Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Different Direction

One of my goals, especially as I've gotten older, is to keep growing as an artist and as a person. Landscapes are totally different subjects for me as is gouache as a painting medium. So when my sister sent me photos of their vacation in the western states of the US, I decided to stretch a little and try to paint one photo that was particularly inspiring. I also decided to paint it in gouache since I've only done a couple of gouache paintings so far. I know this isn't perfect but I'm especially fond of the sky and proud of myself for pushing beyond my comfort zone.

I want to do that as a person also. Yesterday was the 24th anniversary of my husband's and my wedding and I got to thinking about wedding vows. In this day and age, it's pretty common to go get a divorce at the least little provocation and for a marriage to last even a few years is getting to be very uncommon. Wedding vows, as well as other legal contracts, just don't mean much any more.

It takes a lot to make a marriage work. I'll admit I failed to hang in there with my first marriage. It lasted twelve years and fell apart when we left the support system and old-fashioned, small town values of our home town. We came from an area where we were expected to honor our vows and stay married no matter what. When we left that area, the pressure to stay married was also left behind. I won't go into the reasons for leaving my first husband, they were sufficient for me at the time, and I also don't regret it as I'm now married to a man with whom I'm far more compatible and with whom I share more goals.

But, even with the perfect mate (and no one has one!), marriage is definitely not easy! That's when you have to go back and remember your wedding vows, remember the words and also remember the solemn ceremony used to seal those words of promise.

Not only did we take communion at our wedding ceremony, but we also took a covenant of salt. Biblically, salt represents purity, seasoning and preservation or commitment. So, the words of our wedding vows were seasoned with commitment and meant to be preserved. That is not to say that a person should stay in a marriage that is damaging to them, but it does mean that you don't give up and run at the first little disagreement. It means you work together to overcome any obstacles and that you compromise to bring harmony into the home.

Fortunately, I have a husband with whom it's easy to get along! But mostly, it's to his credit that he puts up with me! He really is a wonderful man and I look forward to at least another 24 years should Jesus tarry!

10 comments: said...

Hi Jan
I agree that you should be proud of that sky, in fact the whole picture, I particularly like the water too.
I also like to experiment and try to stretch my abilities, hence my lat blog post (thank you for your comments) sometimes it works and in my case it often does not, but I enjoy the challenge and will keep pushing, which sounds much the same in your case too, I also believe it will keep our work fresh and who knows one day........

ps we celebrate our 30th anniversary this Christmas (and its second time around for me too, my first was a very short, young romance that was quickly out grown, with the realities of day to day living!)

Jan said...

Thanks, Geraldine. I do like the water in this but it's crooked! Being the painting is done in gouache, I could straighten it but then I might lose what I like about it! Always something, isn't it?

Congratulations on your long marriage! It makes all the difference when you find the right one, doesn't it?

Teresa Mallen said...

Congratulations on moving outside your comfort zone! Also, happy anniversary!!! May you be blessed with many more wonderful years together.

"JeanneG" said...

Happy Anniversary. Mine is next month. We will have been married 39 years after 4 years dating. As you said, it's not all roses but worth the trials. Like you I took my vows seriously and didn't consider them disposable. I just wish some young people today didn't go into marriage with the idea that they can split if it doesn't work.

Teresa said...

Hi Jan,

What a lovely post. Your art is beautiful! Love that fresh, clean look. I'm currently doing half a dozen ATC's of photos I took while in Maine... your art reminds me of that gorgeous state.

I've never heard of a "covenant of salt", but I think it's a good idea. I agree, marriage requires time and work... but it's worth it. Thanks for sharing with us.

readingsully2 said...

Happy Anniversary.

Comfort zones are not what they are cracked up to be.LOL

twincedar said...

This is wonderful! Happy anniversary also!

Christine said...

Hi Jan, just now getting around to reading some blog posts. I like the painting, especially the reflection in the water, and the pine tree. Good job!

Happy belated Anniversary to you and husband!

Jan said...

Thank you all for your good wishes on our anniversary. If you're curious about the covenant of salt, I suggest you google it as there's a lot of good information at various sites on the web. It's a fascinating subject for only having three Bible verses refer to it.

I'm still busy with that show preparation so please bear with me!

Dors said...

It's a great feeling to get outside that comfor zone. Well done.

Congrats on your anniversary Jan.

I have put an award on my blog for you.