June 02, 2016

Creative Outlets I’ve Known and Loved by Marcia Lee Laycock

Dad in Chair

“You have a challenge before you.”

The drawing instructor grinned. “Oh? What’s that?”

“Me.” I said. “I don’t do mornings. (The drawing class started at 8:00 a.m.) “And I couldn’t draw a decent stick figure to save my life.”

The instructor laughed. “I’ll have you drawing well enough by Christmas.”

I doubted it, but as the weeks went by it began to happen. I not only learned to draw, I learned to love drawing. I found it relaxing in a meditative way and was continually amazed at what you see when you have to focus on something enough to replicate it.

That form of creativity has been put on the back burner many times in my life as I’ve concentrated on writing, but every now and then I pull out a sketch pad, sit down and draw. I’ve also done some water colour painting and have taken a couple of courses in the past.

I’ll never be a great artist but the exercise is one I find relaxing and fulfilling. I’ve tried many other art forms over the years. When my husband and I decided to leave the Yukon after twelve years, we sold almost everything we owned, including the log home we’d built ourselves. We had a massive yard sale and I pulled out all the left-overs from my dabblings in stained glass, silk screening, pottery, weaving and spinning. One woman who was pawing through it all asked if there was anything I hadn’t done. I was sure there must be something, but I couldn’t come up with an answer.

All were fun in their own way but none stood the test of time.

One thing I have learned about any creative endeavour – they all take work. It takes time and effort to develop the skills necessary to do any creative work well. Perhaps that’s what draws the line between a hobby and a life’s passion – the willingness to work at it.

When we moved to Alberta after Bible College I made a decision to focus on the writing. It had always been my first love and now that I was a believer in Jesus Christ it had a new and exciting focus. As God opened the doors and showed me what He wanted me to do I felt a new and exciting sense that I had finally found the creative outlet I was meant to pursue with all my heart and energy.

But now and then I do pick up a sketch pad and my water colours. Just for the fun.

By the way, the piece above is a collaborative effort with my daughter. Laura took the drawing I had done of my dad sleeping in his chair and made it into a painting.

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone was short listed in The Word Awards. Marcia also has two devotional books in print and has contributed to several anthologies. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan.

Abundant Rain, an ebook devotional for writers can be downloaded on Smashwords or on Amazon. It is also now available in Journal format on Amazon.

Marcia's most recent release is A Traveler's Advisory, Stories of God's Grace Along the Way.

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  1. I could really relate to the part about pulling out all the various arts and crafts projects you've tried. for me its been a good thing since I teach art, so I can always fall back on a different art form when we need something fresh in class - even if I'm not an expertme.

  2. I love the result of the collaborative work you did with your daughter Laura as shown above. I ca identify with your having to put other interests aside to focus more on writing, although my accomplishments there have been minor, if I were to compare my work to mine. The other day I reread your article in Fellowscript about your friendship with art instructor, Ted Harrison, whose art work I also admire. What a lovely gift to have your story turned into a painting by him.

    Through your recent Facebook post about Laura's Art Show, I looked at and admired her artistry. Perhaps you were the catalyst to spark her interest in the visual arts. May God continue to bless who you are and what you do.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Tracy and Sharon. It's so great that God doesn't waste anything. He uses it all to His ends.
      Sharon - It has been a constant source of amazement to me how talented and lovely all 3 of my girls are. They get most of it from their dad, but yes, I think Laura has followed my footsteps a bit. So very very blessed to be able to watch them and to be able to find ways to use God's gifts to His glory. :)m

  3. That's a wonderful painting and a lovely story of your creative heart, Marcia!

  4. How wonderful that you have tried your hand at many different activities. Great story. It encourages others to do the same.

  5. Enjoyed this so much, Marcia!!

  6. Marcia, I so enjoyed taking this little journey with you. I've tried many creative ventures over the years, and many of them stay with me for a season; others I knew right away weren't for me. Some I've been willing to work at developing a level of skill, others not so much. Which is probably why I was drawn to your comment about 'what draws the line between a hobby and a life’s passion – the willingness to work at it.'

    That art piece of your dad is wonderful ... a precious end result of your collaborative work with your daughter.


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