Author Archives: Colleen Sgroi

About Colleen Sgroi

Teaching Artist from New England.

Contrast


yin-yang

“It takes darkness to be aware of the light.” Treasure Tatum

As an artist, I know that the best paintings have contrasts in them of dark and light. As a teacher of art, I know that this one thing is the hardest for students to incorporate into their art. It takes courage to create contrast. They tend to want to stay in that neutral, everything is the same tone, zone. However, when I nudge them to emphasize the darks and the lights I can feel their resistance. I tell them to trust me and when they do they are amazed at the beautiful results. Some have even gone on to win Best in Show!

In the last year, I have had to go into my inner self to hear that still small voice that says “All is well.” I have seen and felt the dark fear that has come into our country and I find I need to unplug from it all to get centered in the light of peace from time to time. Saturday, January 21, 2017 was one such day.

The day was planned months in advance to be an art workshop day at my art center. The teacher and I decided to postpone it to include others who were unable to come because they were marching in Boston or Washington DC. Suddenly my day was freed up. So, I decided to sit in quiet contemplation most of the day. In contrast to my busy mind I found the quiet still voice of “All is well”. In that voice, I heard that everything is as we as a collective country has put out there as our desire. At first I was confused, but then as the day unfolded, I saw. I saw the light of millions of people walking in solidarity. Their light, their desires of safety, their voice of freedom, their love of equality, their passion for the rights of everyone, of every race, of every gender, their care for the young and kindness for the old. This light could only come because there is a contrasting dark fear that they, that we, then have the courage to come out and shine our lights, creating together a magnificent picture of our future. We are all painting America great.

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Tin Man’s Heart


Day 8 of 14 Days of Love.

Day 8 of 14 Days of Love.


I loved the challenge of making the metal look like old metal.


Red


Day 7 of 14 Days of Love

Day 7 of 14 Days of Love


This needs no words.


Reflections of Love


Day 6 of 14 Days of Love.

Day 6 of 14 Days of Love.

I love when thing of nature reflect love. If you look with your heart you will see it.


Love Cup


Day 5 of 14 Days of Love.

Day 5 of 14 Days of Love.

My cup overflows!


Love Knocks


Day 4 of 14 Days of Love.

Day 4 of 14 Days of Love.

When Love knocks will you know?


Love Letters


love letters watercolor

Day 3 of 14 Days of Love

Three Heart Love letters for day 3. Any of my art can be purchased at www.colleensgroi.com


Secret Garden


day 2 garden angel

Day 2 of 14 days of Love

I saw these wing with a heart and I was inspired to create this angel in my secret garden of happy flowers. A place I go when I meditate.
colleensgroi.com


“You’re My Type”


Day 1 of 14 days of Love

Day 1 of 14 days of Love

This is my 4th year for “14 Days of Love” Each day for 14 days I will paint a watercolor that has to do with love. Each painting is also posted on my web site at colleensgroi.com and is for sale. Today’s painting of a blue typewriter says it all: I paint and write from the heart for you the viewer. You are here both looking and reading because “You’re My Type” Please feel free to comment, buy and enjoy!


What is your sign?


butterflies (2)Being an artist, I am definitely a visual person. There are two things that make me stop and pay attention to the moment, rainbows and butterflies. God said, “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”. He goes on to say in the book of Genesis, that when He sees it, He will remember. I believe I am made in His image and if God needs signs to remind
Him, then maybe I do too.

When my marriage of thirty years was ending, I found myself going through one of the most painful times of my life. Summer had come, my house was on the market and I would escape on the weekends to my sister’s place on Lake Winnisquam, my place of refuge. One of my side effects was terrible stomach aches. One morning while in pain, as I sat alone on the patio overlooking the lake, I prayed that my stomach would stop hurting. I felt something flutter by my face. Opening my eyes, I saw about ten butterflies flying around me. A peace came over me as I watched these gentle creatures. I put out my hand and one landed on my finger as if to say, “All is well“. It was then that I realized my pain had disappeared. I thought of the card my sister had recently sent me with these words by David Thoreau, “Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” How true those words have become for me. Now, every time I see a butterfly, I smile and remember happiness comes softly and when I am not even looking, there it is.

It was the middle of the night as I lay in bed praying about something that I was giving over to God and deciding not to worry about. No sooner had I prayed, I could hear my cell phone out in the other room sounding off that I had just received a text message. Curious, I jumped out of bed to see what was on my cell phone screen. I opened it to see a picture from my sweetheart, who was across the country on Lopez Island, WA – a quadruple rainbow! Not one, not two, not even three, but four rainbows in the clouds. I looked up to God and smiled and said “OK, I’ll let these worries go too!”

I love that God is so personal. He knows what speaks to me. I understand that my experiences might or might not speak to you and what speaks to you, your sign, might mean nothing to me or may be a healing gift. That is exactly how I view art. Art is personal to the viewer. What you love in a piece of art is unique to you and your taste. I create from this same place, knowing that what I create will speak to those who have the eyes to see what connects me to them in my painting.

God is personal with signs. Art is a personal sign. Life gives us personal signs. What is your sign?