Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Settling Back Into City Life and Upcoming Shows

Chief of Interpretations, David Elkowitz, Me and Superintendent Cindy Ott-Jones

This was taken on the morning I left Big Bend National Park. I was able to donate this painting, "Road to the Sky" 18x36, Oil, to the Park. The man standing to my left is the Ranger who took me around to all the remote locations while I was there. He and his wife were so kind and helpful to me. They have all been.  I was actually joking right before this that I am so short!

I've been almost two weeks back home and am slowly getting back to normal. I find myself dreaming about the park at night and missing the smells of the landscape after a rain. I also have started walking almost everyday since my return as it just feels good to get outside. Something that I am grateful to have learned while I was there. I feel rushed in the city and with the upcoming Christmas holidays it seems even more apparent to me how "in a hurry" we all are.

Several friends and family members have mentioned to me how rested I look. I tell them that getting to the Parks is good medicine for the soul. I hope and pray that you can do this too my friends. We all need space, time, rest, reflection, beauty and exploration. Perhaps we have to work to find it in our lives but getting a taste of it has left me changed.

I met with my gallery here in Dallas, Mary Tomas Gallery, and we have slated a one-woman show for May or June (haven't quite set the month yet) but it will be about 6 months out. I am grateful for the time as I want to paint LARGE for the pieces from Big Bend. I am currently working on a 36x72! Please pray for me to do my best and to do them in love. Love for the landscape and for the precious God who allowed me this opportunity to sit and talk with Him. And truly LISTEN. I can't wait to share with you all that is in me. I pray I will be faithful to what I've heard.

Thank you all for your kindness, prayers, friendship and for taking the time to keep up with my art journey. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. May you have time, real time, to reflect on the depth of hope that is this special season.

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Beauty of Birds

"Orange Crowned Warbler" Graphite

Getting settled back into city and I just wanted to take a few moments to share about the birds that we were able to see and enjoy while we were in Big Bend National Park. I didn't know this coming to the park but it is one of the top rated parks for birders. If any of you have seen the movie or read the book, "The Big Year," You will know that Birders from all over the country give up time and money to see some of the most rare birds to North America. Big Bend has some of those birds.

My daughters and I decided while we were there that we were going to make a bird wall of all the cutest birds we could find. Hands down the Orange Crowned Warbler was the winner. He won on the merits of his fluffiness (he's perfectly plump) and the little beak. Those things combined made him adorable. My girls even shared with David Elkowitz (the Ranger who is a TRUE Birder) that we wanted to "squish" him. You should have seen David's face. Trying very hard to be kind but also tell the girls how we do not hurt the animals. If he only knew that meant we want to hug the bird! Ha! He thinks I'm raising bird killers.

Here are the girls' marvelous birds for the wall:

 Myla, Keeva and Avia's works

We have decided to award the Painted Bunting the Most Beautiful Bird award. There were so many to choose from but he is just too incredible:

Painted Bunting

We gave the Best Hunter award to the Red Tailed Hawk. We got to witness his incredible strength and flight as he caught a Cottontail in a dive. Truly these birds are all at once graceful and terrifying.

Red Tailed Hawk with the Cottontail

Lastly, we give the Most Personality award to the Mexican Jay who would not let me go anywhere until I took his picture. The guy talked to me for MINUTES.

Mexican Jay

I have such a deeper appreciation for these animals. What personality, song, coloring and habits they each have. We were able to enjoy them simply for being the wonders that they are. Whether we could find them in our bird book or not we took in their song, chirp, warble, caw or screech. We saw their shadows pass over us as they hunted. We hiked with them all around us as we moved. We got to see them in their home and we left our deepest thanks and for some, we wished we could, "squish" them goodbye.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Gift of Beauty

