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True Secret

My friend, Lea Harper, gave me a book one day when I was going through a particularly difficult time and wrote on the inside cover “the true secret to a happy life”: Proverbs 3:5,6
I memorized the verse that day and it has become an anchor in my faith journey. Trust in The Lord with all your heart and rely not on your own understanding, but in all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.

PASS IT ON…….

The Secret
One day, one friend asked
another,
‘ How is it that you are always so happy?
You have so
much energy,
And you never seem to get down..

With her eyes smiling, she said,
‘ I
know the Secret! ‘
‘ What secret is that? ‘
To which she
replied,
I’ll tell you all about it,
But you have to promise
to
Share the Secret with others. ‘

‘ The
Secret is this:
I have learned there is little I can do In my life that will make me truly happy I must depend on God to make Me happy and to meet my needs.
When a need arises in my
life,
I have to trust God to supply
According to HIS
riches.
I have learned most of the time
I don?t need half of
what I think I do.
He has never let me down.
Since I learned
that ‘ Secret ‘ , I am
happy.’

The
questioner’s first thought was,
‘ That?s too simple! ‘
But
upon reflecting over her own life
She recalled how she thought a bigger
house
Would make her happy, but it didn’t!
She thought a
better paying job
Would make her happy, but it hadn’t.
When
did she realize her greatest happiness?
Being with family and friends,
a beautiful sunny day,
taking a walk, eating pizza or reading a book, Simple gifts from God.

Now you know
it too!
We can’t depend on people to make us happy.
Only GOD
in His infinite wisdom can do that.
Trust HIM!
And now I pass
the Secret on to you!
So once you get it, what will you
do?

YOU have to tell someone the Secret,
too!
That GOD in His wisdom will take care of YOU!
But it?s
not really a secret…
We just have to believe it and do
it..
> Really trust God!

I just did and hope you
will too.

LETS PRAY
Father in the name of Jesus
Christ, the Son of the Living
God, I pray you open doors for the person who sent me this as well as those I am sending it to. Only you can open doors no man can close and for that we honor you today. Thank you for the open doors of life, health, strength, prosperity, wealth, and love. Also, thank you for closing the doors of death, sickness, weakness, despair, poverty, and bitterness.
We love you, Lord, and give you all the glory and all the praise. I seal this prayer in Jesus name.
Amen!!!

Life is
an echo;
What you send
out
…comes back.
———————————————–

When Marsha sent this to me, it reminded me of how the gift of a small book and how a simple note inside, changed my faith journey forever.

My friend, Lea Harper, gave me a book one day when I was going through a particularly difficult time and wrote on the inside cover “the true secret to a happy life”: Proverbs 3:5,6
I memorized the verse that day and it has become an anchor in my faith journey. Trust in The Lord with all your heart and rely not on your own understanding, but in all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.

If you are confused, frustrated, worried today, grab hold of this Proverb from God’s Word, and know that He has the perfect plan for You and He desires to lead you where you should go. You have only to trust and recognize His love for you then get your work boots on. He’s got things for you to do. Great things!

I used to be an avid reader. Then life got hectic. Once I start a book I have always been compelled to finish it, often in one setting so since I had little free time, I read less and less books. It has been on my heart for over a year now to direct my art focus to creating pet portraits. It seems I may have found my niche. This is a birthday present for a friend and is my first attempt at using pastel pencils. This is where I want to be. I foresee many late nights and early mornings because it was 3:15 a.m. before I finished and felt I could retire to bed. Yep, I have traded books for pencils.

