• carricolvin

Scratch the Surface

Updated: Nov 7, 2021




Triptych, 12 x 12 inches each
"Blossom," Scratch the Surface series


I often feel like a fairy with remnants of gold sheets dusting my hair, eyelashes, and every bit of my exposed skin. From the first step to the last, I love the process of metal gilding—painting the undercoat; applying the sizing to where I want the metal leaf to stick; carefully laying out the sheets of gold, silver, or copper; and finally sealing it with a clear coat. When I use the square, finer-than-tissue-paper sheets to create my Scratch the Surface series on canvas, the lay out is calculated and methodical. Similarly, we carefully lay out and place the pieces of our lives to reflect the future we would like to see ourselves living. But as is common with life, a disruption takes place, and we are left with the feeling that we have been torn wide open. We are often left with a void—a chasm of the soul—and we wonder what good can come of such an interruption.


We can rarely predict how deep, wide, and long the tear will be; the ramifications; duration; or what it will take to recover. A tear reveals what is within: depth, strength, vulnerability, darkness. . . .


Quickly summarizing that a tear will amount to something good can be hurtful, especially when someone is in the abyss. Quite simply, it can sound too simplistic. However, it is true that in the bleak depths of darkness something precious and good can happen, and it is all the more obvious when it does! A seed is planted in the depths of the dirt; and without the splitting of the soil, the seedling cannot emerge. Transformation takes place in the quiet of a chrysalis; and without the tearing of the shell, a butterfly will die. A spark is most visible in lightlessness; and when light divides the dark, it gives us sight.


We can learn immeasurable lessons, such as compassion, tolerance, boundaries, kindness, self-control, faith, and the power of choice in those trying times. As we choose to face, endure, and overcome challenges, we can become more diverse, wiser, interesting, and better equipped to help others in their time of need. Our mapped out, gilded surface is forever changed by the highs and lows of disruption. The chasm better displays the beauty emerging. Brushes with hardship can become strokes of inspiration and hope on our life’s canvas. Scratches and all, how grand a masterpiece we are!


"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson


. . . I pray that you may have your roots and foundation in love, so that you, together with all God's people, may have the power to understand how broad and long, how high and deep, is Christ's love. (Ephesians 17 - 18, GNT)


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