Yesterday was a gorgeous day in Minnesota. The sun was casting a golden glow everywhere and surprisingly there were few mosquitoes (our state bird.) There was no humidity, the flies and gnats were nowhere to be seen. Temperatures were in the mid seventies. We don’t get many days like this in the tundra, so we must take advantage of them when they come along. Our summer includes about three months of warmth and time to enjoy it so we do.
Yesterday was also a perfect day to set up an easel and paint outdoors. Paul invited his plein aire group of painters to our backyard to do just that. Each person found a little piece of ground – either in sun or shade. One even set her easel and herself upon a little blanket on the grass. You couldn’t ask for better conditions. There was no wind. Air was fresh and clean and the group met a new painter who will be joined them.
It was quite a sight to see. Their cars were parked along the street. All these people were painting in our backyard and it was a beautiful piece of art in itself. This group has bonded over the two years of its existence. They are now a cohesive group of friends, who share their creative side along with some of their personal doubts and fears with painting. Paul’s compassion goes out to each of them as he tries to guide them through a problem and encourages them along the way.
There has been amazing growth in this group as well. Some have changed the media they use over the course of time. Some have become more willing to take chances with their art. Others have learned from each other. Paul loves to see his student’s own style emerge as artists. He prefers they do this, rather than having them imitating him or another artist. This frees them to express their own thoughts and creativity into their work.
Arts of all kind draw upon our inner creativity. It’s not only a wonderful relaxing aid for some, but it helps you solve problems through imagination and risk taking. The same is true in every one of the arts. Wonderful things happen in the process.
So while this was going on, I was at the Northern Starz Theatre Company, subbing for the teacher at a summer theatre program for kids. It was amazingly fun to get myself back in that groove, even if only for a short time. The children were anywhere from 5-10, which for the most part is normally getting too much for me to physically handle, but they were receptive and anxious to learn.
It was a day filled with art and creativity. In the evening, when Paul went off to a church meeting, I went outside and did some weeding to top off a perfect day.
Thank you, God for the blessings you give us through our creative expression. Through these experiences we learn so much about nature and your wonderful creation. We also develop friendships and share those experiences with others. Please keep our minds sharp until we reach our final hour. Amen!