Pet portrait of a very special black Lab named Belle

Pet portrait of a very special black Lab named Belle

Reference photo of Belle

Reference photo of Belle

I posted these photos yesterday, just as I was rushing out the door for a very hectic day. I have been both humbled and encouraged by all the shares and positive comments. There are a lot of emotions that go into making the bold statement, ‘yes, I will do commissions’.
My dad was an excellent artist. I say was because he hasn’t created art for the sake of art since I was born. Still he is my biggest fan and my favorite critic and I often seek his advice when I am struggling with a sketch. Mom recognized my interest in art and enrolled me in Saturday art classes with Mrs. Louise Kessler. She was small in stature, with knurled, arthritic hands but she instilled in us the confidence that we could do ANYTHING. Once when I froze up at the challenge she had laid before me, she looked me square in the eye and said, “Just paint, honey. There isn’t anything you can do to that canvas that we can’t fix together.” Today when I teach my students, I try my best to share that same wisdom with them.
I have a difficult time calling myself an artist. I have always said I am a really good copy artist and a really bad original artist. Some people just see things and can paint beautiful imagery. Not me. I must have a detailed photo in front of me then I can recreate. The artistic world is all about originality so needing to copy from an image seemed to disqualify me wearing the true badge of artist. This past summer, my friend and I taught several weeks of youth art workshops. The flyer listed our names as PROFESSIONAL artists. Now, of course, my friend, Regina, IS an artist generating beautiful canvases of flowers, landscapes, abstracts and even pet portraits. But me? A professional? There it was in writing and for the first time I opened the window to consider I might just be a real artist.
One of my prized possessions is an art book, How To Draw Dogs, given to me as a gift. I used that book to create a portrait of a Collie using oil pastels. It became the first recognition I had some talent. I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised when, several years ago, after a friend posted on Facebook their pet had died, I silently saved their name and pet photo to a file. I started to think about a plan to do a small 5 x 7 sketch, attach it to a sympathy card and mail it, hoping it would comfort the ache in some small way. My file is getting pretty stuffed yet I haven’t followed through once.
I started this portrait of Belle, mainly because no matter what medium I explore, everyone seems to admire my pencil sketches the most. I carry a pencil and smudge stick in my purse because when I am stressed or fighting a headache, sketching is a distraction and a comfort. Pencils don’t meet my need for COLOR! I wondered if pastel pencils would be the tool to help me do what I do best and satisfy my color cravings at the same time. An artist’s tools can make or break his art. Researching pastel pencils I realized there was a vast range of quality and price. Regina kindly loaned me her set and they fit me well. Once the photo was posted though, people began to comment and ask about commissions. The confidence of last summer’s, ‘I am a PROFESSIONAL ARTIST’ flew out the window and self doubt bombarded my thoughts. Was I really good enough? This was, after all, my first attempt using an unfamiliar method. I will need training and that takes time, something I am having trouble managing as it is. What if I agree to a commission and I can’t get the likeness accurate or the owner doesn’t like it? How much do I charge? How long is reasonable to create a portrait?
Forty-four days into this new year and it has already been a year packed full of discoveries. I learned helping people really floats my boat. I learned that when God places a calling on your life, accept it and hang on for the ride because it is JOY unspeakable. Trust Him to order your steps. Rely on Him to make provision where there was none. Enjoy the time spent in intimate communion with the Holy Spirit. Laugh with delight when you see His hand at work in everyday activity. Follow His lead. Walk by faith not by sight. Believe in your heart and His will becomes the reality. Is it possible, He has been ordering my steps since I was a child, training my hand and eye that needs a photo to copy really well from so that I can preserve a treasured memory of these four legged companions now 47 years later? Is He setting things in motion to provide a means of income that allows me to be the artistic, creative me that finds joy in sharing art with others? If I embrace the things He is revealing to me in this new year of 2015, it would be a dishonor to cave to the flood of self doubt.
Art has always been my therapy. I think I am going to need a lot of therapy! :) My husband apparently doesn’t share my hesitations. He shared my post then proclaimed I would be available to do commissions long before I got home to see the post.   There’s no turning back now. Guess I had better go sharpen those pencils.

I will describe these in more detail in the next few days.

I will describe these in more detail in the next few days.

I accepted the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge group by Leslie Saeta on January 1. It was me setting the course to add more joy through art to my daily life. A promise to get better at time management to allow for art. An opportunity to explore a new medium, to make new friends and to renew a commitment to blog daily. I finished my 31st tile last night. Painting daily is quickly becoming a routine and the DESIRE to push other things aside to sit at the easel. Art is uplifting. Even when I become my worst critic the exercise of creating takes me to my happy place. These tiles are some of my favorites. Some represent a form such as a landscape or flowers and I am comfortable when I can attach a label. Others challenge my need to label and are simply abstract; a combination of colors I found interesting.

