Extra Ordinary

 

 

ordinary ele
Be Grey and White, Faithful and Strong.

My Elephant turned from grey and white to extra ordinary.
Not so much for any artistic skill,  still have a long way to go for that to happen.
I purposely penciled in different shades of colour, just because I wanted him not to be  ordinary.

I once had a flash of insight that brought me to a reality check.  It was this.   It is in the ordinary, the mundane and in the core of consistency that strength, even meaning and  purpose lie.    It is in the normal flow of everyday things –  “same old same old”  of chores, routines, duties, responsibilities, appointments, and the general ability of being available, that make up faithfulness and loyalty and friendship that are some of the strong foundations of life.
Ordinary is an anchor !

I had not always thought like that.   I wanted to fly.  I wanted to live a full life of adventure, meaning and accomplishment.  I wanted to change the world – sometimes I still do.  Maybe that is the way some of us have been wired.  And there is nothing wrong with that !
But God in His wisdom knows best, and what is best for us.  And though He allowed me to ‘fly’, when it was my season to fly, He also gave me the hindsight to know that it was for the benefit of others, and not just for my own ego trip – which in essence it was at that time !   So it has always been at the back of my mind, fly when you can fly, but land in a safe place, because Ordinary is safe !

That is all good and well.   For some people that is enough – to be in the groove of  routine and responsibility.  It is right, and it is safe, and will accomplish a good end, an expected result. There is power in consistency !
But there are some people who are daring and want to express their personalities, their creativity, their passion, and their faith.  The Ordinary shrinks these ones, and if stifled long enough will suck life out of their expressive souls, and the expected end can be described in two words –  pure frustration !

Now frustration can be a teacher too.   It is frustration that will pile up and cause disgruntleness – a displeasure at the status quo, and this could be the breeding ground of witty inventions and innovations – a seeking of new paths and expressions.   If harnessed well frustration could be the place of new beginnings.    It could be the pivotal point for a thrust forward.   And that can be a good thing – yes ? – depending what you are talking to of course.

To go from Ordinary to Extraordinary will take big courage, big determination and a lot persistence, but it can be done.   It just takes one step of faith today, then another and another, until you see a glimmer and then the result of what you want.
Hebrews 11:1  captures faith like this :

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  

There is the Extra and there is the Ordinary – if you put them together you get the
Extraordinary – another species altogether !   Those who know their own minds, their capabilities, their strengths and their weaknesses, who set out to accomplish it for themselves,  – and then go on and grow the colourfulness of others – the others being the Ordinary.

Both are equally important, the world indeed need both the Ordinary and the Extraordinary,
But the Extraordinary are just a little more colourful – like my Elephant !!

 

my elephant
Be Big Bold and Colourful

 

Drawing the line.

Some say that eight is the number that signifies new beginnings ?
This might be true for me too, as there is an eight in 2018, and I have drawn the line on being wasteful with my time. Living in the slow lane can cause one to stagnate, and that is not a good or acceptable thing, when life is so full of wonderful sights and sounds and beauty all around, waiting to be captured and appreciated in one form or another.

So I wrote myself in for a few drawing classes. I think I’ve always had a slight bent toward art, and an inkling to want to paint or draw, but knew that would require more talent than I had.

When I met up with June Dovey, who is a fine-art artist, and a teacher of immense patience, she agreed to teach me to draw, and said “if you can draw you can paint. ”   And so began my classes on tones, shapes, forms  and shading with portraiture and perspective to follow later – the foundational basis of drawing, for art,  – and for getting to know oneself a little better.

Shapes and Formss

It takes a large smidgen of courage to step into the unknown.  All sorts of hidden emotions, lying dormant, began to rise up and whisper in my head. There was Self Doubt, an old familiar voice spoke softly ” You, draw ! – you don’t have the talent !” What if its wrong ? Rejection put in its penny’s worth with, “what if its not perfect?” and “it won’t be good enough, these people are real artists.”

“What are you doing here ?” I asked myself, more than one time.

I did not know that a blank sheet of paper could be so intimidating. “It’s just a piece of paper” my teacher would say over and over.

Then I discovered the smidgen of courage I needed to take up the challenge and began to draw the lion !

My first drawings were skew and misshapen, and looked like they had been drawn by an arthritic hand, but my dear teacher would just say  “keep going.”  I did and things got better.

New beginnings,  and a new world began to emerge for me. I began to “see”  simple everyday things, which have always been there, but now I see them in shapes,  and forms with shadings.  And if I apply shading to my drawings they “pop” into reality, and become dimensional. Its amazing! Light and shade are imperative to drawing.  And without shading all is only one dimension.  Light, dark and shading bring dimension, and depth to pictures. I know everyone knows that, but it was new to me, especially as I saw it come alive  before my own eyes !

And isn’t life itself like that, for without light there is no shadow or shade, all would be darkness. And without an object, there would be no witness to light !!  Here indeed is serious food for thought. Read more here.

The class on portraiture was a difficult one for me.  It needs a lot of practise.  But what I discovered was the eyelid !!   I’ve never noticed eyelids before, and we all have them. When I now look at people I see their eyelids.   Even the presenters on the TV screen, I look for and see eyelids !

Drawing helps you see things, you have seen before, but haven’t “seen” them into existence ! – if you know what I mean ?

Its been a wonderful few weeks of drawing, and I hope to continue to learn more, when the classes resume.

Just to show off some of my new-found “talent” I’m posting a few drawings.  Now don’t be to critical, its a new beginning for me.  I do not have much talent, but what I have has been taught to me, by a good and lovely teacher, who loves art.

I  took great comfort in a quote I came across from Emilie Lee, a seasoned artist who said this to the question asked :

What is the most overrated virtue bestowed on art ?

“I think the idea of talent is so misunderstood.  I don’t even use the word.   Artistic skill comes from many years of practise, commitment and hard work.   The way we talk about talent among artists is so unproductive.   I often meet people who tell me  ” I have zero artistic talent”  and I think that is a self-defeating statement !   I think they just haven’t had the right teacher come along.

My arum lillies

My Arum Lilly.  One of the initial attempts, and starting to dabble with colour.

Lion drawing

I have named my first lion-drawing Courage.  It took courage for me to draw this one. Not half as nice as the photograph I referenced,  but you can see its a lion, yes?

Sugar Bird

 The sugar bird and Strelitzia turned out to be a nice surprise.

I love colour, and discovered water-colour pencils !!   What a find.      colored pencils cluster

I drew the line at stale, stagnate and same-old-same-old, made a    small new beginning and discovered the world of drawing, of paper and pencils, of shape, form, light and shadows – and if you add a splash of colour, the pictures reverberate with vibrancy.

Drawing has taught me what could be a life lesson too – always keep your pencil sharp !!

Pencil