Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hidden Artist

One of the lovely "extras" offered during our stay at Laity Lodge was the opportunity to spend time at the Cody Center. Kathy Hastings, a gentle, patient and extraordinarily talented artist, came armed with all sorts of things to encourage us to experiment with art.

One afternoon I made my way down the red path, past a sweet lady sound asleep in one of the hammocks, and into the Cody Center. After tying an apron around my waist and finding a spot at one of the tables filled with art supplies, I eagerly awaited instructions on how to use them.

I pause here to confess that I have no hidden artistic talent. Ever the optimist, however, I thought perhaps I would somehow produce just a teeny "masterpiece" or two. We began by learning different techniques with water colors.

I'm afraid that's as far as I got. It all started out fairly well, but I became increasingly frustrated with my awkward attempts at painting. The perfectionist part of me, the one I try to keep under control, began to take over. If I couldn't do this thing well....I was just not going to do it! I couldn't find a trash can, so I just left my little pictures by my place, took off my apron and slithered off to nurse my bruised ego. The word childish springs to mind...

I walked around the beautiful, peaceful grounds and eventually found my feet crunch, crunching their way back along the path that led to the Cody Center. About half way there I saw Patricia coming the other way. She called out to me, beaming with the knowledge of a special secret. Patricia is an absolute delight. I was drawn to her the minute I met her. She is out-going, warm, kind and has a delicious sense of humor.

"Look what we did!" Clutched in her hand were my discarded art projects - beautifully framed and wrapped in plastic covers. She said the others couldn't understand why I didn't want them. They decided to rescue them and return them to me as a gift. I was overwhelmed by their kindness and generosity. They had taken my feeble attempts at painting and made of them something beautiful.


As I think back over that special moment, I realize it is symbolic of what the Father wants to do for me. He will take my "little" and make of it something very special indeed. All He asks is that I remain faithful.

I don't have to do the big, perfect thing all on my own. In fact, I can't do the big, perfect thing on my own. Only He can do those things. The amazing part is He allows me to have a small part in it (sort of like those loaves and fishes "thing" in Mark 14: 14-22).

Blessings,
Linda

18 comments:

Dawn said...

That is so neat, Linda. This is another thing we have in common. I am so absolutely un un un artistic! Even crafts don't turn out well for me. We used to have ladies' craft nights at church. This one leader was so good at everything. Every time I'd tell her I couldn't do it well and she'd say, "Oh, anybody can do this." I'd do a lousy job on it, and she finally said one night, "You aren't kidding, are you??" Mortifying.

Anonymous said...

something very special...

Glynn said...

I am so glad you got to go, Linda. It sounds like you had a wonderful time.

emily wierenga said...

oh Linda... how the father takes care of us, no? these are true works of art, friend. love you. (so glad you got to go!)

diana said...

I love this Linda! LOVE it. Such a sweet story, so well told. Sigh. What is about that perfectionistic voice that can so royally work us over?? Glad your friends saw the true beauty in what you did - and who you are. It was lovely meeting you this weekend.

Laura said...

And your artwork was so beautiful, Linda! I just realized I didn't get a photo of us together and that made me sad. But getting to hug you in person makes up for it. There's always next time :).

Jennifer @ GettingDownWithJesus.com said...

I think this post is my all-time favorite of yours. Maybe it's because I can resonate on such a deep level with that perfectionism. Maybe it's because I was in the studio, watching those women framing your art, in awe of your discarded beauty.

And maybe -- and mostly -- because I came to know and love you even more this weekend.

L.L. Barkat said...

What a beautiful picture of mending.

Such a gift! :)

Megan Willome said...

That, my friend, is a Laity story!

Nancy said...

I walked out of the Cody Center too! And then--you won't believe it. I ran into Kathy in a restaurant at the airport and we talked about what God revealed to me in my frustration and failure. How's that for another Laity story? So glad to have had the chance to meet you, Linda.

lil red hen said...

Getting up and leaving your work sounds a lot like me with my doll's face; I just can't make her look like a person, so she sits and waits for me. Then I realize, I'm not creating a person, only God can do that, and she does look as well as some others I've seen ;)

Your work looks very pretty in the frames, and how sweet of your friends to do that for you.

Sandra Heska King said...

Look! Your beauty framed!

I want to cry all over again.

S. Etole said...

What wonderful things you relate. Your cards are lovely.

Carolyn Counterman said...

I did not realize they had rescued your artwork, Linda. That is wonderful!

I had so much fun the first day making art projects. I'm not an artist, but I felt like one in those moments. The next day was the complete opposite. I was disgusted with my work and still can't look at it. Even so, I know that if anyone else looked at it, they would see something different than what I see.

While at Laity, I talked with a few people about how my early life taught me the idea that "if you can't write like Shakespeare, don't pick up a pen". What an awful message for anybody. What a huge barrier to overcome. I'm working on it right now. I know how perfectionism can take a person down.

I'm glad you shared this story and the lovely pictures our your art. Thank you for that.

Anonymous said...

Linda - I just realized that I had not read this story before now. It's beautiful; what a lesson that the Father can make much out of our little if we will just offer it to him. And yes, those little paintings are precious. You ARE an artist, my friend.

Michelle DeRusha@Graceful said...

What a wonderful, inspiring story this is, Linda!

Anonymous said...

*Amazing*
...and a great reminder for a childish perfectionist. :)

tonia said...

oh Linda....how beautiful is this? On every single level.

Thank you.