So goes art…

We make our plans and life has a way of rearranging them. The same thing happens with artwork. We start out with a sketch, hoping to turn it into a similar painting. Something happens and it turns into something either just a little different, or changes into  something unalike what we had in our minds.

This painting is no exception. At this point, it doesn’t look much like a painting. The colors are as close to the original as I can get. Artworks just don’t look the same once you scan or photograph them. Well, that’s how it is for me, anyway. So, I used a program to make the scanned copy look more like my painting.

The image also looks a little different than my sketch. I decided to put a glove on one hand. You might interpret the meaning of the glove differently than I do.  Years down the road, we might both look at this image differently. That’s because life changes our perspectives.

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Spontaneous Predictability

Lately, I’ve been doing lots of digital art. Drawing with pens is hard on my arthritic hands. I throw a little virtual paint on the canvas of my computer screen and brush it around with an assortment of ‘brushes’ It’s fun. Most of the time, I start out without plans for a certain design. It’s spontaneous.

I discovered that I could create a design with my paint program, then send that design to my picture program and distort it to create new designs. The end result looks like an arrangement in a kaleidoscope.

I’ve always loved kaleidoscopes. As a child, they were my favorite toys. I could create a whole new world with something that fit inside of my hands. I liked to be able to see the mirrors inside of the toy. The effect the reflections created could fascinate me for hours on end.

The pattens I saw were endless. I enjoyed gently tapping on the side of the toy to make even more designs. Sometimes, I even saw faces in the patterns, Many of the new designs I’ve created have faces in them. I see animals and people. I told you I was weird. Believe me now?

I suppose I like patterns because they’re repetitive; they’re consistent. The interesting thing, though, I can create entirely different ones each time. I like dependability and variety. I suppose I’m a lot like the designs I create. You can depend on me for certain things. Yet, I can be very unpredictable. Life is that way, isn’t it?

You can go outside and see the patterns in nature. The veins in a leaf look a lot like a tree. Some tiny sea creatures look like flowers. Onions have rings inside of them just like trees. Still, nature is unpredictable. It can take the kaleidoscope of our world and shake it violently, forever altering our lives. We can’t control any of that. We can only pick up the pieces and rebuild.

I like to do a variety of things and work them into my every day life. There are certain things I have to do every day, yet I allow for doing things spur-of-the moment. I guess being chronically ill has affected me that way. I have a hard time making plans, because I don’t know if I’ll be able to follow through. To cope with the disappointment, I find other things to do.

Oh, these are some deep thoughts, aren’t they? I’m capable of thoughts that run the gamut from silly to serious. The kaleidoscope of my mind is always changing. Maybe that’s why I create these designs? I know what some of my friends are thinking, reading this: Mel’s OCD is acting up again. Could be.

I realize that not many people would want art like this hanging on their walls. I’m taking the chance of making it available, anyway. Maybe there’s someone else who thinks in kaleidoscope. Maybe there’s someone else who can see the random things of life in patterns and take lessons from it. Maybe there’s someone else who appreciates random predictability.

‘Mystery Cats’

Spontaneous Predictability

Flutter by, Butterfly

I love butterflies.  They are flying splashes of color that brighten up spring, summer, and fall days.  They sport the garment of the glory of the divine. One day, while at a local park, I saw the most beautiful yellow butterfly.  It had black designs on its wings; its design was nothing short of spectacular.  There was a little girl nearby with her mother.I said, ‘Oh, look at the beautiful butterfly!’  The little girl echoed my sentiments by saying, “It is so pretty!”  Then, she stepped on it, squashing it with her foot.  I was crushed.The butterfly in my drawing, ‘Flutter By’ was intentional.  It didn’t just appear there, the way the other images usually do in my drawings.  Though, some of the lines were starting to form a butterfly shape, so I turned them into a butterfly.These beautiful creatures are messengers of change and metamorphosis.  Native Americans and other cultures have attached great spiritual significance to them.  After all, butterflies do go through great changes to be come the splendid creatures that drift about among our flowers so freely.  I’ve often wondered about the little girl who stepped on the butterfly.  Did she, at some point, experience some change that made her learn
to respect all living things?

I’ve experienced lots of changes in recent years.  Many of these changes were brought about by the tremendous physical pain I live with.  Just like the lines in my drawings
form things that I didn’t plan, the pain in my life has caused change that has
caught some people off guard.

I won’t apologize for becoming my own person.  I won’t apologize for feeling the way I do.  Though, I will apologize for the things I do and say if someone else takes
offense to them, even if I never intended for them to be hurt.

Look for the ‘butterfly moments’ in your life.  They’re those passing moments that teach us about life.  I learned a lot when the little girl, a symbol of innocence, snuffed out the life of a butterfly, the symbol of freedom and change.  The contrast that existed in this moment spoke of how life can take you by surprise.  Some things you can prepare for, others you cannot.

Appreciating the beautiful things that exist in my world has helped me to get through each horrendous moment of pain.  So, flutter by, butterfly.  Just make sure you stop
for a minute so I can experience your splendor and learn from you.  We are both