Monday, December 20, 2010

Dr. Bascom and her Mom



5x7, Oil on Canvas


Dr. Bascom has been my doctor for 10 years now. I really love her. Not just because of her bedside manner (which she has a very calm, kind nature) but because from the very beginning, she would sit down and look me eye to eye and let me talk. Sometimes grabbing Kleenex for me and other times joking with me about our little girls.


I remember years ago praying for her as she was recently married and I knew she was wanting a baby. It was taking some time. I remember the day I walked in and saw her belly and the way she smiled and I laughed out loud at her joy and my joy. I praised God all the way home that day.


I can also remember when Myla was born, my firstborn girl, and how I had prayed that Dr. Bascom could deliver her and sure enough Myla waited to enter the world until Dr. Bascom was in her office hours. Dr. Bascom calmed me. She praised me. She helped me to be a Mom.


When I found out I was having twin girls I was in shock and to my embarrassment also overwhelmed with fear. She handed me some Kleenex and started to talk very slowly and gently about how this pregnancy would not be anything like my other one. She saw me often and I always left thinking, "O.k. I can do this. Just a few more weeks." Like I had seen my coach and was getting my head in the game.


Recently, I've been in her office for some female problems. While I was in the waiting room I noticed a program with her Mom's face on it saying, "In Memoriam." I was so surprised as I remembered seeing her Mom and her at our pediatrician's office (yes, we have the same pediatrician and she's great too). When Dr. Bascom came into the waiting room we launched into our usual talk about what to do, what our options were etc. I was frustrated and in some pain and felt the tears coming and there she was holding that box of Kleenex. As I stopped to get myself together I remembered the picture and asked her about it. She immediately started to cry too and told me her Mom had died in May of this year from cancer. She was able to be with her right up to the end and was so very grateful for that. I felt terrible for having her talk about it and then there I was crying over my little problem when she had lost her sweet Mom.


Well, all said, I'm about to have Christmas with her in a way. I'm having a procedure done on the 23rd and will be able to go home around the 24th or 25th. I wanted to paint her something. I wanted to paint her a tree, In Memoriam of her Mom.


I picked the Pacific Yew as Dr. Bascom has lived in many places but she says she is from the Northwest (Washington State). The Pacific Yew grows along the coast from California to Canada and thickly in Oregon and Washington State. Unlike the other giants of the Northwest, the Pacific Yew is not a tall or thick tree. It is humble, unassuming and one of the most precious trees in North America. The Yew has a long history with Native Americans for its use (because of the toughness of it's wood and yet flexibility) in making bows and oars. Both necessary for the survival of a people and for taking care of families. In recent years the Pacific Yew has been found to have cancer fighting properties that help in stabilizing microtubules - the part of the cell that helps in preserving the shape of the cell and also helps in cell division. The compound has been found to fight against certain types of cancers, especially the ovarian and breast types. I picked this tree In Memoriam because of this. Although her dear Mom was taken by this terrible disease the tree that is her symbol is the one that fights it for many women.


In my painting I have a thick (they can get to be 4 foot thick) Yew in the foreground as I was thinking of her Mom. Although I didn't know her I see her daughter's strength and kindness mixed into one person so well. I can only imagine her Mom having such qualities. Behind the Yew are two other Yew trees as I thought of Dr. Bascom and her little daughter and how the large Yew has her branches over them protecting and caring for them.


Of course, I could not paint it without putting the light in. That great light of God and how He is there with us through all of life's journey. My prayer is that Dr. Bascom would see His great love for her and her family and she would be comforted by His presence.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Renee's Painting


