I don't love him. I don't even know him, but he has made his way onto my canvas. I was drawn to these eyes and I wanted to preserve them. My first cat portrait and maybe my last. Hope you like him.  He is in Oils, 11x14.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Painting Out The Pain

( NOTE:  This post was written months ago.  I have no idea why it jumped up to the top of my entries again.  But it did.  Although I am past these particular feelings today, it is important to me to have them "documented".  It's all therapy. It helps me and it may help somebody else too.)

If you are currently grieving like I am, how do you lose yourself?  Is it through your work? A hobby? Is your diversion family and friends? Hopefully you can lose yourself in a healthy way instead of having yet another drink, a third bowl of ice cream or curling into a ball and thinking you can cry your grief away eventually. You can't.

I know what works for me. But just because I know doesn't mean that I do it. Knowing and doing are two different things. But if I do reach out and pick up a paintbrush, I can float away from that which hurts me.  I can just let it go, or rather maybe it loosens it's grip on me and lets me go.
Soon I will finish the painting I've been working on with Sherry Hardage.

Work In Progress. Not Use To Acrylics Yet. Learning About Them.
What a great painter, teacher, and friend I have in her.  She 'gets' me and I love her and her work.  Larry and I loved this particular sight. He shot it and I painted it. We always said we would do that.  So even though we ran out of time, he left me hundreds of photos to paint; so he did his part. And I will do mine.

I hope you find your magic bullet for tazing grief so it will be powerless over you for awhile. It will come back but at least it will lay in a heap on the floor for awhile.

2017: New Year. New Path. New Art.

It's been awhile since I was here but I am back, ...for now anyway.  Where to start?  I'll start with this passage from a calendar I received from my son.  I don't know who wrote it.
"New beginnings always need to be balanced with endings.  This is why we have New Year's Eve.  It is not just a time for celebrating.  It also needs to be a time for reflection, summing up, learning from our past year, and seeing and naming the changes we need to make to move forward.  This is why we have New Year's Day.  We humans need to be reminded to end, sum up, and move on."
So, I will probably be naming some of those changes right here.  I'll start small.  That manipulative choice will make it easier for me to see progress.  Smile.

My New Cup. I Love It.

Work In Progress
"Over and Under" Rice Paper on Canvas Board
Random Abstract

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Waking Up In The Woods

"This summer has been like living in the twilight zone."  I said that to one of my sons and he looked puzzled. "The Twilight Zone" was an old Rod Serling tv show I  liked... and it always left you shaking your head and saying, "What?  What happened?"  It always left you wondering .....what was real and what  wasn't and had you fallen into another dimension.

Waking up on a mountain in the woods is the opposite. It is grounding.  And it grounds you.... in nature, beauty, and serenity. It reminds you what is real.  Sunrise, sunset like clockwork.  Big Sky full of leaves soon to change colors and fall, like clockwork. Quiet water.  Stillness. Less wondering.  A small step back in the direction of Knowing.

Stepping out of the twilight zone is a good step to take.