Monday, September 26, 2011


sight. original mixed media on wooden panel, 12x12. sold.

I was driving early one morning and the sun hadn’t quite reached me yet. Everything was monochromatic and still. As I passed a huge field, several beams of sunlight reached it and startling color jumped out from the grass and the trees that lined the edge.

It made me think about light and how it changes things. Light can be physical and give us warmth and brightness and color. It can be spiritual and we gain truth and wisdom from its divine touch. It can be emotional and we are filled with joy as we let go of our heavy hearts. No matter how it manifests, light is powerful and comforting.

The past couple years have run me ragged. Although I wouldn't change my circumstances - I really love being a mom and find joy in my five incredible children - I have had a really hard time figuring out how to slow down enough to let any beauty and light penetrate.

(If something lovely happens to you and you don’t record it with paper or words or stitches in fabric or ink or paint or pixels, did it really happen?) (you know, like when a tree falls in a forest...) (get it?)

I almost didn’t go to Squam Art Workshops this year. At the last moment my mom and Jake talked me into it: Why wouldn’t you go? It’s your thing. Take care of yourself. You need this.

(They must really love me.)

So I emailed Elizabeth and told her I trusted her (because I’ve seen her gut telling her what to do and I’ve watched how she always listens and wondered at the incredible gift she has!). She emailed me back with which classes her gut told her I would love and then put me in a cabin she knew I would enjoy. I didn’t question it; I accepted it whole heartedly and kept running.

When I walked the familiar path through the woods, my body loosened. My mind widened. My eyes noticed.

The last day I was there, I took Alena Hennessy’s class, the joy of intention. I had spent the past days being filled up and refreshed. I was being fed. And Alena took us out and stood us in a circle and asked what our intentions were.


How had I not asked this of myself? What did I want from this experience? How have I been touched and changed? How did I want it to manifest when I return home? What were my intentions with this squammie experience?

I thought about how the light had touched me while I was there. Not only did it warm me and dance on my skin, it had engulfed my overburdened mind and body and healed it with laughter and friendship and truth. I had sat on the dock and watched the sun rise and seen how the light has a separate beauty from the darkness yet it’s hard to tell when one ends and one begins. I had sat quietly and listened as the light of the Spirit whispered and confirmed and denied, and I could see my life and my potential for what it is: beautiful and imperfect.

(photo taken by the beautiful Elke May right after class.  Thanks, Elke;)

My intentions are to keep living through this season of motherhood that is filled with joy and pain, beauty and hardships, and when things are feeling monochromatic, find a way to slow down enough that I can look up and see where the light is shining to catch sight of what I am missing in my haste. Because there is always light and it is always offering beauty and comfort; truth and warmth; color and energy.

Here is what I wrote in class right before I started painting:

The light

comes in bursts

of hope and peace and


upon parts of life that are hard

and suddenly I can see

the beauty

that was hidden from my


The color

reflects and shines

bringing joy and peace and awe.

The clouds part

and I know the way.

I am at peace.

Here is the piece that I painted in the inspiring Misty Mawn's wonderful class, Painted Icon:

seeker.  original acrylic on panel, 8.5x11.

(Cabin-mates: I can't help but laugh right now because of our experience with this painting.  Elizabeth was so right to put me with you guys.  You are dear to my heart.)



Amy said...


Sure do love you!

amy gretchen said...

Oh how I've missed your face and that smile. I want so badly to drive over to your house and hang out and laugh with you. Ah, one day. I hope it will not be too long before we chat in person again.

I know exactly what you mean about getting caught up in life's crazy and miss so much. I think that is the sole reason I started taking photos daily. It really forced me to stop and noticed my life again.

I'm so grateful you came to experience was definitely richer because of you and all the brae cove girls + 1. love you big.

Katie said...


I just wanted to say Hi, I love that you are squeezing in some of your time to paint while raising your 5 kiddos!

GO enter one of your paintings into the
lds art competition. The deadline is Oct. 7th.
You just submit a painting online.
Here is the link:,15757,8085-1-4433,00.html

Have a great week!

Emma Jo said...

Man, you create beauty everywhere.

Bee said...

wonderful intentions...and these paintings are both fantastic. :)

misty said...

i am soooo glad you were there... it was lovely soaking up little bits of time with you here and there.
your paintings are so beautiful!

melissa said...

YOU are so beautiful inside and out. I'm so glad you had a great experience at Squam. Your artwork is amazing...just sorry I didn't make it to see you this year...maybe next year. Big hugs...xx

Jolie said...

You changed the seeeeeker's face even more, didn't you? She looks good.

So glad you were my roomie.
I feel like I should end this comment mid-sentence, like all of our late night talks ended. Because we fell asle....


Steph said...

Tee hee Jolie.

I was thrilled when I saw that you were in my cabin Brittany. What a joy to get to spend time with you after all these SAWs. Thank goodness they convinced you to go.


jenica said...

i love you. and i'm so grateful that you came to squam again. your very existence brings happiness to me.