Saturday, June 29, 2013

"Job" Oil Painting on Panel

"Job" 5x7 Oil on Panel
I think I tend to lose some of the emotion in the Bible when I read it.  I have to make myself remember it is filled with raw feelings and perhaps words that the speaker never wanted anyone else to hear or read but God chose to put in there for you and me.
I've been reading through Job these past weeks (I am teaching it at my church to the Ladies Class bless their hearts!).  What timing!  As I go through my ankle surgery, pain and the "down" feelings that come from changes of plans, physical limitations, frustrations etc, etc, etc.  God makes no mistakes with His timing.
One of the things that has surged over me lately is just this great desire to create.  I am so thankful to God that I can still paint and give Him words that cannot be spoken.  Ever felt like a storm is raging and you can't make it stop? Ever feel it's shaping the way you physically look, feel and even see? 
Three times Job asks the Lord to answer him.  To SPEAK. To remember that he is human, flesh and blood.  He can't take any more...and three times God gives silence.  Three times.  Makes me think of Elijah when he covers the body of the Widows Son with his own body to ask the Lord to bring him back to life and after three times God raises him from the dead.  Jonah was in the fish for three days and then it vomited him out.  Paul asks the Thorn to be removed three times and the Lord answers "No." Makes me think of the three days Jesus was in the grave.  God answered the world with an empty tomb.  All of these instances have a process of suffering before an answer...and not really even an answer as much as God.  It hit me in a fresh way how God answers with Himself, with life, with relationship.  Remember Job's words, "My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you..."
This is the first time I've ever used "Black" in a painting.  I usually mix blue with Alizarin Crimson and it comes out a deep purple.  But here I used black.  I wanted it to feel like the clouds and storm were above and below (no solid ground).  I wanted to show Job as a leafless tree, bent by the storm and pain.
Suddenly the Bible seems more relatable than ever to me.  And I remember I have His very words in my suffering and pain. I have Him living inside me.  I have Jesus victorious.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"White Fire" 6x9 Oil Painting

"White Fire" 6x9 on oil primed panel
Finished today!  I'm so glad to have the ability to paint even if it's just for a little while each day.
I've had some surgery recently on my ankle and it turned out to be a much more "in depth" procedure than I thought.  As I write this I am in a boot with crutches (going on 4 weeks) and in some pain.  BUT, the good thing is that the Dr. says I can get off the crutches as I start to trust my leg.  It feels like little needles going up my leg at the moment but I am determined to get off the crutches! ugh!  I have been VERY aware of how much I cannot do without my leg.  My summer is filled with plans that I have had to scrub out or have someone else "take" my kids to. I have three more weeks in the boot then 6 weeks of Physical Therapy.  My first thought was, "There goes the summer!" But now I am seeing the light. Although it makes me sad I have also seen a great deal of grace.
Women who have given me food (great food), cleaned my house, watched my kids (even taken them swimming, to their house, shopping etc).  Great people who have wrote me cards of encouragement and kindness.  My waves of mercy flowing down over my life.
I was journaling today and this is what came out: I don't believe someone sees God's grace until they give up trying to see the things THEY WANT!  I need new eyes. A new way of seeing. Oh, that I would not box God in when I suffer!  When I want it over I don't see the grace that is happening right in front of me. 
Back to the lightening. I love the beauty and awesomeness of lightening.  The way it sounds makes me jump in fear.  It reminds me how small I am.  In the future I will try a bigger piece but for now I just wanted to get it out.  Long ago I did one with a sharp flat edge and I like the soft grass instead.  I feel it more this time.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Sold, "Cloud Canyon" at Mary Tomas Gallery

"Cloud Canyon" 36x60, Oil on Canvas
Just had the wonderful news a few days ago that "Cloud Canyon" was purchased by a sweet friend! I cannot tell you how this makes my heart sing with thankfulness!  I am so pleased that not only it sold during the show but that my friend was able to get it. Thank you Mary Tomas Gallery and thank you to my friend and collector.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

