Admiring the creative expression of artists at the Frist Museum and Lipscomb University’s art gallery last week, I returned home curious about the artist of a watercolor hanging on my own wall for the past twenty-five years. I googled the artist Naomi Brotherton and wrote an email attaching a picture of her painting wondering about its story.
To my delight, Naomi quickly responded and was pleased that one of her paintings had come “home”. At the age of 92, she continues to teach art and maintains a studio/gallery in Dallas! While driving to Ruidoso, New Mexico, in the 1960s to teach watercolor classes, Naomi saw a white church in a serene landscape. That scene sought expression. Later, she donated Circuit Stop to a benefit sale at a church in Dallas where I purchased it.
Aaron Copeland in his book Music and Imagination poses an idea:
Why is the creative impulse never satisfied… because self expression is the basic need to make evident one’s deepest feelings about life. Self knowledge is an endless search…I keep creating to know myself.
When I read the line ~ I create to know myself ~ I remembered a scene from my life six years ago when I began to create a series of collages to express my deep sadness. My husband’s cancer had advanced and the doctor said that the time for hospice care had arrived.
On a brisk November Sunday afternoon I wandered into the storage shed to the craft space. I needed time alone while Tom watched golf on TV. I found a crumpled drawing pad in a stack of clutter and started tearing pictures from the magazines waiting for the recycle bin. Colorful ribbons, feathers, fabric, and stones on the shelf caught my eye ~ left-overs from making fairy wands when little girls had visited.
With a glue stick in my hand, unguarded feelings spilled onto the page in a collection of images. An hour passed, yet it felt like one healing moment. When we create we connect to our true Self and with God, the Creator.