Sunday, February 26, 2017
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Friday, February 17, 2017
Every morning I walk Max, my assistant Bolognese, and while he spends his time sniffing around, I listen to tapes on my phone. This week I have been listening to Peter Yancy's book on Prayer. I have often had questions about prayer....for instance why pray if God already knows our needs and requests? Yet, prayer seemed to be very important to Christ, who was God's Son ...sometimes his prayers even being in anguish. For instance, in the Garden of Gethsemane found in Matthew 26:36-56. One point brought out in Mr. Yancy's book was that we pray very fervently when our needs are great and we persevere in prayer during those times. We also develop a relationship with the One we are praying to. When I call my closest friends on the telephone and they answer and I say, "Hi"....they know it is me. We talk so often we do not have to spend time trying to establish a relationship as our relationship is so close that I can say one small word, "Hi" and they know my voice. Maybe when I spend time talking to God, His voice becomes more familiar to me.
Another story struck me from the book and that was of a pastor building some stone steps at his home. The stones were very heavy and the work was hard. His little 3 year old girl wanted to help him and even though he knew the stones were too heavy for her, she kept insisting. He gave in and let her "help" him with tasks that were safe for her to help with. He said the building took a lot longer with her "help" but after the steps were completed, she happily told everyone "Me and Daddy built steps". Her part in the project was so special to her. Maybe the act of prayer is more for us to be a part of a collaboration than to change God's original plan or mind, for when prayers are answered so specifically we feel that we had a part in the outcome.
When Mother Theresa was asked, "How do we learn to pray?" she answered, "By Praying". Even though there are times when I wonder why I pray and my mind wonders during prayers I know that perseverance in trying to become better as an artist pays off. The more I paint, the better I get at it. I learn something with each painting. Maybe with perseverance I learn more about praying as well.
Saturday, February 11, 2017
There have been times when I viewed an abstract painting and had the thought that the artist just “threw some paint” on the canvas. Never again will I think that. I have recently taken a course with Mindy Lacefield that encouraged a more intuitive way of painting. Placing colors on your canvas, covering it actually and then looking for the painting to emerge. She also encourages using your hands to apply the paint, actually feeling the medium, the canvas and creating different textures. I have been amazed at this process and have been impressed with the fact that the image that appeared seemed in some way to just want to be created. I have also found that someone will just "know" that the painting is for them personally. I know that sounds crazy but I can only say it is the hardest way to paint I have ever tried but it is the most fulfilling. I spent days on this painting, much more time than I usually spend but I saw things come about that I would never have done on my own. I have a tendency to use the same brush strokes and even, some of the same colors but this painting I found new colors and nuances.
An angel appeared and then I started thinking about angels. What or who are they? The Bible points out that angels are beings who have greater power and ability than humans. (2 Peter 2:11). There also appears to be many of them. For an example, a vision given to the apostle John included a glimpse of hundreds of millions of angels. (Revelation 5:11) I could not find a verse that states each person has a personal angel but it does seem that children do. In Matthew 18:10 Jesus said, “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven."
I did find some very encouraging verses regarding how angels seem to be involved in our lives. The Bible says, “the angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.” (Psalm 34:7) and in Psalm 91:11, “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways." They seem to be kind of secretive or at least they do not announce their presence. We also see in Hebrews that “some have unwittingly entertained angels”. That is very interesting. I have met some angels along the way.
Monday, February 6, 2017
I live in a city but there is a house somewhere nearby that has roosters because I hear this guy crowing every morning when I am out walking my dog Max. Research on why roosters crow done by Takashi Yoshimura found that roosters settled into a 23.8 hour day and would begin crowing the same time every day, just before dawn and the lighting did not seem to factor in. It was concluded that the birds must have an internal body clock that tells them when to crow. Another interesting observation was that the most dominate rooster was the one who start the crowing off, lending credence to the idea that crowing is about marking territory and asserting dominance. the researcher said, "Our preliminary data suggest that the highest ranked rooster has priority in breaking the dawn and lower ranking roosters are patient enough to wait and follow the highest ranked rooster each morning."
Sunday, February 5, 2017
I loved the simplicity of these roses in a mason jar with all the light and shadows bouncing around. I will say I do not like painting with red paint though.....I still have not mastered it and found a way to keep it off everything I come in contact with. This would be a good Valentine gift for some sweet guy....flowers that do not die.
Saturday, February 4, 2017
I am excited about being a part of the Jerry Brown Art Festival in Hamilton, Alabama on March 4 and 5. The Jerry Brown Arts Festival is a juried arts festival headlined and named in honor of a Hamilton resident and Smithsonian potter, Jerry Brown. Artists from throughout the Southeastern United Sates participate in this festival celebrating the festival's theme, "Reflections of the South".
I am busy painting a series of birds for the show.