"Road to the Sky" 18x36, Oil on Canvas
(This is the painting I will be donating to the Park)
Tomorrow morning I leave this place for home. I have been hiking in some of my favorite spots trying to see them, "the last time." It's tough to leave. In just one short month I have found such solace and joy in these agave's and rocks. I have witnessed the changes of weather while I'm here. The same mountains that was clear and red became shrouded in cloud as if in a warm white coat. I've witnessed clear blue skies, mist, rain, storms and strong winds. I've seen the hairy Javelina's that look like a wild boar (but are not a part of the pig family), rabbits, deer, a mountain lion, coyotes and countless birds of every shade and sound. My husband and my youngest girls saw a black bear yesterday. Incredible, teeming life here!
I recently was interviewed by NPR in Marfa, Texas about my experience in the park. You can go HERE if you wish to hear it. I shared about one particular night in which I was sleeping in my little apartment at Panther Junction and I heard the howling in the canyons. It was loud enough to wake me up. In a few minutes I actually heard the coyotes right at my door and window. I could feel their howls in my chest. There is no better feeling for a landscape artist as I was reminded that I was in their home. This was where they roamed and lived. I was getting to catch the glimpse of what that wildness was like.
"Madrone Tree" 6x9, Oil on Canvas
My favorite hike has been up the Pinnacles to the start of  Boot Canyon. I went up on David Elkowitz' (The Chief of Interpretations that has been taking me around to some of the most remarkable spots in the Park) recommendation that the Maples were turning and I wanted to see them. They were glorious and I will paint them in the coming months. What I didn't expect was this graceful tree to captivate me so much. A favorite of the Black Bears for their red berries, the Madrone tree is a ghostly white/blue and twists and turns like a graceful dancer. I went for the Maples but was taken by the Madrone.
"Nugent Mountain" 24x20, Oil on Canvas
When the mist fell through the park for several days I was able to get to some of my favorite mountains and watch the overlapping colors distill and fade. I love that. This is Nugent Mountain. My husband and I camped here on my first night in the park. We watched the Sierra Del Carmen's light up coral and pink in the setting sun and with the sunrise we were able to see this beautiful mountain become a striking red stone. During the mist it had several purple shades mixed with the beautiful reds and browns of the desert.

"Storm King" 9x12, Oil on Canvas
One morning when the mist was over the Chisos Mountains I was able to see Casa Grande in this deep dark blue with a striking blue sky. The mist was just starting to curl over the ridges. I am so enamored with how the mountain profile hits the sky and the mood of the mist. I call it "Storm King" because I thought the mountain looked like a crown.
"Blue Canyon" 9x12, Oil on Canvas

This was part of the Boquillas Canyon Trail. The sky was so blue that day. We were walking right along with the Rio Grande and I loved how the rocks were these flesh tone colors and when they were in shadow they were blue.

I will try to post more when I get back home as the wifi here is so spotty.

There is no possible way to capture this place. It is vast and deep and more than beautiful. It is full of wildness that has an element of fear to it. The word, "sublime," is fitting for such a place. I believe Turner, O'Keeffe and Carr would have loved it here. In the weeks that I was alone I wrestled with the fear. I would find myself scared when I hiked alone or when I was driving in the dark back to my place. The darkness is deep and thick. There are no shadows, only black. I began to talk to God about this as I didn't want it to keep me from experiencing all that He has given me to BE in. What I came to was that I have a false sense of security in my cars and lights and walls. The busyness of life distracts me from the fear of the darkness and what could be in it. When it comes down to it the sense of "being watched" when I was alone on the trails was real. I now believe I WAS being watched by the very presence of God. I touched on what it means to feel "fear" in His presence. We sing about coming into His presence and asking Him to be with us but to really BE with Him is something fearsome and awesome. He is wild and beautiful and so much more real than the rocks I was walking on. I can't describe it only to say that I knew Him in that moment to be there like I've never thought or felt before. He was delighting in this space with me and all I could do was sing, pray and tremble. I asked Him to cover my fear with His love and He did. It did not take away my fear or respect of this space and time but it did help me see through it more clearly. The deeper sky at night filled with thousands of colors that were set in motion by someone good and huge. He is Abba, Father but He is also Creator of the Universe. He set the planet on it's tilt. He made these mountains with life and depth and shades of colors that we cannot even describe in paint. He is Artist and Master. My eyes have drank deeply of the goodness of the Lord. My heart has felt His untamed glory.

I find now that I come to it that I don't want to leave the tension of that space. The fear and the love. It is my space as a human.

