Encouraging others to deepen their true, abiding joy in Christ
Painting Through The Jar-Tight Days
Have I ever told you I’m a people pleaser? This can be a good thing but it can also be a bad thing. Let me explain.
I’m an artist. I paint paintings and sell them on my Facebook page. As a artist, I try to be open to ideas of what I should paint. The key word in that sentence is “try.” Sometimes when my mom gives me an idea I’ll try to paint it. Well, one day in February my precious mom sent me a picture of a dove sitting on arched window sill. I knew it was going to be a challenge when I glanced at it. But people-pleasing kicked in, so that week I brought it to my art lesson and took on the challenge of a picture that lacked color. My art teacher even thought it was a challenging picture to paint. By the second week of working on this painting, it looked as though I hadn’t even accomplished anything. I felt like I was going to disappoint my mom by not painting this picture. The tears that day came in a constant stream.😭 The next week I started working on a different painting of two blue birds. I also painted over the dove painting I had been working on, not knowing it would turn into one of my favorite paintings.
A longtime family friend tagged me in a picture on Facebook and said, “Abigail, you should paint this! So pretty.” It was a cute, colorful, fluffy bird on a simple branch. It was definitely going to be challenging yet fun at the same time.
I am horrible at drawing, I think. I should practice drawing more, but I don’t. I know I’m going to mess up when I draw, and I hate erasing because it’s so hard for me. I feel like I’m washing dishes without water when I erase anything. Since I can’t use my wrist like everyone else who draws or writes, I use my entire left arm to paint, draw and write. That’s why I’m so strong. 💪🏻😜
Tiny tools to tackle the task.
A couple years ago, I found these “must have” paintbrushes at Hobby Lobby, the place where you say, “What? I’ve been here for 3 hours?!” There were two reasons why I had to get these brushes. First, they were the most adorable mini-brushes I’ve ever seen. Second, I knew they would come in handy when painting little tiny strokes.
As I embarked on this tedious task on March 20th, I knew it was going to get difficult especially when my Botox started wearing off. I enjoyed going to art every Tuesday and working on this painting for a hour and a half. Every week I could see it coming together. One of the challenging parts of the bird was the little claws. Oh, my soul, it literally took me a hour to paint both claws to where I liked them. It took three breaks because my blessed eyes were so squinty, and it does help to see what I’m going to paint! I know that sounds so profound, but it’s true. I really enjoyed painting the fluffy feathers with my adorable mini-brushes. I love painting colorful birds. I’m thinking about doing a bird series sometime soon.
This is how it progressed in five weeks.
I’m so thankful I have the energy to paint through the jar-tight days. Jar-tight days are the days where I have to pry my left hand open to hold a brush—the days when I just want to quit art altogether and be done, the days where I go to art so tight I can barely see plus my teeth persistently grit and the days where my eyes are squinting but I’m still focused.
I hope this gives you a slight glimpse of what I do to paint a painting.