Thursday, August 29, 2013

Art Journal: PRAY

pray 2 wm

I created this simple art journal page to provide a simple reminder: Pray. Life sometimes gets complicated. Okay, life is almost always complicated. But sometimes the complications of life are a result of my own tendency to, well, complicate things. For a child of God, any possible solution starts with a simple act of communication with the Creator: PRAY.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Simpler Times

nostalgia wm


Sometimes my heart yearns for the simpler times. Having lived for 66 years (*gasp*), I have a perspective that today’s 30-somethings will not have when they reach their sixties. Although I pride myself on staying up on at least some of the most productive aspects of technology (I am blogging right now, after all)—things like iPhone, iPad, twitter, Instagram, GPS, google—at the same time, I can well remember the days when postal mail was the only way to communicate outside your own home (well, eventually we had a phone when I was growing up, but much of my growing up years, as well as my early married years, not even a phone). Oh, and inside your own home? We talked. With our voices. And I don’t mean dictating to Siri. I mean two-way communication, one-to-one.


When today’s teens reach their sunset years, they will not have the memories of “simpler times” that often bring me peaceful moments, just in the remembering. They will actually never have had a “simpler time” as I would define it. Oh, but of course, everything is relevant; whatever “state” they find themselves in, at that age, it is likely that our “now” will be defined by them as “simpler times.” That’s somehow sad to me. It’s more than sad, actually. It’s frightening.


I’m all about progress, and I generally have a positive outlook. But sometimes I wish I could just hold up my hand and say, “Stop for a minute. Breathe. Enjoy a moment of silence. See how long you can go without reaching for your phone or iPad.” Seriously, I fear we have a very real problem. Now, I admit, to an extent, I’m right there. I never sit down without my iPad AND iPhone handy. I might want to check communications. I don’t do personal facebook, and I don’t play games on the devices, but I might want to watch another crafting video, or see if there are any new photos from family on Google Plus or Instagram. Not so bad. But every time I sit down, even on the deck, to relax with coffee? Ever notice that rarely does someone lose an iPhone or leave it behind somewhere? It’s because they just looked at it a minute ago.


Sometimes my heart hurts when I see, what seems to me the vast majority of, children holding devices and pushing, swiping, tapping—instead of interacting with real people in real life. When they reach 10 or so, they’ll have their own facebook page, and that will expand what they will be able to do with their device. I am not saying that children should never be allowed to use iPads—I think it can be a great brain exercise (much better than zombie-like TV-watching). But I do suggest balance, maybe limiting the amount of time they spend on something like this (I do see some parents exercising that sort of control, and I think that’s great).


When my children were growing up, we parents were cautioned not to let the TV be the babysitter for too much time during the day—a Sesame Street now and then, and maybe an hour of cartoons, and then Saturday morning cartoons for sure. But it seems like no one is noticing that our children today are not learning social skills because they have a device in their hand almost all the time. Parents are “off the hook” on supervising their children. The kids are in their seats and quiet (mostly). It’s quite common to see this, even at tables in restaurants. But, what’s the big surprise in that—their parents are also on their own devices. Really? A family of four, seated at a table in a nice restaurant, and all four of them are on their phones. It is considered “cute” when a child in a high chair knows how to use an iPhone to play a game. This is downright scary to me. Fast forward. What will that “child’s” grown-up world be like? (I recently read a news report about how many young people exiting college have their device with them in an interview and may even text during an interview. Seriously?) Last year I was in a Starbucks where a lady literally pushed past me (seemingly in desperation—I thought something was wrong) to get to a table and get her laptop set up and facebook loaded. THEN she could breathe for a second and order her coffee. It reminded me of a smoker who cannot wait to get outside to smoke.


I don’t have the answer. And I’m not the only one who is seeing the problem. But I do see it as a problem, and I try to find a balance between enjoying the benefits (and fun) of modern technology while still being aware of the dangers and negative results.


Of course we want our children to be “up” on the latest technology, and we do not want them to be behind as they enter high school, college, and the work world. So, clearly, I am not saying they shouldn’t ever use devices such as iPhones and iPads. And I do realize I am generalizing here. There are absolutely exceptions and parents that I would put forth as examples on achieving a balance.  But I am observing these kinds of things (out of balance) SO OFTEN that it almost seems like an epidemic.


