The Cheerio Trail –
There is a scene in the Pixar movie, ‘Monster’s Inc’ in which Sulley, the big blue monster, leads his little human ‘friend’ to a place where she is to take a nap. He leads her by laying down a row of Cheerios to a mat in the corner of the room. As she picks each one up and pops it into her mouth, it moves her closer to her destination.
It seems that God sometimes leads us by placing Cheerios; incremental steps of respite en route to our ultimate destination. Often, we will meet a person who advances our journey. At other times we only see our next step when we arrive at a certain location along the way.
I had a combination of people and places that influenced where I would be on a certain day in early January of 2015. I could go all the way back to my childhood and point to a time, person and place that influenced me, but I think I’ll save that for my memoir.
I’ll go back about ten years. That’s when I joined the group, Urban Sketchers. I stayed there for about a year until they gave me the left foot of fellowship. My easel and I roamed the streets alone for the next nine years.
By some ‘coincidence’, I reconnected with some Urban Sketchers artists at a painting event at Union Station in Los Angeles. One of the new attendees told how he had been connected with the event through a Meetup group. I had only heard about Meetup, but knew little about it.
I went to the Meetup website and found Freehand Drawing in Pasadena, a group who meets to create artwork, primarily en plein air (outdoors). I joined it and have enjoyed creating with them. Through this group and one other I joined, Temecula Plein Air Artists, I saw how I could bridge the divide between painting en plein air and ministering en plein air.
I established the group ‘Jesus In Plain Air‘. Our focus is to create artwork outdoors in the unity of fellowship. Those who are not followers of Jesus are also welcome to join. In this first month of January, the group is too new to report on its success. However, I can see how my involvement with the other groups was helping me to follow the Cheerio trail God laid in my path. Thus, He leads me to the destination of training and equiping plein air painters in every nation to lead curious onlookers to Jesus at the altar of their easels.
About the painting: ‘Laborers of Lioness’ was painted in pastel at the Lioness Winery in Temecula, CA. I also made some new friends there.