God Always Provides . . .

God Always Provides . . .
A Place to Land

“A Place To Land” by Darlene Seale           13 x 19 giclee print

As usual, this new painting started in my “Painting Brave” technique. (See Painting Brave)  When I start I have no idea what will happen next. I’m just waiting to be surprised.

At the same time I’m watching out the window at some activity in the yard. Two baby bunnies have made their appearance. They see me and scurry back to a place of safety under a large Aeonium succulent plant. I hear a clattering sound. When I investigate I see an oriole has landed on the long flower spike of a red yucca.  Hummingbirds are not happy this oriole has infiltrated their territory so they’re creating a ruckus and the oriole is scolding back at them, unintimidated. Who’s going to possess this flower stock?

Bees are all over the Cleveland sages in full flower. Crows fly in for a drink from the pool. Lizards chase each other and do pushups to impress a potential mate or assert their territory, I’m not sure which. It’s a wild wild yard and each of these creatures has a place to land or perch or be protected from predators.

Now my painting is starting to come together and have a theme. I’m seeing what God is trying to show me.

We all need a place to dwell in safety and comfort.  It’s a requirement for living that, for some, is difficult to find.  Daily we’re confronted with the reality of such disparity in this world. War never ends, hunger prevails, safety is elusive. Even in my own yard a daily battle exists over food, territory, safety and relationships.

When I need a rest it is God who provides the place to be comforted and protected. In all my busyness I need a place to land.  He provides it, and it’s beautiful.

“…The Lord will protect me, and my God will shelter me.” – Psalm 94:22. I take comfort in knowing that no matter what is going on in my life, God will provide a place for me to land.

Challenge: see if you can count the number of creatures found in the painting!

This print is available as a hand-signed giclee from my products. It’s also available at Society 6 and Fine Art America.

Painting Brave

Painting Brave

I Love Who You Are

“I Love Who You Are,” is my newest painting.  It started as intuition, then formed into something more tangible. I call this style of painting: Painting Brave – because I allow The painting to inform me, not the other way around. (And yes, I know it should be written “painting bravely,” but I’m not getting all grammatical because that would spoil my point!)

Why is this brave? It tends to reveal things I need to know about who I am and what I’m doing here. It informs me from my chosen perspective which is the truth of the Bible as a follower of Jesus Christ.

The painting process is pretty simple. I make a few decisions about color and start filling the “canvas” (my iPad) with those colors. I blend them using different kinds of brushes. Then objects start to form. A leaf. A blossom. Lines. Marks. Scribbles. A flower. An animal. A little girl. I never know. I get to try things, erase things, even paint over things.

A blob of purple color became a flower blossom; a swirl of yellow became the sun. A flower garden was formed, and finally a lizard and a bird together, facing each other.

Suddenly ideas crystalize. Words come. The point of it emerges. It’s about enjoying and loving the differences between people – even becoming friends against all odds. Jesus taught in allegories. I’ve discovered my heart sees and hears best that way.

This is certainly not how I was taught to paint, which is to begin with a subject and plan the details before starting. In Painting Brave, I get to enjoy being an observer and learning something new. It’s as if I’m on a train going north and I don’t know what town we’re coming to next. I get all excited about disembarking there and exploring unknown territory.

Painting this way informs my soul and provides wisdom from what some may call their “the inner voice,” which for me is The Holy Spirit.

Hope you enjoy it.  If you would like a hand-signed giclee print, you may order it from me directly here.

I turned it into a greeting card you can send to a dear friend, or other prints at FineArt America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Inspiration

Spring Inspiration

Let Yourself Bloom

I never lose the desire to draw flowers and plants. Spring simply changes the color story of the designs. I find myself seeking out the hues of early blooming sages and lavenders that thrive in my garden, along with the irridescent head of a hummingbird when it catches the sunlight. Life is present, loud and colorful. I feel gratitude just being an observer.

This month I painted “Let Yourself Bloom” in honor of Spring. I usually have an application for the art work in mind before starting.  This was designed as the cover of a journal.  Words written and art made, kept in a special place can be part of the process of letting yourself bloom and becoming new. The art journal is like your own secret garden.

Then I used the painting as inspiration for a pattern design suitable for fabric or a gift bag or wrapping paper.

In translating the design idea from a painting to illustration, I had to make changes and re-draw each flower, stem, leaf and the collection of dots. It’s an opportunity to add new elements to the design and remove those I’m not as pleased with. With illustration and repeat patterns you have to be able to place each element exactly where you want it, and rearrange if it doesn’t balance correctly. It’s also a great time to try out a completely different color story, so I did.

The first design below is the original illustration.  The next 4 squares are differing color stories of the same design. Now I can offer it as part of a collection of surface patterns and with variations that a manufacturer of products might prefer.

Any ideas? A Kleenex box? A gift or tote bag? A “green” shopping bag for groceries? Wrapping paper for a baby shower? Colorful pillows for your bed?

I’d love to hear your suggestions. Please comment here or on Facebook and let me know which color scheme you prefer or what kind of product you could visualize this on. Hope you are having a glorious Spring!

The painting “Let Yourself Bloom” is a available as a framed print, phone cover, pillow and more at my store at Society 6. Click on the Society 6 image at the top of the page to take you there.

 

 

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It’s Not About The Eggs, Or Is It?

It’s Not About The Eggs, Or Is It?
Seek

Seek

I painted this a year ago and never completed the idea. Sure, it was a cute illustration but then I put it away.  It had no words, just the little girl, the garden, the eggs and all the animals. Typical Easter greeting, but no greeting.

I always had ambivalent feelings about Easter.  For most of the world it’s a children’s holiday and fun time for hiding and seeking eggs, eating “Peeps,” getting an Easter basket filled with hidden eggs in green colored “straw.” I have some fond memories of our family tradition.  We wouldn’t go to church but we would spend the day traveling somewhere to have a picnic, often to the local deserts where the flowers might be in bloom if we’d gotten any rain. The true meaning of Easter was lost on me until much later when I chose to invite Jesus into my life. Juxtaposed with bunnies, chocolates and eggs, it was kind of weird to celebrate Easter that way until I began to see the symbolism of seeking after some delightful treasure. That’s what delights the hearts of children at Easter and I’m still excited about the foil-covered chocolate eggs hidden in  plastic grass!

Now I can reconcile the way we celebrate Easter. Maybe it originated as a pagan holiday but it takes on new meaning when one realizes the incredible treasure that comes from such an unbearable gift, given by a Savior who demonstrates absolute love.

So I took another look at this painting and decided it was about seeking hidden meaning, hidden treasures. Jesus said in Luke 11:9 “. . . Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”  Now the painting is complete, the words making it clear to me. Hope you enjoy it,

I Love Melanie Seale

I Love Melanie Seale

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Most artists create with tools we learned about as children . . . crayons, paint, pens, paper, clay.  But I so admire artists who can use materials I’m unfamiliar with in such an expressive way. Yeah, OK, there’s a bit of bias perhaps when I’m talking about family . . . but my wonderful sister Melanie is an artist with flowers and arrangements.  She creates gorgeous wedding bouquets and arrangements for all occasions. I’ve watched her work over the years and it just delights me to see how she manipulates these delicate materials with such skill and beauty.  I would have broken them into a million pieces in the first 5 minutes.  My hands are not meant to use plants and flowers as art unless I’m drawing or painting them. She actually arranges them into art and it’s awesome to behold.

Check out her website and you will enjoy the beauty of a tour through her portfolio of designs. The testimonials speak for themselves!

www.vineyardfloraldesigns.com