Just read a great book called One Thousand Gifts, by Voskamp. Hard to get through it. So challenging on every level.
My paintings have always been a way of thanking the Good Lord for the wonders of nature. But now I am thanking him for the not so beautiful and wonderful things in life too.
I have this deep ugly scar on my stomach, from my belly button down. It has been 6 months since the surgery, and still it is tender and itchy. When my appendix ruptured, and I didn't know it for a couple of weeks, it messed up my female organs. It encapsulated on my ovary, and everything became a gooey sticky mess. (Which actually saved my life by containing the poisons.) They took it all out, a complete hysterectomy and an appendectomy.
Instant menopause has been quite difficult. More difficult than I could have imagined.
This book of gifts has helped me see it all in a new way. I was honestly thankful for another chance at life, but this is different. Now I see my scar as beautiful. I no longer cringe at the sight of it. And now I laugh (instead of crying) at my new weird personality changes. I am a full spectrum, like a teenager with raging hormones, and not usually the good ones. My poor husband doesn't know which side of me will burst out next! But he is patient, and I have found that his love is enduring.
On a deeper level, my deep scars of child abuse and foster homes are also a beautiful thing. The healing is going to another level. Not just being ok with it all, but being able to thank the Almighty for all of it.
Just needed to put that out there.
I want to start a new challenge: to paint a thousand gifts. Not sure what form it will take yet. Don't feel that I can do one every day again, but I do want to set something in motion. I want it to be paintings of things in a new point of view: unexpected or maybe several gifts all in one painting, even if they don't really go together. Some will be of things that aren't so beautiful, yet they will have significance. I think it will be like a poem with images.
Don't have time, really. Summer art programs to create, and a gallery to run. But I believe this is something I will lose sleep over if I don't do it! So it will be a new series, and a wonderful challenge, and I am excited to see where it takes me.