Monday, January 31, 2011
Every once in awhile I get in a rut. Not really a bad thing. I just find myself repeating a theme. I think I did this about the same time I did "Breakfast at Skyline". It's all finger painted.
I know. You immediately thought of sticky-icky fingers, and hand prints on the walls. Paintings of blue faces with mismatched ears, and hot pink clown lips. Seriously, though. I did put on gloves! It went REALLY fast. Well, except for the feet, which I did three times, I think.
It's based on a picture I took of one of the chickens in Doyle and Nancy's hen-house. They are my source of all things farm-ish. Their ranch is one of my favorite places to visit, and they're some of my favorite people. And as a bonus I get to take lots of pictures of tractors, and bales of hay, and cows. Worn out cowboy boots, and a real-live RED barn. And there's always lots of good stories and laughter around a steaming cup of tea.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
I did this as a joke for my friend Jim. He lives in a retirement community where he has the option to go to the dining room for meals. He has commented that every once in awhile there will be another resident who can't seem to decide if they want waffles or fresh fruit. Granola or an omelet? Toast or oatmeal? So they stand.
And they stand.
Right in the path.
And the traffic flow around the food tables gets mildly congested and discombobulated. What's really delightful, is that Jim has become the Rescuer of the Lost. He goes to the Standing-One and asks them what they need, and then helps them back to their table. It's beautiful!
So, of course I had to paint it!
On a more serious note, that same retirement community has asked me to give them a price for painting a few murals, so I am sketching and sketching, and sweating over pricing, and sketching some more. I'll post some of those sketches soon. And I'll let you know if I get the job!
Saturday, January 29, 2011
The house is back to normal. No more piles of trash or tools laying about. Everything is spiffy clean. And I have no excuse to be sitting with no pencil, no sketch book, no inspiration!
So last night, while the hubby watched the Winter X Games, I tried to wrangle my creative brain into submission. A few pages later, and I ended up with Miss Kitty in all her fat glory. One-liner, with a really really really fine point pen.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Ok, so the house doesn't QUITE look like this. But it's CLOSE! We're in the midst of just a few, tiny, itty-bitty home improvements, and doing anything in the art world is NOT POSSIBLE. I have high hopes for Friday, though!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
On my desk I have an upright napkin holder filled with card stock and envelopes. The card stock is blank, sturdy...just waiting for some kind of ink and watercolor artwork to be put on it. For some reason I STRUGGLE to send a card that I bought from Safeway. Sometimes, at the last minute, when I'm desperate.....out comes the boring Safeway card. But I'd MUCH RATHER do something fresh and unique and specific!
I gave these cards, blank on the inside, to a friend who is a missionary, because she doesn't have the time to make her own cards, and she doesn't have the luxury of going to Safeway.
By the way, these are all "one-liners". Once I started I didn't pick up the pen until I was finished. Then I added the watercolor.
Monday, January 24, 2011
The photographer asks your forgiveness...(that would be me)...but this is the best pic I got!
I was actually planning on painting a human form down in the hollow of God's hands. But when I got this far, I realized that I LOVED the visual of how it looks safe and deep down in there! If I painted someone nestled in there, yes it would communicate....but I wanted to look at that deep place and know that THAT IS WHERE I DWELL.
It is the truth that carries me, enables me, and gives me courage. That is where I dwell.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
This is my very first oil painting ever. Frankly, I was shocked and delighted that it turned out to be frame-able!
I was taking this class at Bemis (that little art school in Colorado Springs that I mentioned in another post), and we were all scattered around the room, working on our projects. The lady next to me was painting....something kinda modernish....something that must have spoken to her, but I wasn't getting it. The instructor was looking over her shoulder (he had his back to me) and said something like, "I love the blah-blah-blah, the lines are blah-blah-blah, and the texture....." You get the idea. Then he said, "I'm so glad you aren't painting a big huge flower." HAHAHAHAH!!! He seemed at a loss for words when he turned around and saw what I was painting!
I really don't care what he thought. I LOVE this painting. I call it "Tranquil" because that's exactly what I feel when I look at it.
