Thursday, January 3, 2008

Beautiful Brushstrokes.....

"One cannot collect all the shells on the beach."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh - Gifts From The Sea
Have you ever studied a painting closely? Have you ever noticed the values of light and shadow? Have you ever noticed how all the colors are blended and formed into a shape? Have you ever noticed all the tiny brushstrokes that go into creating a landscape, still life, or any other type of painting? Have you ever seen a work of art that just spoke to you and to you alone? You knew when you saw it that it was yours, it sent a message straight to your heart and you then desired to own it?

All of these things happened to me when I saw a painting by Helen Read of Brushstrokes Etc. Helen does wonderful tiny daily paintings of many subjects and styles. The first painting of hers that I saw captured me not so much for its subject, but for its colors and her explanation of it. It drew me in and kept me coming to her site again and again to see what she would come with next. I went to her online gallery and fell in love with three specific paintings, sadly one had already sold. There was one in that group that reached out and grabbed me with its special message for me alone and I desired to have it as my very own. I asked Santa (hubby) to put it at the top of my Christmas list along with some hand made jewelry by another artist out there in blog land. I honestly did not expect to get it, I thought I would be making the purchase myself after the holiday. On Christmas morning the last present under the tree was for me and it was the painting! I beamed, squealed, danced, and ran to the computer to email Helen immediately.

This little painting is of a shell and a small glass bottle. I can see every brushstroke that went into making a flat object look dimensional. I can see how the values of colors are blended just right to create depth and how light and shadow are used to give the illusion of reality to the piece. I can see each little beautiful brushstroke that went into making this piece of art. But more than that I can see a message from God to me in this small painting.
I love the ocean and we vacation at one shore or another almost every year. I have a collection of photos and shells from all the places we have traveled. My little writing cottage is where I display all my treasures and it is decorated in the cool calm colors of the sea. Its shelves have favorite books with titles like, Gift's From the Sea and Sea Edge. When I saw this painting, I knew it belonged in my writing cottage.

Two messages were gifted to me in this painting. The first gift is a reminder of the depth of forgiveness and is represented in the image of the shell. The creatures that inhabit shells travel along the bottom of the sea at depths I could never fathom. Scripture says that God has compassion on us and will hurl our iniquities into the depths of the sea. Can you imagine such great mercy, compassion, and willingness to forgive? The beautiful brushstrokes of this shell remind me to extend that same measure of compassion, mercy, and willingness to forgive to those around me.
The second gift, the bottle, is a reminder of the depth of compassion God has towards us. Scripture says that He puts my tears in a bottle, that when I cry to Him, I can know that He is for me. He cares about what concerns me and is so compassionate that not one tear escapes His notice.
I see in this painting not only the beautiful brushstrokes from the hand of Helen but the beautiful brushstrokes from God upon my life. He too uses light and shadow to give my life dimension. He blends His values into my life painting to create depth of character and reality to the difference He makes in me. He is using each little brushstroke to make me into a work of art. I only hope that I can represent Him well and that I will be well blended into the background as others see God's brushstrokes in this small painting that is me.

May His beautiful brushstrokes create in you a work of heart that others desire to own for themselves.

Miss Sandy


Junie Moon said...

What a lovely painting and I'm so glad it was under the tree for you.

I feel exactly the same about the beach and although I am enjoying where we are living, it will be a blessing when we move back south to the beach again.

Helen Read said...

Dear Sandy, I am so glad this little painting lives at your house now! Thank you so much for all you've said and the symbolism you have found in it. It is very meaningful to me as I read it. Bringing meaning and joy to others through our gifts is a great pleasure... and certainly your gift for writing (and art) has blessed me! How good God is to give us many ways to communicate and to express ourselves - through art, words, music, and more!

Bejeweled said...

What a gorgeous painting!! Loved reading about how the painting spoke to you and all the meaning it conveyed to you. You are such a wonderful writer and I love reading your posts!!

p.s. I sent you an email last week. Sincerely hope it reached you :)

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Sometimes posts just leave me speechless as this one very nearly has. Thank you for expressing your thoughts so clearly that even I can sense the depth of them. Have always loved Psalm 56. What a peach of a hubby you have, too!

Hope that you are feeling ever so much better every single day. Take good care of yourself while you're taking good care of everyone else.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Sandy, what a beautiful post this is! And that painting is so pretty, I can see why you had to have it. I love collecting shells too. And all your thoughts about it are a blessing to read.

Thanks for stopping to see me! I'll add you to my links too.


Catherine Holman said...

Sandy, The painting is beautiful and your writing touches my heart with it's beauty. Thanks!

Kims Art said...

This is my first time to your blog, but I will be back. The Lord blessed you in a beautiful way. I also love Gifts from the Sea. I read it every year. I will look forward to your next posting. I am going now to add you to my blog.

Pinkie Denise said...

Dear Miss Sandy,
What a beautiful post, I love the ocean too. Every summer we spend our vacation there....I love and collect shells and sea glass, love the beautiful painting and the message so
touch my heart on this cold day....
Thank you for sharing such peace and
lovely words Pinkie

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

That paintig is just lovely! Yes, I have some pieces of art, that really spoke to me.

Wonderful post!

Fete et Fleur said...

What a beautiful painting! I have always wanted to paint. The idea of being able to translate what your eye sees with the stroke of a brush facinates me. Thank you for sharing this. It is inspirational!

Hugs! Nancy

Kari & Kijsa said...

Beautiful words... beautiful art! We love it when art truly touches the heart, and brings forth meaning, emotion, and/or memories! Lovely!

kari & kijsa

tongue in cheek said...

Post with symobolism and art always touch the heart. Your painting of the gladd bottle is amazing. Isn't painting clear glass difficult?

Susie Q said...

Your painting is just lovely. The things I love best always *speak* to me...paintings, sculpture, etc.
I love the photograph. Seashells are one of my favorite things...we have them from all the beaches we have lived near over the years. Perfect little treasures from the sea.

Your post was especially wonderful today...but I always love the lyrical way in which you write.

Happy new year dear Miss Sandy!


Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Sandy, thank you for popping by. Now I'm doing the same, just in case you peek in.

Today is the first day that there's been any sign of improvement with my dad...after a horrible cold, a uti, and a horribly toxic reaction to an overdose of medication. Who knew when he went in there with what was just a little old TIA.

Thank you for your prayers and please know that you are in mine, too. Hope that you get back to blogging soon with all the encouragments you share.

Andylynne said...

Thank you for the beautiful words, the beautiful thoughts, the beautiful music, & your wonderful spirit. I have missed checking in with Quill cottage. As ususal I wasn't disappointed.

Anonymous said...

I love your painting!Here I am! Check out Iva's Creations her mermaid assemblage yowser! Denise

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