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

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring Afternoon

Last spring I had an abundance of tulips in my garden.  One afternoon I picked a variety and spent the afternoon taking reference photos of them for future paintings.  I had them set up on my dining room table, next to our patio door with late afternoon sun flooding over them. Out of the dozens of photos I took, I have several favorites and decided that it was about time I got around to painting one.  
This 28x28 oil was fun to do, as I tried a few things that are new to me, and rather challenging.  First of all, I am such a newbie when it comes to painting glass!  I really admire when an artist can paint a beautiful glass vase that looks effortless.  After doing this one, I am excited about trying it in the future and getting better at it with each try. The other thing that was a little new to me was the tulip laying on the ground.  When I first blocked in the composition I didn't have that there.  I soon decided that the painting needed something in that empty space.  I used another reference photo that I had taken for the idea of this last tulip. I like that it's sort of fading into the dark background, with just hints of light hitting it here and there.  I felt like the overall painting was stronger with it there because it seemed to bring balance.
This was the last of the painting projects that I had wanted to get done before the Creative Artists Sale on Saturday.  For those of you in my area, if you are anywhere near Hiawatha Community Center on Saturday, April 30th form 9a.m. to 4p.m., stop in and see some really great art work from twenty very talented local artists.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Walk Among the Poppies

              This is one of those paintings that I started a long time ago (maybe four months ago), set aside for a time and just recently saw it sitting, unfinished, begging me to add the final details.  I chose a 24x 48 inch canvas because I wanted that feeling of an ongoing poppy field that the viewer is just passing by - thus the name.  I never grow tired of poppies.  I think I learn something new about painting them every time I attempt it.  As a last minute thought I added a few strokes of a strong magenta color among the oranges and reds and I think it really makes it sing.
             For those of you in my area (Cedar Rapids area), stop by the Creative Artists Spring Art Sale on April 30 at the Hiawatha Community Center from 9:30-4:00.  I will be there with this painting and other recent works along with all of my stationery note cards and coffee mugs.  There will be about a dozen other super talented artists there, so come by and say hi and check out the beautiful art works.
             On a last note, I still have fifteen paintings up at the Lowe's Art Center in Marion for another week and a half (it comes down after the 29th) if anyone is in the Marion area.
             It is sunny this morning here in Iowa - time to get out and enjoy the Spring day before the rain returns....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


        I am finally finished!   I feel like I have been working on this one for way too long.  I've had too many days lately of starts and stops.  Oh well, that's how it goes sometimes in the juggle of life :-)

       I had decided from the get-go that I was going to name this painting "Alive".   My reason for this was that the minute I began to lay in the bright colors on the petals, it started jumping off of the canvas at me and it felt like it was, well, alive.  Now that it is completed, I am even happier with the name because of the timing of it's completion. We are two weeks out from Easter and my thoughts lately have been on this holiday.   I realized this morning that this is my Easter painting!  I know, I know the bright colors might not seem to line up with the typical pastel pinks, blues, and lavenders you see all around during this holiday.  But to me, these colors say Easter loud and clear.  Let me explain...

      In our house, Easter has never really been much about the whole Easter bunny thing (although, we do love getting our kids Easter baskets filled with trinkets and treats).  For us it is wholly a time to celebrate that we were once, because of our own sins,  so desperately separated from the God who made us, and yet because of His great love He came to earth to reconcile mankind to Himself.  The days before Easter I am reminded  of the sad hours upon this Earth after Jesus had died and it seemed that death had gotten the final victory.
      Then the first Easter comes along and Jesus rises from the dead.  Now, I know that old Hollywood movies like to show a gaunt, sullen eyed Jesus, who looked like, although he had recently raised from the dead, he may need to lay down and rest at any moment because of his frail state.  But this is so not the image that the Bible gives.  Instead, we see it for what it was - the all powerful God, who had willingly laid down his life to take the punishment that we deserved,  three days later bursting to life again, defeating forever the power of death in the lives of those who believe on him.
     One of my favorite hymns, "In Christ Alone",  puts it better than I could ever dream of...

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world, by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

       That does not call for pastel colors.  That cries out for full blown, in your face bright colors that scream - Alive!!!  Happy Easter to you all....


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