Thursday, September 13, 2007


I have heard about blogging for quite a while and I have finally decided to take the plunge myself. The main topic for this site is going to be my artwork.
I have loved painting and drawing since I was a young girl. But I am sure some of you know how life can go - you get married and love and support your husband through his schooling, jobs, hobbies, etc. He supports you in many of the same things. But before you know it you have a little flock of kids (four for us) and you get to be mom and all the labels that go along with that job. So art gets to be squeezed in between all the dozens of other activities going on, which means you don't get to do nearly as much of it as you would like.
Now, all of my children are grown and we are just raising two of our grandchildren. They are wonderful and are helping us to stay young. They are 14 and 12 years old. One of the best things about them is their willingness to support me in my artwork.
I have been really impressed that this is the season to devote time every day to painting or drawing. Some days life still gets in the way, but I have done more in the past two months than I have done in the past three years and it feels very good to me.
This gift that I have is truly a gift from God. I want to give Him the credit for anything that I do that gives joy to someone else. Each painting and drawing that I do usually has some challenging part in it. I pray fervently for guidance to understand how to solve the problems that invariably crop up. My Heavenly Father has helped me through each one.
Let me give you an example. I had taken some photos of some beautiful wildflowers in Alberta, Canada, a couple of years ago. I decided to do a small painting of a woodlily. I began with the background and loosely painted in some grasses and other plants with some warm yellowgreens. I blended them in softly to imitate a blurred background with the flower in focus. I wasn't really happy with how the background looked, but I decided to go ahead and paint the flower. I would fix the background later. I painted the flower with glazes. It took many layers to try to get the color right. Still, I couldn't make the color of the woodlily rich enough. It was at that frustrating stage where I thought I might just give up on it. A couple of days later, I decided I would try to improve on the background. I figured I would either fix the flower later or start another painting on top of this mess. I changed the colors in the background to a more cool shade of green. The darks were deepened and the shapes became more abstract. I stepped back to see the effect of it. My Heavenly Father had inspired me to change the background in a way that set off the woodlily to perfection! I loved the color of the flower now. It was almost miraculous the difference in the way it looked.
My sister has suggested that I start doing charcoal portraits. She mentioned about the amazing amount of money people pay for things at prom time. It would be fun to do some charcoal portraits for people. The cost for them would be considerably less than for a painting and, with good photo references, I could do them from home. I have done some already that my clients have been very pleased with. These would also make wonderful Christmas presents. I will figure out how to add pictures to this page and you can see what my work looks like. Portraits are always done with a lot of prayer. I want all the help I can get to create beautiful and accurate paintings.
My favorite type of artwork is Western paintings. I am currently painting a scene from a photo I took at a local ranch rodeo. You see the horse and cowboy from the backside. The rope is "singing" as the calf snaps it tight. The reins are "dancing" as the cowboy has turned the horse away from the calf. Hence, the title "Singin' and Dancin'." My first painting from this series of ranch rodeo scenes sold almost before the paint was dry.
Another type of painting that I have recently started doing is called "trompe l'oiel." This is a French term for "fool the eye." It is very detailed work that looks so real you think you could pick up the items. I painted an 8" X 10" trompe l'oiel in honor of my husband's grandfather. It contained a photo of him, a medal he received in WWI, an envelope addressed to him, a VFW medal, a VFW membership card and a couple of other items that were his. My son had come in the house several times and wondered why I had arranged Grandpa's things on a board like that. He didn't realize until I told him that it was a painting.
Well, I need to stop for now and go get some painting done today.

Neglect not the gift that is in thee. (1 Timothy 4:14)

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