Embrace the Shake
I just love this. Be encouraged today! and Inspired! There is beauty all around you-- find your box, your limits and get creative.
Every Summer Has a Story
I grew up about a mile from the florida border. So the "Welcome to Florida" sign was often overlooked. But not this past saturday! We crossed that state line and officially became tourists. So, naturally, we stopped at the State Welcome Center to drink some fresh squeezed orange juice and pick up some brochures.
If I had actually gotten ready for the day instead of rolling out of bed for the drive, I would have taken my photo in the "insert head" dolphin photo prop. #mustdo onwayback
Six Hours and lots of boiled peanuts later, we arrived.
My mother is like an Indian Princess; I, however, the exact opposite. She soaks up the sun in such a beautiful way, I have to scurry from it. I wear my hat, my glasses, lather in sunscreen, and still can only handle maybe an hour or two in the direct sun. I have literally slept on ice packs in my youth because of this dilemma. I am trying my darndest to not be so transparent but also to avoid skin cancer. My many days as a lifeguard tends to get in the way when I am trying to tan on the beach.
This week will be great! We literally have nothing on the agenda. I can not think of a time when that has been the case for seven straight days. I have a basket full of watercolors, sketchpads, books and my journal!
I'm in Peachtree City this week! I am dodging golf carts and painting another environment for Upstreet. Here is day two! Ive got a lot of work to do but its coming along!
"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms"
I had the most amazing opportunity serve alongside Haitians last week through the 410 Bridge. The 410 Bridge has forever changed my view on service and mission work. They have a beautiful model that works and is based around development, sustainability, and building lasting relationships to expand the Kingdom. It really is amazing and it is beautiful to see it work. Read more about it here.
There were lots of service projects throughout the week; We helped build two pit latrines, gave a sex education class, helped in the community garden, and helped Brightpoint set up their sponsorship program. But the one that I was most excited about was, of course, the mural project.
The idea came in lots of conversations before the trip, and all I really had in mind was a large painting... Something the kids could do and I could be a part of. I love to garden, I love to build, and whatever else we could possibly be doing while there would be great.
But I wanted to offer part of me. I wanted to do something that was from inside my heart.
I wasn't sure what would come of the painting or what they would do with it, but I didn't care. It was sure to be a fun experience.
I got a 6x9' drop cloth and primed it before I left. Once in Haiti, I came up with a few sketches and put some light lines down. I was inspired by the folk artist Heather Galler. I love the work my students do throughout the school year based on her.
Day one of the mural.. was not disastrous. But it wasn't filled with my most successful teaching moments! I tried to limit the number of children working on the painting.. but . the language barrier got in the way. Did I mention I do not speak Creole? and that I hadn't thought about that before this project?! I didn't have an interpreter at that moment. And the kids were just ecstatic! they wanted to paint-- everywhere! There was not enough room on the drop cloth for eager hands.
I had to just let go. The kids were having fun! And later I would come up with a better plan!
Day two I did have a plan. And an interpreter to help! Teammates grabbed a child or two and guided them. Their guidance was mostly "coloring in the lines" (did I really just say that?!), helping to explain what the sketches were, and getting them the supplies they needed.We got the painting filled in before we left the community!
It was still insane, but it was fun. There were definitely moments when I felt like I was back at home in my own classroom. Paint going everywhere, brushes in the air, and lots of excited squeals and laughter. But mostly, nothing going according to plan!!
The kids were excited to sign their names, and some left their "mark," if they couldn't write.
That night I outlined their work, and added my own little touch to the painting. Two incredible teammates, Jennifer and Susan, helped me finish it off and stayed up late ( did I mention I felt like I was back home?!) to get it all done.
The next morning we all signed it, prayed over it and it was handed over to the community of Mailiarette. It will be hung in their school that they are opening in September! WAY cool!!!
Getting it together
This website has always been a work in progress. I am finally getting to a place where I feel like I have a body of work that represents who I am as an artist, and I am trying to have a website that does the same. I still have a lot to work on, but I am happy with where it is at for the moment!
I have a lot of projects in the works. I have some pretty large paintings for some people in town and a mural for a children's environment in Atl. I would like for this blog to showcase my works in progress and other little musings.
I have just finished a mural in town. The picture that I have posted isn't actually the FINISHED product. I hadn't erased the chalk lines, cleaned it up or signed it. I was just so excited to feel done that I snapped a picture to show it off. So, until I get down there to take another, know that there is some cleaning up to do around this picture..
This was a fun mural to do because it is the first one that I have done in my real painting style. The Gallery wanted a painting that was about the Southeast. After that, she said "Go!"
"Linkin' Artists Across the Southeast" is the Gallery's motto, so I just tried to think of images of the SE. It is a little different, and definitely a funky pop of color in downtown Lincolnton, but I like it.
This was my first outside mural. It was hard to paint on scaffolding with the sun beating right down on me. There were moments when my paint was drying LITERALLY before I could finish a brushstroke. But I loved being in a spot where locals were walking around. I had some great conversations with the people walking around town. And I most definitely loved seeing my kids.
I had a student stay with me for about an hour one afternoon. After quite a few minutes of pondering, this little boy said, "Ms. Porter-- you are SO LUCKY!" I responded with, "well, why do you say that?"
He quickly explained how if he were to paint on walls, he would probably get a "butt-whippin" .. but I get to do it all the time.
"Yes, little one, I am lucky."
SO. If you are ever driving through the little town of Lincolnton, turn down Main Street to glimpse this little jewel.