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.