A Giving Tree

Posted on October 17, 2008

This morning I reached for some of the kids’ cheese sticks (the Frigo Crayola ones) to add protein to my day and pulled out these two colors: Bear Hug and Giving Tree. Just what I needed!

A Bear Hug because yesterday was an emotional day. I sat with my neighbor in the hospital for a while. She’s waiting for her mother to die after a massive heart attack. The poor woman doesn’t dare leave the hospital because when her father was sick he died as she and her mother went back to the house, 15 minutes away. She’s sleeping there on the floor in the waiting area by the ICU.

A Giving Tree because I’m assailed by doubts again. Am I taking the right path? Is there a perfectly ‘right’ path? Is my artwork any good? Do I even have anything to say, in paint or ink? Sometimes I wonder: is the path there before I take the steps? Or do my steps make the path?
Really, secretly, deep-down, I want to be given a sign, something that is enough to keep the hope burning inside. Yet, when I think about it I realize that I have had signs, plenty of them – I’ve sold work, had positive comments on my artwork – but yet… But yet I want more, to be more. So I want a giving tree to give me hope and perhaps simply the peace and confidence to carry on working away, building a body of paintings and other artwork, building a blog. It can be hard being my own boss, my own cheerleader. My last Glassell tutor, Francesca Fuchs, would say at the end of each assessment, “Go, Caroline!” – she said it to each of us – and I’m still amazed at how much encouragement a little phrase like that can give me. I miss it.

In the studio I started to think about what a giving tree would look like. Sparkly, made of wire, decorations or gifts hanging from the branches, and so I started making one. I’ll post photos as soon as I’ve made more than two branches!

Normally I would have planned and plotted and written in my sketchbook to figure out how to go about making a giving tree, but my blog feed this morning gave me a new mantra: “Do, don’t think.

So I did.

And I’m so pleased with the results, small as they are, that the next week will be “Do, don’t think” week. I wonder what will happen?

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