By the way, my dad made the frame. He's a genius.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Some of you know that I have a few watches. A FEW. Ok, the last time I counted I think I got up to 16. None of them are digital. Seriously, if you need to find out the time, why not have the joy of looking at a beautiful clock face?
For reasons I don't think I understand I have always loved clock faces. So, it should be no surprise that I not only have a few watches, I also have a few miniature clocks. Most of them work. But two are slightly ancient, and have long since quit ticking. This is one of them. I was playing around with sketching them, seeing if I could make something actually look symmetrical....tricky. And could I draw reflections? Tricky.
Of course, then I had to play with painting it!
Friday, January 21, 2011
This is a watercolor I did for a friend...who knows when!? It feels like forever ago. I have nothing in my records about size or date. I must've been pretty distracted! I called it "Spring Pots". It's one of my favorites, actually! Sometimes I give something away, and find myself wishing I had hung on to it! Silly.
Just FYI, I FINISHED the Romans set at church today, but I forgot to take my camera! So there's no pic yet. Next week maybe.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I specifically painted this so that the person had one clean hand, and one filthy hand. And we really do end up living with both.
My model and I had a great time setting up this pose. I wasn't completely sure what to 'dirty' her hand with, and in the end I think we ended up with a combination of potting soil and maple syrup! I've felt a little bad about this, because I definitely didn't make her look PRETTY....but then again, there's nothing pretty about sin.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
I FINISHED A SKETCH BOOK! I've never finished a sketch book in my entire life. Having multiple sketch books scattered around the house, some on shelves, some in storage, just shouts "DABBLER" to me. So finishing a sketch book is speaking volumes.
I celebrated by driving down the pass and going to Meininger, where they have a plethora ("Jefe, would you say I have a plethora?") of art supplies, and where the sketch books were on sale. I ONLY BOUGHT ONE. That's because I'm going to FILL it before I allow myself to buy another! That makes each purchase a small party!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I don't even know what to say about this one. The verse calls for some STRONG rejoicing, but it took me forever to pin down HOW I wanted to show it! I actually went to our local grave yard and took pics of grave stones. And I have pics of me jumping off of grave stones...which felt really, really disrespectful!
I finally decided that all the pics of me had really bad lighting (the grave yard is in the trees with lots of dappled shadows, and I wanted stronger shadow lines on the figure), so I had to try again. The grave yard in Divide has some direct sunlight....but I couldn't go jumping off of real grave stones again! I just couldn't!
So, this is Murphy jumping on his trampoline. He had great fun! And the lighting was much better!
Monday, January 17, 2011
Ahhhhh.....sunshine. Currently we live in a forest, on the floor of a slight valley, and the lack of sunshine is....not a joy giver! So I take delight in sketching a happy sun. I've lost track of how many of these I've sketched over the years. It seems to be a default subject for some reason!
I have the hope of someday moving to a bright hillside where the delight over sunshine is a reality as opposed to mere pencil on paper. Those of you who know me well know that moving is a distinct possibility, not just a vague dream.
So Sunshine.....I'm a comin' soon! And that's a Joy Giver!
Sunday, January 16, 2011
There are 9 different languages on this canvas (I think?). I loved all the different fonts, but getting them all laid out took FOREVER. When I painted them I left the outlines in some places on purpose. Again, that sketchy look. God began a good work and will be faithful to complete it.
Just a note: making sure I got the phrase correct in Thai was a bear, and I'm still not sure I nailed it. They don't break up their words in a sentence! It's all run together!! Good grief! Someday some person from Thailand will visit our church and tell me I got it all wrong. Aak!
Saturday, January 15, 2011
LOVED, LOVED, LOVED THIS ONE!! Can you just imagine? After weeks of hearing it repeated, Sunday after Sunday.....we're all sinners, we're all guilty.....then, HOPE! God Himself reaching down, through His own suffering, to enter our darkness. Tainted by our sin. All for our rescue, and His glory.
