The Artful Life
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Life Notes From + For Those Who Live + Desire To Experience An Artful Life

  • Tina

Updated: Jun 16, 2020

Most often, I create from a very real and raw place. What can emerge is a piece that is not perfect, not polished, and certainly not ready for prime time. The dimensions a bit off, but dead on authentic to the moment.

I've been reading a book that I started to read nearly a decade ago. I'll finish it tonight. It's called "Victory over the Darkness" by Neil Anderson. I'm humbled and learning where I've been wrong in relationships and dealing with situations, but I'm also learning that I take on responsibilities and burdens that were never mine to handle or to carry.

Do you do that? Or, are you like me and didn't have an awareness of the heavy things you carry that you were never created to?

Notice how she doesn't quit, how she won't be defined by a snapshot of darkness, how, though she is in a moment of difficulty, goodness is growing around her.

There is a verse in the bible (Song of Solomon 1:5-6) "I am dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon.

Do not gaze at me because I am dark because the sun has looked upon me. My mother's sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept!"

She is dark because she worked hard in the sun all day. A sign of beauty in the day was light and lovely skin. She wasn't a girl about town, she was working and working hard. She was told that, though she didn't meet those beautiful social standards, him who loved her, was beautiful.

That is how God see us. He sees us as we are in those discouraged, broken, seemingly dark moments and calls us beloved. He calls us beautiful. He calls us loved.

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  • Tina

Updated: Jun 16, 2020

The end result is rarely as one imagines. True in art and certainly in life.

On a day, where happenings out of our control invaded our peaceful space, out to the studio, I ran...diving heart-first into healing music about truth beyond circumstance.

Looking around, I pulled out a 20"x 20" Canvas, squeezed out colors on the palette. Colors that emote joy, energy, growth (I wanted to feel those things) These are my go to colors. Those default colors, the ones that require no thought, the hues my soul responds to and resonates with. Standing, gathering what's inside, releasing, and not resting, with no brush in sight, but with scrapings, scattered patterns...I applied color. A visual, emulating the chaos and movement of the moment was made visible.

At some point, with no awareness of the time passing, the breath regulated, the calm caressed, and the focus came. Something began to grow up in orangey-red warmth. In the midst, in the process, in the journey of this moment...peaceful order and direction began to blend in and sing harmoniously. Following the harmony, feeling favor on the direction, the push and pull and the tension overcame the struggle and found peace with each other as I picked up the brush.

In this moment, my husband captured that state of peaceful direction and the desire to just go there...that precious moment

of sweet surrender and not wanting to stop...totally in...where I

belong...where I thrive...where I'm healed

Do you have a place like that? I hope so. Whether it's art, music,

exercise, reading, cooking, playing with your babies, walking in nature...whatever it may be...creativity is good for the created soul.

*I wanted to share this with you because there's nothing wrong with making pretty things. I can make pretty things, crank out

work, and I've done that...but it left this artisan soul hollow and unfullfilled.

What I've learned is that processing what is real and genuine and journeying through, authentically, creates a human connection in the finished work.

The soul, who connected with this piece before it was even finished, sent this message to me when she was inquiring about it.

"I am just in love with this one! I'm in love with SO MANY of your paintings, but this one just grabs me in a big hug!"

What began as a moment where I needed comfort and a big hug became that, not only for me, but for someone else.


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We love hearing what our artists are up to! 10 Hands Art Collaborative artist,Tina Slankard Lawver, is September's Featured Artists at the Savannah Art Walk this weekend September 14th at The Perry Lane Hotel at the invitation of The Tiffani Taylor Gallery in Savannah GA!

Tina Lawver, formerly of Tuscarawas County, is a gifted multi-media artist that resides in Massillon, Ohio. She has a passion

for highlighting the journey to any destination and the experiences we gain along that journey. “My work focuses on exploring moments, those ‘in-between’ moments and the tension between light and dark. These are the human moments we all relate to and experience. As we move from one place to the next in our lives, there are elements of nature, dark and light and it all is celebrated in each piece,” explained Lawver.

Lawver’s collection of works titled ‘This Makes a Life’ will be on display during the Savannah Art Walk on September 14th, 2019 in Savannah Georgia.

The collection includes 10 pieces that range from $30 - $1500.