Saturday, June 28, 2008

New Painting - Pride Before a Fall

A few weeks ago I was inspired to make this painting. The funny thing is that I was thinking of the word "Failure". I mistakenly thought failure was the challenge word for Illustration Friday. I quickly sketched my idea and thought about how I'd execute the painting. Later, when I was at my computer, I was reminded that the word for the week was "forgotten". I did do an interpretation of forgotten in my journal & shared that for IF. I started this painting that week and have just completed it.

When I was thinking about failure, I remembered Peter, the disciple of Jesus, who declared he would not fall away from Jesus. Jesus told him that Peter would deny him three times that night before the cock crowed. Jesus was taken away by soldiers and Peter did fall away, just as Jesus said he would. Peter wept bitterly.

I'd like to think that I wouldn't fail like Peter did, but I know better. It's so easy to make prideful promises or statements. But when things get tough, that's when I'm tested. I have known failure.

After Jesus was crucified, died and resurrected from the dead, he appeared to Peter and the other disciples. The wonderful thing is that even though Peter failed, he was forgiven and restored to fellowship with Jesus. I'm grateful that there is forgiveness and restoration for me, too. (Matthew 26 and John 21.)

This painting was done with acrylic on illustration board. I started by using gel medium to adhere used tea bags to the illo board. The tea bags were dried, opened and emptied of the tea. A few bits of tea remained on some of the papers. After this layer dried, I loosely sketched the rooster and started painting. I added verses from Matthew 26 taken from an old paperback Bible. The caption was done with acrylic paint. The finished work is 10" x 10". The image here is slightly cropped because of the size of my scanner bed. I framed it simply with a narrow black frame.

This painting is available for purchase. Contact me for details.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Central Iowa Art Fair Coming Soon!

On Sunday, July 20th, I will be exhibiting my work at the Central Iowa Art Fair in Marshalltown, Iowa. The show runs from 11-4. There is art, music, food & wine. What more do you need?
I like the casual atmosphere of this art fair. This will be my first time to participate, and it will be only the 2nd time I'm setting up outdoors. I'm praying for good weather.
Last year at this show I met Brandie, a talented and sweet artist, whose collages attracted both my husband and me. She has become a valued friend. She inspired me to carry through with my thoughts of starting this blog. Be sure to check out her "Little Pieces of Art" blog and Etsy store. We are hoping to be neighbors at the art fest this year.

At this show most of the space in my booth will be devoted to my jewelry designs. I have some beautiful pieces that are shown to their best in person. In the meantime, here's a sweet charm bracelet that features Czech glass flowers and Swarovski crystals on a Sterling Silver base. You can contact me if you are interested in purchasing Rosy Garden.

Friday, June 20, 2008

IF - Hoard

When I saw the new IF topic, Hoard, I thought of how hard it is for me to let my creations go. This month I submitted three ATC's (Artist Trading Cards - miniature art that is 3.5 x 2.5 inches) to the Ankeny Art Center for a show that premiered this week. Unlike most shows, the ATC's stay with the art center. They are hoping to turn this into a traveling show.

Sometimes I just HOARD my work. The above image is a scan of some of my ATC's... some hoarded, some not.

I also hoard all kinds of "treasures" that may end up in or being used for ART!

What has been difficult with our recent home improvement project is to not hang on to every interesting bit that gets pulled off the house. I asked my husband to not throw away an interesting (to me) broken board he pulled off the soffet last week. I just need to photograph it & throw it away!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Illustration Friday - Forgotten

Unless you have purposely avoided the news this past week, you probably know the Midwest is experiencing historic flooding. Some thought the floods of 1993 were 500 year floods, meaning they would only occur to that severity every 500 years. In Iowa, some rivers are exceeding the 1993 levels.
Thankfully, the worst I have personally experienced is the inconvenience of relatively short detours to avoid flooded roads in Ames. And that was only 2 days.
We're just 40 minutes from the Des Moines River that is flooding over the Saylorville Reservoir Dam spillway. The news if full of stories of sandbagging, evacuations, road closings....
In Eastern Iowa, there is more flooding where water supplies are being threatened. Friends and family have already been affected by the storms.
All this gloomy news has been weighing me down. I found myself constantly checking the latest weather radar.
As if that wasn't bad enough, last night 4 Boy Scouts perished when a tornado struck their camp in Western Iowa. I wept after hearing the story of one of the boys - only 14 and already an Eagle Scout!
I realized that I needed to change my focus. I turned to God's Word, the Bible, for encouragement and perspective. Tonight I wrote most of the text of Psalm 77 in my journal and added the artwork. It's easy to get bogged down in the misery of life. But God has not forgotten us.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Faith Hope & Love 1 - Tulips

Yesterday I took an hour to finish this painting. Tonight I cut mats and framed it with help from Hubby. Now it will be ready to display at Friday's Art Walk in Ames (see my last post).
This was done with acrylic on watercolor paper. I started by writing most of "The Love Chapter" which is a popular name for the 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians in the Bible. Originally I planned to have some of the text show through layers of glazing, but it was lost under the many layers I built up.

The tulips were painted on ATC sized paper that I prepared with a layer of Golden Fiber Paste. I love the texture it added. The ATC's were adhered to the background with heavy gel medium.

I plan to do more paintings that are inspired by this Scripture. I studied and meditated on these words very seriously before I married my husband almost 27 years ago. I was very challenged by the message and realized it was not in my own power to live up to them. So my prayer was that God would work in me to help me love my husband the way this chapter describes. I haven't always lived up to the standard, but it is still my goal.
I recently started thinking about these words again. I've been journaling some of my thoughts and jotting down ideas for future paintings. But the execution of those ideas will have to wait until we get a lot more work done on our house.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Home Improvements Disrupt Artist

If you have wondered why I haven't been posting as frequently, this picture is a clue as to why. Our 24 year old house needs new siding and windows! Hubby (such a happy guy) has been doing most of the work, and I do what I can. (I am a skilled clean-up artist, stray nail gatherer, and 3rd hand.) So far he has stripped the old siding and wrapped the house in Tyvek. We replaced window number 4 out of 7 tonight. Between rainy weather and work, it's been a challenge to stay on schedule.
This is our dining room, but it functions as my art studio. I had hoped to complete my latest painting/collage before we got to this point, but it's still in pieces on my drafting table (the corner of which is shown in the lower left corner of photo). Argh! The rest of the week is supposed to be rainy, so maybe I can get it done before the Art Walk in Ames this Friday, June 6th.

The Octagon Art Center organizes the Art Walk the 1st Friday of June each year. The merchants of downtown Ames host artists in their businesses from 5 - 9. The public is invited to view art, enjoy live music and refreshments. I will be exhibiting with my painting group, Artists of the Heart, at Chocolaterie Stam, a haven of European confections. Friday night is also the opening reception for the bi-annual Community of Artist exhibit where I will have a colored pencil work on display through July 27th at the Octagon Center in Ames.

As if this wasn't enough, I just learned that there will be an open house in Story City at Swinging Bridge Studio where I have paintings, jewelry and painted hand bags for sale. This is also being held on Friday evening from 5-7 to coincide with Story City's annual Scandinavian Days festival.

If you live in the area, check out these fun events. Maybe I'll see you at one of them.

(By the way - I found the fun smiley clip art at

Just for Fun!

Hubby and I did a double take when we stopped for refreshments during our Memorial Day travels. Click on the picture to enlarge it. I hope this makes you smile.