Why Worry?

Why Worry?
He Could Hover by Darlene Seale 13 x 19 giclee

He Could Hover by Darlene Seale
13 x 19 giclee

On warm summer nights I try to swim just at twilight.  The air is still or there’s a slight ocean breeze and the plants surrounding the garden and pool are mostly in silhouette against a “Maxfield Parrish” sky.  (His awesome skies transitioned from deep blue to salmon and peach and he has become one of my favorite landscape painters.)  I feel a bit like a magical mermaid in one of Parrish’s gorgeous reflecting pools.

And then she appears, this tiny humming bird.  She comes in silence mostly but if you listen closely, there’s a faint buzz. She flits from red sage flower to purple, then alights delicately on the very tip of an aloe which has been designed perfectly for her tiny toes to curl around. And she fluffs her feathers, heart beating wildly and cleans her beak.  Mostly she sits gazing at the same God-painted sky that moves me.  She regards me as a strange mermaid who glides close to her then away.  Suddenly she’s up in the air again, passing through a different group of sages and a few exotic plants. She alights again this time higher up on the rim of a tomato cage where she can better oversee her kingdom.

For some reason she doesn’t worry about the mermaid nearby. She doesn’t worry at all. Ever. She has no bills to pay, no plants to weed, no dishes to do, no floors to vacuum.  She doesn’t plan her days around going to the gym, or picking up kids, or cooking meals. She doesn’t struggle with car repairs or huge water bills or making a living.

And yet her Heavenly Father feeds her daily, in abundance.  He meets every one of her needs.  There’s never any drought. The sages never run out of nectar.  She flies, sits, rests, eats her fill, flies some more, broken up by the occasional hummingbird wars she conducts when others sneak into her kingdom.  But mostly it’s a life of being taken care of by One who created her and cares about her needs.

Why am I such an anxious creature constantly on the prowl to find something to worry about?  The Bible tells me that God, my Creator, cares even more about me than he does this tinniest of birds.  Luke 12:24 is the way Jesus told us to live our lives, without worry and anxiety over anything because He is always at work providing.  He knows our needs and He will take care of them in His perfect timing.  No anxiety required!  We have no idea how He is constantly at work, like a hummingbird in constant motion.

So each night’s swim is a lesson in how not to worry.  I watch this little hummingbird just be herself – and God takes care of all the rest.

How To Do The Best You Can

How To Do The Best You Can
In A Garden by Darlene Seale 13 x 19 giclee

In A Garden by Darlene Seale
13 x 19 giclee

I’m guilty of viewing beauty and exclaiming, “now THAT is the hand of God.” A humming bird, a rose, a protea, a red wood. These take my breath away.

I see God in a garden but His handiwork is evident even in weeds. See how God has positioned each of its parts for optimum use.  In season, there may be a flower to produce more seed.  (Ugh, more weeds on the way!) There are leaves to collect oxygen and nutrients. A stem holds the structure together so it can reach for sunlight and chlorophyll. Some weeds that grow in my garden are so beautiful I wish they could stay. But I know if I leave them, they will take over because the God who created them has imbued them with power to survive and thrive.

He gives all His creation a chance to do the best they can. I do the best I can with God at my side, empowering me and leading the way. When I go off by myself and pretend to know what I’m doing I don’t thrive.  My fears take over. I know everyone sees through my fake bravado and I fall apart.

Some days I wake up feeling like a rose. Other days I’m pretty sure I’m just a weed. Regardless of how I feel, I am marked with the stamp of a loving Creator who cares about every part of His making. He gives even the most humble of His creation a beauty and power to do the best they can. If I stay beside Him daily rather than run ahead or lag behind, I’m doing the best I can, and He does the rest.

Speaking of the best I can . . . Here are some patterns I just finished for the last assignment of Make It In Design Summer School.  Which one do you like the best?

 

Jewels

Jewels – iPad composition

 

 

Cockatoo (hmmm, wonder where this idea came from?)

“Cockatoo”- iPad composition
(hmmm, wonder where this idea came from?)

Intricate Chaos Ball Point Pen

“Intricate Chaos”
Cheap Ball Point Pen Drawing!

 

Each assignment had a different theme, color scheme and application. I’ve learned a lot in this series and now I’m off to practice my pattern making in Adobe Illustrator.  I’ll share more later . . . .

 

 

You Were Made To Rejoice!

You Were Made To Rejoice!
"You Were Made To Rejoice" By Darlene Seale 13 x 19 giclee

“You Were Made To Rejoice”
By Darlene Seale
13 x 19 giclee

First of all, I didn’t know that. I wasn’t aware that rejoicing is something only humans can do. Animals don’t rejoice, although I have to say when I’ve been gone for long stretches and first enter the house, Angel does a little circus dance up her perch and over the bars of her cage as if she’s “rejoicing” to see me.  Actually, she just wants “outta there.”

