It has been an incredible week, with less exercise than last week (my only disappointment, really) but with more progress toward regrouping. I posted an ad to rent out my studio for the time being, so I can go back to school to get a “real” job as soon as possible. Many artists are interested but I pray that one will step up by the first.
I filed for Financial Aid to get a school loan to cover what Pell Grants don’t and I chose a field of study and a quick 7 month Medical Assistant program. It may not be as impressive as my initial college placement but I should have done this (or Nursing) years ago. At 52 and beyond, it will give me opportunities to work steadily in a field that is always hiring. I’ll take the test in January to be nationally certified in phlebotomy and EKG, pre-coding, taking vitals (took them in a previous job) and lab work… FUN (not kidding).
When I realized that I’d passed the safety zone of unemployment without government unemployment benefits and that the movie wouldn’t be done in time for me to hold onto my studio, I felt a failure and was scared. I’m not so much now, except that I want to figure out how to get to Chapel Hill for my daughters birthday in a few days. My classes start on May 15th and I’ll have limited opportunity to leave her until January.
All paintings are at half off until further notice, to earn some quick cash! I need to sell all of them, now that I won’t be using them as rewards on a Kickstarter project. Closing up my studio to paint at home for the time being is necessary, too, financially and to keep life less complicated while I go back to school.
Church has given me a community with whom to celebrate my relationship with The Lord. Prayer sustains me during my days.
Love to all this Easter Day. I love Easter, especially this year, while I can be born into a whole new life. Resurrection happens here and now, as faith raises us up.
My daughter turns twenty-five on the 24th, so Happy Birthday, my sweet Adelaide Mary Dever! If I sell something this week, I will be there to celebrate with you.
On the paintings:
Yesterday, I finally got to finish this painting “Living Water” (above) started last week, the title of which seems to have been a sign of what was to come this past Thursday night at church. I also got back the painting “Vermillion Aura Madonna in the Garden” (below) from Bristol Picture Frame, where I had them mat it to a frame I’d bought from them a while back. It looks prettier than the photo, in person… And they did a great job with a quick turnaround.
This is a stormy Sunday, a very rainy one, with massive floods that had traffic backups for miles and the roads to downtown Bristol blocked off. Instead of my ritual after-church coffee at Angelina’s Coffee and painting at Alta Luna Studio, I was forced to come home. I was disappointed but I’ve gotten over it. Keeping the Sabbath, I won’t work at all at anything job-search related (seems silly since I haven’t worked since November), although I did go online to try to find a used/cheaper set of Rosetta Stone digital Spanish language software, to help me “brush up” and qualify for a more jobs. One I wanted at the Diocese and another two with the State all require fluency in Spanish.
So, even though I feel like I’ve missed something, it has been a relaxed day at home with my dog Zoe, my mom and (even) a visit from my brother (with my sister and her husband coming by later on).
My brother’s visit was fun, since he always makes us laugh with his detailed stories and entertaining storytelling style (his photo, inset, holding his dog)
Regarding my baptism in The Holy Spirit ceremony at the “Life in the Spirit” seminar at church, it was beautiful! After a prayer in which I rejected Satan and chose God and the life of Christ, four spirit-filled women laid their hands on my shoulders and head, prayed over me there and received words from the Spirit to give to me. I was given a card of notations after — all meaningful and appropriate for me, I thought. They’d written on it: “John 4:7 on” (the same reading I’d written about the week before /the Samaritan Woman at the well), the words “My daughter, how long have I waited for you — come into my presence and be with me forever!” (from God, obviously); and a task for me, “Up on a mountaintop, paint a picture of Jesus and keep it on your heart”.
Since then, I’ve reflected and imagined that painting on my heart, reread the passage (the whole book of John several times, in fact) — and I know in my heart that my prayer connection to the Father is secure, really close. I have never felt more loved, really.
