Thursday, July 13, 2017

"Gomer" 48x36, Oil on Canvas

"Gomer" 48x36, Oil on Canvas

I've had this in my mind for a while and finally got the chance to paint it. I am going to try to do more as a series of responses to Hosea. I thought about how she was "lost" out in the city. Her husband had to go looking for her. A man that loved to be in the country. I thought about his love for Gomer and how he looked until he found her and bought her back from her enslavement at whatever the cost. I thought about what had enticed her to leave. Her wayward heart that was looking for some excitement or attention. All along what she truly needed was to stay true to her first love.

In a way this is a painting of contrasts. One of heavenly light (as my friend Matt pointed out) and city lights. One of light fading and one of lights coming on. One of an abstract bending of light and another a grid of lines cutting through our city like scissor clips. It's also about how a city sometimes forgets to just look up. Beauty is grace.

As I've been traveling this summer I have seen some beautiful landscapes in our country. Farmlands and fields, waterfalls and valleys. I got to stay in some motels along the way and move over some of the concrete lines that traverse our nation. Getting passed or passing the trucks that really move this country from one end to the other. My kids and I having a time looking at all the different license plates.

I couldn't help but see how many "Adult Bookstores" lined the highways. It has become clear to me that everything is accessible just off the freeway. This was the first time in my life that I actually used the Anti Trafficking Hotline while on vacation. We were pulling into our hotel in Arkansas and passed another one on the way. One with a balcony. I have learned through Children's Advocacy Center of Texas that some hotels off the freeway with balcony's are used by traffickers. As we were passing this motel I saw a young lady on the balcony standing with a young man. She looked right at me in the van. She had a little tattoo on her stomach and the young man was pulling her arm. I've learned that this lets Johns know that she is available as they come off the freeway. As we left for dinner a few minutes later we passed the same hotel and I didn't see her out there anymore. I could not shake the feeling that I should report it just in case. After dinner, I did contact the Anti-Trafficking Hotline: 1 (888) 373-7888 or SMS: 233733 (Text "HELP" or "INFO"). You can give your tips anonymously if you choose to do so.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Creative ARTS Workshops

Creative ARTS Workshops Offered This Summer:

Two exciting opportunities for creatives to consider this summer!

Oil Painting Workshop, July 17-20 6-8 pm, Instructor - Dawn Waters Baker - reserved for ages 15 through adult, who truly want to become landscape painters.  Cost is $150 for four sessions and this includes ALL the materials that will be needed.We will be learning how to paint, "The Emotional Landscape" using different palettes along with discussion and examples of mood and value choice. This is for all levels.

Here is a little about Dawn:

Dawn was born and raised the child of missionaries on the islands of the Philippines. She grew up under the shadow of an active volcano and learned to look for the beauty in lives much harder than her own. In 1994 she moved to Dallas for college where she received her BA in Arts from DBU, Magna Cum Laude in 1998. Soon after she married a mathematician, Kendrick Baker and they had three girls, Myla, Keeva and Avia. In her free time she likes to hike, travel and teaches art in Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center once a week for incarcerated youth.

Her art is collected by many businesses as well as private owners.  Her piece, “Release” is on permanent display in the New York Times Building. She finished five original drawings for the book, “Why, O God?” published by Crossway books.  She is a Signature member of Artists of Texas. Dawn is affiliated with Mary Tomas Gallery in Dallas Design District, Kate Shin Gallery in New York, NY, Joseph Gierek Fine Art in Tulsa, OK, and currently with White Stone Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. She was also selected as the 2015 Artist in Residence for Big Bend National Park. She had a solo exhibit in 2016 based on her time and inspiration at the Park. Her work has been in national shows including The National Weather Biennale, Jubilee Museum of Sacred Art Biennale, CIVA Contemporary Images of Mary and Ex Nihilo at Roberts Wesleyan College. She has an upcoming exhibit with the Nave Museum in 2018 and a second residency at Gettysburg National Military Park in July and August of 2018.

Theater Workshop, Tuesdays in August 1, 8, 15, 22, Instructor - Mac Lower - for ages 15 through adult.  Cost is $200 for four sessions (or $50 per session).

Here is a little about Mac:

Mac Lower received his BA in theatre from Union University, and a MFA in Directing from the University of Houston.  While attending U of H Mr. Lower had the privilege of studying with Sir Peter Hall and Edward Albee.  Upon graduation Mac worked as an actor with the AD Players, the Creede Repertory Theatre, and Theatre West Virginia.  In 2004 he participated in the Lincoln Center Theatre's Directors Lab where he attended seminars led by such directors as Julie Taymor, Simon McBurney, Mark Lamos, and Susan Stroman.  During his career Mr. Lower has worked as an actor, director, technician, and educator.  He has taught acting and directing at East Texas Baptist University, Temple College, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and Richland College.  Today he serves as the Production Manager for the contemporary worship service of Highland Park United Methodist Church. 

You can register with and make online payments through using the following codes:  "Painting WS" for the oil painting and "Theater WS" for theater.  Questions? Contact

Friday, June 2, 2017

"Immovable" 18x24, Oil on Gessbord

"Immovable" 18x24, Oil on Gessobord

Finished this painting a few days ago. I truly love trying at those shadows created by the light.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Gettysburg National Military Park Artist Residency

"Blood and Earth" Study on 9x12 panel

I have some exciting news to share that through the selection of the National Park Arts Foundation I was chosen to be the Artist in Residence for July-August of 2018! I'm so thrilled and wake up everyday thinking and praying about what God has to show me there. Truly this will be a growing experience for me as I look at the landscape through the lens of war and what it means to be hallowed ground.

I've been having dreams about Gettysburg even before I heard whether I had gotten the residency or not. This was from a dream as I was reading more about Plum Run (or Bloody Run). The fighting was so heavy in this area that the creek, Plum Run, ran red with the blood of the men.

I'll write more later. I've been recovering from the flu and still feel very tired even after just doing simple tasks. Hope you all have a chance to remember those who have fallen. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

"Evening Touches Day" 20x20, Oil on Canvas

"Evening Touches Day" 20x20, Oil on Canvas

I've been working with some limited palettes to try and get at a mood. I liked how this one turned out with the contrasts as well as the large and slight value shifts.

"Just Before the Darkness" 24x18, Oil on Gessobord

"Just Before the Darkness" 24x18, Oil on Gessobord

Spring here in Texas, is just beautiful and terrifying at the same time. We get some spectacular skies and storms that come through North Texas.

This is just one of those moments after a spring day where the sky was singing it's last solo before the light went out.

Friday, April 28, 2017

"New Earth" 30x30, Oil on Gessobord

"New Earth" 30x30, Oil on Gessobord

This is from an excerpt of my journal after reading Robert MacFarlane's The Old Ways:

Perhaps the fall caused a disengagement with the landscape, a tuning in that was once our way of hearing and knowing it only to be haunted by it's language, a murmur we can't quite make out.

MacFarlane says to not think of the landscape as something to re-engage or plug into as a technology but something that exists and you are separate from, the way it calls us, the way it speaks to us to BE itself and not us. It doesn't need us to know it. We are dust longing to know dust. We speak "bones," the language of all flesh. We are given the brain, heart, soul, there is something we lose in not engaging in sweat, foot, walk, hike, climb. We move about the typography of the landscape but its our very selves we discover. Silence. Beauty. It doesn't need us to speak beauty over it. It IS beauty. It thrusts up despite our protests that beauty is a man made discovery. In fact, it IS it's own self. Beauty is old, very old, and doesn't need us to name her. We need her.