Painting Side By Side
Published on May 20, 2016
Mary and I first met about 30 years ago in the summer that our softball coach benched us for most of the season. But seriously, we didn’t care. We laughed hysterically, made up our own cheers, and kicked up dirt as time and our team mates passed us by.
Years later we became even better friends in high school.
Both of us were devoted artists and sat next to each other in every art class together. Mary and I created an art movement together, cut school to go paint frequently, shared a locker, and would fight over things we found while thrifting.
After high school life and our dreams took us our separate ways, but we still kept in touch. We still painted together every time we saw each other.
Now-a-days we live 2000 miles apart, have families and careers of our own, but the distance and time between us melts any time we’re together.
One of the highlights from my recent trip to Florida was definitely painting side-by-side with Mary again on Mother’s Day none-the-less.
Both of us have very different styles and approaches to art. But somehow it’s the thing that really connects us at heart.
I left Florida realizing how very blessed my life is.
I have a friend who truly cares for me. That sees me for who I really am — who has been on this journey with me from the very beginning. Who opens her home not just to me and my family — but to my work — to other artists wanting to learn and paint with me.
What a gift. What an absolute gift.
Though, I never finished that painting in Florida. Mary and I got so far and then dropped everything to visit the beach one last time together with our families.
And while I was ocean side I felt very deeply that I needed to rip the piece into four before leaving. That yes it would be easier to transport back home — but that it was longing to be something else when it returned to my studio in the desert.
It was a poem that wanted to be expressed in stanzas. I could feel it.
Plus, I also brought home with me a bag full of pods that one of my dear, sweet students gave to me. She knew that I collect them and adore them so. (Thanks again Diane.)
What a treasure.
So it’s not a surprise that they found their way into these paintings. It was meant to be.
And that’s why I love how art simply connects us,
and in the most beautiful of ways —
always becomes us.
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