Right now I’m teaching a 3 part workshop on drawing faces. Faces must be on my mind. I’ve painted a lot of them lately. I think the more we look at the faces of others the more beautiful they become. We see ourselves in them – Our victories, challenges, weaknesses, strengths.
The faces I paint are about lives in which something is going on. Either something good. Or maybe there’s something behind the eyes, the lips, the tilt of the head that cries out for unmet satisfaction. Or, resignation that we must often wait for it along with the truth that satisfaction comes from the deep recesses of our souls. If the soul is empty so is the heart.
Maybe that’s what the paintings are about. Perhaps more will be revealed. Meanwhile, I have lots of new paintings in my gallery for you to look at. I hope you enjoy them. I’ve also created a link to purchase hand-signed giclee prints of all these new images. Thanks again for encouraging me to just do it!
Joy seems to be a recurring theme in my work, so it must also be in my life. I’m convinced that God blows joy into our lives when we are thankful and living in a state of gratitude.
Sometimes in the darkness I get a painting in my head and I have to turn on the light and sketch it, or write down words that stream out. Other times I just start painting, not knowing what in the world I’m doing. Then it all comes together in an extraordinary way.
I don’t know why that happens. It just does. I guess that’s part of “my process.” I couldn’t explain it to someone who asked.
Recently I was working on another piece, which I will share with you next time, and I had no idea what it was going to be about. It started as a face and moved on from there. Other times it starts as a brush stroke and then colors and I don’t like them so I cover them up with other colors until I start to like what I see and feel. From that point it could go anywhere.
That’s the “process,” as random as it seems. I decided to not overanalyze it and just find the joy instead.
Hope you decide to choose joy today and find God blowing his breath into your sails. But that’s a whole different painting. Wait for it.
Well I didn’t, but my art did. O.K, it’s a free health store magazine. O.K., I didn’t get paid for it. Can I do a happy dance anyway?
A person in Florida emailed me and asked if they could use it for their valentine, heart month edition. After getting all the info I decided to send it to him and why not? The whole point of making art, other than pure personal joy, is to let others experience the same. So I emailed the file with the understanding that they were preparing multiple covers and my work may or may not be chosen. And they would send me copies of the magazine if my art work was chosen.
Then I forgot all about it until last week when a strange package arrived in my mailbox. it all came back to me that this might be the copies of the magazine . I carefully cut through the tape with an Xacto knife and there it was!
It didn’t matter that the quality was only newsprint. My art was on the cover! Yay! They chose it!
It all starts with little dreams, which turn into bigger dreams one day at a time. I stopped stressing over the world’s idea of success because it’s based on a weak premise to begin with: that money is what defines it. If that were true then very wealthy people would be more alive inside instead of people like me, who get all excited when an envelope arrives in the mail with samples of a freebie magazine that has my art on the cover.
How cool is that!
I’ve always struggled with the writings of Paul and some of the other disciples. They keep telling us to do things that are really, really hard, like love one another, forgive one another, to live a life worthy of the calling of God. Then I look in the mirror and say “Who me?” I’m just a girl, living on a planet that is spiraling downward and taking me with it at times.
I find one of the greatest and most challenging teachings to be from James 1:2,3 – “My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.”
What if I don’t want endurance? Sometimes I just wanna whine and cry and be the spoiled little girl I am. But James teaches me that I should (figuratively) go out in the rain and sail my balloons anyway, even though other creatures are taking cover . . . I think he means that joy is not so much a feeling as it is an action, a choice I make. And if I give my challenges and problems over to God in surrender, I am choosing joy over succumbing to them.
I hope you enjoy the illustration of the little girl (perhaps me), rain spilling off her face but flying her balloons despite all logic to the contrary.
My year starts with words that will hopefully become themes. I’m starting to realize how powerful art and words are together. They are themes that reflect a life, or an exciting journey I want to take.
There are enough negative words that reach our souls during a lifetime. So this year I’m concentrating on affirmative words that speak of life and life abundantly. I believe words are more powerful than we give them credit for. They can either destroy our hearts or lift our spirits.
I recently looked over some of my very early drawings when I was in high school and before. I seemed to paint and draw scary things. People looked at my work and kinda cringed. But I was practicing making art, replicating things I saw – like I thought artists were supposed to do – and using my imagination, even if it was a bit on the dark side.
As artists we go through various creative phases just like our lives do. What we produce generally reflects the current condition of our hearts and souls. And right now my soul is filled with hope, peace, joy. Seems cliche-ish but it’s where I’m living everyday, allowing my Savior to have His way with me and expecting it to be all for good.
I expect as the year progresses there will be more themes, revelations and words to accompany my art. If you have some words to suggest, I’d love to hear them, and even paint them.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, and make your year a very happy one.