But every so often, I'd scroll through photos on my hard drive, and I'd always pause on a photo that John took several years ago at our church's Vacation Bible School. It was of a girl in her early teens. Each time I looked at her, I knew I wanted to paint her.
So in January, I took a deep breath, and cautiously drew the shape of her face. I saved it (yes, in the correct format), and then closed Paint Shop Pro. Maybe a week later, I opened the project again, and drew the whites of her eyes. A few days later, I drew her pupils.
Then I took a break and played with hearts in Paint Shop Pro. I wanted to alternate serious work with fun work. But I kept returning to my "African Teen," concentrating on one element at a time, and praying that the Lord would teach me to persevere. I want to learn this kind of calm, steady persistance in all areas of my life. So I kept painting the intricate details of her scarf and the shaded folds of her shirt, resisting the tempation to ignore those finer points.
And today, I finished her!