Friday, September 27, 2013

"Redemption" 36x36, Oil on Gessobord

"Redemption" 36x36, Oil on Gessobord
It has been a particularly difficult week and yet I can truthfully say that prayer and Jesus are the ONLY things that bring hope. I finished this 36x36 yesterday.  I call it, "Redemption" as if there is a figure in the waterfall washed upon the rocks of this hard world yet beautiful in the breaking and letting go. I thought the canyon formed an image of "wings" or arms raised as the water falls upon the figure.
There are some prayers that you just can't speak with words and there are some paintings I just can't explain.  I pray the Holy Spirit will interpret my groaning and in that way bring hope through beauty, presence and grace.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Painting at the Arboretum, "The Brook" 6x6, Oil on Gessobord

"The Brook" 6x6, Oil on Gessobord
I had the wonderful opportunity to Plein Air paint with my artist friend Debbie Chiecchi Jackson.  You can go to her website here.  She paints beautiful landscapes in a impressionist style.  We found this lovely little spot tucked between the Women's Garden and the Maple Rill.  It's actually one of my favorite spots in the Dallas Arboretum.  It's very intimate and quiet with a lot of shade.  I notice that viewers usually either stop and stare at it for a while without speaking or they walk right by.
I took some artistic license with the scene and pulled the water to flow towards me when in fact it passed behind the tree.  I love that I can do that with paint.  Nature gives us that base in which we can imagine our world based on what is really there.
Painting outdoors is one of my favorite things to do and I am getting a little more time lately to do just that.  I find that it relieves a lot of stress for me to just be outside and listen to the water, the birds, the wind in the leaves.

My husband and I are getting excited thinking about the upcoming Fall and Winter season as we have been planning an overnight backpacking trip.  I am currently trying to figure out how to pack my Plein Air Pochade Box so I can paint as we go...more on that later...

Here I am with my little painting (I hate my goofy smile but there ya go)...

A little squirrel actually napped on the large limb to the right
but was spooked when he saw the camera.  What a great spot eh?

Friday, September 13, 2013

"Out to the Road" 6x9, Oil on Panel

"Out to the Road" 6x9, Oil on Panel
This was another little plein air study I did while I was up in Illinois this summer at my in-laws house.  They have so many beautiful spots (I know I said that already but they do).  I liked the way the road wound around the trees and the soft shadows and strong darks.
It's still summer weather here in Texas.  But pretty soon we should start seeing some other colors besides brown.  Here's hoping!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

"Summer Green" 5x7, Oil on Panel

"Summer Green" 5x7, Oil on Gessobord
I started this little plein air study when we made our summer trip up to Illinois in June.  My husband's folks have the most lovely piece of land.  I love to sit out and just paint portions of it every time we go up. This summer (because of my foot surgery) I wasn't able to do everything with the family.  One particular day I sat out on the porch (crutches and all) and painted.  It was a really lovely day.  Cool in the shade (yes, cool!) with the light hitting the grass with shades of yellow.
I wouldn't want to repeat this summer at all but I will say it was full of these little graces.  My children, my husband, family members, friends, meals, and splashes of beauty throughout.  God was giving me rungs on a ladder. Glimpses of His love.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

"Rain on the Hills" 10x10, Oil on Canvas

"Rain on the Hills" 10x10, Oil on Canvas
I keep coming back to this image of rain falling. I am enamored with it.  I absolutely love the quiet and power that comes with rain.  One of the things I tried to do with this piece was contrast the warm colors with the cool, the hard line of the ridge against the soft water.
I used Burnt Sienna, Naples Yellow and Pthalo Blue.  I hope to do a bigger piece in 36x36 and explore this with more motion.
This will hopefully go into the Art House Dallas Anniversary Party coming up.  Looking forward to it.  For more info. go to "Shows" above.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sold "Downburst" at Mary Tomas Gallery

"Downburst" 30x30, Oil on Canvas

I am so very pleased to announce that my piece, "Downburst" has sold at Mary Tomas Gallery.  "Downburst" was one of the first paintings I did expressly from the love of rain and just painting what I really wanted to paint.  I confess it was hard to let this one "go" but I feel sure this is a theme I will revisit many times.

I get asked, "Why rain? Why lightning?" and I believe the answer is pretty simple: The power and beauty mixed together.  There is nothing like what water does to color and light.

It's a special joy when something I paint connects with someone else and I never take that lightly.  I am thankful.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"Baptism of Grace" 30x36, Oil on Canvas

"Baptism of Grace" 30x36, Oil on Canvas
Some of you might be sick of my waterfalls (too bad!) but I'm finally getting a chance to make some bigger pieces with the little studies I did right after my surgery.  It's so wonderful to get to paint without feeling pain or having to ice every few hours.  I am so thankful to God for my feet and for His healing.  I am still going to Physical Therapy and although it gets harder every week I can honestly tell you that the pain is less today then it was a few weeks ago.  Our bodies are truly miraculous things. So delicate and fragile yet resilient and healing at the same time. 
In my last post I told you about the "whirlpool" at Physical Therapy.  I love that thing.  I wish I had one in my house! I like looking at the water swirl around me like a spirit washing over this human weak thing (that is my foot).  It makes me think about His grace.  He washes down on me in full force so that I might, in turn, ripple out to others.
Philip Yancey says in his book What's So Amazing About Grace?: "One who has been touched by grace will no longer look on those who stray as, "those evil people," or "those poor people who need our help." Nor must we search for signs of, "love worthiness." Grace teaches us that God loves because of WHO God is not because of who we are."
I painted this 36x30 for my church's baptistery.  This has been on my heart a long time. I finally got an opportunity to ask the Pastors at our church if I could do it.  With great faith and kindness they agreed to let me "beautify" a space for this purpose.  How wonderful! I wanted a place where someone could stand with Pastor and take a picture to remember that day.  The day they went into the water and showed their new family what happened inside.  In a way baptism is our first artistic act as a follower of Christ.  We show, through the symbol of water, what Jesus has done for us.  His great mercy and grace falling on us to wash us, purify us, give us new life.
Titus 3:3-6 was the scripture I looked over as I painted this.  It says, "At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.."