Wednesday, February 18, 2009

So, I'm up painting tonight.
No particular reason.
Or so I thought.
I had a grand idea. I'd already finished one painting (see above), and was going to do another. Earlier today, I'd sketched in the final details of the second of two frog paintings and even outlined the artwork.
But, when it came time to paint the second one, I was struggling. I messed up so many times. Paint was too thick here. It wasn't blending there. I tried different mediums - water, blending gel... different brushes. Nothing worked.
So, I did what most artists do on a white canvas background. I used white paint as my "eraser". Very carefully, I dipped in a tiny brush and painted around my newly and beautifully sketched artwork. My mistakes were in the background, and needed to be erased. The white went on smoothly in the larger areas... but as I neared the sketched and inked work... my hands shook and I spilled over the lines. I didn't like it, but I continued. I spilled more. I was frustrated... but I continued. Using different brushes and angles, I desperately tried to cover all of my mistakes.
It was no use. The white paint was now piling up and making a textured line around the artwork. Not what I had intended.
Then... my mind cleared.
"You gotta do what God does with you, Jen - a complete do-over."
Reluctantly, I picked up a fat brush, dunked it in white paint, and painted broad strokes across the small canvas. I deliberately went over my sketched and inked work (the frog). And... there was peace.
All of the mistakes I had made were gone. In an instant. And, all of my "saving it" was for nothing.
A complete do-over. The areas that were riddled with mistakes were now clear. The outline is still barely visible underneath the new white coat. Something I can finally work with!
Isn't that how it is with us?
We make mistakes. Several of them in a row. Hoards of them.
Then, with everything we have, we attempt to clean it all up ourselves. We struggle, we research and try new methods, we try new angles at the same old problems. And... in the end, we get the same, ugly results.

God wants to do a do-over with me, with all of us. He wants to use the broad, wonderful brush of forgiveness... a fresh start.

I'm grateful for this midnight lesson. God is good.

My white frog is drying now. And my blog is posted.

Ever wonder what goes on late at night in Jen's dining room? Now you know...

God's giving her painting lessons.

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