Posts Tagged ‘Isaiah’

Reflections and Hope

January 2, 2013

“We need the valleys and the hills. The hills collect the rain for hundreds of fruitful valleys. And so it is with us! It is the difficulty encountered on the hills that drives us to the throne of grace and brings the showers of blessing. Yes, it is the hills, the cold and seemingly barren hills of life that we question and complain about, that bring down the showers.” (From L.B. Cowman’s Streams In The Desert – January 1)

Let me begin by saying I am not going through anything particularly tasking at this point in life, but I’m sure this year, just like most years, will bring its share of strenuous “hills”.  I am thankful and hopeful that these hills will produce blessings.  This is my hope for the new year.

As I reflect back on my art and life this past year I am amazed at how much one’s life can change from one year to the next.

This time last year I was excitedly making wedding plans:

planner

And then the “big day” finally arrived:

planner2

It was so fun to plan (stressful at times, yes), but the most fun has been the sweet days that followed being a newlywed.

I am thankful this transition has resulted in positive changes in my artwork as well as my personal life.  The mixed media pieces have taken a new direction that speaks to the innermost workings of my daily physical, emotional, and spiritual life.

"Remember", mixed media on canvas, 20 x 20 inches

“Remember”, mixed media on canvas, 20 x 20 inches

My paintings have taken on some characteristics of the mixed media pieces, as well as becoming more fluid, transparent, and organic.

"Remember the Rock From Which You Were Hewn (Isaiah 51:1)", acrylic on canvas, 36'' diameter

“Remember the Rock From Which You Were Hewn (Isaiah 51:1)”, acrylic on canvas, 36” diameter

Simply because I don’t like calling them “resolutions”, I have here a small list of goals for this year:

1. Don’t be afraid of the “hills” in life – embrace them and strive towards them and through them.  I tend to err on the side of caution most of the time, so this will be a paradigm shift for me.

2. Be more intentional about my relationships with friends and family (hard for this introvert).

3. Keep praying that the Lord would make me generous and humble.

4. Read one book a month.

5. Expand my artistic territory – always be looking for a new way to present myself and my artwork.

Happy 2013!!

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“Remember the Rock…” Details

December 10, 2012

The more art I make the more I can see subtle transitions happening stylistically.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am experimenting with creating figures that are not fully formed and that have more translucent qualities.

"Remember the Rock From Which You Were Hewn (Isaiah 51:1)", acrylic on canvas, 36'' diameter

“Remember the Rock From Which You Were Hewn (Isaiah 51:1)”, acrylic on canvas, 36” diameter

In the past I have fully developed the figure as far as skin tone and opacity, but would often have it begin to fade out into the background pattern (like THIS one).

Now I am enjoying taking human fragility one step further and creating more translucent skin – just to suggest even more that our time on earth is limited, AND that humans are not just flesh and blood – they have spiritual souls.

Remember_the_Rock_detail2

The title of this piece is almost a direct quote from Isaiah 51:1.  The context is the LORD giving comfort to the Israelites – giving them hope in a time of great turmoil.  You will see that there are actual rocks floating around at the bottom.  Why floating?  Because I love to see things float in paintings.  I just do.

There are also butterflies encircling the figure.  At first I painted them in because they are often a symbol of metamorphosis and change, but the more I examined the final piece, the more I realized this piece was also a reference not only to the Rock from which I was formed (God), but my earthly rock – literally where I came from.  My mother.  Let me explain.

Remember_the_Rock_detail3

My mom is a butterfly expert.  She is currently writing a book – Butterflies of Tennessee.  The butterflies in the painting are purposefully Zebra Swallowtails – which are the state butterfly of Tennessee.  By the way – here is HER blog! 

I have always felt a strong connection to family, and as I was reflecting on where I came from spiritually (God – THE Rock!), I suppose it was only natural to subconsciously try to depict where I came from in earthly ways.

Happy pondering. 🙂

A Closer Look

October 26, 2012

“Deserving”

Recently I finished my latest painting called “Deserving”.  It is 36″ in diameter, which is a little larger than I am used to working, but I really enjoyed the challenge.  One challenge in particular for making larger works is increasing your amount of density.  In other words I can’t just assume that I can take design concepts from a smaller painting and blow them up on a larger scale… my RANGE of detail has to become greater.

detail of “Deserving”

In a previous post I mentioned that I would be exploring themes from the book of Isaiah.  This painting is the first in this particular series.  I would like to go into a little more depth, but not TOO much because over-explained artworks can lose their magic.

This painting comes from two different passages in Isaiah – 2:19-21 and 4:5-6.  The first passage describes when God comes to judge Israel because they have turned away from Him.  People will hide in caves from His terror.  I chose to clothe the figures in purple because it is a color of royalty.

When we make ourselves royalty instead of the One who made us, there are always consequences.

In chapter four, after the Babylonian exile, Isaiah describes a canopy that will shelter the “remnant” (those that have remained faithful and ALIVE) even after the judgement and exile – as well as a pillar of fire and smoke at night and a cloud by day that will shelter and guide them.

I am showing these two passages happening in the same painting for two reasons:

1. Because God is not bound by chronological time.

2. Because I wanted to show hope in the midst of darkness.

The figures are reaching out to receive God’s judgement (“consuming fire”) but also His guidance .

I hope the exploration into this painting has made the viewing experience richer for you.  As always, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment if you have any further questions.

Festivals and New Series

September 19, 2012

Driving between Johnson City and Asheville

This past weekend was a real blast – and a real learning experience!  We had fun staying with friends, eating really horribly (and by horribly I mean awesomely fattening and delicious), and talking art with folks.  We learned that maaaaaayyyyyybe I show better (and sell better) in galleries than in outdoor shows.  However, it was still a worthwhile experience.

I’m so glad I made the notecards!  People responded more to those than the prints.  I am looking to make an Etsy page for the prints and notecards a little later on…

I was fortunate enough to be assigned a corner booth so I had another wall on which to hang my work.  It really engaged people, and I conversed with many an inspired individual.

The sales weren’t great…BUT I got picked up by another gallery (signed the contract that Sunday after the show!) called Atelier Gallery!  Maybe that was the whole reason for the trip in the first place…  It’s in a great location in downtown Asheville on the corner of Lexington and College. They are very professional and energetic and represent some great artists.  I’m excited to work with them!

Relaxing, contemplating, and planning outside at Rembrandt’s Coffeehouse

Ah, the aftermath of a show…a sweet time of contemplation, readjusting, and  looking to the future.  I took some time yesterday to think about my next few paintings.  I have been off and on reading through Isaiah and have been very inspired by the redemptive story of God disciplining and reaching out to His people.

Some of the imagery is so powerful, and the redemptive prophesies are so great, I just HAVE to explore this visually!  The book is basically laid out in three sections: 1. God’s warning and judgement on his people who have turned away from Him. 2. As a result, Israel becomes captive to the Babylonians 3. God redeems the remnant (those left after the exile)

I am really looking forward to exploring what God has to say in these passages.  There will be female figures, maybe a male figure or two, caves, canopies, smoke, lions, lambs, trees, fire, fruit, flowers, and, of course, pattern.  Can’t wait!