"God's art [Creation] speaks of Himself, reflecting who He is and what He is like."
Francis Chan

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Poppy - Take II and Live Painting

  I know it looks like I am reposting the same picture, but this is in fact my second attempt at a poppy close up.  I had a blast yesterday spending the morning and part of the afternoon at a local coffee shop that opened  in my hometown, painting this for a special give away for the grand opening of the shop.  It was so fun seeing lots of people that I knew - some from my town (one of the true joys of living in a small town is you get to know so many people and you feel connected), and some surprise visits from friends and even a few relatives.  Plus I got to meet lots of new people and that is always a good time.  Thanks to everyone who came out.  It was such a great time of small talking and painting, and great coffee.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


  I'm afraid to say that I have not been a very faithful blogger lately.  Time has been getting away from me!    I've been splitting much of my time between hanging out with the kids in the pool and painting.  I just finished this 12x12 poppy.  I think I mentioned in my last post that this is the twin of one that I will be painting live at the opening of a local coffee shop.  I was pleased with how this one turned out and feel like I was able to work out a lot of ideas for the second painting.  For those of you who are local to my area - come see me on Saturday starting at 8:00 am at "One of  A Grind" Coffee shop in Center Point. You can put your name  in for the drawing to win the painting!  Also, I have about seven paintings on display at "Clingmans" in Vinton, along with my stationery.  If you are in that area, check them out.
  I'm almost finished with the tulip "collage" that I've been working on.  Hopefully I can post on that one in a few days.  Until then....


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Busy, Busy

   My little art corner in my office has been quite a busy place this last week or so, as I have started a couple of new projects in preparation for some upcoming art shows that I will be in.  I have been finding it fun to have two or three paintings going at once so that when one of them is needing a day to let the paint sit up a bit before the next layer of glaze, or just because I need to look at something new, I can rotate onto a different painting for a time.  It feels like things are little fresher that way.  I see things with a whole new eye when I have stepped away from it for a day or so.
  The painting above has been really fun to do. I love sunflowers. Who can't love a sunflower?  Of course when I see a sunflower I think of Van Gogh and all of his wonderful sunflowers.  I read somewhere that Van Gogh's religious background  is really displayed in his paintings of sunflowers as he saw them as a symbol of Christ.  I like that.  It is with that in mind that I began painting this sunflower, picturing the glory and majesty of Jesus in our dark world.

  I also started this little poppy.  Both the poppy and the sunflower on smaller than I usually work - 12x12.  I wanted to do some in that size, all with the close up look at the flowers.  This one is actually a twin - I am doing another just like it.  I know, that seems odd, but I wanted to "practice" with this one to work out some ideas and make sure it will flow.  The reason being is that I will be spending June 26th painting the other poppy at the grand opening of "One of a Grind" coffee shop in my little home town of Center Point, Iowa.  I have a wonderful friend, Kelly Hansel, who just opened this quaint little shop and asked me to paint there during her grand opening.  I have to tell you, at first I  was horrified to think of painting while others were watching me - what if the painting was horrible?  I calmed my fears by deciding to work out the kinks with poppy number one!  So if you are from my corner of the world, please stop by and see me that day.  If you order one of Kelly's delicious coffee concoctions you can put your name in for a drawing to win the painting!

  I continue to work a little every day on my "tulip collage".  I said last post that I am really striving to stay "looser" in my painting.  I try to remind myself of this every time I pick up a brush to work on this one. I so admire artists who have that wonderful loose flow to their paintings.  But despite its looks, it's not something that comes effortlessly - or maybe just not with me (the control freak side of me maybe gets in the way?).

 I have also been busy doing a little "marketing" project.  I realize that not everyone wants to (or can afford to) purchase original artwork.  But everyone can enjoy art.  I have always loved stationery with beautiful artwork on it that I can share with my family and friends on a small scale.  With that in mind, I decided to have some of my paintings printed into stationery.  What a fun learning experience that has been.  This is a sample of my first printing.  I have a couple of places locally that they can be purchased at and I will be selling them at future art shows.  If you see anything you like, feel free to contact me by email or on Facebook for more information.

