Thursday, January 31, 2008

Another Week, Another Word, and a Special Art Lesson

A Self-Portrait Today for Project 365

That quiz below is too weird. If you haven't tried it, you should. Given that it says that I should be a stay-at-home parent - and I am - and my sister should be a lawyer - and she is - is just... impressive. :) It's not really a quiz either; you just pick a pattern and see what it says. Try it; it's fun!

So. It's Thursday again. Seems to be the only time I can find to sit and do this lately. I guess I'll just have to be okay with that. Only two weeks left of Bible study and only two weeks left for me to teach art with the co-op. I'm thankful; I'm ready for a break. I'm not ready to be dreaming of summer yet, but things feel a bit too full right now. All of my time feels spoken for.

It's not all bad, though. We've been enjoying opportunities to meet new friends and do some fun things. I'm continuing with my Project 365 on Flickr and have enjoyed the daily challenge of pausing and looking and framing an image for the day.

Visiting New Friends Down By Sarasota Bay

Walking Out on an Old Oyster Bed on Sarasota Bay

Eve holds up an Egg Case

I've been painting and working on my Everyday Life series and am learning quite a bit about watercoloring and my tools and what I like and what I want more of: primarily more time to paint!

Everyday Life Series II

Amidst busy and stressful days I am finding the painting centers me and calms me and the whole process is one I need and relish.

I am working at being more gentle with myself regarding school and am trying to inject more color and fun into our days - whatever that means for that day. It seems its been a typical January with feeling overwhelmed at being smack-dab in the middle of the year and needing to stretch the boundaries a bit and remember to have as much fun as possible in the midst of the everyday.

I continue to mull over my word for the year which is: Imagine. I told my girls about picking a word for myself and suggested they pick words for themselves this year. I explained that for me, imagine, for now, wasn't so rooted in the art and design that I thought might be assumed, but instead about imagining my world as I would have it be and making steps toward creating that.

Eve has not picked a word quite yet, but I was fascinated to discover Maia immediately named her word of the year: Strength. When I asked her about it, she said she felt she needed strength for the things she's been thinking about herself from time to time lately. At 11 she is developing a new self-consciousness that she's not all sure she likes. This led to a whole new discussion about ways that she will be developing (emotionally) in the coming years. I talked to her about how very normal it is for middle-school aged kids to become very self-conscious and that other kids her age were likely thinking about themselves as much as she was. I also told her that she ought to remember that she will be thinking about and scrutinizing herself waaaaayyy more than her friends will be. I related it to the recent class I taught on Monet and the Impressionists. I said that she would look at herself as though she were up very, very close to the painting, seeing only blobs and smears and that she would spend a great deal of time trying to get those blobs and smears to be just right. Her friends, on the other hand, would be like a viewer in a museum, seeing the whole, wonderful painting and all its blended colors. They would see it and appreciate in in a fleeting moment of time and then move on, not realizing the amount of time the artist had spent arranging that painting, just so. And she got it. She did - for today anyway - and hopefully she'll be able to think of that image from time to time as she approaches her teen years.

Maia and her beloved Webkinz

So an art lesson in a different vein. An art lesson for life and a new word. Strength for a growing girl who is becoming.


Anonymous said...

Hey you guys,
What a beautiful pix of Maia!! I also liked the one of you and Eve! Good pix-taking!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the wonderful words you gave to Maia about her growing up. I will have to remember them for when my baby girl gets to that point.

Molly said...

Nicole: I love your impressionist analogy to looking at oneself vs. the way others see us. What a lovely way to approach this with your daughter. I'll remember, and likely share this same type of comparison. Thank you. Also, love the clothes line painting.

Be well,

Penny said...

I love your painting and your art lesson! Keep up the good work and enjoy!

Kez said...

What a wonderful analogy. I'm sure that will give your daughter strength through the years - in fact it's something we should all keep in mind, no matter what age!

Marianna said...

Your daughter sounds like an amazing young lady.

Love the self-portrait.


Anita Davies said...

Such a beautiful life lesson, your Daughter is a very lucky girl and I'm sure your words will travel through life with her, making a difference where needed...They made a difference to me today!

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