Finished this 16x20 piece for a sweet friend from church today.
She wanted to have Crepe Myrtles as the trees for her painting as they reminded her of her Grandparents. They apparently loved to plant these beautiful trees near their home.
In the painting I had planned to make it more pink as Renee recalled pink Crepe Myrtles but when I started with the light it made the trees shadowy. I liked what was happening but was afraid it was going to lose the pink she had talked about. After talking it over with Renee (she's so great) she liked it with the shadows and said, "..It makes me think of what they would look like in the evening time."
I wanted the foreground tree (entwined limbs) to represent her grandparents with the largest trunk and the most presence as if all the trees came from this one. Her Mom is next, then Renee then her son who is in the most light. Here is her family trees. I like the symbol of the light as God's powerful presence in their lives. He is the great mystery (that we each get to understand and love) and yet He is a great comfort just like the evening light.
I have admired Renee for many years now as she has a sweet spirit and has one of the hardest jobs on earth: she is a single parent. She has done such a fine job with her son and gives God such glory for it. God bless you and keep you Renee and may His light shine upon you and give you peace.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Passing to Heaven


I finished this little 6x6 today. It is for a friend from the Philippines who lost her little baby boy.
You may be wondering why there is a tree growing in some hands. Good question. The idea I had for the painting was of a little tree and as it was starting to grow has also started to be blown up to heaven by a soft breath. As the breath is blowing it the tree is also turning white.
My Mom always says, "Hold those you love with an open hand because they belong to God. Not us. They just pass through our hands." She lost my brother in the Philippines when he was just a baby and learned how to say this with great faith.
One of the hardest lessons I have been aware of recently is how to savor and appreciate every moment we have with those we love. I look at my children, my husband, my parents and I try to hold open my hands. I claim Isaiah 41:10 that says, "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
For those friends who have lost loved ones recently I pray all strength and comfort on you and your dear families. I pray we all will walk with such courage and faith as you have done and we will all remember God holds us in His hand. That is a hand that will never let go.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Langfords as the American Elms


I finally finished this piece today. It's a 27x54 Oil on Linen.

The Langfords have been my friends for around 10 years now. I can't believe it's been that long. We knew each other before we all got married and then after when we all had kids. We each have three girls and engineer husbands. Oh, and we all like blue. Great color. You should see our living rooms.

I can't write enough about the fine people they are. They give of themselves to others and really put the effort into friendship. Yes, that's right. They have three kids. They seem to be at ease with anyone in any place. The most wonderful thing about this family is their faith. It runs deep and comes out in the way they treat others.

So, I've been trying to think what kind of tree would the Langfords be? Sound odd? Well, I guess it is but if you look in the Bible there are many passages that compare nations, people, faith to trees. It's true and got me to thinking what trees are saying about us as human beings.

Mr. Langford comes from Montana and I was tempted to choose the Ponderosa Pine (state tree of Montana) but it seemed to trite and what about the Mrs. and the Miss, Miss, and Miss? It wasn't gonna work. So, I found the Cottonwood to be a great tree but not tall and welcoming enough as they are. Did I mention they are tall? Well, they are. So after some research I came upon the rare but versatile American Elm.

This is why I chose that tree: They grow from Montana to Texas (and into the Eastern parts of the US). They are very tall trees, need good roots and water, have a high tolerance for pollution and are good in the city or country. The American Elm adapts well to different climates, high wind and just as an FYI you can live off of Elm bark and seeds if you are starving. So how does this fit my sweet friends? They have made it possible to stretch themselves from Montana to Texas visiting friends and family with three little girls. They do this faithfully because they love ALL their relatives. They are all tall (yes, even the little girls). They have a great root system in that they spend a great amount of time involved in Church, Bible Study and their own personal time with God. They do well in the country as they are avid campers and yet live in Big D. They adapt to whatever comes their way and have a very lovely way of not letting the world eat away their happiness. I find that many of their friends look to them for companionship and quality time.

On a final note the American Elm is extremely rare as Dutch Elm Disease has taken a toll on this wonderful tree. DED is a fungal disease which has ravaged the American Elm, causing catastrophic die-offs in cities across the range. It has been estimated that only approximately 1 in 100,000 American elm trees is DED-tolerant. You may be wondering what this has to do with the Langfords. I feel they are one from the 100,000 that have stood the test. They are rare in that they have chosen to have a marriage rooted in commitment and God.

In the painting I have the Husband and Wife as the main tree in the foreground and the trunks are entwined as they lean on one another in the work of marriage and family.

