Joyful

I have black paint underneath my fingernails these days. It looks a little unkempt but to me it is a reminder of how merciful and magical the universe is. About 1 1/2 years ago I was sitting at home in Portland utterly frustrated at the 8 months of unemployment that had been staring me in the face and no job prospects to account for. I decided to pray about, meditate on, and visualize what it was exactly that I wanted in my life. I immediately conceived an image of myself with paint on my hands and in my hair. I felt this incredible urge to create, to take a break from being inside of my head, and to start physically involving myself with color and line. My exact thought was, "I want to get messy with art." Not more than two months later I was offered a job teaching a "messy art" class to children at the local community center. Since that time, my life has consistently offered up opportunities for me to create, to get my hands covered in color, and to work with children in the process. My current job in Korea is perhaps the most visceral manifestation of my wishes--every day I am immersed in chaos and creation and surprise. It is so so good for my soul, and I thank God. I am amazed at the marks my students create--they are uninhibited and unapologetic. The following paintings were created by three of my kindergarten students who are 3 and 4 years old. Joyful.