In some ways it was a good weekend, in others it was not so good. I suppose though that is 'life' and many say that in order to truly appreciate the good things that happen, we need to experience some things that aren't so good as well. I suppose.
I had some very sad news come to me over the weekend about two of my friends that I met through my work and writings here. One friend was a woodworker. We became friends on Facebook a couple of years ago and I used to play Scrabble with him from time to time. He did portrait types of scroll sawing and was very talented and kind and pleasant. I was very saddened to read that he passed away. It made my heart very heavy.
The other friend I had news about is a friend from my painting circle. Her name is Terrye French and she is filled with talent and inspiration. News came from her daughters that on Friday she had a massive stroke. Fortunately, she survived and she is aware and coherent, but her girls say she has a long recovery ahead of her.
Terrye is the heart and soul of the "Painting With Friends" group that I am part of. She is so filled with talent and designs that she shares her line drawings with several other designers (her friends!) and we in turn develop the designs into anything we wish. We publish our finished projects/patterns under the "Painting With Friends" name and we split the proceeds with Terrye. It is a very fair arrangement for everyone involved and Terrye's adorable primitive designs are a wonderful springboard for developing our creativity. I don't think that I ever met a person who is more sharing and giving of their skills and talent. Her selflessness is a beautiful example of how many creative people can work together to better the art form itself. I look to her as a mentor and I know that many others do as well. I know her road back will be long and difficult, but I also know that her friends will rally around her and help her through as much as we can. Creative people are just that way.
I find that is true for most people who are creative. Whether it be woodworking people or painting people or even my embroidery group. Those who are truly talented are comfortable with themselves and do all they can to help their peers and to use their talents for the better good of the industry that they are involved in. They realize that by helping their peers – even if they are someone one may see as 'competition' – that they are promoting the art itself and helping create an atmosphere that is positive and fun and something that new people wish to participate in. And when that happens, everyone wins. As these respective industries grow, everyone involved in them prosper. Those who are truly talented feel free to share what they know because they are comfortable with their style and place and they respect and realize that everyone has different tastes and goals and it takes more than a few to fill that ever-changing need.
My experience with the Painting With Friends group is a great example of that.
Those of you who have seen my own original paintings (such as my Snow Leopard Pair that I recently finished – shown here in my Blog #1297) know that my passion is for painting big cats and realistic wildlife. However, I joined the Painting With Friends group because I also love to paint fun and whimsical things and by Terrye sharing her talent with me, I was able to expand my abilities and make some cute patterns, such as my Snowman Collectors set. This not only helps my business, but it also helps me learn and grow as an artist and a designer. And that carries over to just about any type of designing that I do. But I may not have had the initiative to do this type of painting if it weren't for Painting With Friends. It was a wonderful opportunity to spread my wings and try something else.
I wish the best for my friend Terrye. I hope more than anything that her road to recovery is quick. I know with the love and support of us, her friends, it will help her along the way.
I spent the day yesterday thinking about things and how much these two people impacted me and touched my life. Though they were both from different aspects of it, they both had found their way into my heart.
I did manage to finish up my Springtime Iris Banner. Even though I didn't feel much like working on it, once I got going I felt a bit better. Creating is like that for me. Putting all my energy into positive things such as scrolling, painting and embroidery helps me focus on the good things in life. And it makes my day better.
Here is a photo of the finished banner:
Today I will be working on the wooden header panel to hang the banner. While you could easily hang it using a dowel rod and wire or ribbon, I am going to have a scroll sawn top for it. I haven't decided whether to paint or stain the topper, but I suppose I will do that as I go along. Perhaps I will do both.
Here we are at another Monday already. It looks as if we are going to get some more rain, but I don't really mind. I am beginning to see the grass turning from brown to green and I think that the trees along the river across the road are finally beginning to bud. Life is once again renewing itself after the long, hard winter.
I hope you all have a wonderful week. I hope you do something that you find joy in and share it with those around you. You never know the impact that you may have on anothers' life.
"Caring about others, running the risk of feeling, and leaving an impact on people, brings happiness." - Harold Kushner
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"