One morning, I felt like I was supposed to paint a turtle. Not something I’d ever painted before, but I’ve learned that art is spiritual - so I followed the impulse.
Later the same day, I noticed a dead turtle on the shoreline. It looked EXACTLY like turtle from my painting - except they were looking in different directions. My vibrant turtle fixed her gaze up - while the dead turtle gazed down.
At first, I was freaked out - I'd been crying out to God because life was so messy and I kept getting the message "gaze up - there's a choice". So I went home and wrote "LIGHT, DARK, GAZE UP" and other words on the top of the turtle as a reminder that I have a choice where I fix my gaze. The dark times are still there even if I look for the light, but given the choice - I want to be the vibrant turtle.
So why name this collection Still Waters Run Deep when it all started with a turtle?
Reflecting on 2020, I painted my questions on the background of several more water scenes - asking "why?" and looking for the Light Source through my work.
Still waters run deep - there is so much beneath the surface & the only way not to drown, is to fix your gaze on your destination. If I keep staring at the dead turtle, that's where I'll end up. So I fixed my gaze on where I wanted to go.
For that reason the words...
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
... are written on each painting - somewhere. You might not see the words, but they are there to be a reminder of hope. Don't judge how you're handling the hard times - and especially be careful to not compare your insides to someone else's outsides - as my grandmother always said, "still waters run deep." Keep your eyes focused on where you want to go.
The Key West turtle who inspired it all
The gross dead turtle who served as a reminder
The words written on the background