For the past few months, I have gotten to work on several commissioned surprises.
I absolutely love being part of creating special gifts!
This painting was created as a going away present for our gifted and appreciated worship leader at our church. She and her husband recently moved from Chicagoland down to Texas. To express the beauty of this transition, there are Texas bluebonnets (Texas state flower), purple violets (Illinois state flower), pecan trees (Texas state tree), white oaks (Illinois state tree) and a few Indian Paintbrushes (which bloom in both Texas and Illinois). The painting is also inspired by Psalm 23, full of promises for this young couple during this transition and their future ahead.
Pulling all of these different components together into a cohesive piece was a challenge, but as is often the case, the process was a gift to me as well. Psalm 23 is such a popular passage, that I had begun to overlook its richness. I read and re-read the passage while I was constructing the painting's composition and again while I was working to balance the colors, values and shapes. Seriously, Psalm 23 is really good! It is loaded with references to God's character and the good gifts He offers.
These kids are amazing! They worked hard at looking and adjusting each line and shape without complaint. Mixing colors and developing the lights and darks came with their choice of oil or dry pastel.
Beyond the gorgeous results, the best part of this project for me was the students' discovery of how cool daffodils are! After carefully observing them, they were excited to notice them blooming all over town!
Who knew that a random variety of jars and bottles from the refrigerator could look so good?!
The challenges here included drawing each different shape (harder than it looks.), positioning each container on the table (some higher, some lower, some tucked behind others) to show depth on a flat piece of paper, and using good colored pencil technique to the very end (requires patience!).
For color, we ignored the 'real' colors and students began with one main (favorite) color and then chose a color harmony (complementary, analogous, secondary) to complete their work.
Mixing and balancing colors were part of the fun, too!