Life is My Canvas

So … my first attempt at the “Blended Family” project …


Remember how I said I’ve spent several moments standing in the art aisle at random craft stores staring blankly into space? It’s like I’m paralyzed with fear that if I invest in new paints and brushes and a pretty canvas, I’ll just screw it up.

Then, the other day, I looked out my window and it occurred to me: That couch sitting on the porch, the one we are about to take to the dump … If I flip it backwards, that just might work as a canvas.

IMG_7755So I went out one morning, spread out my drop cloth, swiped my box of random paints and kid brushes. And a knife.

In some art therapy classes, I’ve heard of students dumping their black thoughts on a blank canvas and then covering them with a fresh beautiful creation.

My process was a bit more physical. For the kind of trauma I’ve experienced–and was feeling that day–a sharpie just didn’t seem to cut it. (Forgive the pun. Or don’t! Ha!)

Instead I held the knife firmly in my shaking hands and stabbed and slashed the canvas. Therapeutic? Yes. Definitely.

Next, I began brushing, smearing, pouring the colors out of my heart and onto the surface before me.

I’m not really an artist, as is evidenced by my childlike creation, but I have to say … I have never felt my soul pour out onto a canvas like that before. It was so physical.

I handled each family member (or their favorite color), smearing them and blending them and gushing them through my fingers.

I built the structures slowly, layer upon layer.

It helped me tell my stories and make sense of them. Others examining my painting might not see my stories, but I do. I know the players, and I know where they fit in my life.

I’ve never experienced anything quite like it.

Then I cut it down, like a real canvas.

And it is now lying across my kitchen table.


I’m not sure what I will do with it. Maybe it’s just a start. A brainstorm. A BIG one! I just might roll it up and begin again and again and again. Like our family.

But it’s a start.

One thought on “Life is My Canvas

  1. Melody,
    I loved this post. Blending families is so hard. My favorite part is the very end…. Roll it up and begin again and again and again. That is exactly how it is.


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