Sunday, May 13, 2012

Simply Get On With It

Since I've been reading a lot lately about narrowing focus and setting limits, my goals are simple:
1) Complete 50 oil paintings in 2012.
2) Use less-demanding smaller works, such as Art Journal play and CCS Swaps, to keep my creativity flowing through busy & stressful seasons.
My easel always has a canvas on it, so I can pop in and out of the studio and apply paint quickly amongst life's many demands. My art journal stays open on my worktable so I can add to it in five minutes or fifty minutes, as allowed.
If I set detailed expectations or wait for perfect conditions, I don't produce. If I free myself to do what I can, when I can, I get more done. Why wait for a free two hour block to paint, when I know that's unrealistic? Why wait for the skies to open with a blinding light and trumpets to announce the perfect, earth-shattering, attention-getting subject matter for DJ?
Ignore the mess on your worktable, put your paper on top of the pile, and just pour your chosen color on the surface for a few moments. Just slather on some glue and slap down a textured paper. Pick up the pen and write about how you're feeling NOW. Suddenly, a character develops. Suddenly, you see a rabbit/face/truck in the paint. Suddenly, you have a background for a collage or journal page. Suddenly, you're MAKING ART.

Good. Now, do it again.

And be sure to do it with lots of
Love & Laughter,

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Reworking Work

Below are some snaps of re-worked pieces in the studio.
Hope everyone has a blessed Sunday, filled with lots of
Love & Laughter,

"Air Battle" oil on 10x8" canvas by DJ, reworked on 2-19-12.

"Memories of Summer" 2011 underwent a transformation...

to become this:
"Vision" oil on 20x16" canvas by DJ, reworked on 4-14-12.

"Splashing" oil on 10x8" canvas by DJ, a WIP, altered on 4-14-12.

"Sentry Duty" oil on 20x16" canvas by DJ, to which the figures were added on 4-14-12.

And for your enjoyment, my latest fave painting-while-listening song: "Changed Forever" by Toby Mac featuring Nirva Ready

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Blessings of His Closeness

Can you say kidney stones?
And, extra stress at work..
Nuff said about that.
Prayer can get a weary soul through anything, friend.
The Holy Trinity will let you know in no uncertain terms that they are with you always. Just ask them.
Because of all the stress I'd been through, I'd been praying all week for God to stay close and let me know He's near.
In the car, on Good Friday, hubby & I are talking about attending an Easter Sunrise Service by a nearby fledgling church, and I mention that wouldn't it be nice if someone just showed up with a guitar and sang one of our favorites: "In Christ Alone" as the sun was rising.
That night, on Good Friday, we read from a devotional book whose entries had no dates. Because of eleven-hour work days, we'd missed several nights of devotional time due to me crashing into bed exhausted. So, when my husband mentioned Isaiah as the book for Friday's devotion entry, I thought nothing of it, until I started reading. The specific verses for that day's entry described the scourging of Christ before His crucifixion. I asked my husband if he chose that entry on purpose, and he just grinned & shook his head, reassuring me that he'd just followed the sequence of pages up to that night. Me? I teared up and read the verses about my Savior again. A coincidence on Good Friday? No.
Let me note this: When the Holy Spirit shows up, two things usually happen: My husband smiles/giggles/laughs. I ...cry. We're quite a pair, obviously.
On Saturday, I worked in the backyard, turning/amending soil and getting 23 plants into the ground, wishing I'd purchased something to go into a large container which used to hold a lily bulb that the squirrels ate last year. But after two hours, I got what I call an instant garden into two beds, and was satisfied.
Easter Sunday morning, we dressed and drove to the Sunrise Service, listening to a wonderful preacher on the car stereo as we captured some joy even before getting to the little outside amphitheater at the park.
As the pastor made some opening remarks, I was taking in the surroundings of light coming over the treetops, the little creek below us, and the birds chirping a song of welcome. Suddenly, I focused on the little stage and realized a young man was playing a guitar and yes...the strains of "In Christ Alone" filled the air...I stared open-mouthed at my husband as his knowing grin almost split his face in two. I gulped hard, but couldn't sing along with the lump in my throat, so I praised the Risen Lord with my tears.
After the service, we grabbed some breakfast and returned home to rest before the eleven o'clock service at our own church. I saw the flowers I'd planted the day before and took my camera outside to snap them before the squirrels decided to have them for lunch. Walking around the yard, I enjoyed the lantana, coreopsis, and foxglove even though I had little to do with their appearance. Suddenly, I spied not one, but five long shoots moving upward in the pot where the lily had bloomed last year. I couldn't believe it; there had been a cave where the squirrels had gotten it last year. But it was a morning for celebrating resurrections, so who was I to argue?
We went to the eleven o'clock service where, at one point, our music director belted out the beautiful anthem "Arise, My Love" and, in an unusual display of worship for a baptist church, brought the congregation to their feet with many uplifted hands of adoration for Jesus, who loves us all so much that He would die for us.
Yes, my prayers were answered in no uncertain terms the entire Easter weekend. God is indeed close, and reminded me that I am never alone.
Oh, by the way...He will do the same for you. Just ask Him.
Love & Laughter,

Sunday, March 4, 2012

What On Earth Are You Doing?