"A voice had begun to sing. It was very far away and Digory found it hard to decide from what direction ...it was coming. Sometimes it seemed to come from all directions at once. Sometimes he almost thought it was coming out of the earth beneath them. Its lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth herself. There were no words. It was hardly a tune. But it was beyond comparison, the most beautiful sound he had ever heard.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Light and Darkness and the gift of Circadian Rhythm

"Morning Light on Panther Peak" 9x12, Oil on Canvas
I am so struck here in Big Bend National Park with the light. It captivates me. It causes me to wake up early so I can watch what it does to the landscape and sky. I find myself chasing it throughout the day. Watching it stretch across vast landscapes of dry ground and grasses, Sotol and Lechuguilla, Prickly Pear and Ocotillo. Each plant finds ways to thrive in this light-filled environment.
I have been enchanted with the birds. In the city I take them for granted. I see through them in a way. But here they seem to have come alive to me. The light is making me see them. And by watching I see they have personalities. A beautiful, bold Mexican Jay wants his picture taken and keeps talking to me until I get to it. Another tiny Rock Wren sings his little heart out as I hike past him letting me know I'm in his home. Some of the hawks here are so big their shadows scare me. I watched one dive and catch a cottontail bunny all in one movement. Incredible power in those wings and claws.
There are two openings in the day for the mystery to pass through us. As if the veil between heaven and earth isn't as heavy and thick and we can see through to something mysterious and sublime. They are sunrise and sunset. At these times the light takes away some of the heavy detail in the rocks to help me really see the rock itself. They are graceful in their wild ways of pushing up through the earth. The verses in the Bible that speak of how God has put, "My foot upon a rock" seem so real and solid to me looking and walking on these rocks. They are the sentinels of this volatile world. pushing up, carving, being carved and falling back into the earth. The light bends over them and crests their lines to see profiles of ancient limestone that are the Sierra Del Carmens.
One night we went down to the Rio Grande Village to hear a talk on the stars given by a Ranger who has worked Big Bend for over 10 years and many other parks for the past 25. He has seen Yosemite, Death Valley and Yellowstone night skies. He shared about light and how we are each given a Circadian Rhythm. A cycle of 24 hours that is designed into our bodies. This clock set by the light and darkness. The animals know it. Some of the predators rest in the day so that they can hunt at twilight and moonlight. The birds start to sing at first light. Certain fish know where to lay their eggs depending on the light (to keep from predators). As the Ranger was sharing he talked about how in each park he has lived and worked in he has seen a dome of light from far way. With Yosemite he sees a light dome from San Francisco. With Death Valley he saw the huge dome light of Las Vegas. This has caused some of the animals to be confused as to whether it's night or day. Their rhythms have been distorted by our need to be up later and later. In the meantime we have a culture that makes billions of dollars for the drug companies so we can take a pill to sleep at night.
One incredible gift we miss is the sense of stars. We literally cannot see them because of our lights. The vast space twinkling above us and we do not even see it. The Milky Way is literally sliding across the sky is beautiful rivers of light. How many wonders are we missing?
It got me thinking about how we use light in the city to seem to make it feel safer. More light. More safety. We pride ourselves on this false sense of security we build. We make walls, have running water, lights on buildings and yet the cities remain the most terrifying places on our planet. We work and then we overwork. We say we're not tired and grab another energy drink to keep our bodies from the natural Circadian Rhythm. Yet we need the light and the darkness. We need both. God made both. 
Just a few things I'm learning while being here:
Slow down and see the day and night - He made time this way.
Watch the birds.
Watch the light.
Watch the stars.
Trust God in the darkness, the real darkness.
We cannot make anything safe, not really.
There is beauty and a deeper beauty.
There is sky and a deeper sky.
The real I see is a glimpse of His real.
Beauty helps me experience God.
God IS beauty.
Making beauty gives another way to see hope.
There is fear in us.
Hope helps to dispel fear.
Light and darkness are a gift of God.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Paintings from Big Bend...So Far...

"Majesty" 18x36, Oil on Canvas

I've been quietly working here in the cabin for two weeks. I have about 6 paintings done so far. This is one that I will show you now. I finished it just a few days ago. This is the Dead Horse Mountains as you look out from Panther Junction (where I am staying). One evening as I was walking around the area I saw this incredible turquoise sunset with a reflected rainbow. The subtle layers of the ridges and rocks of the distant mountains make these slight color changes that are exciting to try to get at.

One of the things I've been doing with my time is journaling and just talking with God about this experience. I've noticed my senses seem to be clearer. I hear things I haven't before and notice my own sounds as I move and have my day. I am aware of the light and color shifts as they slide across rock that the day before was a totally different color. I want to share some of my thoughts I wrote out from my journal these past days. It's raw and I'm no writer. I know that. But it gets closer to how I really felt and the things that are churning in me.

