Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Friends Come in All Sizes

Detail from this week's experiment.

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
- Anais Nin

Fuzzy picture of a warm and fuzzy moment!
A childhood friend visited last week.  Underneath my excitement I worried that our reunion might be awkward.  We hadn’t seen each other in years and our lives had taken radically different paths.  I ruminated over the validity of lifelong friends.  Was a brief collection of shared memories and experiences sufficient to sustain a life-long relationship?  I wondered if people clung to childhood friends as a way of preserving a more original identity- a self that existed before marriage, children, careers, and the baggage that accumulates through adulthood.
My anxieties dissipated when I saw Christine in the airport.  There stood the same unassuming and forthright friend I knew in 8th grade.  The next six days proved that a stay-at-home mom and a world-traveled archeologist can still be the best of friends.  When she left, the house seemed too quiet and the intricacies of friendship began to gnaw at my insecurities.  So, taking my own advice, I sat quietly with those insecurities.  I gave them time to breathe.
It took a couple days to find peace, but it came.  It came disguised as a drink with friend, a letter in the mail, the ring of the telephone.  I realized that friendships do not always look alike, but they are all equally valid and important.  How could I have forgotten such an elementary lesson?  Friendships are as diverse in appearance as the flowers in the garden or the people in the street.
A mental catalogue of my friends revealed a vast array of religious beliefs, interests, talents, skills, and pastimes.  This full spectrum of friends nurtures my soul and colors my life.  It has given me a greater capacity to empathize with others and explore my full potential as an individual.  Coming full circle, I realize that the individual is defined by community.  How can I possibly understand myself within a vacuum?
Thank you, friends.  Thank you for sharing your time, talents, wisdom, opinions, and beliefs.  Thank you for sharing your wine, food, books, movies, and music.  Thank you for sharing your tears, joys, homes and families.  Thank you for sharing yourself.

"Friends Come in All Sizes"

Simply had to share this one because I think she turned out beautifully.  The image is from Dilly Beans, one of my new faves!

I didn’t plan for this week’s art experiment to tie in so handily with my blog topic.  (Truth be told, my blog topic usually fails to reveal itself until the last critical moment.)  But this week I created a mixed media canvas entitled “Friends Come in All Sizes.”  It is the largest canvas I have worked on to date, and it is only a meager 10”x14”.  But you can’t imagine how vast 14” can feel until you are staring at it with a paint brush in hand.  As I look at it here, I think it needs a couple subtle touches, so perhaps it is still a work in progress.  (Feel free to share your opinion.)  The canvas is based on Christy Tomlinson’s work and contains components from her line which she is distributing through Pink Paislee.
On a trip to CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) this past winter, my sister-in-law and I fell in love with this woman’s whimsical canvases and the ease with which she seemed to create them.  We ordered the complete line of her products including decorative papers, rub-ons, die-cuts, and a stencil.  We are working on plans to re-sell her products and/or our original artworks through a collaborative online storefront.  In the meantime, if you are interested in any of these products for your own paper-crafting projects or would like to learn how to create your own mixed media works of art using pre-made elements, contact me through email or comments.

Easter fun!  My kids made their own bubble mixture this year.  It was novel, and then forgotten, and then... rediscovered!!  They had so much fun blowing giant bubbles.  If you would like the recipe, Mia is dying to share it.  Just leave a comment or an email.


  1. Renee, Wonderful and thought provoking as usual. The art is great and I love the picture of the boys!

  2. I think Jango & Carter love the bubbles too. lol

    Your canvas with the doggie is beautiful! And I'm glad to count you not only as a relative, but a great friend too. :)

  3. Yes! please post the bubble recipe Mia!
    And, I think the top canvas is perfect the way it is. Love the dare to dream one as well. This last year has felt like one bizarre dream with the book being published, but I am so thankful to my friends who encouraged me when it was still a crazy dream. It's scary to dream, but good.


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