Pieces of Peace

In my previous Blog post I shared that I’ve set a goal to reintroduce creativity and art back into my life.  It has been difficult at times during these past few months to sit with myself.  I have an entire wastebasket full of crumpled paper with half sketched outlines that just don’t “feel right.”  At this point, I feel relieved that I’ve even made the effort (and succeeded!) in creating a few pieces that have helped me process some of my experiences from over the past year.

30 Drawing Prompts: Peace

I decided early on that when I was ready I would read through all of the prompts and choose the one that resonated with me most at the time (rather than starting at the beginning of the list with #1 and going in order.)  The prompt I was drawn to first happened to be #17: Peace.

Peace seems to be a feeling that has eluded me for some time now.  I find myself anxious and on-edge even when I try to find a moment of calm.  It is for this reason I wanted to challenge myself to explore what it means (for me) to find/visualize/experience/pursue peace.

As I began to let myself ruminate on the word “Peace,” my mind swirled with a myriad of different images and thoughts.  Part of my process is to scribble my thoughts and feelings down so that I can come back to them later. While it may seem strange or disjointed, I’ll share a smattering of my scribbled list with you (in no particular order):

  • Meaningful quotes from Martin Luther King Jr, The Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, Gandhi, etc. regarding the outward pursuit of peace
  • Lyrics written by Pete Seeger (and later performed by the Byrds’) “To Everything there is a Season” (turn, turn, turn) in combination with Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
  • The “peace sign” popularized in the 50’s/60’s
  • Peaceful images (the ocean, a stream, the fog on a mountain)
  • Pablo Picasso’s “Dove of Peace”
  • Lyrics of the hymn “A Song of Peace” performed by my friend David Lamotte (give it a listen if you’re not familiar)

I’ve entitled what has emerged from this process, “Pieces of Peace.”   Below is a simple key that briefly outlines the thought behind the designs found in each section ( or “piece”) of the dove.

Key:

  • Spiral: (the head) A pattern I often use in my art, it represents the constant movement that takes place each day.
  • Peaks & Valleys: (breast) A reminder that peace can be found in both the mountain tops (good times) and the valleys (difficult times).
  • Drops of water: (upper wing)  Images of water-the tides of the ocean, streams, the ebb and flow of joy and sadness.
  • Tangled Rope: (center) The knowledge that there is something to hang onto.
  • Growth: (right of center) The assurance that even after dark, cold winters new life comes each spring.
  • Sun: (tail) The warmth and light of the sun can brighten even the darkest of days.

I’ll leave you with a short quote (and one reason it is special to me).  A friend passed along a handful of pages from a calendar that she thought I might like to have and use in some way in my art.  She knows me well, in that I keep things that others might not on the off chance I will be inspired and in “need” of various and sundry items for an art project   As I’ve moved around over the years these words have been tacked up and pulled down as new things found a place on my wall.  Some might say it is providential that I found them in one of my art supply drawers the day I was working on this very piece of art…. Needless to say, I pulled the sheet from the drawer and tacked it back on my home-office wall.

Peace.

It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.  -Unknown

I look forward to making more progress as I journey through “30 Drawing Prompts to Encourage a Visual Conversation with Yourself”  and sharing additional pieces I have been working on in the weeks to come.

Tags: , , , , , , ,