I’ve always had a soft spot for words and art.  I am not typically, however, drawn to word art.

Words & Art | Oil Paintings | Landscape Paintings | Shaunna Parker

Words came to me much earlier in my life, as I wrote my first short story before I was in the second grade.  Art, though, specifically paintings, came much later.  It was only a few years ago that I began to seriously consider making my own art more than a hobby.  Now, I am sharing it and just tip toeing around the edge of selling it consistently.

Word Art

As I began painting regularly last year, and even more so this year, the longings inside me began to say, “You have to find a way to blend your words and your art.”

But I struggled.  I am not a fan of word art, necessarily.  There is nothing wrong with it, but it just isn’t my style to have lots of signs hanging around the house, despite my love for the words they lift up.

So begins the journey of playing with blending my words and art.

Words & Art | Oil Paintings | Landscape Paintings | Shaunna Parker

It needs to be subtle, and it needs to nod to something…more.

Now that I’ve completed my first 30 paintings out of 100, the next collection within is going to be a bit of a test for me.  I’ll play with mixing in one word or a few that comes from longer text I’ve written.  It will be paired with the art itself, when it is time to sell those pieces.

Words & Art | Oil Paintings | Landscape Paintings | Shaunna Parker


And for now, I’ll set my intention out into the world that this is something I want to do.  In some way.

Worthy” came from this text written in a chapter of The Middle, “What We’re Made Of.”


So capacity??

We really don’t know what we’re capable of until we have to.  And what the books won’t tell you is this:  no one can tell you how much you get to have.  When your nails are bleeding from the clawing you’ve been doing, and the hope of new doesn’t exist anymore, that place…you have to find that capacity there.

And I will always believe it begins by loving yourself in it.

By telling yourself you’ve got you if no one else does.  By loving yourself to do the impossibly beautiful work of getting to know who you actually the hell are.  By loving yourself so well you vow to her that you will go down to the depths with her.  That you will walk with her.  That you are alive and you are real and you know what this is like.  

And on that walk down to the depths, that’s where you’ll find your capacity.

To do’s do not bring about capacity.  Pain does.

Empathy for where you are does.  The vow to be in your own skin in the pain, to really be there…brings about what you are made of.

While you walk, while you listen to yourself, while you stay with some and ask others to go, while you fall into the darkness and claw back into the light, over and over again, there your capacity will find you.

And if you just keep moving, slowly, ever so slowly, it will carry you.  It will carry you for today, and after all, you just need capacity for the very moment you are in.  Right now, in this moment, you are capable.  You are worthy.

And so was I.  


What about you?

Are you a big, bold word art person or do you prefer a more subtle approach?  I’d love to hear what you think. 😊

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