Friday, April 30, 2010

Her Heart is Broken

I remember the first time my heart broke. I sat in the middle of the living room floor, knees drawn up to my heart, weeping--and would not be comforted. The pain was such, I could not escape. It covered me like a thick, stabbing blanket of darkness.

It seems inevitable our hearts will be broken.  Sometimes we can slip into the pit of despair.  But God sends angels to minister supernatural loving kindness and comfort to the brokenhearted. 

The truth is, our tears are never wasted. Psalm 56: 7 tells us our tears are so precious to God, that He keeps them in a bottle.   It is a stunning revelation--the Almighty Creator treasures every tear we've ever shed. Not only that, He is near and His tears mingle with ours.

"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18 (NASB)

You are not alone. He is near, and He weeps with you.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kiss the Girl

This confident lover boy seems to think he's "all that."  And maybe he is! However, the mermaid seems rather amused.

This pen and ink drawing drew itself. I laughed and laughed when the fish's face came into view. It seems this funny fellow is truly expecting to kiss the girl!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Moss Angel

This weekend I happened upon this sweet little Moss Angel perched in the tree outside the main lodge.  What a wonderful weekend it was.  Peaceful, lovely and one could truly sense angels everywhere!

Above you see the Moss Angel as I first spied her protectively watching over us.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Old Blue Eyes

I have always loved wolves.  When I was a girl I read Call of the Wild and loved every word.  I wrote my senior paper about the Wolf.  In fact, one can tell the difference between a dog and wolf by their eyes.  There is a little tilt to the eye of a Wolf which gives the animal that keen, intelligent gaze.  They are wild animals and as with all wild animals are not to be trusted.  However, Wolves are loyal to their families and have an amazing social structure within the pack.   I find them to be fascinating.

I have done two different drawings of wolves nearly alike, but opposites.  Old Yellow Eyes and now Old Blue Eyes.  Have you ever looked into the blue eyes of a dog with wolf lineage?  I have...It is an amazing experience.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Walk in Spring

How lovely the springtime with its delicate bloom and bright green leaf! The tentative sunshine shines through wind and rain, to warm the rich brown earth.

I have to admit, this year, more than any other, I have longed for Spring. This drawing reflects that yearning.

I used Derwent colored pencils to create a soft springlike feel. These pencils are used differently than my beloved Prismacolor pencils. Rather than pressing the pencil tip deeply onto the paper or blending with a blendr pencil, one must softly layer various colors over the same areas, to create form, shadow and deeper coloring.  Because of the technique required when using Derwent pencils, this piece has a different look than most of my other work.

The drawing has a soft sense about it which I equate with springtime. I can imagine walking along that pathway toward the bridge. I can hear the bubbling brook, feel the warmth of springtime sunshine on my shoulders. Overhead the warm wind sweeps through the fragrant blossom of the fruit trees. Ah, sweet Springtime!

And so, at the risk of seeming a bit silly--but with great hope that Spring will continue to bloom--I must repeat something I heard a long, LONG time ago:

Spring has sprung,
The grass has rizz,
And all this rain,
Makes my hair frizz.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bluebell Faery

The bluebells are blooming in bunches beneath the cedar trees.  What a lovely color they are!  I think they look like tiny flowering blueberries--each so exquisitely made.  I heard the faeries playing the bluebells last night in my dreams.  From what I understand, there is a bluebell festival in my garden each Spring.  Sometimes if one listens very closely one can hear the music as the faeries ring the bluebells in the soft moonlight.

I can always tell Spring has come when the bluebells in my garden ring.  I know, I know--I have a GREAT imagination.  LOL

Friday, April 16, 2010

Garden Home

This is an acrylic painting of a birdhouse which hangs next to the fence in my garden. This is a joint venture. My youngest daughter first sketched it in pencil, then I painted. If you notice, the detailing was done in pen and ink.
One of my favorite things to draw is wood grain. There's something so graceful and beautiful about the grains found in wood and I love to recreate the effect.
The original painting was auctioned off in a fund-raiser for a local charter school. I felt honored to be a part of helping the school to become successful.