The three little girls are staggered behind them, their own beautiful, growing trees.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Top Ten Books of 2010

I know, I know. This is an ART blog. Where's the art? Well, books are a wonderful art form and one of the greatest influences on my life, my art, my walk with God.



First off, to be on the list I had to have read it IN 2010 and it had to have stuck with me for weeks and weeks after. I like to call it the "Book Hangover." These 10 did that. I can also testify to the fact that they have all helped me see the created world, God, people, and my faith in a different way and some of them convicted me where I needed it the most.



I find that I read a great deal of non-fiction as there are no fiction books that made the list. Go figure. Since I do enjoy fiction. I just really love real life, history and how individuals can share a truth and it goes right through your heart.



You may also find that most of these have to do with death or pain. I am not a depressed person nor do I relish in books of horror and grief. I do think it is wise to not be afraid to read these kinds of books so that not only do our compassions deepen but our joys. I find I cannot paint with bright colors without having the shades of muted darks. I walked away from each of the books here, that have to do with death, a person made more aware of the blessings of my life and how important it is to have a living, breathing faith that lives in the dark as well as the light. One of the greatest truths I walked away with was: there are just some truths that only the least of those around us (unborn, those with tattered faith, victims of horror, those in grief) can teach us.



By my nightstand lay several great reads for 2011. If your book didn't make the list it's not because I didn't like it it's because I read so slow. Give me a break people. I read in the bathtub.



Here's the list:



1. Refractions by Makoto Fujimura - A series of life essays that tie our culture into faith and art.



"An artist with the craftsmanship and global appeal of Makoto Fujimura comes along all too rarely. Such an artist with a strong faith commitment who both inspires and leads other artists--now that's really rare. Mako is a fine writer. I learned, and was provoked and frequently moved by these reflections that through Mako's eye have become unique refractions." --Philip Yancey



2. Prayer: Does it Make Any Difference? by Philip Yancey - Life changing book on what it means to communicate with God and why we do it at all.



"Yancey strikes a moving chord with this book that is more full of yearning and wonder than it is of easy answers. Prayer, he writes, is our partnership with God, our chance to join forces with God's power to confront suffering and evil head-on. Yancey is candid about his nagging sense of failure in prayer, but the book is suffused with a cautious hope; he writes of his growing confidence and joy as his prayer life has deepened from a spiritualized to-do list to a conversational communion with God. The key, Yancey writes, is that prayer is a window into knowing the mind of God, whose kingdom is entrusted to all of us frail, selfish people on earth. As with his other books, Yancey draws upon his international travels to bring a fresh perspective to the topic, detailing, in nations such as Romania and South Africa, how he believes prayer has transformed hearts and permitted bloodless change. The book's strength lies in its balance, with Yancey holding equally important ideals in a beautiful tension: action and meditation, doubt and certainty, and the unchanging God with the God who appears so moved by people's petitions in the Bible that he changes his mind. Yancey also offers some startling and insightful observations about Jesus' own prayer life." (Oct.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



3. A Blossom in the Desert: Reflections of Faith and Art in the Life of Lilias Trotter, Compiled and Edited by Miriam Huffman Rockness.



"Lilias Trotter spent forty years sharing the gospel of Christ with the Arab people of Algeria. During that time, she kept diaries and journals and wrote a body of devotional literature. As a gifted artist, she painted and sketched beautiful watercolors and drawings along with her personal and published writings. These images and writings document the inner as well as the outward events of her life. Francis Bacon wrote: "God has two textbooks-Scripture and Creation-we would do well to listen to both. Lilias listened to and observed both, leaving to us this rich legacy of faith in her art and writings." (from the book)



