Concrete and Abstract

I live across the street from a parking lot. Lately, I’ve seen lots of children’s’ chalk drawings decorating the asphalt. It’s not a concrete parking lot. Today, there were bright orange and yellow suns, faces, houses. The drawings were a lot like the things my children drew when they were really young. The drawings are of things that are familiar to the kids.

I got to thinking about this when I was out earlier today. Do people just naturally gravitate towards the familiar? How about animals? My dog refuses to go out when it’s storming. She’s used to being in the house. The storms are unfamiliar and frightening. Animals and people both fear the unfamiliar.

Most of my drawings are abstract. The ideas are like asphalt. They’re not concrete. (Okay, I thought of just deleting that little attempt at humor, but I need it in this blog because it matches the title of this post.) Am I forgiven? haha! 

It’s interesting that familiar forms like faces and birds often show up in my abstract drawings. I don’t always see them until after the drawing is finished. Some times, I see the beginning of what looks like a face and I’ll add something that will look like an eye or a nose to finish the drawing. I make it familiar to me.

Sometimes our fears block out Imagethe opportunities right in front of us. We forget to look for the the familiar in the unfamiliar. When we encounter new a new situation, we have to change our usual way of thinking to match our surroundings. We reach beyond our comfort zone and grow as people.

If you take a good look at some of my drawings you’ll find things you usually see, if only colors that are familiar to you. Look again. You might catch a glimpse of something even I don’t see. People and situations are no different than abstract art. We can choose to look for those things that are comfortable and familiar with us, rejecting the rest, or we can accept the things and people that seem different. Chances are that there are familiar things within the unfamiliar; we just need to look for them.

The rain has just washed away all the colors and lines of the drawings across the street. There’s not much to distinguish that parking lot from any other one in this town. Only color and line separated it from other parking lots earlier today. It’s still a parking lot. I’m going to go make some abstract art. I’m sure the familiar will enter into that, at some point.

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