Catching up…AGAIN!

Day 21 Sunflower 2

Day 21 Sunflower 2

Day 24 Over the Rainbow

Day 24 Over the Rainbow

Day 22 Sunflower Sunset

Day 22 Sunflower Sunset

Once again I find myself behind on posting my daily 30 in 30 challenge tiles. I choose to take my cue from Project 365 where there are no negative points when I fail to make my goal to post daily and gold stars when I do. Today is a gold star day. :)
I have been faithful to paint just not faithful to post. I have been a little discouraged when I attempt to upload my photo to the 30 in 30 web page as it times out before it posts. So I will share here and not sweat the small stuff. :)
Day 21 Sunflower 2.
This is my second attempt at sunflowers and still not thrilled but I keep reminding myself it is a process and a journey, and not necessarily a destination.

Day 22 Sunflower Sunset

Day 25 A Leaf of One

Day 25 A Leaf of One

This tile began as a sunflower, hence the title.  I had a lot of ink on the tile and the sunflower looked terrible. I opted to make lemonade. The AI groups refer to these as dreamscapes.  I am still feeling my way around this process.

Day 23 Quilter's sun

Day 23 Quilter’s sky

Day 23   Quilter’s sky

i began by dropping random colors of AI hoping to try my hand at purely random abstract.  Before long, I “named” the sun and all I could see was a another landscape.  It seemed incomplete so I decided to wipe it out then this evolved. Funny how art just HAPPENS.

Day 24. Over the Rainbow

Since my last attempt at abstract didn’t work, I tried again. This time placing the rainbow spectrum ink colors in a single row diagonally across the tile.  Finally, something I didn’t have to “name” and force to BE something.

Day 25. A leaf of one

i follow a collage artist who posted this inspiration photo of a leaf on the pavement. I tried to not fussy it to much.  The yellows got a little muddied so this one is on my to do again list.

Now this is FOGHORN!

I repositioned his feet to be a better representation of his attitude.

I repositioned his feet to be a better representation of his attitude.

Foghorn woke me up this morning. he told me those rooster legs of his were all wrong. I agreed. So I fixed them. Hope you agree, Karen Sue Moss-Rickard. smile emoticon

Totally zippety do-da happy with myself today! I had a million things to do but I took time for myself and indulged in an afternoon of painting in Regina Willard’s studio! I am so blessed to call her friend. I waffled back and forth about what my subject should be eventually settling on this expressive photo of Karen Sue Moss-Rickard’s Foghorn. I have always painted with a certain slant toward realism yet I am captivated by Regina’s use of color. I have experimented with it but the bottom line is, I am me. She challenges me and encourages me but my art will always be tighter and less colorful than hers. After months of trying to embrace a new style, I am finally happy with the acknowledgement I will never fit that style completely. I WILL keep pushing for more abandon and more color on my canvases and in doing so, I will become a better artist. In the meantime, I like my success today. I returned to my first love today. Oil paint is just magical and oh how I have missed that magic! Thank you, friend. Thank you!image image

Day 19 & 20 Push On

Yesterday we finally got back to our Monday After School Art class. The weather last week kept us from resuming our schedule on the 12th so it felt good to have 22 students filling the room. When I finally got home after the gym and supper, I sat down and inked out these two gems. The daisy is okay. I worked in the negative space something my friend, Regina, keeps challenging me to do. I think I will stamp some word designs over the top of the background. It is after all only a tile and what’s the worst that can happen. I don’t like it and I make another! It is all about the journey.
Day 20 on the other hand, has me grinning from ear to ear! I LOVE the result. I had used sharpies to ink up the daisy but I used AI straight from the bottles to lay out the sunflower. It was so exciting to watch it evolve. I added some turquoise and purple to the background but didn’t like the way it detracted from the flower. I used my aquabrush filled with alcohol to lift off all but the faintest hint of color. I think it could use a little more dark brown in the center and perhaps a petal or two lapping over the center but I think it is best to just paint another with some of those intentions. Especially since I foresee a bidding war between my daughter, my mom’s sister and her friend, Joni!

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