Friday, December 30, 2016

Reflections, Thankfulness, Creativity and Faith


2016.
Not my favorite year. 

Personally we had some set backs. Jobs were lost, income was decreased, youngest daughter had some health scares in the beginning of the year and a few days before Christmas found herself unsuccessfully swerving to avoid hitting a car that ran out in front of her. Car was totaled and we were unsure as how she would get home for the Holidays. In 2016 my husband lost his father, and collectively we lost many icons that we grew up with or who helped to shape our culture. And thus, mortality on this planet that we call home, has stared us in the face in a way most of us find unsettling. My creativity, or time to create was diminished, my candidate didn't win and my hopes for a safe, secure and happy future have been challenged more then ever before.

Ok. So what's to be thankful for? 
Lots. 
My oldest daughter celebrated her 1st wedding anniversary with a man she loves deeply, and who we all love as well. My youngest daughter graduated from college and found a great job in Virginia


Her earlier health scare wasn't as bad as it could have been and she thankfully walked away from that car accident with just whiplash. Her best friend's schedule allowed her to be able to drive  
the 5 plus hours to get her and bring her back home for the holidays. My husband got to spend some quality time with her as they went car shopping and she will be driving back to Virginia in a beautiful brand new car that she got a great deal on. 

Employment was found, albeit at less income but thankfully at less stress, 
and my husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. 


(I have better photos of our wedding, 
but I always liked this candid shot of after the ceremony and before the reception.)

While creative time and output was decreased, I still did create. My quilt stitching can be found on previous posts from this year, and I am happy to report that the hand pain has diminished enough that I've even been sewing, (and listing for sale) some quilted fabric beads again...


I also continue to take photos, (and post on Instagram
of the beautiful old worn and weathered barns and buildings in my area... 





I am happy to report that I have slowly, but FINALLY, put aside my fears and anxiety over picking up paintbrush and putting paint to paper. After a almost 30 year hiatus, I am allowing myself to simply play again, no pressure, and oh it feels so wonderful and brings me the most centered calm...


I began with some little leaf and nature studies...


And recently have been exploring some little paintings based on my barn photography...


And while my personal anxiety has often risen this year over diminished hopes and dreams for our  futures, both personal and collective, I try to use that to strengthen the very thing that seems to have weakened.... my faith. It has given me the very thing I need to chew on and contemplate and decide. I am determined to restore it and increase it, and I am looking forward to marching in Washington this January with my daughters and sister in the Women's March on Washington.

Here is to 2017, may it surprise us with unimagined blessings and graces. 
Love, peace and best wishes to us all. xoxo


24 comments:

watchthatcheese said...

Best wishes to you too :-)

P. said...

Love this post and your candor. Your artwork and photography are beautiful! Congrats on your 30th, and I'm glad your daughter is okay. Wishing you the best in the New Year!

Angela said...

Victoria, 2016 may have not been your favorite year, but after reading all the positives, I truly see it as a good one. Yes, there are some downs, but those never fail to show up one way or the other. The ups, though, are remarkable, and I would like to celebrate your coming to terms with painting. Art and beauty are our life vests. I love the picture of your wedding.
Tomorrow, as I eat my twelve grapes to welcome the new year, I will make a wish for all of us: that we find dreams to follow and faith to pursue them.
Happy New Year!

Sandi said...

Hope your upward trend continues to grow in the following months and years. Your paintings are wonderful! Hope you start quilting again with a new passion,

margaret said...

so good to read what has been happening whilst you have been away from blogland. Wishing you a great 2017 and hoping no more bad happenngs. Good to see the painting happening again and that you are enjoyng it

Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

I always enjoy your posts and hope you will find more time to post in 2017. A new year brings new hope. Happy New Year!!

Chris said...

I LOVE your watercolors!! Very inspiring. Have a happy, healthy, hopeful New Year.

liz said...

