Monday, May 11, 2009

Beauty in Brokenness

               Beauty in Brokenness
          8 " x 11" on 300 lb. Arches paper
            an original watercolor painting

I generally do not eat eggs. When I was growing up, my mother did a lot of baking... but for some reason, she was not really careful when it came to breaking eggs into her batter. You guessed it - pieces of the crunchy shell ALWAYS ended up in MY piece of the cake, cookie, pie, or whatever it was that she had made. 

You might think that would be enough for one person, but no! My family is my witness... I have been in restaurants where I have had egg shell in mashed potatoes, a piece of glass in my dinner, hair, bugs, and on and on it goes. My kids refer to it as the "Giesbrecht curse" - but they really believe it is a blessing because the whole family would get free dessert, or I would get a fresh meal which they could then eat, or we would not have to pay for my meal. Whatever way you look at it, it somehow became a benefit rather than a deficit. 

I have had it in my mind to do a painting of eggshells for about a year. So, I told my husband that every time he had eggs, could he please rinse the shells and put them in a certain container for me. After several months, I had enough shells to create this painting. 

This is the same painting that I used to demonstrate how to create a dark background. As you can see, with an intensely dark yet varied background, the painting appears to be filled with light.

I have named this painting "Beauty in Brokenness" because we often think that when something difficult happens, when we are "broken",  that it is a dark and devastating thing. And it often feels like that - we are in pain and nothing will ever be the same again. But when you look at brokenness from a different perspective, it can be filled with beauty. New things can happen, and life can be different. Never the same again - but "different" often becomes "better" over time. The symbolism of the eggshell for me is beauty in brokenness.

I will be posting another background technique on Wednesday.

To purchase this painting, contact me:


Kim said...

Awesome. This one is definitely better close up. I LOVE the white that you kept on the fine edges. Is your lesson this week on painting transparent objects, 'cause this is a great example!

Michelle said...

Fantastic - I love the light infused here.

I'm chuckling at the thought of Syd rinsing out egg shells. Bet he's glad you are done this piece.

Cynthia said...

Thank-you so much for your comment on my blog! Dawsyn is such an amazing kid :o)

Can't wait to bid in your painting!

Joanne said...

Thanks, Kim!
No, my lesson won't be on painting transparent objects unless someone requests it. :-) I am going to continue with backgrounds for one or two more posts, then see if anyone has any requests that I can help them with. I LOVE your painting of ballet slippers! You definitely have a gift my girl!!!

Joanne said...

Hi Michelle!
Thanks for the encouraging comment! Yes - poor Syd - all the things he does to support me as an artist! Many are unknown - like rinsing out and saving egg shells. Who would have thought??? :-)

Joanne said...

Hi Cynthia!
I have missed your wonderful sense of humor, so I just had to visit your blog to get a good dose of it! I was really touched by Dawsyn's story - I will be happy to be a part of their fundraising if it works out for them. I hope they are able to raise the funds to get her the companion dog before the end of summer. How special would that be??? Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

How wonderful the china like fragility of eggshells and the multiple ways you depicted white.
Without actually using it.

Yikes that fear of eggshells following you has turned into an exorcism.

Was a funny story too- how your family benefits from your unlucky dining lottery.

I love the diversity and unexpected delights of your blog.

Joanne said...


You are just so kind - thank you! I really enjoyed painting this one - very cathartic for me! :-) The painting is not nearly as lovely without the story, don't you think???

Have a wonderful week, Bonnie.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my goodness! What eating out experiences. But I like the way you all look at it. Free dessert! ;-)

The painting IS a beauty. And there IS beauty in brokenness. Thanks for pointing that out to us.


Joanne said...

Hi Paz,

I know that you understand how when something is broken, a new and beautiful thing can be born... I am sure you have experienced that more than once. Take care of yourself my friend!