Wow, summertime is flying by! Cant believe it is almost August! I was asked a few weeks back if I wanted to put some pieces in an art show in August benefitting San Diego Youth Services, an organization that helps improve the lives of homeless,runaway, abused, and at risk children. I for sure wanted to do this! I am putting 10 pieces in and a portion of the proceeds of my art sold goes directly to the organization. Y'all should come! It is August 16 at Mission Brewery. You can check out the website at breakingthroughsd.com.
I have some pieces that I have already painted to put in the show, but I wanted to do one specifically for the cause. Some ideas that were given by the organization of possible things to showcase were things involving overcoming struggles and hardship and things like that. All great things to think of.
I should first say that I have had on my mind to paint some pieces that are sort of like folk paintings with a modern/design twist. I love anything folk. Folk music, folk art, folk tales, love my folks too:) There are a couple reasons I wanted to start painting in more of a folk genre. I have been very reminiscent and sentimental lately, I always am, but a lot more lately. Painting my memories in a simplified like manner makes a lot of sense to me right now. I have been longing for days that are more simple and that the highlights to my day would be to remember what the simple graces of that day gave to me. A lot of these paintings will be involving nature and landscape. I have such rich memories as a child and one of my goals as an adult is to tap into what takes me back to specific times in the past that really stood out to me. This usually involves certain smells, colors, feels in the air, people, songs, etc. I'm so excited to paint these paintings. I have a few brewing in my head right now and I can't wait to get started.
This specific painting I titled "River Days". It is inspired by a couple trips that we took to Yosemite with some friends. Can I just say Yosemite might be my favorite spot. I just really love it there. We would camp for days, go on hikes and go swimming and play in rivers. The river days were the best for everybody. We found this river spot that is glorious. There are mountain faces staring at you in all directions. There are pockets of pools where the kids can catch crawfish. There are gentle currents that can carry you gently down on an tube. You can sit on rocks and chat with your friends and hold your can of beer in the water to keep it cold! I mean, we would stay here for hours at a time. I grew up with some great rivers around, but this is like no other, let me tell you. Last year when we went camping in Yosemite we went to this same river. One of the little girls who camped with us named this river "scrappy bottom falls" because she scrapped her bottom on the rocks while she rode her tube down the current. Naturally, we all started calling this place scrappy bottoms falls. Don't know the real name of the location. So its gonna stay scrappy bottom falls.
So I thought about this river and all that it offered to us. My thoughts keep getting deeper and deeper. This specific trip one of the families that camped with us had a long term foster child. She is 8 or 9 I think, and she came from a very traumatic past. I don't know any of the specifics, but I know that it was pretty bad. She is a sweet, sweet little girl who loved camping and playing with lots of little kids her age. Our family went on this trip in one sense for healing. We had to put our old sweet dog down the week before. We knew Yosemite would be healing to our hearts. It sure was. Im saying all of this because we brought certain baggage with us to this glorious spot. All our baggage was really different, but we shared the healing that was needed. For us it was to detach from reality, enjoy this glorious place, enjoy each other. For this little girl I'm sure playing and fully being a kid in a magical place brought healing to her heart. This place was so safe and is so safe for so many people I'm sure. This river offered us full delight. We were refreshed and were fully alive with a combination of the most beauty but the most simple pleasures. I can cry at the drop of a hat when something tugs at my heart the right way. Any time I hear the Waylin' Jennys sing Glory Bound I loose it. It's just so beautiful. I replayed this song over and over while I painted this painting. We all got a taste of glory in that river, wether we realized it or not. We shared a common grace given to us in that river.
This painting is pretty big, 35x48. I actually painted it on a canvas I built in college and a painting I made back then that was pretty definitive to me in a lot of ways at that time. In a crazy way I think that adds to the meaning behind this painting. When I painted that painting underneath this new "River Days", I am not the same girl I was then. I carry parts of me from then to now, but I'm not the same. That is a good thing. This reminds me of that little girl who came with us to the river. She has faced so many challenges in life, her story is not over and her future is not defined by where she came from, she carries that, but she has so much more ahead. I am also reminded that there are still so many more good people in the world than bad that want to help children and others in need. Alright, I'm done. I am about to cry myself to sleep with a heart full of varying emotions. Mainly happy and warm:)