Currently, I'm working with a very sweet friend of mine on two small oil paintings for his sister, Sarah. She'll be turning 20 at the end of this month. Since my paintings are heavily abstracted personal narratives/memories/references to close people in my life, I wondered how I could make an abstract piece that might more quickly connect with Sarah and include some fun, feminine craftiness.

Last year, I took a typography class for my design degree. In the class, we did a lot of experimenting with type. For my first piece, I used copper wire to form words and phrases. I fell in love with the wired words and ended up using them this Christmas on a few oil and canvas collages for my parents.

The same idea of wired words seemed to mesh with the paintings I wanted to make for Sarah. They could bring in an element of personalization that I don't want to miss on this one. Sooooo, I worked up a few sketches and talked to my friend about his sister, and I asked him to think about the right phrases for me to wire and attach to the oil paintings.

He came back to me with the best:

elegant and soft
tenderness and grace

Mmm! I couldn't have picked better myself (& luckily none of the words have i's aka: no floating dots to figure out or annoyingly leave out). He told me that the words are from one of his favorite songs that she also loves, and she'll "totally get it".

What more perfect words that connect to the heart of a young lady (his sis) and the heart of our sweet savior Jesus? I don't even know. I hope to finish up these birthday surprise paintings and add the copper words in the next few weeks.