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

Friday, October 29, 2010

Autumn Leaves

    I got to spend a few hours yesterday working on a small painting for  the monthly art challenge at Inspiration All Around Us.  I feel like I'm getting spoiled with nice fall afternoons to paint away.  Now that the weather is starting turn cold here in Iowa, I am beginning to think of the winter months ahead.  A few days ago I began working on a couple of Christmas themed paintings (more details on those when they get a bit more presentable!).  I've been doing some different subjects - I feel like I  am getting a little stretched out of my typical floral safety zone.

Monday, October 25, 2010


  I am not a portrait painter - although I have begun to love to try and capture the unique features of the human face.  I know that I have so much to learn!  With a desire to get better and learn more, I put out a request a month ago on my Facebook page for anyone who would send me some photos of themselves or loved ones so that I could work on some portraits over the winter months.  I got the idea from another artist, Carol Nelson, who did a 100 portraits in 100 days project on her blog.  Carol is amazing in what she does (check out her site!), and I wouldn't even begin to try and take on a project like that one - I just wanted some practice over the winter months with some new faces other than my kids, husband, dog, etc!
  This is a painting is of a little guy named Joseph, all the way from Texas (don't you just love internet connections?!).  His mom, Barbra, is a photographer, so she had lots of pictures for me to choose from.  I loved the position that he is lying in and I am always a sucker for intmate close ups.  Biggest challenge in this painting - the angle of his position and trying to keep his thicker eyebrows still looking like little boy eye brows.  Funnest part to paint - those beautiful baby blues!
  If you have a photo you would like to send me, click on my Facebook badge and check out all the details.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Autumn on the Font Porch

      The weather has been so beautiful this past week and I haven't gotten out lately to really enjoy it.  So this afternoon after school I took my french easel out to my front yard and enjoyed an hour or so of painting.  I had this beautiful pumpkin on my front porch with the most graceful lines that I thought needed to be painted.  The mums are one of my favorite flowers and I really liked the fall combination of colors with the mums and the pumpkin together.
      Half way through my painting I felt like I was having the ultimate painting experience as I could actually smell the pumpkin that I was painting.  Duh...my daughter, Tori, was sitting on the other end of the front porch carving some smaller pumpkins that we had, while she kept me company. I had to laugh at myself and when I told her she looked at me as if I had lost my mind!
     All in all it was a relaxing way to end a Monday.  This painting was done for the Artists Helping Artists October art challenge.  This is a 12x12 oil  - if you are interested in purchasing it, please contact me by email julskul@msn.com.
Enjoy your week everyone!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Autumn Rose

  Here is  a little something that I worked on this past weekend for the Inspiration All Around Us art challenge for September.  I love the glow of yellow throughout this pink rose.  It kind of reminded me of Nature's last hurrah before winter sets in - It's determined to go out with a bang.
  My mind has recently been on seasons of our lives.  The changing of the leaves, the preparation for winter, all a reminder that our lives, like the seasons are quickly fleeting.  To everything there is a season.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
                                Ecclesiastes 3

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Eyes of Sudan

      I am going back in time a little bit today to a painting I did in 2006.  This was one of my favorites to do because the story behind it was really meaningful to me.  It may look familiar to some of you as I had done a post with the study sketch for this last January.  About four or five years ago I had run across an article in World Magazine about the terror that Christians in Sudan were living in because of Muslim persecution.  Along with the article was a photo of what looked to be a teenage girl looking directly into the camera, with a small child ( younger sibling, a child of her own?) peeking from behind her shoulder.  The child's eyes looked terrified, as almost as if they were wondering what new horror were they about to experience.  The young woman looked at the viewer with such a sad, pleading look, it about broke your heart.  She couldn't be more than fifteen or sixteen, but her eyes looked older.  I could only imagine the terrible things that she had experienced - the things that she had to do to protect the younger child.  The article told many stories about the rapes, murders, and tortures of the people in this area.  I couldn't even wrap my mind around the responsibility that she had, trying to shield this child from the darkness that surrounded them.  What struck me the most about her was the quiet confidence that I saw in her stance and in her eyes.  She looked sad and desperate, yet at the same time she seemed to be saying with her eyes, "Come one, just try and hurt this child, I dare you!" 

      After I read the article I went on my way but I couldn't get her eyes out of my mind.  I literally laid in bed for the next couple of nights thinking about those eyes.  And about my cushy, comfy life here in America where I pretty much get to worship God the way I think I should with, for the most part, no one coming against me.  I never have to worry about my children's lives being threatened because of our faith.  I also kept thinking about a particular scripture in Hebrews 13:3 that says "Remember your brethren in prison as if chained with them."  This woman may not have been in a cage with bars, but definitely of prison of fear and terror.

      I searched my house high and low for the discarded magazine and found it in a pile of papers ready to be pitched.  I found that article with the picture and immediately began to paint.  You know when you hear the term - it almost just painted itself?  Well it really felt as if it did.  Every brush stroke laid down the way I wanted it to.  It was such a  pleasure to paint. 

    I chose to make the teen girl older, just to establish the fact that she was a mother, pleading for her child's safety.  I could relate better to her, I think.  I found myself praying for the safety of the two people in the photograph, which made them so much more real to me.  And I thought a lot about the freedom that we have here in America.  May we not waste it.  May we not take it for granted.


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