4. What Good is God? In Search of Faith that Matters, by Philip Yancey



journeys here recounted are those of an extraordinary pilgrim. What Yancey seeks in his globe-straddling travels is spiritual understanding of how God works his miracles of grace through men and women grappling with life’s most wrenching difficulties. Readers thus join the author in marveling at how faith can sustain believers grieving the violent deaths of loved ones in Blacksburg, Virginia, and Mumbai, India; can empower prostitutes trying to escape from the sex trade in Perth, Australia, and buoy alcoholics fighting their addiction in Chicago; and can even enable black Christians in South Africa to extend miraculous forgiveness to their former oppressors under apartheid. Traversing the U.S. and the UK, Yancey finds that the same faith that comforts the oppressed can pierce the comforts of the wealthy, summoning the devout to aid the downtrodden. Still, Yancey refuses to reduce his message to simply a call for improving this world. Drawing on the work of C. S. Lewis, he affirms his ultimate allegiance to a God whose eternal dominion transcends all things earthly. A bracing witness, challenging both religious complacency and secular skepticism. --Bryce Christensen



5. 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive inside the Twin Towers, Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn. Heartbreaking, insightful and detailed.



In 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers, New York Times writers Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn vividly recreate the 102-minute span between the moment Flight 11 hit the first Twin Tower on the morning of September 11, 2001, and the moment the second tower collapsed, all from the perspective of those inside the buildings--the 12,000 who escaped, and the 2,749 who did not. It's becoming easier, years later, to forget the profound, visceral responses the Trade Center attacks evoked in the days and weeks following September 11. Using hundreds of interviews, countless transcripts of radio and phone communications, and exhaustive research, Dwyer and Flynn bring that flood of responses back--from heartbreak to bewilderment to fury. The randomness of death and survival is heartbreaking. One man, in the second tower, survived because he bolted from his desk the moment he heard the first plane hit; another, who stayed at his desk on the 97th floor, called his wife in his final moments to tell her to cancel a surprise trip he had planned. In many cases, the deaths of those who survived the initial attacks but were killed by the collapse of the towers were tragically avoidable. Building code exemptions, communication breakdowns between firefighters and police, and policies put in place by building management to keep everyone inside the towers in emergencies led, the authors argue, to the deaths of hundreds who might otherwise have survived. September 11 is by now both familiar and nearly mythological. Dwyer and Flynn's accomplishment is recounting that day's events in a style that is stirring, thorough, and refreshingly understated. --Erica C. Barnett --This text refers to the Hardcover edition



6. Why Pro-Life? Randy Alcorn. A little book but one that helped shake me from the slumber of my apathy. I think it simply just answers why we need to take a stand on this issue.



"So much is at stake in the abortion debate. If pro-choicers are right, precious freedoms are in jeopardy. If pro-lifers are right, innocent children are being robbed of their most basic freedom—life. Though bumpersticker slogans prevail, the facts are rarely presented. We need clear and credible answers to the central questions of the abortion debate. For those who have had abortions or are currently considering one, for pro-choicers and fence-straddlers alike, Why Pro-Life? provides answers to these questions in a concise, straightforward, and nonabrasive manner." From the book.



7. The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn. Takes the holocaust and makes it personal (his own family) and traces their delicate lives back in time and up to their deaths. Made the holocaust come to life as you view it through the eyes of a grandson, a family and the Jewish culture.



"Daniel Mendelsohn's The Lost is the deeply personal account of a search for one family among his larger family, the one barely spoken of, only to say they were "killed by the Nazis." Mendelsohn, even as a boy, was always the one interested in his family's history, but when he came upon a set of letters from his great uncle Schmiel, pleading for help from his American relatives as the Nazi grip on the lives of Jews in their Polish town became tighter and tighter, he set out to find what had happened to that lost family. The result is both memoir and history, an ambitious and gorgeously meditative detective story that takes him across the globe in search of the lost threads of these few almost forgotten lives." Text refers to the Hardcover Edition.



8. Lament for a Son - Nicholas Wolterstorff. A father's journey of grief after losing his 25 year old son in a climbing accident. Wolterstorff is one of the leading philosophers of faith. He uses the words, "demonic" for death.



"Wolterstorff, a well-known Christian philosopher, lost his 25-year-old son to a mountain climbing accident. His reflections in the wake of that tragedy are at times deeply personal, but always he expresses a prayerful anguish with which most bereaved parents will identify. Above all he refuses to turn from the "demonic awfulness" of death and, as he moves faithfully through grief, discovers new meaning in the Beatitudes, together with a new understanding of a suffering God. Spiritually enriching and theologically substantive." ECCopyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.