DADDY UPDATE: Dad's appointment with the neck brace folks was disappointing. The brace they had did not fit. There's another they want to try. If that doesn't work, the VA will make another appointment to fit a custom brace. After that, the only option is a risky surgery. Without surgery the muscles in his neck will continue to weaken which, with the broken bones in his neck, will give no support. Eventually without the brace, his head would flop to one side. This is a very scary time for my family. We would appreciate your prayers for Dad and for our family.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Cat Came Back

Have you ever watched the old cartoon called The Cat Came Back? I don't know why I associate that vintage animation with this particular cloud painting. The cartoon is hilarious, and has a tune which can rapidly become a brainworm. I'm humming it as I write this. Tch tch tch...The story is about a very bad kitty who keeps coming back to bother the main character.

At any rate, this kitty cloud seems to be totally amused by something he's watching. I wonder what it is???

Above you see the cat who came back, as I first saw him!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rock Eagle

When I was visiting in Pacific City off the Oregon Coast a few summers ago, my wonderful, daring friend and I clambered down a steep sand dune to find this cave. I was stunned when I noticed an Eagle's head clearly stretched across the top of the opening.

I love Eagles because of their fierce beauty and tremendous strength. But especially because the Eagle reminds me of God and His compassionate care, as is beautifully described in Deuteronomy 32:10, 11. He found him in a desert land and in the howling waste of a wilderness; He encircled him, He cared for him, He guarded him as the pupil of His eye. Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions.

Psalm 40:2 speaks of how God rescues those He loves from the clutches of destruction. He places their feet on a firm place--upon the rock. These beautiful words paint a vivid picture. I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.

What is happening in the world today is frightening. Sometimes I can hardly bring myself to turn on the news. The world has changed so much over the past 30 years--I hardly recognize it.

But when I ponder the strength of the mighty Eagle's wings, and the timeless power of the Rock, I am grateful God surrounds and protects those He loves. At His invitation, even in the path of destruction we can stand firm upon His strength--as He tenderly watches over us, like an Eagle hovering over His young.

This is a great comfort.

Above I've included the original shot as I saw it that lovely wild and windy day.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Mermaid and the Fisherman

This pen and ink drawing is a result of a few days spent at the ocean a few years ago. I was fascinated by the bubbles in the surf and the rivulets of ocean water as the waves pounded the shoreline. I sought to capture the motion and grace of the sea.

I've always loved the idea of mermaids. The latest tale (no pun intended) I read was interesting. Mermaids were able to remove the skin of their tails, which they would then hide among the rocks. They did this so they could walk along the beaches unhindered.

According to legend, a man could steal a mermaid's tail skin, hide it and woo the mermaid as his own. However he had to keep the tail hidden, because if she found it, the pulse of the sea would be irresistible and she would disappear into the waves once more.

Do I believe in mermaids? Well, they haven't found Bigfoot yet, have they? Hmmmm....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Soccer Practice

This piece is very large, almost four feet across! I used acrylic paints to replicate the brilliance of color in the original source photograph.

The inspirational photo was shot by my younger brother Mark, a photojournalist for The Dalles daily newspaper in Oregon. He has a trick of catching the most ordinary of things, in the most extraordinary manner.

When he was a young man, one might find him motionless with his camera, sometimes waist deep in pond water, patiently hiding in the rushes, to capture a closeup of an unsuspecting wood duck, or capturing the well-defined wrinkles on an old man's face. Mark's writing and photography are unique. He once spent time as a homeless person detailing what it would be like to live without. In my opinion, his inspirational writing and incredibly creative photography should grace the National Geographic.

In his unique photo, Mark caught the local team at practice. The players were lying on their backs, passing the soccer ball from one set of feet to the next. The shifting colors of socks, shoes and soccer ball against the vivid grass and the sheer movement and unusual composition of the piece, moved me to paint what my brother saw with his camera.