11/8 Early

Perhaps one of the ways we've forgotten to be in communion with God is this loss of senses. We live in a culture that seems to want to "wear out" the senses. As if to have "more" of something will make the sense a deeper experience. Maybe that comes from being so numb. Have we forgot how to hear God? This wild place reminds me how our senses used to be heightened by silence and sound. Like the Park Rangers here who know what bird is there by their song. When we finally see them they take great delight in not just the sound but the sight of them. It's not the need for MORE bird it's the trueness of seeing a bird and hearing a bird in it's natural ways. Acknowledging its presence and experiencing the bird through it's own will and freedom. This is the true way of hearing and seeing.

I feel this way about colors. I see them in the sky and land and yet it takes me wrestling through the hues and connections to get them on canvas. Once I have something right though I can delight in it. My senses got me to that path. It opened my heart and mind to what I was truly feeling and by it I can see better.

11/8 Late Morning

In John 3:7-8 Jesus says to Nicodemus, "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound but you cannot tell where it come from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit..."

If the Spirit has a "visual" analogy of the wind, fire and water (fire at Pentecost, water as the baptism of the Holy Spirit) then man is earth. We are shaped by these elements. I see it so clearly here. The water has smoothed rock. Lava has opened up the earth and caused giant forms to push up from the crust and rock. Wind has shaped the trees and rocks to individual shapes. I believe Lord, that you speak through this analogy of nature. It is not simply metaphorical. It is real. Delightfully, wildly real. This earth is to be sensed, traversed upon, to be exhausted by. It is the heavy metaphor of it's Creator. It is also never truly or fully known only for us to experience our small bit. My foot upon a path. My breath taking air. The wholeness is God's. Mine is the shaping.

"Man is so related to all of nature, that he is built of small worlds. When God made man, "of the dust of the earth" He put into the compound fields and forests complete. All the mountain ranges of the world. Suns and moons and all animals and plants and minerals...Man is a bundle of worlds which lie calm until stirred by the appearance of the material symbol. Thus all of nature is found in man." - John Muir

Sunday, November 8, 2015

First Week Here at Big Bend

Looking down towards the Rio Grande
I've been here a week and am slowly finding my way around. With the help of the wonderful Park Rangers, particularly, Chief of Interpretations, David Elkowitz. He's been a plethora of knowledge about the spaces, wildlife and plants that grow here. One hike with him is like taking a class. Bless him! He's worked for the park system for 30 years. I was able to ask him some questions about the National Parks and his opinion on the importance of the parks.
Most of the Rangers I have met are not stuck to their iPhones or technology. They bike and hike in their free time. In fact, I believe they look at nature as a friend. *Believe me when I say I feel the irony of this as I type this blog on my laptop.* I find myself torn between wanting to hear from my family and wanting to be forgotten, lost in the open space of no wifi.
I have been struck here in the desert that it is we, those in the city, who are in the desert. We are dry for the open and wild spaces.
Kendrick left on Wednesday morning to get back to our girls. It was a tough day as I was crying (we haven't been apart this long before nor have I been away from my three girls this long). Just a word on my husband here. He's been such a strength to me these past weeks. He would say just the right thing for me to get my mind around something. He has kept me focused and helped me to let go of tension and fear. When I'm around him I feel safer. After he left I went in the van and just drove down the Maxwell Scenic Drive and pulled off on a shoulder to watch the sunrise. It was amazing to be so quiet. I literally heard flapping for several seconds before I saw the Raven fly over and caw. I've never heard sounds so clear before. I felt alone but not in a lonely way. The light came over the Chisos Mountains in white. It came so clear and bright it hurt to look at it. It poured over the edges in thin lines and fell down on me and the canyon.
I got back to the cabin and started painting. It felt good to finally start. I confess I've been overwhelmed with the landscape. *see above example* I have felt so inadequate. How to capture something so terrifying, beautiful and completely sublime? It took being alone for me to realize it's not about me capturing anything like that. It's just me and Him and the delight of being in a wild place and time. This sliver of goodness touching me and the light. I CANNOT capture such a place. It must be experienced. All I can do is interpret how I felt it. That is enough. That would please Jesus.
Driving down to capture the sunset that evening I saw a Mountain Lion climbing the rocks on the way to the Rio Grande Village. She looked at me. I slowed the van so I could keep looking at her. She blended with the landscape so well that I could hardly find her except for the movement. I was shaking. Probably from fear but I believe it was also from awe.
I notice that when I drive here I grip the steering wheel pretty tight. It's like I'm holding on to a ledge. I laugh whenever I notice it because I have no idea what I'm gripping. Maybe I'm wishing the van to stay moving or hoping to keep on the thin thread that is the road. Six days later I find I'm not as tight and stiff in the seat. I can sing in the van and I easily move onto shoulders to take photos. I still feel like I'm being watched when I get out to take shots or just to stand in the air. I'm getting used to it though.
I've always been amazed by the sublime painters. J.M.W. Turner, O'Keeffe, Carr. They understood this mixture of fear, awe and beauty. I don't think it's wrong for me to be feeling these all at the same time. It's my privilege to do so. Wildness makes us truly see how helpless we are. It's my place as a human. It's a spiritual act submitting to that reality. I feel God has brought me here to get a taste of who He is. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Big Bend National Park Artist Residency Sponsored by National Park Artist Foundation

