Monday, August 23, 2010

A lesson for college freshmen and 35 year olds alike... your mother was right

For the last couple of months I have had a great idea rolling around in my head- it was going to be a ‘going away to college’ gift for my friend Olivia, and when I say ‘going away’ I mean AWAY… from Arkansas to Maryland. In an effort to do something special and different for her, I spent a couple of months planning a fantastic mixed-media project and ended up with about 72 hours to finish it. Hello, procrastination- who invited you for tea? I understand that procrastination comes in many forms… mine is the ‘put it off for fear it won’t be perfect' variety. My mother has warned me of this perfectionism for years. She was saying “just do it” long before Nike.

By Friday evening, it was clear that I was going to have to throw in the towel. I contemplated opening the window & tossing it out the second story window of my studio, but decided against it. If the wind caught it & I had to go ring the bell at the neighbor’s house to retrieve it from their yard, wringing my paint-splattered hands, it really might have been more than I could take.

Because Olivia knew I was working on something for her, I was in a bit of a pinch… and honestly I wanted to make something special for this lovely, brave & smart young woman who was about to travel halfway across the country to a new place. A humble and apologetic text was sent, and a kind and understanding response was received, and she promised to send photos of her cats. Something I couldn’t screw up. My thought, not hers.

A few moments later, I was surprised to receive the first photo and realized there might be time to pull something off. Prior commitments would allow a few hours on Saturday afternoon, but that was it.





I have never painted anything on a canvas this size, it is a 6” x 6” square, and about 1 ½” thick. Olivia came over Saturday evening to say goodbye and I was happy to send her along her way with a tiny little painting of Oliver, with a hug and a promise that paintings of Zeus, Zeke and Bad Louie would follow in care packages.

My wishes for Olivia as she goes off to college?

I wish for her a whole tribe of young women who are as brave, smart and compassionate as her, a wonderful and safe environment in which to grow and thrive, and the acceptance of this fact…

no matter how much you want to avoid it, sometimes you mother is right.

No comments:

Post a Comment