Beautiful truth. After painting the last canvas in just 3 colors, I couldn't bear the thought of this one being the same. This one had to POP! It needed full color so it could show the JOY of our salvation!
It took me awhile to find just the right hand model, and even then the drawing of it was tricky. Someday I hope to say that I'm better at the human form! Practice, practice, practice, right?
Friday, January 14, 2011
This one completely FREAKED me out. I've always believed that I cannot draw the human form, not even a part of it. Every time I tried, I choked in a big way. So what on earth was I doing attempting human hands on an 8 foot square canvas?? Insanity, for sure.
It just goes to show you that my God is the one who paints, not me.
I did baby-step this, in that I didn't use full color. I have a very dear friend who is a far better artist than I, and she advised me to work on tone this first time out. So I used white, brown and black. Simple. Getting the reference proved to be amusing. My friend Scotty stood in a north facing window holding dry-erase markers while I took the pic!
Thursday, January 13, 2011
I sketched this yesterday based on a photo my uncle took in Carcassonne, France. He said that this is a half-timbered building within the city walls. Clearly I am not an architectural artist, but the subject matter was BEGGING to be drawn! It's just idyllic, and fairy-tale-ish, and it appeals to everything in me that loves beauty!
Painting the wrath of God was not one of the things I particularly looked forward to. But it's part of the truth of our story. Spending a day painting God's wrath made me more thankful for my salvation, and that Jesus took God's wrath on Himself.
My favorite part of this painting is the glow on the hillside. I find it amusing that it was a mistake! Bob Ross would call it a "happy accident"...I call it the kindness of a creative God!
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Romans 1: 16 says, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes..."
How do you sum up the gospel in one canvas? Well, it helps to have a really, really big cross that can be moved and placed wherever you want it! So I painted the empty tomb, and placed the cross smack-dab in front of it, so that it's shadow gets cast on the canvas (the shadow doesn't show up in the picture, but it's there). This is the truth of my salvation in one simple statement.
As for the mechanics of it all, I kind of wanted that sketchy look. I wanted people to see that their salvation, while a done deal in God's eyes, is a work in progress from our point of view. The masterpiece is yet to be seen. And when God is done, we will be pure and holy. It's gonna be fantastic!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
WHAT ON EARTH??
This is a big black canvas. It measures 8 feet square. Last September there were 8 of these hanging in the sanctuary at my church in Woodland Park. They were all waiting for paint.
We started a sermon series on the Book of Romans, and I was honored with the task of painting images to go with the sermons. Sometimes coming up with an image was easy, quick, obvious. But there were times I seriously wrestled with the text! How do you paint that man suppressed the truth so God gave them over to their sin? Or how do you portray the Holy Spirit in a new and interesting way, without giving Him a body?
This week (and yes, this is Tuesday already) I was hoping to paint something showing how the Holy Spirit "intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words". I've had a couple of ideas, but I'm really uncertain about them. So what this canvas will end up looking like is a mystery to me!
I'll post the other seven this week, along with why and how I painted them. And if you have any great thoughts on my current angst, be sure and let me know! The clock's ticking!!
Monday, January 10, 2011
There are some things that I really never, never thought I'd paint. Pheasants. Ships in a storm at sea. Elk bugling. GUNS. Really. But I find that there is a new family friend that appreciates these kinds of things, so when Christmas rolled around I felt compelled to paint a GUN! Astounding but true.
I was more than a little nervous about the whole idea. This friend is a real-live-honest-to-goodness-rootin'-tootin' gunsmith, something completely foreign to me. And I figured that, as a gunsmith, he would notice if I didn't really NAIL IT. So I sketched the silly thing over and over and over. This is the best I came up with. Then I painted it twice. I still don't think I was completely accurate, but he was very gracious and seemed to like it!
Guns! Who knew?
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Last April I took a delightful trip with three friends to Taos and Santa Fe. We each took a brand new sketch book along. The weather was idyllic, and the company was pleasant beyond words. But my sketch book...well, I think I only filled five pages on that trip. It's now been ten MONTHS, and my sketch book STILL isn't used up. Clearly I don't sketch enough!
