Artists are inspired by different things. Some are inspired by literature or music; others by language or even mathematics. I want to share my favorite piece of inspiration with you.
It sits at the corner of my impeccably organized art table.
This piece of artwork was not done by a famous artist. It’s not a reprinting of an old master’s painting or anything I picked up in a gallery.
It’s an ink drawing by my mother.
She drew it as she lay in the hospital, fighting a losing battle against cancer.
I remember receiving a phone call from mom during one of her hospital stays that wound up lasting over a month. It was mid-morning and I was just fixing to head up there for my daily visit when the phone rang. She sounded frustrated. She asked me to bring a pad of paper and some colored pens with me. “I’ve got to do something with my hands or I’m going to go nuts!” she told me.
Eighteen months of cancer treatment had taken a huge toll on her already frail body, but her creative spirit was alive and well. She was an artist and she could not spend one more day in that hospital bed without creating something! She worked on her “doodling” untold hours as she lay in that hospital bed day after day, week after week.
I had brought several of her projects from home earlier for her to work on, but her eyesight had been ruined by radiation treatments, and she couldn’t see to do the detailed needlework and beading that she had been working on before her illness.
After she went home to be with the Lord, I found several of her pen drawings in her Bible, all with different verses and poems written on them. The Serenity Prayer is written in her incomparably perfect handwriting on the back of this one.
Lord, give me the courage to change the things I can,
The serenity to accept the things I can’t,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
I love this drawing. I admire the details: the random inclusion of color, the abrupt changes of pattern, the myriad types of lines and little pictures tucked in. Though it has bittersweet memories for me, it also makes me smile. I, too, have to do something with my hands or I feel like I’m going to go nuts!
This drawing also reminds me that art can be simple. It doesn’t have to be an exquisite oil painting or a flawless marble sculpture to bring joy and inspiration to others. I’m totally inspired to create when I look at this drawing. I’m amazed that my mom could draw something this cool half-blind with just a stationery pad and a few felt-tip pens. This piece also reminds me to never underestimate the creativity God has imparted to His creation.
The picture is so finely detailed that my camera would not focus in well. I tried to take several shots of different parts of it so you can see how wonderful it is!
Want to see my mom and I? We are the two happy faces squeezed in at the top of photo #5.