Thank God for Do Overs

Do Overs.jpg

This art board had multiple layers of paint on it, and it actually was almost finished.  After looking at it some more, I decided that some of the colors were too dark.  I tried to lighten them with some white paint, but didn't want to lose the marks on top, and so it just became a hot mess.  Sometimes it's just better to slap some gesso* on it and begin again. 

Life can be like that.  We go along, we make wrong choices, and life becomes messy. We try in our own might to fix it, but we just pile crud on top, try to hang on to things we should release, and we make things messier. .While an art board can only handle so many layers and do overs, God offers us infinite do overs.  We always have a clean slate. Forgiveness and grace are beautiful things. Col 1:22.

*acrylic gesso is usually white and is an acrylic polymer used to prepare a surface for painting.  Just like a latex primer readys drywall for painting, gesso readys a surface like wood, paper, or canvas for acrylic paint.

New Beginnings and Fear

New Beginniings Apple

I'm getting ready to start my first artwork series.  I have 9-11"x14" pristine white panels staring at me like a new beginning.  In a way it's comforting knowing there will be common elements to all of them, and I don't have to grab so far for creative inspiration.  But, there's also the fear of creating 9 similar pieces that all still need to be different but coherent with each other.

I believe the threshold to new beginnings is found on the other side of fear.  If we can admit it and name it, then Love can rush in and conquer it.  So...I'm afraid.  I'm afraid of the first one because it guides the next 8. I'm afraid I can't make 9 good panels in a row.  I'm afraid I'm going to share the journey, and it's not going to go where I want it to, and I'm going to get stuck in ugly in front of all of you.

So what am I really afraid of?? I'm afraid the Holy Spirit will not walk with me and guide me.  I'm afraid I want to be an artist, and God won't honor it.  And at the depth of it all, I'm afraid He will leave me all alone.

In these 9 panels, I pray for a deeper revelation of God's unswerving faithfulness, of His overwhelming loving-kindness, and an unshakable heart-knowing of my safety under His wings.

Here's to new beginnings on the other side of fear.

Prayers For Balance

Whenever we have things in our lives out of balance, we feel out of sorts.

And it doesn't matter if the thing is inherently good, any thing out of its place can make everything seem off. 

When we have balance, when we have divided our energies, thoughts, resources, and time to the things we are called to, in the amounts we are called to, we feel peace, we feel energized, and we feel whole. 

May our LOVE be victorious, our HOPE tenacious, our JOY contagious

Prayers For Balance

Prayers For Balance

Pray In The Storm

It can be easy to get frustrated when things are not going well.  It can be easy to blame and to get angry.  Hopelessness and anxiety can creep in.  And while all these feelings are understandable, they really don't change the situation or help us get through it.

When the storms of life hit, pray.  And keep praying.  Don't give up and don't give in.

May our LOVE be victorious, our HOPE tenacious, our JOY contagious

Pray In The Storm

Pray In The Storm

Share Your Story

It's so important that we share our story.

Share the miraculous joys and the gut wrenching sorrows, the confusions and insights, the disappointments and thrills, the hopes and despair. We need to let others know that they are not alone, to dance with them in the victories, to cry with them when things seem hopeless, and to radiate light until they can hope for themselves. 

And let others share with you, so you can be lifted, and comforted, and understood.

It's all a healing circle.

May our LOVE be victorious, our HOPE tenacious, our JOY contagious

 

  

Share Your Story

Share Your Story

ADVENTURAGEOUS

2017 is just a few days away. I have never been big on resolutions, but I have started coming up with a word for the year. My word has more to do with what my mind will think on than specific actions or goals, because what we think on determines where we go. The battle starts in the mind.

As a strong introvert, i like the familiar and predictable. The new and unknown make me highly uncomfortable. For 2017, the word I chose is "Adventurageous", a combination of adventurously courageous. More than just courage, I want to change my thinking and to think of new places, people, things, and opportunities as adventures...things to be excited by and curious of...and to not be afraid of them. 

So, I've got my crown, my cape, my sword, and my pail (to pick up anything fun and interesting) and I'm ready to change my mindset and to be Adventurageous!

What word would you choose for 2017? What mindset would you like to change?

Finding Freedom

Freedom can be a tricky thing, especially if you've been trapped for a long time.  The darkness of your thoughts can still feel comfortable.  The lies can still sound like truth.  While you hate the former prison, it is still the most familiar.

