“Friendship is an obstetric art; it draws out our richest and deepest resources; it unfolds the wings of our dreams and hidden indeterminate thoughts; it serves as a check on our judgements, tries out our new ideas, keeps up our ardor, and inflames our enthusiasm.”
I had a great conversation with a new friend recently that still has me floating this week. Don’t you just love first-time talks with hadn’t-met-yet friends? They have an ardor all their own!
I had wanted to meet Deann in person for so long. I loved reading that she had traded in her corporate high heels for paint brushes, and I was smitten with her palette knife paintings from the second I saw them. Her layered textures are reminiscent of tree bark and old peeling paint, and her creations tell such sweet stories of the South.
I had followed her on Instagram for, hmmmm, a year maybe? Then, last weekend, I found her. In person. In a tall, brick and barn wood booth, at the far end of an old oven factory, in Franklin. She had just sat down at her desk for a quick bite of something for lunch, but she hopped up and squeezed me with a smile, the second I peeked over her trusty red counter.
We talked for nearly two hours and let our words swirl around wherever they wanted to go. We landed on ‘Gifts’ for a while, and do you know what she shared with me? She said she’s always felt like her creativity was a Gift. That she knew it was a Gift from the get-go. Not after she sold her hundredth painting, not halfway through her career- she knew it from the very start. And because she knew her passion for painting was a Gift from God from the beginning, being intentional about being present as she paints, and listening for His voice, has been a part of her process all along.
That felt so warm in my ears, y’all. Made me think about my son…and conversations I can have with him. 🙂
Before we left the Factory that day, Deann pulled out a sheet of watercolor paper, and in hues that felt like home, she scraped on the layers of an angel. Kevin and I stood right there with her in the streaming sun, as she smoothed all the colors into place. I got goosebumps watching our angel take shape…patches and details sliding off the edge of Deann’s palette knife and onto the paper for keeps. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that experience. Felt like getting a glimpse of the Divine. So, so grateful for moments like those.