 Chisos Mountains

 "Big Bend National Park is the highlight attraction of the entire region. It is at the same time an 1100 square mile playground and classroom. The 800,000-acre national park contains three basic habitats: river, desert, and mountains. Big Bend National Park encompasses the largest protected area of the Chihuahuan Desert in the United States. It is roughly the size of Rhode Island."

Oh, I can't describe to you these past weeks as I was notified  that I received the 2015 Artist in Residence with Big Bend National Park for the month of November! Our house was in (and continues to be) melee as we are scrambling to work out schedules and all the little things that make a household run. The generous gift of a non-profit called the National Park Artist Foundation heads up the residency's. I cannot thank them enough for such a blessing.

My Husband has been a strength and support that I can only keep thanking God for. He was the one who took my hand and prayed with me about it. He also took it upon himself to reach out to teachers and principals so that the girls could come down a week early to be with me for TWO weeks instead of one. God has been clearing the way, making straight the paths in the wilderness. He has been drawing me out and I will obey with joy even though I am trembling.

 The Basin

Kendrick and I plan to backpack some of the area as we hike over this wild place rich in rock, earth and sky.

 Getting ready! Everything AND the kitchen sink!

So what do you do in a residency? I've been asked that several times. I plan to paint, paint, paint! I will also be teaching a class every week about plein air painting and color theory. Mostly, I expect to be overwhelmed by the landscape and to not be able to truly make sense (i.e. facts) of it but to slowly sink into its mystery and beauty. Pray for me friends, to listen well and receive into my heart the love that God has given me. As a friend said to me, "He is inviting you to dance. Then dance!" If you know me you know I am not a dancer. In fact, I don't know how to dance. But I figure that's an even better analogy as I go into His arms, safe, sure, wild and full of joy.

Gold Tier Night Skies

Big Bend is rated as a Gold Tier in night skies. That means it is one of the darkest skies in North America. As my Pastor's wife said, "It's like God dumped His glitter bottle out right in front of your face." Oh, the wonder of those lights. I can't wait to sleep under that dome with my husband and girls. I can't wait to be drenched in sky.

How many times are we allowed the time and space to truly SEE?

As I was listening to some talks given by Esther Meeks this past week she shared how the Magi launched out to the not yet known as God was saying, "Come find Me." They simply trusted that they would find something out there in the mystery of it all. She went on to share that "knowledge is rooted in what we trust." Just as the Magi trusted not for answers or explanations but in this overwhelming, wonderful, wild God.

I'm taking some of Lilias Trotters writings with me. I can't seem to leave home without her. I'd like to leave this quote with you all and just say again how thankful I am for your prayers and thoughts and kindness. I am thankful to the National Park Artist Foundation and the National Park Service for this privilege. May God call you out to your desert and to the deepening beauty that makes you tremble.

"We were up and out early, and went down to the riverbed. Looking back every crack and line of the hills lay reflected in a pool. Looking on and on, the desert stretched away like a great sea, broken only by an island of palms here and there, away and away to the Touaregs and Sudan beyond. I shall never forget the feeling of that first sight of it. The sense of rest and silence that lies in the immensity of it grows day by day."

Monday, October 26, 2015

Sold "Wisp" 16x20, Oil on Gessobord, Art for Adoption

 "Wisp" 16x20, Oil on Gessobord
Available at Mary Tomas Gallery
Contact: 214-727-5101 
 So very pleased to share that this piece was sold today!
Please remember that the pieces (some of them) will be hung for a show on November 21st. But I will be sharing the paintings periodically. If you see a piece that you truly love please contact Mary right away (see the contact info. under the painting). 
You may also go to the main website to see ALL of the select works available for Art for Adoption: www.dawnwatersbaker.com under the tab: Art for Adoption.

