Whenever we stay with people — for a day or a week — we desire to contribute to their lives. It’s through discussion, practical help within the home, babysitting the kids or handy work around the house. Often I find myself at the kitchen sink while David tackles more long-range tasks such as painting or chopping wood, but back in Dargaville I found that I had something I could contribute meaningfully — my computer skills — to put Teresa’s symbolic spiritual paintings online.

When David first met Teresa and Wayne and saw Teresa’s paintings, he expressed a desire to me that he wanted to help put her paintings on the web so that she may build up more of a reputation. Teresa is not technologically-minded, so before I began to work on the computer, I explained the options open to her and we decided that a showcase of her artwork was more relevant than an online shop (such as Etsy).

To begin, we took pictures of some of her paintings. As she explained the elements of the paintings to me, I grew in appreciation for her work. Teresa’s art became more and more understandable as I recognised repeating themes in her works.

A Maid in Waiting by Teresa Wardrop
A Maid in Waiting

Creative Energy by Teresa Wardrop
Creative Energy

Earth Mother by Teresa Wardrop
Earth Mother

Releasing by Teresa Wardrop

Later, as we sat together on the couch and talked about the titles of the paintings, I heard what was in Teresa’s heart while she painted some of her images. Painting is an emotional release for Teresa and she paints intuitively — without deliberately planning what the completed picture will look like.

Wayne, Teresa and Lauren working on the computer, August 2011
Teresa and Wayne have no previous online experience, so I've been explaining everything that I do to put Teresa's artwork online — as well as making it self-maintaining so that it's not dependant on their computer skills.

After some time on the computer in the Dargaville library (to take advantage of the NZ-wide-free-library-WiFi), the pictures that I took of Teresa’s work are now online at Artician and Facebook. (Please stop by to like her page if you have the inclination to encourage her.)

While I was working on the computer, David was out in the garden, removing the rose bushes that were a legacy of Wayne’s mother (who previously lived in the house). As he was was digging them out, David saw that his task was a physical picture of the spiritual lesson of removing thorny experiences from one’s life so that new, benevolent ones have room to grow.

David outside in the garden, August 2011
As he dug up the rose bushes to make way for a vegetable and herb garden, David enjoyed the time to reflect on the spiritual lessons of gardening.

David says that he finds it ironic that roses are exchanged as a token of love. When one presents a thorny rose to another person, it’s as if they’re saying, “I’ll give you a beautiful-smelling relationship if you also accept the thorns that make up part of me too.” While this is realistic, we are in a place now where we are rejecting the thorns that once hurt us and those around us. We’re slowly, painfully pulling them off, so that when we present ourselves in a relationship with others, it’s thorn-free!

Delaney and Calista playing outside, August 2011
While David was working outside, the girls enjoyed being outside with him. Calista used part of an old tricycle to barrow around a drink bottle.

Brioni playing outside, August 2011
Brioni used the other half of the tricycle as a rickshaw for a collection of stuffed animals.

We’re delighted to be able contribute to Teresa’s work this way and would like to see her connect via the internet with other people who see value in her paintings.