“Sticks And Stones”
by Darlene Seale
13 x 19 giclee print
I hated my name growing up. Darlene. Where did it come from? There weren’t any other Darlene’s in my family. I learned it’s a common name in the South. Everyone there knows someone named Darlene. It means “Little Darling.” Very Southern, isn’t it?
I never felt like anyone’s “Little Darling” growing up so it didn’t seem to suit me. I always wished I had a more attractive, cool name. Maybe if I’d grown up in the South it would have fit better.
Besides our given name, we get called other names all our lives. Not so nice ones. And we often adopt them and believe in them for ourselves. We may take on names like “incompetent,” “fat,” “illegitimate,” “stupid.” And then those names stick with us for as long as we let them hang around and color our worlds.
I let a lot of names define my self-esteem, my decisions, who I hung out with, even my sense of humor. I felt “branded” by the names I was called that weren’t very nice. Or even true.
Then I discovered the names God called me. According to the Bible I was “Treasured Possession,” “Chosen,” even “Beloved of God.” Now the meaning of my given name, “Little Darling” had a whole different spin for me in His viewpoint.
Have you let names define who you are? What is your real name? I started the painting above, “Sticks and Stones” not knowing what it would be about. Then, as is usual for me, I let God tell me what it was about and brought it to completion. I hope it speaks to you about how much God loves you and has given you a name you can be proud to identify with because He sees you as you truly are. Psalm 33:12. Look it up – that’s your real name.
“Sticks and Stones” is available as a giclee print from my product store.
He Causes The Sun to Shine by Darlene Seale 13 x 19 giclee print
My process for making art is strange. I start with a blank canvas, add some color and texture and when I like the balance of it, it’s time to paint something on top of it. The piece above developed over the day and into the evening before it was done.
It started with sketchy circles which I blended, adding color and lines. Had no idea what I was doing or where it was going. (That’s a secret. Don’t tell.)
I created some symbols and spirals, and then finally, hours into the process, realized what it was all about. I drew a symbol for the sun that you’d see on any decent cave painting in all its primitive glory. Then came a symbol for rain and lightning, equally primitive. Symbols represent ideas. Some are obvious, others more obscure. Whoever designed the Rosetta Stone to translate Egyptian hieroglyphics was a genius. Otherwise we never would have known what this highly sophisticated culture was even talking about.
Then I ask God “What’s this about anyway?” And I listen. And He answers. Usually with a scripture which provides the final subject matter for me. In this case, the question I hear all the time is “If there’s a God, why does He allow terrible things to happen in the world? Why doesn’t He step in and protect us from evil?”
My painting doesn’t pretend to answer that question but the scripture in Matthew points the way to what God thinks. Sun and rain are necessary for life, both which God lovingly provides for his creation, whether we are good or evil. He knows what we need and it doesn’t matter how we behave. We are given what we don’t deserve – His grace, symbolized by sun. Likewise we are all subject to the same corruption that comes with being a citizen of Earth, darkness symbolized by rain. God does care. He’s far from disinterested in His creation!
His answer to our demands doesn’t come with just one scripture but with an entire collection of His thoughts and ways about man.
Hope you enjoy the art, even picking it apart for more meaning of your own, which I’d love to hear about.
Here’s my latest hand bound journal. I made this especially to write in, spending many days painting all the paper pages and deciding on what to put on the cover. It will include lots and lots of gratitudes as part of a new project I’m working on. Shuuuu….can’t say anymore right now.
I decided this morning early to get a photo of it. The light is perfect at 6 a.m. What better place to capture it than a location I’m so thankful to have – at the edge of this serene pool and spa.
Gratitude requires practice. Apostle Paul claimed to have “learned” how to be content by practicing gratitude in all circumstances and situations. He was in prison while he wrote the epistles to the church so he had to look long and hard for things to be thankful for.
Gratitudes are not brilliant. I tend to write dumb things when it comes to gratitudes. Nothing especially extraordinary or awe-inspiriing, just the things of everyday life that come across my field of vision and make me smile. Maybe that’s the point: they’re just ordinary things.
Gratitude is powerful. It has the ability to change minds and hearts about circumstances without changing the circumstances. It’s like magic. After gratitude is expressed, contentment follows. How does that happen? I don’t know. That’s why it’s magical. I marvel at it because I don’t understand how it works. It just does.
