There’s this girl. She is funny and bright. Gregarious yet introspective. She’s quick with a comeback and even quicker with a hand if you need one. She wears funky socks on Thursdays just because. She prefers goat cheese cheese cake over traditional cake for her birthday. She is meticulous to a fault, filling up her trash bin with writing and artwork that is not quite right for her taste (but that I still save because someday hopefully she will agree it’s all beautiful.) She is not a quitter, not even close. She leads by example and follows her heart. She’s a best friend. She finds great joy in helping others. She loves to read sad books. She’s into yellow. She is fierce yet sweet. She is driven. She likes buffalo wings and burritos. She is my little girl, even though she’s taller than me.

For her fifteenth birthday, she asked fifteen artists near and dear to her to paint her a 12” x 12” canvas with the only instruction being to use navy blue in the painting somehow.  She wanted to create a collage of all the paintings for her new room. What she got back was beyond amazing. Each person’s painting was something that she loved…a personal connection to the artist. One was of a Ferris wheel from when they first became friends. One was of a calm sunset. One was of a pair of ghillies. One was of her puppy. One was of a gentle palm tree. Many more and each in their own style. She so appreciated the time and effort, thoughtfulness, love and care that went into those paintings just for her.

For my painting to her, I decided to get out of my comfort zone a bit and try something more abstract. I wanted to create a piece that was pleasing to the eye but had a much deeper meaning. I chose her favorite band, Twenty One Pilots, because, like her, their catchy music has a much deeper meaning when you really listen. Their lyrics mean very different things to different people in different circumstances.

“The sun will rise, and we will try again.”

“Sometimes to stay alive, you’ve gotta kill your mind.”

“No one is dealing with your demons, meaning maybe defeating them could be the beginning of your meaning.”

“I will make you believe you are lovely.”

“Know this; you can start over every morning.”

Happy birthday, Dolly. Keep being you and rocking it!

2 thoughts on “Fifteen”

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