9. America's Famous and Historic Trees: From George Washington's Tulip Poplar to Elvis Presley's Pin Oak by Jeffrey G. Meyer. Meyer took some of the oldest and most historic trees and was able to get seedlings from them to preserve these trees. He got me to thinking how each person is like a certain type of tree. You have to see the pictures to do this book justice.



"A decade ago, Meyer, a history buff and nurseryman who planted trees in new housing developments in Florida, had an inspiration to gather seeds from famous trees throughout the country and make the saplings available for people to plant in their own yards. He proposed this idea to the nation's oldest conservation organization, American Forests, and with their encouragement, founded the Famous and Historic Trees Project. Here, Meyer focuses on 17 of these trees, including the Frederick Douglass white oak and the Walden Woods red maple. For each tree, he provides abundant historical background, a description of its distinct qualities, detailed instructions on how to grow it from seed, and suggestions about where to plant it. Numerous illustrations enliven the text, and a 16-page color insert provides photographs of all the trees described..." Ilse Heidmann, San Marcos, TX Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.



10. Meetings with Remarkable Trees by Thomas Pakenham. Another book where you have to see the images to do this book justice. Pakenham has taken some of the oldest, most beautiful trees of England and gave us an up close and focused look at these monuments of age. Made me want to paint them all and made me think of Fairy Tales.



"In Meetings with Remarkable Trees Pakenham assembles a beautifully photographed gallery of 60-odd trees of Scotland, England, and Ireland, and magnificent trees they are. One is a 600-year-old king oak that looms large over Charleville, Ireland; another is the yew tree that Wordsworth called the "pride of Lorton's vale"; still another is a sequoia brought from the United States and planted in a Herefordshire grove in 1851, where it has since flourished. Pakenham helpfully includes a map showing the locations of his scattered dramatis personae; you could make a fine tour retracing his steps and having a look for yourself." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Enchanted



6x6

Oil on Canvas


Although the word, "enchanted" can mean to put someone under a spell, to bewitch or charm it can also mean to delight greatly. That was more of the meaning I was looking for.


I was reading a book on historic trees of America and it talked about how much Henry David Thoreau loved the Red Maple. Here is what he wrote: "How beautiful, when a whole (Red Maple) tree is like one great scarlet fruit full of ripe juices, every leaf, from lowest limb to topmost spire, all aglow, especially if you look towards the sun! What more remarkable object can there be in the landscape? Visible for miles, too fair to be believed. If such a phenomenon occurred but once, it would be handed down by tradition to posterity and get into the mythology at last."


If we only had one beautiful Red Maple we would write books about it and make stories surrounding it's occurrence. Yet, we are blessed to have them among us in vast numbers. In some phenomenal way the leaves turn into the opposite color of itself on the color wheel once a year. In their death they sing the most delightful song of all.


How much we can learn of our Creator by the wonderful things He creates. Not only by the variety of color and texture He enjoys in every leaf but by the deeper meanings that lie in their life cycle. Our heavenly Father loves to surprise us and make beauty, "normal"


Many elderly folks who have retired like to think that the work is over. God is done with them and now they can golf until their hearts' content. I like to think that when we retire we are left with the sweetest time of all: total focus on God's work. Paul writes in Philippians 3:13-14, "Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Have you ever seen someone finish their race well? I have. It is a privilege to be with people like that. Those rare occurrences of such a blaze of beauty, an unquenchable fire that warm the rest of us. They remind us that God loves to use the normal, the common, the everyday and change them into something so spectacular and enchanting that we deepen by being with them.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Weeping Willow Rain

sorry all! I just smudged it away. I sort of hate this one. I'm trying again tomorrow.

6x6, Oil on Canvas

Here's the little Willow Tree I've been trying to let dry and then add more detail. I found today as I laid down the layer of rain that I didn't have to put so much detail in as the rain would blur it. Ah, well. That's how I learn!

Not sure I like the lighting in this one as I feel there is really no visual point of interest. I tried to keep the detail focused on the middle but find it's like a bulls eye and the viewer doesn't have a nice flow in and out of a painting. Confused yet? I am.

