Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Safety of the Rock

The Safety of the Rock
My Beloved Husband had training at a convention in Las Vegas over the weekend, and I had the opportunity to go along with him. I love to travel with him! Some of the things we had a chance to do together were fabulous, but the overarching feeling we had while staying 'on the strip' was not a pleasant one. Both of us were overwhelmed by the darkness of the atmosphere there, where so many people celebrate the very things that are causing them great harm. From prostitution to drugs, gambling to trafficking, we saw so many things that harm and ensnare people. And they weren't under cover, they were celebrated. In fact, at one point, I couldn't stop the tears from running down my face as we walked together. So much sin. So much darkness. 

$175.00 plus shipping and handling
9" x 12"
Painted with artist quality heavy-body acrylic paint on 1.5” deep gallery wrapped canvas, sides painted black

Click here to purchase through my website

  "It looks like how I feel, honestly. There's a lighthouse on a rock and there's even brightness and sunshine there, but where I am it's chaotic and rainy and dark. It's mostly obscuring my view. I'm worn out and I don't know how I'm going to make it through the rain and wind to the safety of the Rock. Interestingly, the Rock with its lighthouse also looks like a church with a steeple."

When I finished painting this one this morning, I sent it to a few people as I often do to give them a preview. One of them responded with the quote above, and it seemed fitting to me. I have worked on this one for a long time, and it has passed through a bunch of interesting stages. It can be tougher to put into words what has been on my mind when a painting has been on the easel for a long time. But today, these verses from my morning quiet time seemed to fit both the response I got and my experience over the last week or so.

Psalm 77:16 "The waters saw Thee, O God; the waters saw Thee, they were in anguish; the deeps also trembled."

Psalm 78:35 "And they remembered that GOD was their rock, and the Most High GOD their Redeemer."

Several of the people I saw in Las Vegas have been in my prayers since I came home. I know I cannot help them, but my Heavenly Father can. HE is the Rock, the Redeemer that they can look to for rescue from the deep waters they find themselves in. 

And HE is my Rock, too. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

With Trumpets

With Trumpets
Psalm 98
Sing a new song to the Lord,
for he has performed wonders;
his right hand and holy arm
have won him victory.
The Lord has made his victory known;
he has revealed his righteousness
in the sight of the nations.
...
Let the whole earth shout to the Lord;
be jubilant, shout for joy, and sing.
...
With trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn
shout triumphantly
in the presence of the Lord, our King.
...
for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world righteously
and the peoples fairly.

$1250.00 plus shipping and handling
36" x 36"
Painted with artist quality heavy-body acrylic paint on 1.5” deep gallery wrapped canvas

Click here to purchase from my website.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

If You Could Just Smell These Roses!

If You Could Just Smell These Roses!
If messy hands are truly an indicator of having had a good day, then BOY did I have a good day! Getting back in the studio after an event or time away is always challenging, and this time has been no different. You know, it is difficult to face those canvases and paints again - can I still remember what I am doing? Yesterday the painting won, so today - roses! Oh, I wish you could smell them! They are the lovely old-fashioned ones, and I don't think anything smells better! 

$400.00 plus shipping and handling
22" x 30"
Painted with the finest quality heavy-body acrylic paint on acid-free, heavy weight Fabriano watercolor paper
Ready to frame

Click here to purchase from my website.

When I am off routine, (do I sound like a kindergarten kid?) I find it tough to connect with my Heavenly Father the way I want to, too. It was great to spend a bit more time reading my Bible again today, and writing in my journal. I even *ahem* sang a bit! (I used to sing a lot, but in the past several years, I have been playing instruments at church, and I just don't sing as much. And, sadly, use it or lose it is quite true!) I sang two versions of Ephesians 4:32 - one that my sister wrote years ago to teach her kids, and one that ends with "doot doo, doodely doo, Ephesians 4:32". 

Ephesians 4:32 "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ's sake, has forgiven you." 

I also read a couple of excerpts from C. S. Lewis that I want to share: "And when God made space and worlds that move in space, and clothed our world with air, and gave us such eyes and such imaginations as those we have, He knew what the sky would mean to us. And since nothing in His work is accidental, if He knew, He intended. We cannot be certain that this was not indeed one of the chief purposes for which nature was created..."  And a bit more: "For he who does the will of the Father shall know the doctrine. Irrelevant material splendours in such a man's idea of the vision of God will do no harm, for they are not there for their own sakes." The idea I am gleaning and enjoying here is that nature - for all we can tell - is created to draw us to Him. 

So, if you could really see these roses, and if you could smell them, I hope they would draw your attention to the Creator of all of this beauty, like they are doing for me today! 

Coram Deo. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Art Fair this weekend!

Beauty Required
"What if it storms on Friday night?" I asked my Beloved Husband. I am making plans for the annual Village Art Fair at the Village at Winona that is coming up this weekend, and am trying to decide which paintings to bring, how much can be done ahead of time, and when each part of the setup would best be accomplished. I know that those who are more seasoned exhibitors don't have these burning issues the week before the show, but I am still getting my bearings when it comes to outdoor art events! 

10" x 10"

Painted with the finest quality acrylic heavy-body paint on hand-made, prepared cradled wood panel
Click here to purchase from my website.

