It began with open space.
Maybe, that’s how all things begin. All good things, that is.
And, it began with need which, so often, provides fertile ground for creativity to take root.
This is what I remembered as I sifted back through layers of
memory and experience, this is the conclusion I reached when someone asked, “How
did you begin painting?”
I never intended to paint, that was not the point. But when we moved to this enormous, old farm
house three years ago, I found myself with rooms full of empty wall space and
nothing to hang. Need (or was it desire?)
knocked and I answered. I splurged on
one large print from Ikea and two empty frames which I filled with fabric in a
color scheme I adored. But our budget
would not allow for more.
I kept my eyes open, though, and found ornate and tacky old
paintings abandoned along back woods roads and languishing in thrift store
bins. I bought acrylic paints in
magenta, teal, and tangerine. I, like
generations of women before me, decided I would ‘make-do’ and I did.
In the process of making-do, though, I discovered that
painting felt like prayer – calm, clear, and filled with listening. Painting, also, felt like writing, and I
listened as I painted and learned about myself as a writer, as a creative, as
All of this, from blank walls, empty space.
What open spaces mark your life today?
What invitation might these spaces hold?
What opportunity, adventure, unanticipated
I never intended to paint.
But now I know that words on wood, in color, is part of who
I am. Those empty walls called forth
some part of me long buried like a seed, causing the artist in me to sprout and
Now I continue to watch and wait, like a gardener eyeing empty soil. What open spaces are here, now
and what abundance might be sleeping in the rich, dark emptiness?
Good news, friends, I now have an Etsy shop where you can order prints of my original paintings. Visit The Broody Hen Shop to see current offerings.