Monday, April 20, 2015

"Release" 36x72, Oil on Canvas

"Release" 36x72, Oil on Canvas

“Grace, like water, flows to the lowest part.”
  - Philip Yancey

Many of you know my waterfalls come from the theme of grace. It began a few years ago when I had surgery on my ankle. It was the 2nd time to repair a tendon (later they would discover it was a ligament and bone problem too). After the surgery I was told I would need to be on crutches for a time and then have 8 weeks physical therapy. Although I had had surgeries in the past I was confronted with my inability to not be mobile, free. Suddenly, I was incapable of helping my kids make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without several extra, extra steps. It's impossible to hold a plate of food and walk on crutches. I began to not only feel frustrated and angry but depressed. I had let my "doing" for the family define my role. I was also combating pain on a daily basis and pain does something to the mind. It wearies it.

Gratefully, I started my physical therapy after getting off the crutches. My favorite therapist, Dennis, would push me to where my leg would shake with weakness and then say something like, "It's looking good today." He would have me sweating, grunting and shaking all in one session. I dreaded it and loved it at the same time. My favorite part was when I would stick my foot in the whirlpool that pumped water right at the sorest spots of my ankle. The water was warm and massaging. He would ask me almost every time, "Need a magazine?" and I would say (with a smile), "No thanks." It became our joke. No magazine dude. Just me staring at water for 30 minutes! I wanted to watch the water swirl around my ankle. It was beautiful, this image of healing. God was trying to tell me something and I knew it.

I remember that summer as my ankle was getting better I would sit on the studio floor with a small palette and easel on my lap and paint. I couldn't sit at the bigger easel yet as I needed to have my foot elevated. The first image I wanted to paint was water. It captivated me and still does. It started me on a journey of waterfalls that defined the word, "grace" to me. I had read a book, What's So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey and it made a huge impression. Particularly his words on "Grace, like water, flows to the lowest part." I was captivated by it. This idea that water flows into the cracks and crevices of mountain rock just as grace flows into the cracks and crevices of who we are. I realized I hadn't been giving myself much grace. I had been frustrated at my "lack" and not accepted the healing process.

There was another aspect to it too. As I meditated on the ripples that swirled around my ankle I realized that God was talking to me about grace. It not only falls into the cracks and crevices of who we are but it ripples out. Yancey's book was achingly poignant on this. Grace falls on me but it also must ripple out to others. Yancey wrote how Jesus readily sat with sinners because they knew they were fallen and in need of help. It was those who thought themselves righteous that eventually sent Him to the cross. It made me think about those ripples. Have I been a barrier to His grace or have I let it flow freely through me?

A friend of mine, Matt Guilford, challenged me to not make my waterfalls so centrally focused but to "skew" the perspective. I made some attempts but knew I wasn't hitting on it. I finally started on this elongated one hoping it would help me push the perspective and the light and dark. I shared it with Matt and he said something very interesting to me in an email, "I love the questions that are inside that dark space." I realized that was it. Grace allows for the questions and, at times, the darkness. Philip Yancey said something about this piece too, "Grace flows downward but doesn't leave us there."

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Art On Virtual Walls

My Painting, "Skyline" 12x48, Oil on Canvas (Available at Mary Tomas Gallery)

A friend of mine shared this app with me: IArtView and I just tried out the rooms (three are free) to see how my pieces looked. It's fun! Here is what I came up with:

My Painting, "Misty Mountains" 30x30 (I enlarged it here to 48x48), Oil on Canvas
(I have this piece in my studio)

My Painting, "Valley of Light and Water" 36x36, Oil on Gessobord, Available at Davis &Co. Art Gallery

My Painting, "Wall Cloud" 18x36 (I enlarged it to 30x48), Sold

It was fun to see them in these fresh settings. I hope this gives a little idea of how paintings can enhance a space and not clutter it up.

This app would be so helpful for galleries.

Thanks for indulging me! ;)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Opening Night for "Horizons" at Mary Tomas Gallery

What?? No paint on my clothes??

Had a WONDERFUL time at Mary Tomas Gallery on Saturday night as they opened the landscape show, "Horizons." If you are local to Dallas, please don't miss seeing these works by several artists. Particular favorites are: Dennis Blagg, Mary Tomas and Carolyn Caldwell. Their pieces will move you!

I confess, I'm always nervous going to these things. It's not just because you have to "clean up pretty" but it feels like pieces of your heart is on the wall for anyone to come along and say, "Meh." But I got my Big Girl pants on (yes, their black) and pressed Kendrick into service as my arm candy and off we went! Ha! We had a great time. Or maybe I should say I had a great time. He had a time. He did get dinner and lots of hubbie points. I got to see several friends and family members there. My Mom and Dad, Sister and my nephew, Riah (who even stands cool). I also saw some long time collector friends like Carol (below). She has always been such a sweet friend. I can't tell you how much it means to me to be in her lovely home. She has 11 pieces of mine! Thank you dear Carol!

Sweet Carol

I was able to meet some new friends as they asked me about the paintings. Two men that had been waiting to talk to me just so they could ask, "What is your favorite piece?" WHAT??? Someone get these guys some cake!

One of my dearest friends, Melanie, was also there with another friend (who I got to meet). What a lovely lady she is. I can only say that she has been a lifelong encouragement to me and my art. God bless you Melanie! *sadly don't have a picture of her to show you here*

Two of my larger pieces: "Far Green Country" 36x48 (left) and "Appulse" 48x60 (right)

So pleased to share I have sold "Appulse" on opening night and have two others on hold for sale. A wonderful shot in the arm for me. I give God all the praise for that.

This year the DADA Art Walk will overlap this show which is April 25th. If you would like to know more about Art Walk please go HERE. This is a day (they have one in the spring and one in fall) where ALL the Dallas Art Dealers Association (DADA) galleries are open to stroll through, enjoy some refreshments and see art. It really is a highlight for the Dallas Art Scene. A real honor to be up during Art Walk.

Show ends on May 9th.