|"Translucence" Final Painting of 2011|
I'm a control freak, you may not know it, but I am. I like everything to go my way and done quickly right when I ask. Unfortunately I hear that the world does not revolve around me. Bummer.
My challenge this year is the same as last year, to constantly give up the control I strive so hard to have, and surrender it to God. What a relief!!! Now, if I can just see it that way on a regular basis I think all would be good. This totally applies to my business and how I run my studio. I want to do everything myself and have a very hard time trusting others with my "baby". But thanks to God, I do have help and step one is allowing that help to well......help.
Brian and I sat down a week ago and organized my thoughts, to-do lists, and business plans on note cards, then on a calendar. I don't have to think about what to do, and my second challenge this year is to stick to the schedule.
But there's something else that has changed, and it's been working in my heart for a few months now. It's the question of "What is my purpose?" A question I'm sure most if not all of us have asked ourselves. I've been praying, talking, and pondering this. And even more so, how does this involve my natural gifts as an artist? I ask myself this question almost every six months, and it's a cycle, but I feel it's necessary if I am to grow.
He laid it on my heart.
On the side I privately tutor and advise teenagers/college students. We talk about more than just art and drawing, we talk about life. This in turn makes me reflect on my life, which then leads me to what inspires me to be who I want to be. The answer I keep going back to is a handful of men and women who have struggled and messed up, but were created and intended for GREAT things! They were special through their purpose.
These people were Rahab, Tamar, Ruth, Esther, Mary, Jacob, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, David, etc. These are familiar names to so many, and their stories truly are powerful and relatable.
Okay, so how does this relate to my business? I want to use these stories to help people learn, to retell their stories in a new way, to inspire and motivate, to show everyone that they have a purpose and story of their own! They're so amazing it's hard to believe they're truth. To me, the Bible is the ultimate fairytale....but one that DID and IS happening!
I was thinking of doing the fairytales I so adore and love this year as my personal project, but it just never settled well on my heart. I then had the question pop up in my head:
"Well if I'm going to illustrate the fairytales and stories of the world, why not do the stories that are fantastical but true?"
I am terrified of this project because it's huge and demanding. A bit out of my comfort zone, and after organizing my business on paper....where am I going to get the time?! BUT I have had this longing and find a desire laid on my heart, and most importantly...a need.
I want to paint the women and men of the Bible, but in a fresh way. I'm not sure how to describe it, so you will need to bare with me and I will show as much as I can through sketches. The pieces "Midnight Warrior" and "Sienna" (yes, her name had to be changed) are great examples of the direction I want to go. Mix those with "Translucence" and you may get the vision.
I am not going to do a lot of environment and costume research, nor am I going to worry about how accurate the piece is to the time it was written. My focus on this project is to convey the person, their experience or emotion, and try to visually allow the viewer to rest in the person/character's shoes. I admire all of the classical paintings telling the stories of the Bible, but why mimic and copy what has already been done? I don't believe they connect as richly with the people of today, especially the younger crowd.
The Flowers of the Month series is still going (February is in the works right now), and I hope to get the Three Pillars finished as well. My goal though, in the end, is to have a body of work that can coincide with the stories we all know so well, the stories of the Bible.
What does 2012 look like?
This year I hope to focus heavily on painting. I feel the need to really paint. And to draw or sketch more regularly. I pray that with this new project I will be sketching upon impulse, not when I just "have the time". To always carry a sketchbook with me. The visions I get for these characters rarely happen in the studio....but as I'm sitting and waiting, or teaching, or driving (don't worry, I'm not going to drive and draw).
I also plan on being more involved with my Bible. I will read each story before I paint it to make sure it is playing in my head, to be there with the characters.
And to be more in connection with you. My hope with the new blog and website layouts, that we are in more of a conversation and that I can show you more of my world and studio. Thursdays are going to be my blog days (hold me to that will ya?). So nonetheless, there should always be something here on the blog every Thursday!
Happy New Year and I pray that it is as much of a blessing for you as I know it will be for me.
Next Post: I will be sharing my Rahab sketches and progress, and why she is the first.
That was a huge things, halo Sara. I think u will do something great on that project.
I heard that 2012 is going to be a great year. I believe u can make the real into fantastic through what u believe in ur heart.
Humm still wanna meet you someday in the future. (^_^)
I love how you speak from your heart. As I was reading your post, I felt a kinship. I too have turned things over to God. I have let go of fear; failure or success. I have held this dream of being a working, successful illustrator for many years. I have stopped stressing and I have begun to enjoy the ride. Your artwork is Beautiful!! As I read your words I thought of one of my favorite illustators--Maxfield Parrish. If you have never seen his work look at it, it's so wonderful. I wish you much joy and success with your project. Yes it's a big job to take on, but anything that tugs at the heart, is probably meant to be :) Good Luck Sara!
Belle - thank you! You're so sweet and I appreciate the encouragement. :)
Mary - It's funny you mention Maxfield Parrish. My mom has always related my work to his...pretty much my whole life. I haven't always seen it, but she has. :) Thank you too for your words of encouragement. I know that when I let go, and get out of the way, I am able to receive all of the good He has set out for me. Sometimes we are our worse enemy, and this I am learning more and more clearly every day. To Him be the glory, forever and ever, amen.
Sara, I know this has been on your heart for a while, and it is time! I am so excited to see each inspired piece come to life. I want to call you the new "painter of light."
Great subjects! And Rahab is a fantastic place to start!! I love her story.
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