I am looking forward to sharing many of my paintings, and hope to see friends at the event. I plan to display my biggest paintings, as well as some very small ones. Beauty Required is a favorite painting of mine from 2016, and it is one of those that I will miss when it sells! 

I hope for beautiful weather, and contact with friends new and 'seasoned'!


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Poem

Poem

Ephesians 1:4a (HCSB) For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. 

This morning, as I read my Bible, this part of this verse in the New Testament captivated me! I am so thankful that, in Jesus Christ, I am holy and blameless in the sight of God! My mind and body relaxed as I thought about being chosen, holy, and blameless. 

This week has been good, but scrambled and busy. Some of the time has been (happily) spent in the studio, and I have made progress on several paintings that have been 'on the easel', including this one. 

$350.00 plus shipping and handling

16" x 20"
Painted with the finest quality heavy-body acrylic paint on acid-free, heavy weight Fabriano watercolor paper
Ready to frame
Click here to purchase from my website. 

Delicious texture and color are what captivated me in this painting. I have had it in progress for quite a while, but because I loved the stage it was in, I couldn't proceed. I finally knew this week how to keep the parts I loved, and still finish the painting. I love the calm, relaxed feeling expressed with these colors and this composition. 

Another pause in my morning came as I read a poem by one of my very favorite poets, Christina Rossetti. Here is part of her work, Ascension Eve. 

"O Lord Almighty, Who hast formed us weak,
With us whom Thou hast formed deal fatherly;
Be found of us whom Thou hast deigned to seek,
Be found that we the more may seek for Thee;
Lord, speak and grant us ears to hear Thee speak; 

Lord, come to us and grant us eyes to see; ..." 

Beautiful, isn't it? 

Coram Deo.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Beyer Trail Landscape II

Beyer Trail Landscape II
Today my son heads back to Dallas after having been here for a few days. Did you know that you can get sick to your stomach from sadness? I don't know when I will see him next, and it almost makes me panic. There have been these knots inside...

But, even though that is true, I know he is where he should be. Dallas has been great for him! I love hearing his thoughts about the things he has been learning. I love the ways he has grown past me in his seminary education. (As has my daughter who lives in Michigan!) 

One of the tough things is that I know almost every parent goes through this change. I know that everyone else makes it through just fine. And I am struggling so hard. Does everyone think they will be able to handle things? Do we all think we have some special strength when our kids leave home? Or is it just me? I know that when I get back into my studio on Monday, the routine and the joy of painting will return, and I will once again be able to celebrate the blessed life I live. 

And I have been so blessed. There are probably some parents that WANT their kids to move out of their sphere. Some are eager to be free of struggles associated with difficult relationships, I suppose. But not me. I have such rich relationships with my husband, son and daughter (and many others), and I know that part of the blessing of deep love is pain at parting. And, you know, I am so proud of all of them! My Beloved Husband who leaves every morning to make a good life - a good living -  for us, my son who has moved to Texas to follow the call of the Heavenly Father, and my daughter who lives, works, and studies in Michigan, also following God's call. 

$375.00 plus shipping and handling
16" x 20"
Painted with the finest quality heavy-body acrylic paint on acid-free, heavy weight Fabriano watercolor paper
Ready to frame
Click here to purchase from my website.

So, I guess this painting is a good example of the textures and colors and values of life at this time of my life. There are the darks that make the lights stand out more. The neutrals that draw attention to the brilliant brights. And then the concept that I walk past this scene often on my walks, and only really see it now and then. 

Coram Deo. 

Psalm 100 
1 Let the whole earth shout triumphantly to God!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God.
He made us, and we are his—
his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and bless his name.
5 For the Lord is good, and his faithful love endures forever;
his faithfulness, through all generations.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Refreshing

Refreshing
In the last little while, I have had a renewed interest in "Scripture songs" - music that is written to encourage memorization of passages from the Bible. My Beloved Husband and I have a list (that we collected about 20 years ago) of 35 or 40 songs that we knew of that were word-for-word Bible verses. We didn't always have the names of the recording artists and so on, but the songs could be sung straight from the Bible. In my Bible, I have marked many of the verses for which I know songs. 

$250.00 plus shipping and handling
12" x 12"
Painted with artist quality heavy-body acrylic paint on 1.5” deep gallery wrapped canvas

Sometimes I find that one of these songs is playing on my brain's 'record player' while I am in the studio. I often find that I have (consciously or unconsciously) painted the expression of the verse I am hearing in my mind's ear. The problem sometimes comes when I try to use words to describe the connection. 

Psalm 34:8-9 
"Taste and see that the Lord is good.
How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!
You who are His holy ones, fear Yahweh, 
for those who fear Him lack nothing."

When I sent this painting to my "preview team", one of them responded that she loves the colors, but doesn't get the connection with the word taste. I can understand her comment, and it ties in with these thoughts. But, how can I explain that, as I add a certain color or stroke, I get the same sensation or emotion as I do when I eat something mouth-watering? I think the psalmist must have felt this, too. Clearly, he did not mean a literal taste of the Lord's goodness when he wrote this psalm. It is similar to calling a particular guitar tone 'fat' or to feeling satiated when viewing an art exhibit, I think. The arts can touch us in ways for which we don't have concrete words.

I love the way this painting turned out. The color from earlier layers that shows through is tasty! It speaks to me with words that my ears can't hear. The tone is whispered and intriguing.