Finally, I just made a trip to the library to put a check mark off of one of my "summer goals list" items by finding and reading a biography.  I found a simple little book written by a 92 year old blind,  Iowa farmer named Carl Saunders.  (I know this has nothing to do with art - but stay with me :-)  He wrote a book for his children telling all about the struggles he has lived through - wars, the Depression, good crops, bad crops, blindness, etc.  The book is called, of all things -"Blessed" and is written with the sole attitude that  no matter what we go through, we are so blessed and should be grateful to God.  So today, I am being reminded of this and am remembering to acknowledge the One who gave me all of the blessings in my life.  I thank God for my husband and children, for friends and family.  Most of all I thank Him for coming into my life freely dying that I might live.  It brought tears to my eyes today as I sang in church this wonderful song -

Oh the love of the Redeemer, never failing 
come what my
He has purchased my forgiveness
and has washed my sins away.

So, here's my gently reminder to all of you to give thanks for all of your blessings.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Learning Moments

Art, like anything in life, is something that you work your hardest on, trying to achieve your best.  At times the end result is something that you sit back and look at and feel really good about.  Sometimes you may not be quite so pleased with the results.  It is those times that you label "a learning experience".   A "learning experience" can be code word for "Wow!  That's terrible."  Okay, maybe it isn't quite that bad.  But the point is not every project turns out quite like you had envisioned it. Especially when you are diving into new territory outside your comfort zone.   It's been one of those weeks.
  All snarziness aside, I do in actuality believe in those learning moments. And I have been working on a few projects lately that have really been teaching me a lot - or at the very least making me realize how much I have to learn.  Because at least one of them is something that I posted about in it's beginning stages (Satisfied ), I feel I should share the end result no matter how it turns out.


I had really grand visions for how I wanted this painting to turn out.  Unfortunately with the painting "Satisfied", I am not, well...satisfied.  For one, I was frustrated to no end with how the pillow laid out - I know it isn't in perspective.  Secondly, The people themselves didn't turn out quite how I wanted them to.  I will admit this was lack of planning on my side.  I didn't have a clear idea in my mind, or on paper of what I wanted them to look like.  I didn't have a plan, which resulted in me working, reworking, and reworking some more, on their features. (Ah!  truly a learning moment for me to walk away with!)  Also, I so over thought the curtains and how they would fall that I ended up with something that looks unnatural.  Not all was lost though, I was really happy not so much with how the sheets turned out, but more with what I learned about creases and wrinkles and (maybe more importantly) how loosely I painted, which is something that I have been trying to work on.  So this is one that will be stored in the closet of misfit paintings.  I may revisit this one at a later date.  A second attempt at painting this idea, in a year or two, may give me better results.

   Okay, on to the other two projects that I was and am working on.   The first was for an online artist challenge.  Over at Calypso Moon Artist Movement blog,  artists were asked to paint something that expressed light in darkness.  Of course my first thought was The book of John - "The light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it" (1:5)  I was trying to portray the face of Jesus. But truth be told, I have always been reluctant to do this, because no matter how experienced I will eventually become as an artist, how could I ever do justice in portraying the face of God?  But at the same time, I did want to convey more the experience of the moment that Jesus' light burst into my very dark world - changing me forever. I wish I could say I was successful at that. Unfortunately I ended up with a picture of Jesus that looks like at any moment he is going to pull out a star wars light sword (whatever those things are called) and take on Darth Vader.  Not what I was going for.

Finally, I began working on a longer term project that involved some photos I took a month ago of tulips from my garden, laying in every which direction on a wrinkled sheet.  It is so not turning out how I had envisioned.  But I think it hasn't crossed the line into the point of no return.  I will try and save this one.
I do like the overall feel  from the colors and close up there are some good things happening with the tulips themselves.  Right now the wrinkles look too contrived (one again, I was over thinking them!).  But I may be able to remedy that.  I am going to let it sit for a couple of days and take a second look.  At that point my main goal will be to paint loose, loose, loose!
Okay, thanks for listening to my self criticism.  As always, I am appreciative of comments and/or suggestions from my artist friends out there.  It is amazing how much we can learn from another person's experience and perspective.
Happy creating....


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