brush stop

writing and photo from 7/27/2012

By 10 a.m. today, I stopped work on my fifth piece, freed it from its masking tape frame and set it down on the Phillips’ dining room table with the other farm light frames.

Calling it done — for now — I quickly mask down another sheet and head back to the hog barn, easily my favorite muse on the grounds.

This time I move in close enough for my presence to aggravate the swarm of bees hovering over the two remaining hollyhock blossoms in this dwindling clump of survivors.  Delighted they’re still hanging on, I begin to mentally put them in the frame and contemplate  my first brush stroke.

But then.

I look up.

I look up and in an instant, my mind is changed.

The sky — showing brilliant pats, swabs and smears of color — moves me into a clearing in front of the field of thirsty corn.  Sitting on the ground with a new palette of colors I can’t remember mixing, I begin to brush furiously.  I want this sky —


Before it whipsaws away from me.

Minutes later, I’m back with the bees and a new perspective on my hollyhock friends.  They remind me of a loving couple, joined at the roots — blooming together through —

All kinds of weather.

Tears in my eyes, I place them beneath the changing sky.  And then —

My brush stops.  It’s time to go now.

Author: Julie Ann Stevens

My art flows from the patterns & paths of my lived experience which ⏤ like yours ⏤ are at once deeply personal and entirely universal.

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