Lessons from a Light Bulb #3, 6x6in., oil on board, $50.
Lessons from a Light Bulb #3
Painting transparent glass, in the shape of a ball, is crazy. Colors, values, shapes, and reflections warp and bounce all over the place!
I know, I've got it so hard!
(The new owner of Light Bulb #1 is going to hang it in her office - as inspiration for new ideas. I like it!)
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Basking in the Sunshine, 6x6in., oil on gessoboard, $50.
At times, I wonder what the neighbors think.
I take my camera outside and walk around the yard just to see what I can see. I often end up on my knees or bent over with my head down close to the ground. "Oooooo..." I say to myself (okay sometimes out loud), "That is NICE! Well done God!"
This little gem was blooming out by the fence in our front yard.
Llama from Cosley Zoo
"I can't even draw a stick figure!"
To this, I want to say, "Oh, let me show you how!"
Years ago, in a discussion about drawing, an incredible draftsman said to me, "If you can write your name, you can draw." I believe it. Do you?
Like a drawing, your name is constructed out of lines and shapes. Yes, it took you a bit of practice to get the hang of it. I bet it took some people longer than others - but eventually...voila!
Don't get me wrong, there are some super talented artists who seem to have been 'born with it'.
I wasn't one of them. I was not pegged as 'the artist of the class'. I know what it means to break it down step-by-step. I am still amazed when shapes pop off the page and form something 'real'!
If you have the desire, you can draw a stick figure - and a whole lot more!! Let somebody show you. Take a class, buy a 'how to draw' book (start with the kids' version), sit and look at an object - one line, one shape at a time. Don't give up - and take it easy on yourself.
(I still have to tell myself that.)
Lessons from a Light Bulb No.2, 6"x6", oil on gessoboard, $50.
Lessons from a Light Bulb #2
While painting my first light bulb (highlighted in my last post), I felt like I was starting to 'fiddle-faddle': a highly technical term meaning 'noodling & doodling', 'fussing about'.
I decided to grab a bigger brush, move the bulb to a white surface, speed up my pace and loosen up.
Which one do you prefer?
Light bulb #1 or #2?
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Glorious Day, 6x6in., oil on board
I have this nagging expectation in my head that says 'real' painters paint 'plein air'. Wikipedia defines plein air: "a French expression which means "in the open air", and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors." Doesn't that sound artistically official?
While I can appreciate the tremendous value of painting on location, painting outside has not yielded great results for me. But, the weather was gorgeous, so I felt like I should give it a go - for the practice.
(Secretly, I was hoping I would be victorious!)
I scouted out a few fascinating blooms in our Rose of Sharon bushes, noting how the light was making the petals glow. It took several trips back and forth to get all of my paraphernalia out to the spot I had selected...Then a couple more as I realized what I'd forgotten. I was optimistic that this time I would succeed!
After an hour or so, I headed back inside with an awkward looking bloom. Last night, I finished the painting in my studio while referring to the photos I had taken earlier. (sheepish grin)
As for painting outside: I will try painting plein air again another day (It really is good practice for seeing shapes and color.) Today, I think I'll go back outside to paint the trim around our garage. Now, that I can do!
I would love to read your thoughts...
acrylic on wrapped canvas
Potential is about a moment.
It's about a moment of disconnect due to frustration, disappointment, discomfort, indifference, judgement, hurt, misunderstanding, impatience or anger. (All too easy to make that list!)
What will happen next?
It's about that very same moment and it's potential for grace.
What will happen next?
There is potential in each human interaction and the relationship that exists after that. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, verbally, financially - we can keep our backs to each other.
OR we can turn toward one another. There is the opportunity to connect, disconnect, or to re-connect. At the risk of sounding cliche: I can extend myself or walk on by. I can build a bridge or a wall.
From the not-so-helpful cashier at the store, to the homeless person I pass on the street, to my husband and children, to my community, country, world - the opportunities to respond are endless...and sometimes overwhelming!
The Bible exhorts us to: "Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love." (Ephesians 4:2) We are reminded to "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:31) and to "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (Ephesians 4:32)
Failure, fatigue, risk and vulnerability come to mind as I count the cost of relationship.
So I invite God into the process.
(The glow and the circle in the background of the painting
represent the Holy Spirit's Presence and Power.)
"Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
When I choose to invite God into the process, something changes.
I lay down my agenda to enjoy connecting. I step out of my comfort zone to introduce myself. I step forward into the relationship instead of retreating. I give the benefit of the doubt. I extend the invitation. I speak words of encouragement instead of criticism. I apologize. I give without passing judgment. I wait without anxiety. I offer a smile instead of a heavy brow. I decide to try again. I step out of my norm, and benefit from connecting with someone who is different than me. I risk. I try to understand instead of holding my hurt. I let go and forgive. I think of a new way to handle a situation. I speak up instead of choosing quiet resentment. I decide not to accept feelings of rejection. I zip my lips. I see things from a different perspective.
I experience freedom.
I cannot control what happens next.
There is Potential.
* I started writing this post over a week ago - and I just couldn't press the 'Publish' button. It seems that many 'Potential' kinds of moments have come my way. Or could it be that my focus on 'Potential', and the musings surrounding my painting of it, have highlighted the kinds of relational opportunities that are always present?
I would love to read your thoughts and comments.
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Websites are great, but it doesn't beat seeing the work in person. These paintings are in group shows, so if you have the chance to stop by, you'll get to see a mix of all kinds of work.
'Hope' is at the Elmhurst Art Museum
in the Elmhurst Artists' Guild Gallery
until September 14.
'Potential' and 'Affinity & Beyond' are at The Burning Bush Gallery in Wheaton until September 16.
The show is called, Ubuntu'.
The artists' reception is Sunday, September 9th, 1-4pm
I'd love to see you.