An Outline of a Painting

Doug discovered a line drawing of a cat waiting to pounce on mouse who lurked behind him . . . or her.  

line drawing

the outline of my painting

Two grandkids made suggestions for adding details.

Then, I channeled my inner Matisse, adding adventuresome  goldfish, and added a falling lime; which became my title for this painting. NOTE, I did not follow one granddaughter’s suggestion to paint the little loaded mousetrap in front of the hole in the wall! And I have done it three times!

line drawing

Line Drawings Filled In

Hopefully, the mouse escapes into the hole, and  lives another day to taunt the cat. 

Kind friends suggested the finished product might be a cover for a children’s book.

I got to thinking — what would the story be?

A Plot Line from a Drawing

a cover's line drawing

Growing up I loved a book of line drawings—  If Jesus Came to My House; they left an impression, and helped to tell story that has stuck with me for a really long time: Jesus makes house calls. 


But what simple story could my colorful fantasy based on a line drawing tell that would maybe be useful to kids of all ages? And not depressing or scary?

Frankly, all three generate anxiety in me — anticipating the noise and mess! 

How do we talk to kids about anxiety without stoking the flames or pretending some challenges aren’t very real? 

 I welcomed Frederick Buechner’s wry wisdom the other day on  that very topic: ANXIETY  

 He begins: 

 “HAVE NO ANXIETY about anything,” Paul writes to the Philippians. In one sense it is like telling a woman with a bad head cold not to sniffle and sneeze so much or a lame man to stop dragging his feet. Or maybe it is more like telling a wino to lay off the booze or a compulsive gambler to stay away from the track. . . 

Then he asks, apropos of the painting : 

. . . Since the worst things that happen are apt to be the things you don’t see coming, do you think there is a kind of magic whereby, if you only can see them coming, you will be able somehow to prevent them from happening? Who knows the answer?  

Rev. Buechner concludes,  reminding readers whatever hits— anticipated or unexpected:

 We are as sure to be in trouble as the sparks fly upward, but we will also be “in Christ,” as [Paul] puts it. Ultimately not even sorrow, loss, death can get at us there.

Oh! This is the best of all plot lines: the comfort God doesn’t forget us when the unexpected falls  in our day, no matter what!

And Jesus still makes house calls.  

Like the little child in  If Jesus Came to My House, open the door when Jesus knocks. And if you don’t hear any knocking— go looking: He will find you.

I think I’ll keep painting — grateful for you who read through to this little nugget: 

You are only one part, but an integral part of God’s mosaic. (Daily Walk, page 237)

line drawing

Another Color-full Line Drawing

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