Life isn't perfect.  It doesn't always work according to plan.  And it doesn't always provide the right environment to help you achieve your goals.  That can be frustrating at times.  An example is me trying to complete my pet portrait diploma.  It should have been completed a long time ago.  However, since I started it, I've moved house 9 times!  I started my painting of 'Inca' in Canada. I'm completing it in the UK. Between then and now, I've lived in 3 different homes.  During that time, my brushes were either packed or I couldn't find them, or I just didn't have the energy or conditions to get the acrylic paints out.  'Inca' remained hidden among my pieces of art.

 One thing I have learned in all the change I have been through, is to not give up.  After being in our current house in the UK for 4 months, with suitcases unpacked for long enough to feel relatively 'normal', and a place to put my developing artwork, I pulled 'Inca' out from her hiding place.  Her half-completed eyes looked up at me as if to say, 'Please'.

She was given place on my easel and I set to work to complete her.  After months of waiting, she is almost done.  Like life, she is not perfect.  I can find errors in my painting.  But it doesn't matter because in the midst of life's challenges, she is an achievement. 

When she looks at me now, she tells me the story of the past few months.  She tells me that although things can be frustrating at times, that although circumstances are not always the best, and although things don't always happen exactly when we want them to, if we don't give up, we can achieve something wonderful.

Rays of Sunshine

I haven't written on here for a long time because I got...well, I got discouraged.  With moving so much, trying  to find a new home, financial issues, moving into a new house and area, and due to lack of training feeling like a complete baby in the world of art, it has been easy to feel down.

The earth (at least our part of it) has been blanketed with snow, and my creativity seems to have been buried underneath it, struggling like a new shoot to reach up through its heavy layers and find some sunshine.  This morning however, with most of the snow gone at last, with green fields revealed once more, and golden rays of sunshine casting warm hope on the ground, I managed to find a smile.  That smile grew into laughter on my  walk with our dog, Ruby, who was extra playful as if to cheer me up, and as I watched birds soaring across the promise of a blue sky enjoying their flight, I even began to feel elated at the simple yet amazing beauty of creation.

My prayer on my walk was that I might become more focused.  I know I have gifts in many different areas, and even just in art itself, I can do a lot of different things.  But I don't want to be a 'jack of all trades' and master of none, and recognised the need to ask my heavenly Father to help me focus in specific areas of creativity, design and media.

On my return, I glanced at some of my artwork.  It's not bad, I thought, but I have such a long way to go.  And I need so much help knowing how to get there.

As I did some of my online communications, one of them being to try and get my artwork onto Folksy, a UK art and craft site, some paintings caught my eye.  As I looked at this lady's paintings, I realised they expressed so much of what I want to do, combining nature, beauty, expression, bright colours and imagination.  I felt a spark on the inside.  On a whim, I wrote to her, telling her how much her paintings inspired me to continue, how they helped me to see the kind of thing I want to produce myself, how they helped to give me focus, the very thing for which I prayed.

We began to communicate and I discovered things about her which are similar to myself.  Her blog is an inspiration and great help in seeing the processes she uses to achieve her paintings.  She also loves words like I do and writes poetry.  I have found a new friend, someone who understands, and someone whose work can encourage me to new levels.

It is raining now.  The promise of sunshine was brief.  But rays of sunshine have fallen on my heart today and warmed it, casting a golden glow of hope and helping that small shoot to continue reaching higher.