So, some of what I will post here will be sketches. Nothing particularly stunning. Just practice. And that book will be filled SOON! So I can buy another!!
Friday, January 7, 2011
I painted this way back in....2003? I was still trying to figure out if I wanted to pursue art at all. I had no idea if I wanted to go down the scary road of learning new things and maybe failing! Seven-ish years later, and it's been a lot less painful than I thought, and a lot more fun! God has whispered encouragement to my heart, He's surrounded me with gifted teacher/friends, and looking back I can see His kindness over and over again.
I called this "Nations".
Thursday, January 6, 2011
I dearly love old time, ancient looking calligraphy. Back when the English language had greater flair (and I didn't know what 1/4 of the words meant!), and the lettering itself had tremendous beauty.
I think this is the 5th attempt at lettering these verses. It's nowhere near as beautiful as the lettered text in my head, but for some reason I can't seem to get what I'm picturing FROM my head TO the paper! Alas and Alack!
As a church-going kid, I probably memorized these verses in Vacation Bible School when I was maybe 9 years old. Then I heard them repeated over and over, and preached on over and over, until they became flat and boring. Just recently I was looking up verses dealing with fretting....and I ended up in Philippians 4 re-reading those oh-so-familiar words. Except now that I'm MUCH older, they're no longer flat and boring. God has made them FULL of meaning.
This is my grandfather, standing in front of the OOOLLLDD woodburning stove that he heated his house with and cooked his meals on. He was possibly the most fascinating man I've known. And an artist. But that's an insufficient description. He was brilliant in many ways, and everything he did had a unique, artistic flair.
For most of my life he was a sculptor. My house, and the houses of the rest of our family, are filled with beautiful pieces that he made. If you go to the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs you'll see a ginormous buffalo that he sculpted. At a stop-light in Woodland Park there's a landscaped area with two stylized bass clefs that are his. There's an indian-style bear in front of the swimming pool in Manitou Springs. He was prolific, to say the least!
And he always cheered my attempts to be creative. He payed for at least two art classes at Bemis (a small art school in the Springs), and loved when I drew on the blackboard in his shop.
After he died I was delighted to receive a flag pole that he built with an eagle on top. It's one of my favorite possessions, so of course I had to paint it!
FYI, the photo of Grandpa was taken by my cousin, Barry Hathaway. He's got the creative gene too. You can check out his website at barryhathaway.com
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
One of my hopes for this blog is that it will become a source of motivation and learning for myself. If I have a sort of self-imposed daily deadline to meet, then the hope is that I will rise to the occasion and PAINT! And not necessarily paint masterpieces every day, just PAINT! So a fair amount of what you see on here may just be evidence of my exercising. Proof of my attempts to learn.
This little painting is just that. It's all an experiment with colors and layering and backgrounds and brush strokes. I actually kind of like it, bizarre as it is. I'm calling it "Forest On A Stump".
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
One of my greatest joys is a good cup of tea. Nothing fancy-schmancy. Just black tea with a teaspoon of sugar. My son, Murphy (not his real name, but I'm trying to protect the innocent...or something like that)...anyways, Murphy is particularly gifted at making a GREAT CUP OF TEA. Truly astounding. He's a JOY GIVER.
I called this sketch "CuppaTea" (think Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady"). I drew it with my hubby's carpenter's pencil which had been sharpened with a knife. Tricky. The sketch now resides in the kitchen of a delightful friend, and that fact is also a JOY GIVER!!
I have a website. It's beautiful. It took me FOREVER to build. I think I threw a small party when it was finally done. But it's a bear to change and update, so I'm attempting this blog instead. The hope is that I'll post frequently...dare I say daily? The hope is also that having this blog will encourage me to PAINT daily as well! We'll see! Surely there's a clever quote about good intentions that I could put here, but I can't think of it.
I'll be posting pics of my work, with my thoughts about why I painted it...or how I painted it...or whatever! I'm not particularly clever with words, but maybe someone will be encouraged anyways.