There is something about getting away that brings clarity. We went to the beach for a long weekend. It was what I needed. It was what our family needed. Together time after a couple months of activity packed weeks and weekends. We needed slow. We needed no schedule. Take it as it comes kinda days. We ended up packing a lot in, but nothing felt rushed. Kite flying and aquarium on the windy day. Sand tunnels and picnic lunch on the nicer day. It is funny how when I am tired I think doing NOTHING will be most refreshing, but I find that sometimes when I do the SOMETHINGS that I never seem to have time to do, I am refreshed.
One of my "SOMETHINGS" was starting the submission process for the Art Prize Venue. I am quite excited about getting that fully completed. It is the KEY….I have to find a place large enough to show my piece, that will also be a good space to get our message out. Part of my wish list is white walls (so that the space between is a stark contrast) and a space where it can be viewed from a distance away. I will keep you posted on this! We have 5 venues we are waiting to hear back from! This is exciting and nerve-racking all at the same time.
Going away and getting some distance also helps you realize where you are….I was unable to start my piece because leaning them up against the wall didn’t give me the consistency I needed to create the piece. So even though I had gessoed (with help), planned the spacing, documented the spacing, and drawn the blind contours -they were all just stacked up around my studio….a weight. The deadline is approaching. I need to get them done so I can give them PLENTY of dry time because oils dry slow. The day we returned home we tackled the tedious job of putting wires on all 18 of the canvases. Now they are hanging! We had to get a board in order to hang them because the trim on the studio wall was preventing them from being able to be hung directly on the wall. Note to self, next time consider the size of my studio before deciding the size of canvases. There is no wiggle room and I have black marks on the ceiling and wall to prove it. It is so hard not to hit things as I move these canvases around, but now they are READY!!!!!
We even have a name. I think this is the first time I have ever named a piece before it was completed. This piece is different. It is unlike anything I have ever attempted. It has taken the MOST planning and support. I was getting antsy to just get some paint on the canvas already! This is more than just an intuitive piece for me, when I follow my own aesthetic of what I think looks good. This is still about looking good but also about sharing a message and my message is dual-sided. It is about the fierce Warriors that love to fight injustice but feel torn about the subsequent effects on their families, and the families that want to support who their Warrior is in his core, despite the pain they have to endure for the cause. In the times that I have felt “done” with the sacrifice, it has become clear to me that I can’t separate the parts of this man I married. I can’t expect him to have the edge of a warrior yet demand a premature retirement from the fight.
“The Weight of Time”.
As you wait, you feel the weight.
My husband and I were brainstorming (because we name the art together). We threw a lot of different things out there…and we settled that the main element isn’t war vs. home or connection miles apart, it is the way time “behaves” or feels as you face a deployment. I have been sharing these concepts with others, and one soldier commented, when I said I was trying to depict how time feels, “ are you going to depict heavy?” This got me thinking. This dark cloud of pending rain, the wait of the weight, can color how you see all the days leading up to the goodbye.
Thankfully I can say my heavy rain cloud has passed for now. I started painting! I have leaned into the truth, I believe in the mission and there is still more for us to contribute as a family. Not throwing fits, not giving up, learning how to keep going and keep connecting through busyness, stress and fear.
Progress is happening on "The Weight of Time" each day! We even had a promo video filmed telling from my perspective:
- what are the military family struggles/challenges
- my experience with the struggle
- how my art relates to it
- what can people do to help (support RHF)
I was nervous and excited. The butterflies were fluttering in my stomach. I want to be inspiring and moving but CONCISE. This is not my strength. Ha! But thankfully by talking through the main points and writing out my message, I was able to speak clearly (according to the guy filming). Now I face a different kind of waiting, a waiting to see someone else's art piece about my art.
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