Happy Easter, everyone! Lent has drawn to a close, and for me and #1 Daughter, that is a literal statement. You see, we took on a daily drawing challenge for Lent! A period of time when Christians focus on spiritual purification, meditation and penance, Lent typically lasts 40 days, not including Sundays, based on the 40 days Jesus fasted in the desert before starting his ministry. I asked #1 Daughter to consider something we could do together during Lent, and she came up with the idea of the drawing challenge. We settled on 45 days, and she pulled from several Pinterest sources to compile the prompts. And off we went!
I can commit to something daily, if I really put my mind to it. This honestly surprised me. I thought I would struggle to find the time each day to sit down and draw (and trust me, there were days that I did struggle or got swept up and completely forgot). On those days, I felt horrible, but had to give myself grace and tell myself it was okay. I have always been afraid to do something like bullet journaling because it requires daily sitting down to journal. I always believed I wouldn't have time for that.
It has been wonderful knowing that I will hear from her every single day. But it's fascinating how that expectation can make a Mom worry. We agreed that we would not send each other photos of our drawings until both of us were done. No copying, or influence, allowed! Given that #1 Daughter works full-time, and lives in an Eastern Time Zone, I knew that I would typically finish first, and would hear from her in the early evening. This pattern was well-established after a week or so, when one evening came and went without a text, I worried!!!
My Mom is SO creative and her drawing has improved SO much since she first started.
Some words/phrases prompted immediate ideas, but I tried to go beyond the obvious. One example is Overgrown; my favorite is Evening Drink.
It was amusing that one time, we drew almost the same picture! (The prompt was "Exhausted".)
I also found that I tend to "see" scenes rather than just the object that is represented by the prompt. Or maybe this is just my way of hiding my inability to draw a certain object by giving the viewer lots of distractions!
For the drawing itself, I'm a very literal person. I don't often stray from the drawing prompt or draw additional items. You want a plant? I'll draw you a plant. Nothing more, nothing less. Even on some of my more creative drawings (ie. "Rain" prompt - rain coming from under an umbrella with clouds on it), I still almost always started with the item in the prompt or something closely related to it. I find the times I have the most fun doing it were on weekends when I had a whole day to take my time and enjoy it. To me, this is very apparent in the "Summer Fair" prompt. It started with the Woodstock sign, then the trees, then the guitar and then the posters on the tree. Because I had time to build it and stare at it and let my creativity flow with ideas.
One of the things I have learned from my daughter in the last 45 days is the value of sketching. I tend to try and draw perfectly from the first line - and how often does that happen? But even after I am done sketching, I like to convert that pencil drawing into something permanent. I use markers of various widths to create emphasis, as needed. I like to use color in my pictures, but sometimes I think the simplicity of the black and white is part of the message.
The drawing journey also brought home the joy of shared experiences. More than once, we each drew an object/scene that we knew would have meaning for the other. At times it was amusing, even eliciting a full belly laugh. Some drawings documented family memories, and I was touched to know that my daughter still finds them meaningful.
But the best of all was to hear this from her:
I love my mom. She makes people feel loved through her drawings.
A fitting summary for Lent: it is all about Love. #1 Daughter - thanks for the idea of the drawing challenge, and bringing a new element to this period of meditation and renewal. I love you so much!