Did you know?
Did you know that you do that like no one else?
You make something. No one else can do that exactly like you do.
So, why don’t you do it more often?

You’re struggling to find time to do it because…A, B, C reasons.
You’re not really good at it. You don’t have a lot of training in it. You’re just…No one really cares about what you do...
OK. Lemme ask you a question:
Are you creating Beauty?

Well? Stop stammering. Either you are, or you aren’t.

OK, here’s the truth: If you didn’t think it was beautiful, if you didn’t get something out of it, you wouldn’t be making it.

Now, that I’ve gotten your attention, let’s put the pieces together:
The world tells us that a lot of ugliness out there is perfectly acceptable. I won’t go into details; you can check out a daily news source or “entertainment” report for yourself.
But sometime, somewhere far away, tucked away in a little town, in a little room, on a little table, computer, or easel…there you are. Sculpting, snapping, sewing, painting, writing, composing, crafting, baking.
To put it in a nutshell, you’re creating. Beauty.
Shhh…No one knows, you say…
You tell yourself that your job needs you. Your family needs you. (Wish you’d put those two in reverse order, though.) You don't have time for your own stuff.

Okay: Hard Question:
What do you want your children to see right now?
I’ll tell you what I saw as a child: my mother denying herself. Denying her own creativity. Now, I’m struggling with that issue, because I didn’t have a role model. I didn’t see her live a healthy, balanced life, so I’m not sure how to lead a balanced life.
What kind of life do you want your children to live tomorrow?
Show them. Today.

So, let me add to your list: Your family needs you. Your job needs you. And
The world needs you.
The world needs your Beauty. As only you can express it.
You making that painting, photograph, quilt, sculpture? Guess what that does?
Along with relieving your stress and re-centering you? It gives others Hope amidst the ugliness. It gives them permission to express their Beauty as a higher ideal. It connects us imperfect humans with one another as creative beings who may have nothing else in common. It crosses language barriers and socio-economic barriers. It gives us all Hope.
So, don’t stop. Don’t ever stop.
Keep creating that Beauty. No matter what.
The world is waiting.
Wanna make the world a better place?
Go. Make. Then, don’t forget to Share.
Let’s change the world.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February Images

One of my indoor plants making a comeback....

Small detail from a weekend canvas...warm colors abound...

Detail of another painting: An angel to rescue and comfort.....

"If you hear a voice within you saying, 'You are not a painter,' then by all means paint...and that voice will be silenced."

~ Vincent van Gogh

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Art & Nature Weekend Snaps

Hey, Friends! Just sharing some photos...

Naturally, I get a lovely headcold Friday afternoon before a beautiful weekend, but I can't complain. I rested and played on the computer.

Okay, below, I did prep a 24x24"canvas with a yellow underpainting, then I wanted to paint over an older piece, so above is an 8x10" oil "Saturday Angel". He's a bit gritty, but I like him.

Since the temps were in the 60s & 70s during this very unwinter-like weekend, I was lured outside and below are some backyard snaps taken with my new Canon EOS Rebel T3:

So, what did YOU do this weekend? Besides watch the SuperBowl, I mean... :-)
That's really nice. Now, go make art.
Love & Laughter,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Painterly Passion

by DJ
Afternoon sun but wind
red scarf unwrapped
welcome door opens wide
Month of winter lend us your chills
but yet
chills along the spine beneath layers
as hands move across canvas
mind and eyes in sync
breathe the heart's hidden embers
Hot tea steeped and sipped
through steam wet paint studied
relief sighed
avenues open
almost answered questions
passion paints
critics defeated into silence
ecstasy exhaled
in spite of winter's chill

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Greetings 2012!

A small canvas to start off January 2012 and get the juices flowing:

"Consternation in Yellow" by DJ oil on 12x12" canvas

And some WIP details of another canvas, which have since been developed into something with a bit more content:

Perhaps I need to set a goal of painted canvases for the year?
Let's see...the number 50 sounds reasonable.
Yes, due to day-job demands, studio time is sporadic, but you know what? I've decided THAT'S OKAY.
I give myself permission to walk into my studio anytime and paint for any span of time available. Take THAT, Inner Critic!
Anyone out there in the blogosphere want to volunteer to be a February encourager for me? I certainly need it.
Fifty canvases.
You readers can check on me occasionally, okay?
I'm going to need lots of
Love & Laughter,