I have a very dear friend who has started an art therapy group. She wants to be an art therapist when she grows up and in preparation for grad school decided to not play dry, d this summer but get a group going so she would have a little experience.
Since I adore her so much, and since I know the pitiful extent of my artistic talent, I decided to join. I am always willing to help out a friend. Also, I love trying to be creative so helping her out was a win win situation. I helped her, and possibly grow my artistic talent (snort).
Yesterday as I was hanging the clothes out to dry, I got an email from said friend. It was a reminder that our projects were due today. She let us know about them nearly two weeks ago. Due to throwing a bridal shower for my future sister in law, a birthday party for my husband, going on a family vacation with all my siblings minus one (there are 7 of us, so all getting together is a little difficult) and anticipating the wedding (this weekend!) had completely driven that project out of my mind.
As I folded and put away laundry I tried to figure out what I would do for my project. We were to come up with a symbol that represented us. As I made dinner I thought and thought. When it was time for the kids to shower (we don't have a bathtub) I sat down on the bathroom stool and brainstormed. What word best described me? I actually came up with several words: Nature, Words, Beauty, Peace, Simplicity, Security, Music, Laughter, Order and Family.
Way too many words! Trying to find a symbol that would hold all those words seemed impossible. And then it came, slowly. I would draw a house. It would be a 1950's style house. Like the ones in the Dick and Jane books. The house would represent simplicity (because it was a much more simple time back then) and security.
There would be a white picket fence and manicured yard to emphasize the order, but then I realized I didn't have the patience to figure out how to draw one and make it look decent. I tried several times. Finally decided I didn't need one, the message got across just fine without the fence, and the lawn could say just as much.
In place of a wreath, pearls would hang on the door for the beauty and elegance. Two things I love and need in the world around me to feel complete. I didn't put in as many flowers as I wanted, mainly because (believe it or not) drawing that house took a lot out of me. That is without a doubt the best house I have ever drawn. I am seriously tempted to frame it. Laugh if you like, but the picture of my house will go on the wall next to Keith and Faye's framed watercolors. But I imagine big fluffy peonies under the window box all along the front of the house. I just didn't draw them, either. I was tired of drawing and coloring by this point.
There would be a gorgeous billowing tree. Nature. Peace. Beauty. All embodied in the tree. It also represents family. Lets be honest, I am miserable without trees. The first thing I look at when we are house searching is the yard, specifically the trees. I cry when trees are cut down. I really love them.
The swing hanging from the limb is for the laughter that I have to have in my life. As are the bright colors used through out the whole. Without laughter I become grumpy and sullen. I know that sounds a little obvious, but it really is true. I need to laugh, and just a little laugh can flip my mood around like a pancake on a griddle.
Under the tree is a cushion and a book lying open as if someone left in a hurry but was planning to come back. That someone would be me. I love words. Whether they be spoken, written or read (can you tell by how long this explanation is?).
I also added a lot of texture to the picture. I was thinking of Van Gough as I colored. And yes, I do know how ridiculous that sentence sounds! But I really was, and so I played a bit with texture. Mainly in the swing, tree, grass and bushes.
But then I wanted one thing wrong. I am a work in progress and often have rumpled corners and many places that need smoothing out. I wanted one thing to represent my constant failures because through failures we can find so many good things. Peace, help, faith, greatness, etc. Then my two year old daughter got a hold of my paper and crumpled the edges a bit. I loved her accidental ingenuity and decided to take it a step further by crumpling and smoothing the page a few times. Though there are many trials and bumps in life, I can still see the big picture, the goal I am working towards, and that helps pull out the Winston Churchill in me. "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense."
And there you have it. If I were a picture, that little house up there would be me. Obviously drawn much better and not drawn by me.