Recently, I completed a mentorship course that changed my life thanks to my mentor Chris Oatley. Chris was a former visual development artist for Disney. I have been taking courses with The Oatley Academy of Visual Storytelling (http://oatleyacademy.com ) for over three years and have met some of the most beautiful creative people from all over the world. They kind of get me and understand my need for storytelling. These paintings are from the mentorship course, Brush to the Future. The first one is an embellishment from the bottom study.
On the questionnaire for applying for the course I was asked what muppet character I was like? I said Kermit the Frog because Kermit sang the "Rainbow Connection" song. I related to the song but felt so lost in my ability to express myself. There was fear of acceptance and a pulling of my heart with a feeling of something bigger that I am supposed to do. While I have not figured out everything, Chris Oatley and his side kick Sarah Mills gave me the tools and instruction and encouragement. This helped me to feel confident when approaching my work. One of our assignments was called Rainbow Connection. I cried when I saw that listed. Before the course I was feeling a disconnection in making sense of what I was doing creatively. I believe it had something to do with my technique but it was also something spiritual too. I am so grateful to Chris and Sarah and the OA team including Maike Venhofen and Ania Marcos for helping things to click with me. I am eternally grateful.
On a small patch of once green grass grew a cute lemon tree. Ten years ago a tiny seed was planted. The tree day by day glistened in the sun in hopes of someday producing the finest juiciest lemons. The tree was the home of beautiful birds who found refuge from predators in its spiky branches. Year after year went by and the charming lemon tree grew very tall; fifteen feet to be exact. For six years the lemon tree bore no fruit. Then one day, there were hundreds of lemons on the once pint-sized tree. From then on the tree produced the best sweet and sour softball-sized lemons around. The lemons were given away and made into delicious desserts for Christmas Day. But one year, horrible hail plummeted from the sky and the poor lemon tree was hurt! Little baby lemons lay on the ground not yet formed! The lemons that remained had plenty of space to grow, but were harmed by the magnitude of the storm. On one December day, a lemon asked another lemon hanging on a branch, “Why are you so sad?” The other lemon explained, “I have black bruises on my skin because of the Storm Monster. I don’t look like you”. The lemon sighed. Then the first lemon replied, “I have a black bruise inside. You are beautiful to me because you helped me to grow. I love you for that. Thank you for being a part of my family.” The lemon with the bruises on the outside began to glow. “I had no idea you needed me,” he said. And that Christmas, the lemons were displayed as a thankful reminder of being safe in the storm. As for the baby lemons, they had just enough seeds that buried themselves far into the ground, so the next year new lemon trees sprang up!
©2017 Melissa Peterson All Rights Reserved
Melissa Peterson © 2018 All rights reserved.