Living in freedom, believing the truth of who you are and believing that you have a purpose and a message, can be harder than living in the lies.  It requires new muscles that have not been used in a long time, or maybe ever.  

Take up your weapons and fight battle against the old way of thinking.  As you strengthen your muscles, speak truth to yourself, out loud.  There is something deep that happens when we hear truth with our ears.  Say it like you believe it, even if you don't yet. Call out the lies for what they are and refuse to engage with them. The choice is yours.

I am beautiful.  I am loved.  I have value.  I make a difference.  I am powerful.  I am free.

May our LOVE be victorious, our HOPE tenacious, our JOY contagious

"Finding Freedom" 

Finding Freedom 6" x 6" x 2" 

Finding Freedom 6" x 6" x 2" 

Count Your Blessings

It seems there is so much negativity around us.  The news cycle inundates us with tragedy, with hate, with hopelessness.  It can be easy to get angry, depressed, or fearful.

In every day, we have the choice of what we choose to focus on.  In every day, I have the choice of what my response will be.  I can choose love, I can choose hope, I can choose joy.

One way to help in making the choice is to count your blessings.  Start focusing on the positive instead of the negative.  Focus on what you have instead of what you lack.  Focus on this day and not on an unpredictable future.

Count your blessings, friends.  Be thankful.

May our LOVE be victorious, our HOPE tenacious, our JOY contagious.

"Count Your Blessings" is available in the store:

WHAT THE HECK IS IT??

Faith In Love

Faith In Love

I'm new to the whole "making yourself vulnerable and putting yourself out there with your art" thing.  I know there will be those who love it and those who do not, but on my first day, I get a comment on Facebook, "I'm sorry!!!  What the heck is it??" to my first piece that I ever sold.

My first instinct is to ban the person. Three exclamation marks and two question marks: how rude. My next reaction is to delete the comment.  My next thought is to just ignore it.  Which is usually my best thought...let it sit, walk away, and give it some space.  

I concluded, at 3 am, that as an artist, I should be ready with words to explain my art for those who ask about it.  As an introvert, I don't verbalize a lot.  And I have a hard time thinking in the big picture.  But I need to be ready at all times to help bring understanding and appreciation for what I do.

And btw:  I think it is always ok to ask the artist, but let's phrase it as a question with the intent of understanding and not as disgust cloaked in a question.  Something like "Can you tell me about this piece?" We really do put ourselves in every piece of art we create. ♥

So for those of you who were thinking "What the heck is it??" but were too polite to ask, here is my response (edited slightly because it is now 7:30 am and my brain is functioning clearer)

"As the artist, my intention is to represent abstract ideas, in this case, faith and love. For me as the artist, it represents my faith in Love (Christ): the love He has for me in the nails, in the bruises and the blood. It represents having faith that His Love will never leave me, even when I am a hot mess. It also represents our own personal relationships and having faith that love will win. When relationships are hard, when we are bruised, when we are asked to sacrifice, there is a call to continue through the hard times with a faith in the love that is there, that it is bigger than the circumstances. To the woman who purchased this piece, it could represent something totally different, which is the beauty of art in general and abstract art in particular. And it is ok if you prefer a more realistic style of art. Like in ice cream, that's why there are so many different flavors and styles. Find the art that speaks to you."

Be ready at all times, friends, in every circumstance. Find your voice, for whatever you need to shine light on, with the intent of bringing peace and understanding.  

May our LOVE be victorious, our HOPE tenacious, our JOY contagious.

 

When At First You Don't Succeed

PERSEVERANCE

PERSEVERANCE

I hate being on the beginning end of a learning curve.  It can be so exasperating.

Trying to take a photograph of glossy art is no easy feat, as I found out. Every photo had white spots where the light reflected off of the semi-gloss finish.  Very frustrating. Everyone told me that I should have photographed before I put the gloss on, but it was a little too late.  I bought a Polarizing filter for the camera: it's like sunglasses for the lens.  It helped, but did not eliminate the issue.  I was ready to settle for what I had, even though it did not represent the art well.

Then about a week later, it hit me out of the blue.  If the light is reflecting off of some vertical brush strokes, what would happen if I photographed the art piece horizontally and flipped it right side up on the computer?  Et voila!  It worked.  .

What is not working in your art pieces?  In your world?  What are you settling for because you cannot see any other way?  Are you open to hearing a suggestion and to trying it?