Sunday, August 28, 2011

"Nellva and Pete" Oil painting

5x7, Oil on Canvas

I know a couple that has been a blessing to so many people at our church.  They give of their time, energy and really all they have to see people loved on.  They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this weekend and I wanted to paint them something.

As I was thinking "what kind of tree would the Underwoods be?"  I asked the Lord to direct me to a beautiful, unique tree that grows in the south (since you all are from Texas. It also grows all the way up to
Canada so it is very diverse) and hopefully had red leaves in fall (sorry Pete, I went with Nellva's favorite color). I picked the Sassafrass Tree and this is why:

It has a unique leaf shape and so can be recognized easily (three lobed in maturity and I thought of the Lord, Nellva and Pete) and mitten shaped before it reaches maturity (and I thought of all the service you all have
brought to the church and to so many lives we don't even know about). It also is a very fragrant tree known for it's oils and soap uses. I thought about how they have become a sweet scent for the Lord. Both of them help others see truth and live in that way. Sassafrass root is used to make root beer. I thought about how much they love to welcome and disciple others and how they bring that friendship to so many. The tree is also known for attracting butterflies (particularly swallowtails because of it's leaf shape) and it helps feed deer, rabbits, black bear and many birds. I guess I thought this was a neat analogy of they give of themselves to nurture, guide and teach others. Everything about this tree is really for others as I feel their lives have been to serve our Lord and give to others from that love. I have a two trunked tree as both serve in different ways but from the same root and for the same purpose.  Their are three trees staggered behind the foreground tree to symbolize their three grown children.
This may be corny but I hope it shares how loved they are by our amazing God. He truly makes all things beautiful when they are lived for Him. Nellva and Pete, thanks for doing that right before our eyes, for showing us how it's done.
Hebrews 6:10 says, "God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"White Cascade" Oil Painting

30x30 Oil on Canvas

I was literally scared while painting this as I didn't know what I was going to do until I got to that certain spot.  I still am sitting with it and feel I might go back and darken some areas.  But it is like a prayer: breathed, spoken and finally out.  I am so glad!  I couldn't shake the idea out of my head until I painted it.

I hope it feels like it's another world...almost towards heaven.  I got to thinking about what C.S. Lewis wrote about heaven in "The Last Battle."  He described it as, "farther up and farther in."  Meaning once you are in heaven you never fully explore it as each level is a new and greater beauty, grace and adventure.  I like that.  I hope we also go farther up and farther in to knowing our precious God.  Up to the Living Water, Eternal and Beautiful Savior.

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Misty Mountain" 30x30, Oil Painting

30x30, Oil on Canvas

I had done a little 6x6 of this image and bought a 30x30 to do one larger.  I stared at this blank box for a few days thinking, "Oh, that's big."  I wondered if I could actually do the same thing again only bigger. 

I have to tell you that I just prayed and felt a great joy while doing this painting.  I do believe that trees speak to us and now have found a way to incorporate "clouds" in with the trees.  Well, I love it.  If your like me you feel a sense of fear sometimes in doing something that's "new ground."  Can I just share that I think God loves for us to call upon Him in those times.  He loves to be ASKED into our world.

Through the painting I went back and put in more trees than it's little twin 6x6.  I also liked leaving it sparse with just the feeling of the trees in the mist.  I like the mystery that mist conveys the haunting and yet softness of it.

Well, now I'm wanting to get some more 30x30 canvases...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"Woods in Fog" Oil Painting

6x6, Oil on Canvas

I like the gradation of colors you can find in a mist or fog.  This was a good study in darkening the same color of green as it came forward.  I also have a hard time leaving things loose.  I like the background trees as I really tried to let them go into the white instead of sharpening them against the light.

What I'm trying to get at really is a feeling.  The feeling of being in a wet fog with the trees looming all around and the magical feel of it all around you.

My palette was: Ultramarine Blue, Titanium White, Olive Green, Burnt Umber and Paynes Grey.