Friday, April 22, 2016

What helps you breathe?

What is your passion? What helps you to breathe, make it through the day? What is it that you feel is your God given talent that makes you sigh in the knowledge that it's right for you to spend time doing it?

Art and writing are my zen. Both art and writing have been with me ever since I can remember. I took art classes from a woman that taught with Leo Reynolds when I was about 6. Then, I took from Johnny Young for years. I also learned to take up for myself in this class and beat up a bully. :-) Bet you never knew violence could happen in art class! Seriously, the boy, 5 years my senior, kept hitting me in the back of my head while I was trying to concentrate on painting. I had politely asked him to stop. He didn't. I flew into him and bloodied his knees and landed a kick that sent him rolling into a fetal position. Mrs. Young told him she bet he wouldn't pick on me anymore. He didn't.

Of course, my first teacher was my mom. She used to let me paint Plein Air under our willow tree in the front yard. She would give me advice and show the utmost patience as I wasted many tubes of paint and canvas in the pursuit of my art. She also taught me how NOT to draw trees. I remember bringing her a tree I had drawn. She critiqued the hell out of it to the point I was in tears. I vowed never to draw another damn tree. I was wrong. My love for trees grew by leaps and bounds; and, I learned how to properly draw a tree. Thank you, Mom!

In high school, I enjoyed painting for 3 years with Mrs. Doris Gamble. I think I spent whole days with her my senior year enjoying the smell of oils and discussing literature. I learned perspective in her class and that I really liked to draw on BIG paper instead of small paper. She would go to the teachers' lounge and get paper for me when we were drawing hands and faces. Even then, I'd have to tape papers together or I'd draw off the sides.

I look for drawing inspiration everywhere I go. I visited a friend on his lake and took away some photos from which I painted this. This is a watercolor rendition of that beautiful, peaceful moment.

I was lucky enough to visit the UP and see an ermine...beautiful, curious creatures! I wrote and illustrated a wonderful children's story about this magnificent creature. This is one of the illustrations in pencil. Ms. Lily, the ermine, has a great appetite for trout!

This world teaches us to do what makes the most money. We should do what brings us joy. I hear way too many people sigh and say, "It brings home the bacon." They sometimes can't even remember what made them happy. We are given a purpose when we are placed on this earth. Gabe and I watched the movie "Hugo" this week. It's a beautiful flick! This young, orphaned boy says, (I will paraphrase) "I have always thought of the world as a machine; and, each of us as parts. Therefore, we must all fit somewhere. There are no surplus parts made. We all have a purpose to make the big machine work." This is true. He also points out how people smile when they are fulfilling that purpose. That seems to be most accurate.

Which brings me to my original question for my readers: What helps you breathe? What is your passion in this life? I hope it makes you smile so broadly you fill up a room with your sunshine.

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