You can visit Mark's wonderful new photo blog by visiting Voyage of discovery, by Mark the Canoeing Photojournalist  You won't be sorry you did!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Angel Dancer

It is amazing what one can see in the clouds some days! This lovely angel gracefully wafts across the skies, whirling and twirling. Sometimes she dips low to the earth to lend a helping hand.
.The truth is, though real angels may not look like this cloud painting, there ARE angels in this world. They are sent to watch over those He loves. "For He will give His angels charge over you, to guard you in all your ways." Psalm 91:11 (NASB)

Above you see the Angel dancer as I first caught her gracefully dancing across the skies.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Top Dog

As you can see one can find all kinds of interesting characters in the skies--such as this wonderful flop-eared pooch, who seems to deem himself Top Dog.

I would not mind having this big tough old fellow watching over my house! I'm sure he is loyal and kind, but wouldn't mind showing some teeth to the bad guys.

Above is the original cloud. As you can see--I didn't have to enhance much!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Malaya Leaf

The day my darling little niece was born, I knew my life would never be the same. She brings such joy and hope to my heart and into our lives.
There is no more wonderful tribute to Easter than seeing the beauty of Spring through the eyes of a child. So here she is, our sweet Malaya Leaf.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Springtime Faery

This little faery is about to embark upon one of the most amazing adventures possible! There is nothing so lovely as springtime, and nothing so beautiful as new beginnings.

Motherhood is an adventure, full of joy, happiness, sadness, fear and sometimes even anger. All in all, even with its difficult aspects, being a Mother is never boring, and is truly one of the most fulfilling and wonderful adventures to be had.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Rainbow Blessings

I've always loved rainbows. In fact, I've seen a rainbow just about anytime something amazing is about to happen in my life.

My favorite rainbow story is told by my sister Clytie. A tremendous storm had swept over the sea. Clytie, adventurous soul that she is, went for a long walk along the storm-tossed ocean. Suddenly sunlight burst through the clouds and a vivid rainbow appeared. To Clytie's great astonishment, the rainbow stretched from the skies above, reflected down upon the rain-streaming beach, flowing to touch the tips of her shoes, then flung back up to the skies creating a huge circle of brilliant color. Someday I shall draw the wonderful word picture she painted.

But there is more to the story of the rainbow. The very first rainbow appeared when Noah and his family came out of the great ark. The world as they knew it was destroyed. Their lives would never be the same. Yet they still gave thanks to God for keeping them safe. In response, God promised them He would never flood the earth again. And as a token of His promise, He set a rainbow in the skies.

So every time I see a rainbow, brilliant with color and promise, I remember the blessing of the rainbow. God always keeps His promises.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Unicorns and Pink Meadows

I hope you don't mind that some of the stories behind my pictures are filled with real life--and death. This story is painful--but ends with great hope.

I remember the day our beloved Grandmother Jenny flew to heaven. I sat in the upstairs hallway and cried in the dark. She ran into the arms of her Savior after a long hard night of struggle.

I began to paint. First a stormy reddish sky. As I wept, I crunched sodden browns, streaks of yellow and shadows of darkness into the murky horizon.

I sat back to ponder the stories Grammie had told of her life. Sharp peaks of hardship thrust through the years. She'd conquered them, one step at a time. I knifed thick paint from my palette, forming jagged mountains. Then tears as I covered the jutting peaks with cool snows reflecting pink from the angry skies above.

As I remembered her words of wisdom and faith, gentle tree-clad hills swelled beneath the mountains . . . I thought of her laughter, and the twinkle of her blue eyes and a bright meadow blossomed with faint pink flowers.

I smiled through my tears, recalling Grammie's vivid imagination. I retraced her wonderful stories peopled with elves and faeries. Then from my brush, the outline of a unicorn emerged. His white coat danced with pinks from the painful red horizon, reflecting the cheery pink flowers at his feet. His dark red and pink mane swooped joyfully against the mountains, and his face grew kind and winsome . . .

Spreading out from the unicorn's feet, yellow centers appeared in the pink flowers, twinkling vividly in the tender green grasses of the meadow.

I looked at that painting for a long, long time, thinking about how delighted Grammie would have been. Then I signed my name.

Painting has a way of expressing my heart.

In the hours I spent wielding my paintbrush, I worked through my pain, sorrow and feelings of anger and loss--to precious memories of my Grandmother's courageous life, to thoughts of her laughter and whimsey, to arrive in a place of peace.

And I can feel her smiling.