Desiring to leave a tiny footprint in the art world, I recently mailed an art journal full of my meanderings to Brooklyn, New York. My contribution is part of Sketchbook Project 2013. It is a traveling library of thousands of artists' journals. My sketchbook will be digitized and archived permanently to the collection at the Brooklyn Art Library. In addition it will be exhibited across Canada and the United States with a traveling exhibit.
Pages within my sketchbook are filled with ink drawings of Japanese Crest Designs. Around the circular designs I added brush strokes of titan buff paint tinted with burnt umber to add depth. On top of the painted portions are hand-lettered words of hope and encouragement.
Japanese family crest designs can be tracked to as far back as the eleventh century. Each design represented a family symbol to be worn on costumes and possessions. Often the crest could be found printed on a fabric piece on the center of the back, one on the back of each sleeve and on both sides of the front of the garment.
I think by drawing these symbols it helped me to strengthen my own resolve to my marriage and to my children. Together we have faced many challenges over the last few months, and there may be some courageous steps upcoming in the future. We are a brave bunch. Like the bamboo in some of the crest designs, we may get gleaned yet we grow back. In our family mission statement it says, "...We believe that disability is a gift. We depend on the grace of God. WE ARE RESILIENT."
Here a few of the gems of encouragement written in my sketchbook:
"Whatever you do, you have one thing that's unique, you have the ability to make art. And for me and so many people that I've know that's been a life saver. It gets you through the good times, and it gets you through the other times. Sometimes life is hard. Things go wrong...in life... and in love, and in business, and in friendship, and in health...and when things get tough this is what you should do - ART - make good art... do what only you can do...do good art." Neil Gainan
"Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God is with you. God will not leave you or forsake you."
I Chronicles 28:20
Wouldn't it be wonderful if some day, someone, randomly checks out my sketchbook and receives just the right amount of encouragement to stand firmly on their feet to move bravely forward in life? I pray that this may happen.