On a side note the Weeping Willow is one of the most beautiful trees in the world. It does well in very moist soil (that is why you see them a lot of time by water). The Weeping Willow comes from Northern China. There is a Japanese legend that talks about a man who planted a Weeping Willow and took careful care of the tree. It grew to become one of the most beautiful trees in all the land. One night the heart of the tree became a woman and the man fell in love with her (not knowing of course that she was the tree). She took care of the man and was the envy of many husbands. After a long time the Emperor of Japan wanted a new temple built and had heard of the beauty of the tree. He wanted the wood for the new temple. The man was sad to see his beautiful tree chopped down but he relented because he still had his wife. As the villagers chopped down the tree his wife was slowly dying. It was then that he realized his beautiful wife was tied to the beautiful tree and he had lost them both. He wept and wept.

Moral of the story: Don't chop down beautiful trees. Get to know your spouse better.

On a serious note (since it's me) I like to think that envy and greed are the moral of this story. That everyone wanted what this one man had by working hard to have a beautiful tree. The other husbands wanted a beautiful and good wife too but without watering their own gardens! The Emperor wanted a beautiful temple at the price of one of this man's treasures. Would a temple to God be honoring to Him if we hurt others to build it? So I think in the end that no one was happy or satisfied.

O.k. kids. Story time is over for today.

I've got two more paintings to go until Cottonwood. Pray for me!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tree of Life (small)


I took some time recently to go back to my first little 6x6 and put in the details. Kendrick is a great influence on me and he would look at this one and say, "It just doesn't seem finished." After picking up my ego I really felt he was hitting on the truth. I like this one better and not just because of the detail but the "heaviness" of the leaves and branches better brought out the life of the tree.
Have any of you ever seen a Lime Tree? They are the most glorious shades of green. Makes me always wish I lived in a wet, cool climate. Ah, well. This is my take on a Lime Tree. They have choppy thick and squat trunks with these wonderful heads of green.
In the Bible it talks about how the Tree of Life will bear fruit for the healing of the nations (Revelation 21). What a wonderful image as we see all peoples come rest and heal in the shade of God's beautiful tree.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Beauty of Two


It has been my delight to call Briana Blair my friend. She has not only been a gift to my heart but an encouragement. We started talking over a year ago at Starbucks almost every week, praying and asking God to come in and be with us. My heart has been blessed by your life Briana.
Now she is about to be Mrs. Brodie Heflin. My sweet friend is going to be one with a great guy. A guy we prayed for and we trusted that God would bring. How faithful our God has been! How faithful and how kind.
As I sat to contemplate what to paint for them the image of a large tree trunk came to mind as two trees merged into one large one. The idea that we are stronger together than we are apart and God meant it to be that way. I also wanted to share the beauty that we exude when we simply live life together rooted in God.
There is no mistake that I chose reds and yellows as their colors. It brought to mind not only the blood of Christ and their fervent desire to share Him with everyone they meet but also the flame that burns in both their hearts for missions.
I have always thought that tree leaves are most beautiful when lit by the sun. How much we learn from nature! As I know this couple will be God's beautiful stained glass window to the world.
You always have my prayers.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Willow Tree Rain



This is a new piece. I just laid the color down today. I will have to add the details on Monday. I love the way that Willow trees have of seeming to sway their long arms. Weeping Willow's are native to China. I will write more later on the meaning I was trying to get at with this one.


Just as an FYI, I used blue/green and ended out blending the background and foreground with my Hake Brush. I liked the wet atmosphere look as Weeping Willow's tend to thrive in wet conditions or near water sources.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Little Beauty


Another little 6x6, Oil on Canvas.


I call this one, "Little Beauty" because of my daughter, Myla. She is this little tree growing and blooming in the light like God's beautiful stained glass. She reflects the love of God to me. Now I will enjoy this new time of her life as she steps out to school. I will pray, watch and remember when she was just a tiny baby. I had no idea how to do this thing called mothering. Yet God took my hand and said, "Let's do this together ok?" It gives me strength to think of how faithful He has been all the way. He will be faithful still.