Try it out. I promise you will be amazed.
Kindness by Darlene Seale
13 x 17 giclee print
A couple of weeks ago, my sister Melanie, who owns Vineyard Floral Designs, put a message on Facebook about kindness. It was awesome and inspiring to me. I had to paint something in response to it. I didn’t know what I was going to do exactly or how I would express her sentiments – just do kind things for one another.
There is so much unkindness, tragedy and nastiness in this fallen world we inhabit. I could send all my money to homeless children, or animal shelters, or victims of tragedy, coerced by slick commercials accompanied by famous songs by famous singers. But it would never be enough. Instead I do what I can with what God makes available to me. I could spend all my time dwelling on how helpless I feel to combat what I see and hear, joining this group or that one which promises to fix it all. Or I could choose to focus on what I probably do best – paint and write and make art.
Kindness spreads from one person to the next and that’s what I hope happens with this new piece of art I designed just for you to download!
Seriously, it’s free. Also free is my Bad Bird Studio Newsletter. It comes once a month to let people know about workshops I offer. It includes art challenges, projects, tips for using art mediums, gift ideas to make, new “tangles” to draw and things you might like to know.
If you would like to download “Kindness” to print on your home computer, please go to my website and sign up for my newsletter. I will send you the link to the PDF print file for your own personal use – 7 x 5 greeting card size print, suitable for matting and framing. All I ask is that you sign up so that I have your permission to send you the file, and . . . that you don’t use it in any commercial way. Feel free to give it as a gift and pass on the kindness to others.
If you are already receiving my newsletter and would still like the downloadable file, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know you want it.
If you would like to purchase a larger giclee print of this work, please go to my Products Page and you will be able to buy it there. Thanks very much and let’s all be kind so that hope blossoms in the hearts who need it most. Have a great week!
I always marvel at the way marketing propels people into amazing action. Weeks ago at the announcement of the new iPhone 6 and 6 plus, people camped out at Best Buy and the Apple Store to be the first at the chance of getting one. I refuse to give up my bed to sit on concrete overnight to buy a product that I could just as easily get a few days later. Perhaps I’m too old for such adventures. (Although once a friend and I did go to Pick&Save, now Big Lots, at 2 a.m. on Christmas Christmas Eve, just to see what kind of people would be shopping 2 days before Christmas at that time of the morning. It was an eye-opener!)
So anyway, the point of all this is the new iPhone 6 and 6 plus slim cases and tough cases are available at my store on Society 6 and I learned some pretty cool new things about the cases this time around. They’ve introduced a new “tough” case. If you’re anything like my hi-tech sister-in-law Judy, you’ll want to know exactly how these cases are constructed before sending off for just any ol’ case to protect your precious new investment. I don’t blame you.
Here’s the description of the iPhone 6 Plus Tough Case: “2-piece, impact resistant, flexible plastic case with an extremely thin profile and extra shock dispersion. A flexible rubber liner provides secure fit. Snaps onto your phone for premium protection and direct access to all device features.” I dropped my phone on concrete and tile a number of times and all was well, in it’s regular slim case. Not even a scratch. There is a lip around the front that extends slightly above the phone so even when dropped on its face, the worse case scenario is the case might crack but the phone is protected. These new Tough Cases should be even more protective. Cases are available for iPhones going back to the 3 and 3gs, also for iPod Touch and Galaxy S5 and S4.
Even though I’m always pleasantly surprised when I sell any of my art, I just love to find out someone bought one – like the above piece,”Midnight Hearts” shown on an iPhone 6 Tough Case. It’s satisfying to know someone likes my art enough to carry it around with them all the time!
Wanna see the phone cases, along with lots other products my art is on? Click here: Society 6
I’m probably going to succumb to an iPhone 6 plus one day soon because my eyes now seem to need a larger screen. And marketing is everything. I’ve been longing for a larger screen on my iPhone, jealous of my Galaxy friends, so Apple must have read my mind, along with millions of others who have to have the latest gadget or die. But I won’t camp out overnight. I like my sleep too much!
I‘d love to hear from you – Are you going to buy a new iPhone and if so, which one? Have a creative joy-filled day!