Detail of "Wisp"

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Art for Adoption Part 3

"Whispering Wood" 5x7, SOLD this week at Mary Tomas Gallery 
Art for Adoption

"Tree of Protection" 12x12, Oil on Gessobord
Based on C.S. Lewis' work, The Magician's Nephew
Available at Mary Tomas Gallery
Contact: 214-727-5101 

Thank you to all of you who have purchased a piece from Mary Tomas Gallery for Art for Adoption. Please remember that the pieces (some of them) will be hung for a show on November 21st. But I will be sharing the paintings periodically. If you see a piece that you truly love please contact Mary right away (see the contact info. under the painting). 
You may also go to the main website to see ALL of the select works available for Art for Adoption: www.dawnwatersbaker.com under the tab: Art for Adoption.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Art for Adoption

"Openings" 6x9, Oil on Panel
Available at Mary Tomas Gallery
Contact: 214-727-5101 
Art for Adoption
 Beautiful puzzle that is coming together from many who love this dear couple.

Last week, by God's grace, 4 pieces sold to help the adoption of Beth and George Butler. I want to just say my deepest thanks to all of you who are sharing this and also who have bought pieces. It gives me great joy to see their "picture" come together through love. Not only through art but through many beautiful ways!

Please just continue to pray and share with me for this precious couple and their child.

The pieces (some of them) will be hung for show on November 21st. But I will be sharing the paintings periodically. If you see a piece that you truly love please contact Mary right away (see the contact info. under the painting).
You may also go to the main website to see ALL of the select works available for Art for Adoption: www.dawnwatersbaker.com under the tab: Art for Adoption.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Art for Adoption, Sold Pieces

 "Verdant" 5x7, Oil on Canvas (framed)

 "Canyon Storm" 6x9, Oil on Gessobord (framed)

 "Rubicund" 6x6, Oil on Gessobord (framed)

"Softening" 6x9, Oil on Canvas

So pleased to share that these four pieces have recently sold through Mary Tomas Gallery here in Dallas. The show is not officially opening until November 21st but you can go to the main website: HERE and click on the tab that says Art for Adoption to see all the pieces that are still available.

50% of the sale goes towards adoption fees for Beth and George Butler. I can't think of a better way for art to bless than to help write the story of love.

Thank you to all who have been sharing this on Facebook and given such kind wishes and prayers. Bless you!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Advent, 36x36, Oil on Canvas

"Advent" 36x36, Oil on Canvas

I've been working very steadily on this piece for a few weeks now. 

I thought it might be interesting to try for more muted palette yet still have the sense of a brewing storm coming on. Passion vs. peace and the mixture of something large yet beautiful (I hope). 

I also thought it would be a nice balance to not only have the rise of moisture through the clouds but this mirror of water and light in the land. Light meets light and water meets water.

It's titled, "Advent" because the word actually means: Arrival, appearance, emergence. Just as, for the Christian calendar, we anticipate the long expected Jesus at Christmas so nature reminds us through it's rain and tempests this tension of waiting and having it arrive at last.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Art for Adoption

"Verdant" 5x7, Oil on Panel (framed)
Available at Mary Tomas Gallery
Contact: 214-727-5101 

Art for Adoption

It’s been an honor to get to know my dear friends, Beth and George Butler as they have been journeying through the adoption process. Just getting to watch them and see their fervent love for a child they have never met is so humbling. It makes me so grateful for the three little girls I have. As I was praying about what I could do for my friends the thought came to me that art could have a part to play in love. Why not offer up my smaller nature works for collectors to enjoy as well as to further the work of getting this little child a home? It’s my delight and joy to share that Mary and Alberto Tomas encouraged me to do this through their lovely gallery.  For every purchase of a piece 50% will go towards adoption fees for Beth and George. My hope and desire is that when people see these paintings they might also think of a little child who was thought of and sought after, through the eyes of love. 

The pieces (some of them) will be hung for show on November 21st. But I will be sharing pieces periodically. If you see a piece that you truly love please contact Mary right away (see the contact info. under the painting).

You may also go to the main website to see ALL of the select works available for Art for Adoption: www.dawnwatersbaker.com under the tab: Art for Adoption.

