Gallery of work

Friday, May 29, 2015

Peonies!

I have been waiting for this moment all winter: for the pink peonies along the back of my house to bloom. And it is finally here! I picked these yesterday and the aroma of them is permeating my living room. I am in love. I absolutely LOVE peonies! They are my favorite flower, and not only that, but they are the state flower of Indiana, the state I was born in and lived in until I was 14. I was thrilled when my husband and I first looked at this house and noticed there were peonies in several places around the yard. I have always wanted to have them in my landscaping. There are a few varieties around the yard, but these pink ones are the first to come in and by far the most fragrant. Unfortunately they do not last long, so I am trying to soak up the sight and smell of them as much as I can.

We are blessed to have many wonderful flowers and plants in our yard. The person who planted all of these wonderful perennials did a fabulous job of planting a variety of flowers that bloom at different times of the year. These above are some of the first to pop up in early spring. The one downside to all of this beautiful landscaping is that we do not always have the time or energy to keep up with the weeding and the pruning. Now that the boys are older and do not need us as much when they play out side (and are old enough to help!), it has gotten a little easier to keep up with it.

Do you have a favorite flower?
Happy Spring!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Love Never Fails

I have 3 boys ages 10, 7, and 5. As you can imagine, there is quite a bit of rough play and fighting that goes on around here. Most of it is in fun and just a form of brotherly affection, but some of it is just plain meanness. For the past several months I have tried to incorporate a Bible time into our morning routine before school. This bible time varies- sometimes the older two are reading their own bibles separately, sometimes they are reading out of the Jesus StoryBook Bible to each other, and sometimes I am reading to them. One particular morning not long ago, the fighting had gotten really bad. And it wasn't the physical kind, it was the verbal kind. I was at my wits end. I am super passionate about sibling love and respect, so I decided to read the "love chapter" of the bible to them that morning. The "love chapter" is 1 Corinthians 13. Even if you are not familiar with the Bible, you have probably heard parts of 1 Corinthians 13 quoted:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails.

My boys were breaking every part of this sacred Scripture! So with a prayer in my heart, I read them the entire chapter and I explained what the words meant as I read. And we talked about what this verse looks like in real life, giving practical examples from scenes I had witnessed among them that week. We finished with a prayer and then they headed off to school. I would like to tell you that things were perfect after that moment. That later in the day they put all of it into practice and loved each other perfectly. But I can't. And that's okay. My kids are sinners, and I am too. And we cannot love each other perfectly. There is only One who can do that and His name is Jesus. But we can, with His help, love each other better. 

So this verse was on my mind when I created the painting in the video below. I had originally set out to just use the word "love" and incorporate a bird. But as the painting progressed, I decided I did not like the bird and the phrase "love never fails" came through. True love never fails. God's love never fails. This brings me great comfort. And so when I see the selfish parts of me coming out, I can turn to 1 Corinthians 13 and read how love is supposed to be.

Monday, May 18, 2015

I'm Back!

So many things have happened since the last time I wrote. The biggest change is that I am seriously pursuing my art. For the past couple of years I have been taking this mixed media art and painting thing seriously. I set up an art studio space in my basement, began painting and creating on a regular basis, joined an online art community (www.communitythrive.com), took some online art classes, and began to accept requests for commissioned pieces. I think I have done 10 commissions to date and I am currently working on 3 more, with others waiting. I have been overjoyed to be creating custom art for people. It blesses me and it blesses them.

The latest step I have taken on this journey is to make YouTube videos of me painting. My sweet husband bought me a used digital camera for Christmas (even though we were not supposed to buy each other gifts!), and I couldn't be happier to have it! I use the camera to film myself painting, load the clips to my computer, edit them in iMovie, and then post to YouTube. I currently have 5 videos on my channel. I have been delighted and surprised at the number of views, subscribers, and positive comments. I have been overwhelmed and humbled. This has prompted me to take the plunge to restart this blog and make it my official website. I eventually will open an Etsy shop as well. Since I have been busy with the commissioned artwork, I have not had the time to create a body of work to show or sell. I am working on this now and my goal is to have some available and a shop open by the end of the year.

I am really excited about this next chapter! All 3 of my sons will be in school full time this next school year, and I plan to spend a lot of time painting! For anyone that may be out there reading this, I hope you will come back!