I am a bit conflicted here, posting these paintings progress shots. They are still a long way from being finished and, although I have hinted at their development I wanted to keep them private until their reveal. But something my wife taught me made me want to share them.
She told me that we all need a form of relaxation. She noticed that I seem to have grown more impulsive as I became more involved in various things, and that I always seemed to be on “yellow alert”. I seemed consumed with thinking about things I should be doing.
This kept me from working on my hobbies. When the times came that I was almost driven to pick up a paintbrush she began to notice a pattern in me: As I painted I relaxed, became more fun to be around, and slept better. My irritability and anxiety lessened.
This echoes Boyd K. Packer’s observation of the healing effect of carving birds from wood. With all the things he had to do, this additional thing he did added peace and richness to his life and the lives of those around him.
I am going to continue experimenting with this. Hopefully this will enable me to engage with life more meaningfully and effectively and to perhaps be more in tune. Maybe it will work for you.
For the last several weeks, as I have gained some confidence in my service opportunities, I have also been able to work on two oil paintings. It will be quite a while before I have anything to show but they look good so far.
My Welltower books are in need of serious re-editing, which I will do at some point.
My painting “In the Garden”, which I completed in early 2014, will be displayed in the LDS Church’s 10th Annual International Art Competition. It will be displayed in the LDS Church History Museum from September 2015-August 2016.
This afternoon, between phone calls, text messages and various responsibilities, my wife and I laid down on our living room couch and stayed there, her head on my shoulder, the cat on my lap, for half an hour or so. We said nothing, we did nothing, we just drew strength and peace from each other. And then we went back to our duties.