2013 Summer Group Exhibit at White Stone Gallery

"Behind the Cloud" 10x10, Oil on Canvas
I am thrilled to announce that I have been accepted to the 2013 Summer Group Exhibit at White Stone Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. Show runs from July 2nd - August 2nd. This is such a wonderful gallery with some of the most respected names in faith-based art. What an honor to be in the show!
Susan and Derek Hooks are the Directors of White Stone Gallery.  They have worked with me for over a year at really honing in on what I was trying to say with my art.  I am eternally grateful for their work with me.  One of the most amazing things that happened through this was that I was reminded that GOD cares about my art.  How humbling.  To think Almighty God cares for each of us to find something in this life that bring us joy and fulfillment!  Susan also said something to me that I have put up in my studio: "What is driving the painting? BE PRAYERFUL."  I found that sometimes I was creating to just create.  I had lost the purpose to it.  She helped me to see that I don't need to be painting until the Spirit truly moves me and to ask myself, "what is driving this painting?  Is it fear? or love?"  Makoto Fujimura said this to me once, "Create from love." I have never forgotten it.  Not only does love help us to find our joy, our passion in life but it overcomes things like jealousy and fear.  When we truly love others, this life, Him, we are free to be who God made us to be.
Back in May I was privileged to be at White Stone Gallery's 10 year anniversary hosted by Cairn University in Philadelphia.  Great names in art like Makoto Fujimura, Ruth Naomi Floyd, Ed Knippers, Ted Prescott and Joey Tomassoni were in attendance that night (to name a few).  I had been asked to speak about 10 minutes (following Joey Tomassoni! and right before Makoto Fujimura) on how White Stone had helped me as an artist.  Although VERY nervous, I did know that the things I would speak about were all things that God had done.  I asked for prayer and prayed even before I got up to speak...and God was faithful.  Although there were times I choked up I was able to share how God had greatly used Susan and Derek through humility, kindness and truth.  It was an incredible opportunity to thank them face to face (we had never met except over the computer). And to bear witness that God wants ALL of us.  Not just the nicey Dawn at church but the frustrated, people pleasing, prideful Dawn who need His molding.
I thank my sister, Dee Jones, who texted me when I got to my hotel room that night (just hours before the dinner) and just reminded me that God had given me this to do and that I should ask the Spirit to help me be free of any selfish or self-seeking motives... to ask God for words and then just wait and see what happens. Great words that were absolutely what I needed to hear.  Bless friends that speak truth to us in those vulnerable moments!
I want to thank Mako who told me long ago to be confident in Christ and be bold as I move forward. He has always spoke right to my heart and I pray that he will continue to be used to spur one another on to love and good deeds.
I want to thank Susan and Derek for imparting such wisdom, time and love into email after email with me. They prayed over what they said, they prayed for my work, they prayed for me.  I am so blessed and humbled by that.  As a faith-based artist we surely pray but to be prayed FOR? That is absolutely wonderful.
If any of you are in need of some creative guidance as a faith-based artist I cannot recommend to you enough the help of White Stone Gallery. You will change through the work you go through and it will refine you.  To see more about them please go to: White Stone Gallery
The last thing I shared that night was in Lamentations 3:21-22 "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed.  His compassions never fail, they are new every morning, great is His faithfulness."  Ultimately, the One to thank is Jesus.  He has been the faithful one, always ready to love and speak truth that sometimes hurts but needs to be said.  I am forever grateful for a Savior that does that for me.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Faith Artists show, "Darkness into Light" moved to The Granville

"Between Bare Trees" 30x40, Oil on Canvas
The Granville Arts Center will feature “Darkness into Light,” a collection of faith-based visual art made by local artists, beginning Monday and running through June 30.

The arts center is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will also provide docent-led tours of the exhibit from 1 to 3 p.m. June 22. Visitors can learn more about the artists and their work during the tours.

The center is at 300 N. 5th St. Garland, TX.