I have also been thinking that I want to find a mountain to literally paint that scene… Perhaps Mount Hope, here in Bristol… maybe one in NH or western Massachusetts, not sure… Maybe with serious altitude, like Machu-Picchu… or with Christian significance, like Mount Sinaii… Mt. Eremos or the Plain of Gennesaret? It probably doesn’t matter, as long as its here on my heart. [I’d love comments about great mountains!]
In closing, I’ll share a painting I did called, “Office Politics,” with emancipating ramifications today… Life is good today. Amazing (grace). God bless! Oh the reference to Noah, refers to a new movie that I want to see… One of these days.
Above: “Ready for The Light” by Jane Dever, oil on canvas, 20″x 16″, $420
Painting is a nice change from what seems like days and days of other obligations. A wake, a party, church (my favorite activity these days), reading for the “Life in the Spirit” seminar, a funeral, etc., have given me fuel for more thought-provoking work though, so all was not lost.
These two are a tad different from the norm; and I did a fun little sketch as well. Above, “Ready for the Light” is more about this upcoming Thursday night, my preparation for it, as she stands in the clearing from the past (the mysterious and murky background). She is as much a self portrait as a Madonna painting in that she has firm resolve, my green eyes, my spirit and my best physical figure (on my BEST month/year/lifetime). The painting is an Oil on canvas over background that I painted and really loved three weeks ago. I held onto it, for the right day. Today was it.
This Thursday night, I and fifteen or so people will be blessed with the “Laying of the Hands”, a Pentecostal Catholic baptism of the Holy Spirit with a small (not capital) “b”. I may or may not receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, since the outcome has nothing to do with me. It’s the Holy Spirit who decides. In preparation, I am trying each day to clear myself of unrest (sin in thoughts, words and deeds) and leave my wild exploits far behind me. Prayer and an open heart is my goal for Thursday. FYI: It isn’t a Sacrament but it is very special; my first Baptism still “sticks”.
Earlier this weekend:
I got my proverbial feet wet on the sketch and the “Living Water” (Oil on Arches oil paper, 15″ x 10″), a tad sad or mournful piece that I painted on Sunday, after Church and the day after an emotionally draining funeral. Seeing so many old faces from a family that was once related to mine through marriage was great; but it was emotionally challenging to watch the weird dynamic of still evident hard feelings from past misunderstandings bubbling up here and there. Shaking my head AND thankful that I didn’t harbor any resentments there, I choose forgiveness and encourage everyone to do the same. Nobody is ever 100% right or 100% wrong. Forgiveness, to and fro = instantaneous relief!
Sorry for the glare on the painting above but it is still wet.
If the woman in “Living Water” looks numb, its probably because I was numb when I painted on Sunday, after a blur of activity, a lot of bible study, many emotional taunts from the past, diet starts and stops, consistent but challenged restraint in most things. I was as numb as the woman in the reading at church on Sunday… a Samaritan woman met by Jesus at the well. Jesus gave her of her choice between a temporary satisfying drink or Living Water for eternal fulfilment. I understand the choice today and want the long-term solution. To have it, I will be faced with countless tests of faith. No kidding, they have begun and I have to choose every day, all day.
Other photos below:
This is Leslie Rupp Deering, who I met at age 11 when we were students at St. Philomena School in Portsmouth, RI — an instant friend! She is holding her newly purchased “Light of Mine”… Thank you, Leslie. It will look great in the living room of her super sweet Craftsman-style cottage in Wakefield, RI. A charming village, that Wakefield.
This doggy is a darling new friend that I met at a Spring (huh?) Soirée at a gorgeous loft in the old Peerless Building in Providence. I am a sucker for great architecture and the views of downtown were mesmerizing. I reacquainted myself with new friends and a few that may want to join me at the Studio to paint for an afternoon (with a break at Angelina’s for tea,of course). It is worth it to make an effort and get out of the house.
Speaking of tea breaks, I’m ready for my studio neighbor to return from Rome! I’ll close this blog with”Cheryl Cavalconte, where art thou?”
And a few more cool photos of “Ready for Light” (below).
And… Has anyone had an itch to Explore Bristol? It’s a great place… Just saying… and you can stop by to see my work in person, if you call first.