Humans rejoice.  We feel joy and it’s a deeply spiritual phenomena. Rejoicing isn’t the same as being happy. I can be happy, delighted, love somebody or some thing, get excited, feel satisfied, have a great day. But rejoicing is so over the top. It pours out from the soul and no adverse circumstances affect it. Rejoicing is a form of worship in which our spirits connect to God and that moment changes us. God made us specifically to commune with Him and the result is rejoicing. No other creature on earth gets to do this!

Bright splashes of colors and patterns are my form of worship and rejoicing. I’ve been working on patterns and surface designs lately, even recycling some of my older work into brand new stuff. That’s what I call “recycling!”

More about that later and perhaps a little “art show” of some patterns I’ve been working on. Meanwhile, hope you like the latest painting, available from my store and as other products too. Enjoy. No, rejoice!

Do You Have True Friends?

Do You Have True Friends?

 

"True Friends Remain" 13 x 19 giclee on archival paper

“True Friends Remain”
13 x 19 giclee on archival paper

Sometimes we choose friends who are so different from us it seems impossible we’d be friends to begin with. Like a cat and a bird . . . the subject of the above painting “True Friends Remain.” You have to wonder how in the world these two would ever get along!  (However, I painted some similarities. Can you find them?)

Difference are a part of friendships. They wear off our sharp edges and bring us opportunities and experiences we otherwise would not have known. I treasure those friends who are so different than me because I know without a doubt God brought us together, even if only for a time or season. I wouldn’t have chosen them on my own!

What happens when friends are separated by a move, a change in health or circumstances? If the friendship is true, it will remain. There are certain people who have been a part of my life for whom I have great affection even though they are no longer part of each day. We never speak or write or even stay in contact. Yet they never leave my memory and I still smile when I think of them and the happy experiences we’ve had together. I also hope they laugh when they think of me – that perhaps I brought some joy to them at one time.  Now they’ve moved on and I am no longer in their life.

That might be sad if it weren’t for the plan of God, which is always good.  Instead of being remorseful that our friendships have changed and may be no more, I am a child of gratitude so I give thanks for the friends God put in my life when I needed them most.  Now He has other plans for them, and for me.  We are on separate journeys which have taken different paths.  Friendships that were true to begin with will always remain.  That makes me smile.

Hope you enjoy “True Friends Remain,” available as a 13 x 19 giclee print from my store, and on other products from Society 6 and Fine Art America.

Do What You Were Meant To Do

Do What You Were Meant To Do
Do What You Were Meant

“Do What You Were Meant To Do” by Darlene Seale 13 x 19 giclee on archival paper

This “doing what you were meant to do” thing can be a struggle, can’t it?  Most of the time we spend figuring out what that even is!  I’ve learned what we were meant to do is the thing that we’re best at and brings us the most joy.  So there’s no point in fighting it any longer.  I was meant to make art.  No sense in debating whether or not it will be successful, or whether people will like it.  My directive from my Creator is just to do it!  Make art.  That’s it.  Question answered.

With that in mind, I’m taking some rather unique classes online right now, in hopes that they will help me to do what I was meant to do.  One of them is in Pattern and Surface Design Repeats.  “Whazzat?” you ask.

In order to sell designs to companies that produce say duvet covers, or stationary, or gift bags or gift wrap, you have to be able to create what is called a “repeat pattern.”  If a company plans to make fabric, they create it in long bolts which requires the pattern to be repeated over and over, seamlessly.  It’s the seam that matters.  If the seam is visible it’s not acceptable.  I’m learning to create these in Photoshop so that they are suitable for marketing to a variety of manufacturers that require seamless repeat patterns.

I’ve discovered it’s not easy.  But it will be worth learning because I’ve always wanted to create fabrics and gift wrap and bed sheets and other home goods.  I’ve done a bit of this through Society 6 where many of my designs are available but they don’t require seamless repeat patterns. I’m progressing and moving on toward doing way more advanced compositions and patterns.  I think I’m ready to really do what I was meant to do.

Meanwhile, I have some new art hung at the Z Cafe Gallery to replace ones that have sold.  The show ends August 4th so please go down and take a look.  And . . . this is exciting, I have some great new duvet covers at Society 6 if you have a queen or king size bed.  I’m so excited to participate and offer my work on products, other than just wall art.  This is what makes doing what I was meant to do – an awesome blessing.

(The above painting is a tribute to my special friend “Charlotte” the cat who is the biggest diva I’ve ever seen, only to rival Angel, my Cockatoo – who gives “Diva” a whole new meaning.  Thanks to Colleen for letting Charlotte into my life!)