Monday, February 21, 2011

Speckled, or Spectacular?



Here I am in the basement, painting cardboards with
Light-turquoise house paint: latex.
Wanting to creating an aquarium artwork.
This paint the nearest shade I have
To suggest a watery scene.

I once did some art (watercolors) with batik dye
Pigment sprinkled into the wet color.
The powder bled into the damp; it spread tiny rings.
Lovely, sprinkly, speckly, dreamy effect.
So, having recently re-discovered my cache
Of almost forgotten art supplies,
I think of glorious flecks enhancing even house paint.

Old batik dye powder, in closed plastic bags.
I assume, naively, there will still be fine powder.
But the batik is no longer just dust. It’s lumps!
And I discover also that latex paint
Dries far faster than watercolors.
Sigh. Got to move quickly.
Why didn’t I explore the package
Before I was ready to anoint a page?
Nothing to do but drizzle clumps on,
Drifting them through my fingers.
The extra fluff kernels won’t dissolve enough
To stick to the fast drying paint.
The painted cardboard suggests no airy bubbling
Watery scene. It’s ugly speckles.

When paint fully dries, I shake off excess
Of batik-dye clumps.
I brush away more, and more, indigo-ing
My fingers, along with several paper towels.
The dye is soft enough to smear and smear.
The surface will be a different aquarium setting;
Not idyll or dreamy watery scene.
But it will do! Yes, now I can paint on the fish!
Different fish than I’d envisioned.
Maybe even have to speckle the fish----
Yes. A speck-tacular work of art!

Am I like the lumpy batik dye,
Not a grand fine powder for ethereal use,
But a speckled blotch, a lumpy mess?
God is greater. He may have to shake me.
Break me. Brush away the lumps.
I trust him to make of my dots and smears
His own spectacular, artsome being.
Different, maybe, than I expected,
But still inspired by HIM.

© 2011 by Marilee Miller (photos and text)

By all means, link to this; please, no copying without permission.

This post is also linked to L. L. Barkat's "Seedlings in Stone", On, In, or Around Mondays,

and Laura Boggess' "The Wellspring", Playdates with God.


  1. I think it's speckled-tacular! This happens to me sometimes--I put my art supplies up and when I finally carve out the time to use them, they have turned into something entirely new! But you have managed something just lovely with your lumpy paints! I admire your experimentation, and your perseverance. I think our good God enjoyed playing along on this one. :)

  2. It kinda looks like mold, but that's cool! I came over from LL Barkat's. I saw that you were having trouble with your link. I think you just need to be more careful entering your html. Here is the correct address you wanted:

    Here is what you entered at LL Barkat's:

    Note the 91 vs. the 01. I typically will go to my actual blogpost and copy the address directly from the browser bar and paste it into the link at LL Barkat's. Hope that helps! Blessings!

  3. I wanted to come and thank you for your words left at my blog. Your prayer for me and my family touched a place deep within.

    I cannot thank you enough!



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