I like to think of myself as the Mother Tree with my limbs over her although she may not see them. I'll be here waiting and smiling at this dear life God has made.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Still and Quiet Wood


I've been working on some little 6x6's and this one just came very quickly today. I suppose cause it's just four colors: Alizarin Crimson, Pthalo Blue, Paynes Grey and Titanium White. I wanted it to seem lonely and quiet.
In all honesty, it's how I'm feeling right now. I'm about to see my oldest daughter go to Kindergarten in a few days and I've been a bit sad about it. I know she is growing up and it is good to see. What a treasure it's been to me to have her home all these years and just see that little life grow and deepen. I will miss seeing her but I know she needs to do this. And I will always be her Mom.
"The Still and Quiet Wood" is where my heart is sitting. In this blue fog. Praying and holding onto the hand of Jesus. She's not really mine. She's His. That's my comfort.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Little Ones


Finished this little 6x6 today. I left two of the saplings in and gave some more shadow effect to the foreground. I like how the baby trees looked safe under the shadow of the Mom and Dad trees.
I kinda liked the idea of the little trees looking out to the light as their "lives" start. I am trying to put more of my life into my paintings and I see this everyday with my twin girls. They are growing so much, wanting to try new things without Mommy's help. Sometimes to my and their frustration! Ha! How much we all need The Light to guide us, help us and grow us.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Here be Dragons




So I was cleaning out my studio on Saturday and I came across some of my old work. If some of you don't know I used to paint/draw dragons a great deal. Yes, I love the lizards.
Now, before you think how crazy I must be just remember that it was only a few hundred years ago that maps had dragons drawn over them labeled, "Here be Dragons" for areas that were unknown or yet to be explored. Sound crazy? Dragons used to be a symbol of mystery and danger.
I had a triptych going here but never finished the third green dragon. The first one is the blue dragon named, "Lust." I had him sitting and waiting for someone to approach him as he slyly waits for his next meal. The second dragon is named, "Violence." That is why he is drooling and clawing at the canvas. I wanted it to feel like he's ready to attack. My third green dragon was supposed to be "Greed." In a lot of ways they are the evils that sit in our T.V. screens. Not only are they real and out to devour anything right and good but they live in the unknown water of our living rooms where we freely move and relax never suspecting we might be eaten by the darkness.
Don't worry. I'm still painting skies and trees. But I am getting back to my roots in the mystery and story of things. God has such a way of making things come full circle. I've never been a fantasy artist, a landscape painter or a real realist. I see how God has called me to the mystery, the feeling and symbolism of things. I like it here. I'll stay and paint for a while.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Judas Tree Study


My newest tree study. A little 6x6 Oil. I want to get the coloring for the painting, "The Judas Tree." I like the idea of reds with browns for the tree with the light behind it. The symbol of how God was there even as Judas chose not to ask for forgiveness for his betrayal. He is the ultimate tragic figure in all of Scripture. In the larger piece I will have a figure entwined in the tree. For this one I liked the color and left it as it was.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Are There Wheelchairs in Heaven?




These are the last two drawings done for the book, "Why, God?" (see other posts about the book).
The one on the bottom was an image I woke up with this morning as I was thinking about the chapter, "Are There Wheelchairs in Heaven?" Joni Eareakson Tada wrote this chapter and mentioned how she would like to have her wheelchair in heaven so that she could thank God for it. The wheelchair has taught her more than those of us with working legs will ever know. I wonder if those in greatest affliction do find a deeper grace. That is hard to say when they are in so much pain, hardship or suffering. It was convicting to me to stop and thank God for all I have, even the hard stuff. Because of it, I know Him more. I love Him more. I trust Him more.
The drawing on the top is a man waiting in a wheelchair. I was thinking of our veterans who do not get visited or thanked for all they have done for our country. There is another hand. The nail-scarred hand of Jesus as He reaches out for the man in the wheelchair. I wanted to show how Jesus was scarred by what happened in his earthly body and yet He is whole just as we will also be someday.