Thanks for sharing, thanks for being an inspiration!
I adore your painting - you have real talent!
May 2017 be good to you and yours. (My candidate didn't win either....)

Diane J. Evans said...

Victoria -- You always are able to put into words the very thoughts in my head, and to do so beautifully. My candidate didn't win, either, and I have moved back and forth between accepting what is to be and grieving over what I had hoped would happen. I send prayers to you for health and healing -- I know what it's like to experience physical setbacks to your creativity, and I hope that your faith in all things continues to improve. Your talent is boundless, as witnessed by your art quilts and now your paintings, and I'd like to believe that this is what will sustain you through all the losses of 2016. Please continue to share yourself with all of us -- we are richer for the experience of knowing you.

Diane

Anonymous said...

It is reading postings like this one that begin to restore my faith in my fellow humans, which was seriously challenged this year. Thank you.
Neame

Barbara said...

I am always elated to see a new post by you - you are such an inspiration for me in so many ways.

In regard to January 21st, I hope that you will be properly attired ;) ... https://www.pussyhatproject.com/

Susan McQuade said...

Ah, finding the silver linings! Yes, FAITH is so key. May you and yours be blessed beyond measure.

Mego said...

THANK YOU for this wonderful post! 2016 did not bring us all we THOUGHT it would and in many ways diminished what we thought American meant but now that 2017 is HERE it is time to cast aside the depression and fight for our FUTURE. Good luck with the march. My daughter and I will be marching in solidarity in Seattle! Happy New Year!

Lori said...

Lovely post and photography. Thank you for highlighting the positives and for making plans to help bring about change in January.

patty a. said...

2016 sounded exceptionally difficult for you and your family, but it sounds like those trials were overcome. Your paintings are so beautiful. You continue to amaze me with your diverse talents!

2016 proved to be a challenging year for me too. Court, lawyers, the tearing apart of the siblings, and the brutal summer heat were all difficult to deal with. Hopefully it will all be behind me soon and I can move on. I was so sad with the loss of George Michael. What a year - Bowie, Glen Fry, Prince - gone.

Kat Scott said...

Will be marching with you in spirit... may we all strengthen our faith in love, kindness, the Spirit of our universe, and the ability of each single person to have a positive effect on the world.

Victoria said...

Thanks so much to each of you. Your love and kindness truly fill my heart. You remind me of all that is good and right with this world, and I so deeply appreciate it... you give me hope. I wish I could look each of you in the eye, thank you in person and give you a hug. Thank you for making me feel valued simply because I shared a bit... you have no idea how much that means to me.

I was asked by someone to pick a word to enter 2017 with. I picked "Onward". Onward with kindness, Onward with hope, Onward with courage, Onward with love, Onward with picking ourselves and each other up, Onward with reaching out, Onward with faith, Onward with creativity, Onward with speaking out, Onward with listening, Onward with sharing our truths, Onward with laughter, tears and hugs, Onward to a better tomorrow. Onward... Here is to each of you as we continue onward. May we all move in continued love and support for our fellow person, in whatever form that takes. From the big to the small, it's all important, it's all healing, it's all good. Much love to you. xo

Jenny M said...

Thank you for your post. Even though this is a late comment...I wanted to wish you a joyful year filled with the love of your family, and plenty of time to create.

Morgan said...

The watercolors are amazing! I love those barns!

Jennifer said...

I found this post very touching, and your artwork, as always, beautiful.

Monica said...

I'll be marching in spirit with you girls!!

Afton Warrick said...

Here's to a less traumatic year, and to your wonderful ability to see the positive side of the events that transpired, and to use it to focus keenly what truly matters. Your return to painting is exquisite. I don't know how you managed it, but you even made a dead bug look beautiful.

Irene said...

I happened to read this the day after the Women's March. I marched and had a wonderful experience. Hope you got to go. I'm glad I did.

Your paintings are exquisite. I've always loved your fabric beads!

Victoria said...

Many thanks to each of you for responding in such love and kindness. xoxoxo