Friday, September 18, 2015

"Beatitude" 30x40, Oil on Canvas

"Beatitude" 30x40, Oil on Canvas

I've been wrestling with this one for weeks since I thought I was finished. The paint wasn't drying correctly due to some new thinner I was trying out (and using more like Linseed). After I scrubbed off huge portions of it and restarted again the piece seemed to be much better. I like the layers in the clouds along with the layers in the land. I always learn from mistakes. The best thing is to just go with them. Don't fight with the painting.

I don't know how many times I've walked away from the easel with this one because I was so frustrated. I'm so glad I did and didn't try to fight through "fixing" it. I've been learning how to let go of things in my mind with this painting.

Oh, and I'm back to Linseed Oil. I love that stuff. Why did I ever try something new? Oh yeah. Cause I wanted to torture myself.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

"Hushed" 12x48, Oil on Canvas

"Hushed" 12x48, Oil on Canvas

I loved trying at the shades of purples and blues in this piece. I used orange to tone down the blue even though it seems like such a sweet blue. 

I wanted the feeling of coming upon a perfectly still place before the light fades away.

Lots of mixing with this one. Titanium White with Ultramarine Blue, Dioxazine Purple and Cerulean Blue with Cadmium Orange and Cadmium Yellow Light.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

"The Sound of Rain and Light" 36x36, Oil on Canvas

"Sound of Rain and Light" 36x36, Oil on Canvas

I've been wanting to get to this painting for a while now. Lightening and rain seem to always be in me. I love the way rain filters the light into hues of different colors. Water in the atmosphere is one of the most beautiful things in the world to me. I may spend the rest of my life trying to get at it.

This painting is on its way to Joseph Gierek Fine Art in Tulsa. I'm so pleased to be represented by this fine gallery. If your in the area please stop by.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Sold, "Redemption" at Davis & Co. Fine Art

"Redemption" 36x36, Oil on Gessobord

Just found out that I sold this piece through Davis & Co. Fine Art. I'm so pleased!

I did (and am still in the process) of doing several waterfalls. It has always been my analogy of God's grace. I call this piece, "Redemption" because I thought the canyon formed an image of "wings" or arms raised as the water falls upon the rock. Redemption means the act of being saved or freeing. I like to think the water and rocks are just an image for our hearts. We are freed by grace. This lavish, beautiful grace that comes crashing down on who we are so that we can be made new.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Sold, "Far Green Country" at Mary Tomas Gallery

"Far Green Country" 36x48, Oil on Canvas

So very pleased to share that this piece was sold at Mary Tomas Gallery just recently.

This was taken from a passage in Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, "...the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back and Frodo beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise."
I didn't really want to ILLUSTRATE that passage as much as let it inspire my painting. I don't have any silver glass, swift sunrise or white shores. For me, I wanted to show this "far green country" as the illuminated place hidden by the veil of clouds. I wanted a feeling that the viewer was coming out of dark canyons into the fresh rain and good land, our true Eden.

Monday, August 3, 2015

"Kindred" 36x36, Oil on Canvas

"Kindred" 36x36, Oil on Canvas

I finished this painting for a specific place in our church that they are building called the HomeLife Center. It will be a place where the Body of Christ can meet and fellowship and also find materials to help them "grow strong families." What that means is to read encouraging books to help us be better parents and spouses and also to have a place to meet and talk.

I thought of a seed as growing into this strong tree and how we have to nurture and watch over the sapling. I like the imagery of a tree as a person. I have three trees to represent the generations of a family. I wanted to show it in a "quiet" light so that it gave the room a sense of thought and reflection. It has a little stream running through as my image for grace. I know, as a Mom, that I am always in need of grace as I steer through parenting and marriage. I absolutely CANNOT do this without God.

These words feel shallow but I hope the image can speak my feelings best. Zephaniah 3:17,
"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love..." Sometimes, most of the time, I need a Father God who will parent me. Who will rejoice over me in gladness and quiet me in His love. I need the mixture of both. The gladness and the quiet. He is here with us. All the time. Even in my humanity He loves me and LIKES me. How do you grow strong families? You simply remember you can't do this but He is mighty to save.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sold, "John 1" 12x12, Oil on Gessobord at Mary Tomas Gallery

"John 1" 12x12, Oil on Gessobord

Very pleased to share that this little piece was sold last week while I was on vacation at Mary Tomas Gallery here in Dallas.

