Monday, April 13, 2015

For You

My painting exhibit opened on the first of April. At Gallery Tasmania.

Three months of painting during every one of Simon's nap times, bed times, painting painting painting. I got 12 of my 20 pieces done in that short time.

There some important things learned from (finally) doing this.

Like that I am very very afraid that people will think I have "moved on" or am fully functioning, just because I can tackle a project like this. Truth is, my head is STILL rarely on straight. Grief does crazy things to you, physically and emotionally, and I find it remarkably hard to get to the end of a day and, regardless of how good it may have been, not break down and wonder how in the world I am going to muster the energy to get up the next day and do it all over again.

This started out as just "something to do" so I would have a goal to work towards and not let myself get completely sucked into my grief over loosing Ben. Because, to quote Finnick in Mockingjay:
"It takes ten times longer to put yourself together as it does to fall apart." 
It's taking all my energy just to keep moving on day to day as it is. I can't afford to fall apart because I don't have the energy to put myself back together again. This project, painting with a deadline, has kept me together. It has been frustrating at times, since during my free-time sometimes the last thing I've wanted to do is more work. But, while I've forgotten all the science-y reasons behind it, art, even just coloring with crayons in a coloring book, makes you feel good. It relaxes, and just... helps.

Slowly, I realized that the painting was more than just something to keep me together. It was something I was doing FOR Bennet. Using his memory, the pain caused by losing him, and his far-too-short life, for something good, something beautiful. Because each day that passes feels like I leave him further and further behind. Each day that passes is another day since I last felt him move inside my belly. Another day since I last held his small body in my arms. Another day further away from the day I left him in his small coffin on the side of a hill, alone. Painting, for him, brought him closer to me. Helped remind me that I carry him with me, in memory, always. That while the days bring me further from events, they don't bring me further from him.

And so, my paltry offering to his memory, for now, anyway, are these:

(To view the photos larger, just click on them)
(Due to differences in monitor settings, colors may appear different than in real life. Also, pictures rarely, if ever, do justice to paintings)
(Somehow, with both of us taking photos of everything, one piece STILL managed not to get photographed. I swear I did 20)


Poppies Ready For Harvest

Saying Goodbye

Wrong Turn Down a Goat Trail

Another Wrong Turn

To the Water

Behind the Clouds

Storm's Coming

Black Cockatoo

Fairy Wren

Digger's Paradise

Rainy Day in Paradise

Mist and Sunrise

First Date

Open Road

Mathinna Falls

Hide and Seek

His Sheep

Westmorland Falls

(If you are reading this and are in Tasmania, or ever plan on visiting Tasmania, drop in to Fudge 'n' Good Coffee, that houses Gallery Tasmania, to look at other great local artwork, as well as try some, well, GREAT fudge and good coffee. No, I'm not sponsored or anything like that and that's why I say this. I just really like their fudge and coffee.)


  1. I love these, Joy! Thank you for sharing them with us. I love you and continue to pray for you and Phillip.

    1. Thank you so so much Joanna. The prayers are still much needed and VERY much felt! Glad I can share them with you even though you're so far away!

  2. I had forgotten how much of a gifted artist you are. These are awesome.