Tag Archives: flowers

Doing What’s Next

What’s next?

I have sat with this question for awhile now. Endings have left me wondering. People ask.

What’s next for you?

Next is tricky. Doing what’s next means different things in different seasons. I have been in a season where next has meant doing the next load of laundry, driving the next car pickup, having the next conversation.

I am still there in many ways.

Next has been nudging me. Speaking up. My mind was swirling with this when I opened my art journal recently and began arranging images to process my feelings about next.

These pages helped me to sort out and ground.

Next is unknown, symbolized by stairs moving up into the shadows. What is up there? A rock at the bottom offers grounding while the stained glass effect is made by light shining through darker colors, like the dark purples and blues surrounding the stairs. A bouquet of flowers holds hope for the promise of growth.
The stained glass border continues on this page but stops as rising natural sunlight takes over. Now there is no filter. Inspired by the return of spring and “spring forward” bringing longer days, this page shows color and movement while still holding the tension of bare-limbed trees waiting to bud. A path is next to them. Where does it lead? While still early in the growing season, something is preparing to burst into bloom, symbolized by a giant tulip.
These facing pages hold the story of stepping out and up by faith. It is courageous to keep doing what is next. I love the flowing movement of the flowers, the bright sunshine, and the hope of a new thing coming.

There is something coming. Next is on the horizon. I am eager to share what it is in the near future. Stay tuned!

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.