I like the way the book of John contrasts light and darkness throughout. You can see the final piece I did on John 1. It is encouraging to me as all four of the pieces I did from this book have found a home. I remember praying so fervently about this series and God supplied.

Thank you Mary and Alberto for the hard work of representing my paintings! Please go HERE to see more at Mary Tomas Gallery.

Monday, June 29, 2015

"Wisp" 16x20, Oil on Gessobord

"Wisp" 16x20, Oil on Gessobord

I love trying for the contrasts you see in the sky and those filaments of wisp that distill the light and color.

I pushed the blue until it had that very cool crisp blue (from cobalt) and then blended it with the red to make a deeper purple for the background cloud leading up to the cadmium yellow light. The build up took several weeks.

There is something spiritual in these tender clouds and the mysterious way in which they move and build the colors. I can't say it with words.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sold, "The Rivers' Line" at Mary Tomas Gallery

"The Rivers' Line" 20x20, Oil on Canvas

I'm very pleased to share this piece was sold recently to a lovely couple at Mary Tomas Gallery. I got the opportunity to spend some time talking with them as they asked questions about how the art is made and my thoughts and feelings behind the work. 

It's conversations like this that help me to communicate heart to heart and I really cherish those times. I could tell they "got me." Something that is truly a gift for any artist. They asked thoughtful questions and weren't out to just collect but to enjoy. Working with Mary and Alberto I am able to see how valuable they are to their artists. They really advocate for them and want the artist to do well. It was a lovely morning having this meeting of hearts over art and nature.

At one point the couple asked me my thoughts about this piece. For me, the lines that wind and furrow through the land are like the living veins of the earth. They reflect the light as the dark earth absorbs and grows. It really is about the love and freedom of nature and our task (as the viewer) to let it continue to bring such beauty into the world.

Thank you Mary and Alberto Tomas for everything!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

"Verdant" 5x7, Oil on Linen Primed Panel

"Verdant" 5x7, Oil on Linen Primed Panel

My Mother and Father in law have the most beautiful piece of land that I love to paint when I visit. My favorite time of day is when the green is lush and yellow. The Walnut trees that line the front yard are full of beautiful twists and are furrowed with age. It's also not too hot in the shade.

I used Cadmium Yellow Lemon for that bright green with Ultramarine Blue and some added Permanent Intense Red.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

"Dance of Trees and Water" 6x8, Oil on Canvas

"Dance of Trees and Water" 6x8, Oil on Canvas

I had started this little piece back when my family and I took an overnight hike into some woods. My girls were captivated by the little creek that broke our walk (at just the right time) and I took advantage of the time to paint. When I got back to Dallas I got busy with other work but came back to this piece yesterday as I was out looking at some lovely back lit trees. I ended out using two places to make one image.

I call it the "Dance of Trees and Water" as the water was making that beautiful moving sound over rocks while the trees seemed to bend and sway in the afternoon air. 

Only thing missing was my Dad. Will try to get him out there next time.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

"Release" Arrives in New York!

 "Release" 36x72, Oil on Canvas

I'm very pleased to share that my painting, "Release" arrived safely to Kate Shin Gallery in New York. David Chang, Director of Communications at Waterfall Mansion which houses Kate Shin Gallery sent these pictures.

My painting next to the actual indoor waterfall inside the mansion

Some other pictures of Kate Shin Gallery and the space

Beautiful clean lines and spacing of works

I'm so blessed to share I was able to get a piece into this lovely space. I Pray that it is a blessing to Kate Shin Gallery.

Kate Shin Gallery: located at: 170 East 80th St., New York, NY 10075 (four blocks from Central Park and the Met). For inquiries please email: info@waterfallmansion.com. Please go to Waterfall Mansion for more information.

Monday, June 1, 2015

"Trees in the Mist" 48x48, Oil on Canvas

"Trees in the Mist" 48x48, Oil on Canvas

I keep revisiting the mist and trees. I love mist because it seems like the trees are growing out of cloud. This marriage of land and sky. 

My thought was to have a sloping of White Fir surrounded by a thick mist.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sold Works

"Appulse" 48x60

 "Skyline" 12x48, Oil on Canvas

"Spring Green" 5x7, Oil on Canvas

Very pleased that these pieces have found a home. I am working hard on some new things (that are bigger) and so it will take some time before I post them on the blog. I so appreciate all of you who care about the art and ask you to continue to pray for me to do my best and to create from love.