Bird

We escaped like a bird from a hunter’s trap, The trap is broken, and we are free!
Psalm 124:7

As excited as I was about yesterday’s page, I was equally frustrated by today’s. In fact, it was difficult to push through creating and even more difficult to want to write about it. At one point I said, I do not like this at all!

A voice from the other room said, Ohhh, I hate it.

I assured her that hate was a strong word which I wasn’t ready to use. A few minutes later I was ready.

hate this page.

While reading in Psalms this morning, I was eager to choose a word. It was almost mercy from 123, but when I reached the end of 124, I knew it was bird. An image came to mind that I wanted to create, much like yesterday’s thistle.

I envisioned an open cage with a bird flying from it or maybe a trap or something that looked like a trap with a bird escaping. I wanted to portray being set free and freedom. I also wanted to use watercolors again, because I loved yesterday’s look so much.

It’s today, though. A new day. A different one. What worked yesterday was not going to work today. This became painfully obvious shortly after I painted the background. When I added colorful triangles around the border that I thought would look like a trap, they didn’t.

Glue stick would not work, so I used wet glue. Which smeared the watercolors.

I have lots of ready cut pictures of birds. All perching, not flying. I did not have time to search for a flying bird. I was hoping to get this page knocked out quickly. Instead it was knocking me out.

Looking through my cut pictures, I chose one of the perching birds. I was also drawn to a house shown from the side with manicured shrubs and rose bushes lining its brick walkway. I glued it on. It took up most of the page.

I decided to perch the bird in a tree, so I found some branches and glued them on the page. I cut random parts of other trees for the leaves and perched the bird. This is what my work space looked like all morning. I felt as if I were working upside-down and backwards as I tried to compose the page.

Here it is almost finished. There are a lot of layers.

This is the end result looking nothing like I imagined. I have gone from hating it to tolerating it to loving it. As I study what I was drawn to add to the picture and where I could or could not place things, I see how the bottom and left side are more structured, rigid, and formal. There is movement to the right and upwards where the bird is. This area is less structured, more playful, and free-flowing.

It depicts movement into freedom!

I find my words on the opposite page ironic. This is my style, my touch, the way I show up. And. It’s. Okay. I totally showed up in this space as myself today. I could not hold it back, no matter how hard I tried to do it the right way. 

I share this as encouragement to continue to trust the process, wherever you are in it. Today looked nothing like what I planned time wise and picture wise. I battled perfectionism and self-doubt and fear. There was anxiety. Then I stepped away and looked back.

And it was just right.

4 thoughts on “Bird

  1. Barbara

    So often, I feel, that when we create it is like our logical brain has to catch up to our creative brain and then logical brain steps back observing our creation and says, “Oh, now I get it it.” Whereas, creative brain got it all along.
    I love the picture – the orderly trimmed hedges, windowed house, to the bird in the tree with what looks like string lights around him, chirping, “I cannot trim hedges today, I am at a tree party!” Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your art, Julie.

    Reply
    1. Julie Post author

      Yes! I love your words so much. They feel true to where I was yesterday. Wrestling logical and creative. The process of integration takes time. I’m so glad I gave myself permission to take time yesterday. And yes. It was a tree party with string lights. Which I also love.

      Reply
  2. Theresa Howard

    I’m fascinated by how you captured “movement into freedom.” Seriously, you have inspired me to think of how I can color outside the lines. Thanks Julie!

    Reply

Thanks for heart-composting with me! I appreciate your words.

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