I used the work of a friend as inspiration to sketch and watercolor the above art journal project (on the pages of my altered book). It is nostalgic to me and reminds me of simpler times. It brings a sweet memory to me of my maternal grandmother telling my sister and me bedtime stories. She would make up the cutest stories, and I would have such a lovely picture in my mind. Her stories always included little girls in their frilly little dresses, bows in their hair, going on a picnic.


What about bedtime stories? Is there still room for imagination?--for creating a picture in your mind, instead of seeing someone else’s idea on a screen? I hope so.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Art Journal: Three Angels

3 angels wm

One of the online classes I am taking is “21 Secrets,” and one of my very favorite teachers for this class is Kate Crane. This project was done for her class, and it’s a poor “imitation” of her work, but it was fun. She used the “lines” on the angels for journaling, but I opted to simply name the angels based on one of my favorite Bible passages, 1 Corinthians 13 (“the love chapter”).

Friday, August 23, 2013

Blessings Journal

Working in my altered vintage Hawthorne book that I started in the “Journey of Letting Go” class. I am using this particular book (from my mother-in-law’s collection of “old” books—this one copyright 1800’s) for documenting some of my Blessings. (I have a duplicate of this one so didn’t mind altering it.)

feather blessings journal wm

copyright 2

Here are the two pages I just completed in this Blessings Journal:

bright days wm

dark peaceful nights wm

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Popsicle Gerber Daisy on 2x4(x4)

One of the projects in my Wild Art Summer class was to photograph some flowers around our house and then use the photograph as inspiration for sketching and painting. I took this picture of my Popsicle Gerber Daisy.


Being so new at sketching and painting, this was a challenge for me. I sketched the flower first and then transferred my sketch to a 2x4x4 board (my husband cut it for me) and then painted with several layers.

gerber 4 wm

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Art Journal: All Glory to God

glory to God wm black border

(Click image to enlarge.)

Working in my altered Purpose-Driven Life book, this page, featuring watercolor crayons and Silks Acrylic Glazes, is all about bringing glory to God. The theme is inspired by the words on the page of the book (clearly visible before I covered everything with paints).

The point that Rick Warren makes on these pages is this: We bring glory to God by being what He created us to be, by fulfilling our God-given purposes in our lives.

We also bring glory to God by remembering to thank Him for giving us, as His followers, access to His mighty power to accomplish the seemingly impossible in our lives.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. ~ Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Art Journal: Intrigued by Flowers

2pg bucket of flowers wm


Probably as a result of my summer wildflower class, I have a renewed appreciation for the colorful part of God’s creation that we call “flowers.” It’s just amazing to look at the detail and the color and realize that flowers are such pure evidence of a Creator.


My so-called “art” is a feeble attempt to “present” a semblance of creation. But the attempt does serve to remind me of how God has created such things as flowers, for our pleasure.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Watering Can Bouquet on a Gorgeous Day

watering can flower pot


Continuing to take inspiration from some of the art shared in my Wild Art Summer class, this one was relaxing and fun…again, it’s an art journal, not a painting, so it’s okay if it’s not perfect (she tells herself).


It’s so hard to believe that summer is almost over. Kids are going “back to school.” It’s mid-August here in Missouri, and it’s 72 degrees here at mid-day. Incredibly glorious out on our deck, where Sassi just kept me company for a coffee break!


Peaceful coffee on the deck


I am remembering one year, near the end of my teaching career, when my classroom was on the third floor of a very old building, with no air conditioning. When school started, my classroom temperature was 98 degrees. I’m not even kidding. Yep, memories like that REALLY help me enjoy days like today!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Art Journal: Butterfly Inspiration

large butterfly journal page

No sketching, no painting, just a good-old-collage-style art journal page. Well, the background is painted—watercolor crayons scribbled on, then smooshed around with a wet wipe. My kind of painting—I can’t mess it up!

Butterflies are so inspiring in so many ways.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Watercolor: Inspiration Journal Lighthouse

lighthouse wm

(Click image to enlarge.)


Inspired by the wonderful work of one of the gals in my Wild Art Summer class, this sketch and watercolor was a really quick project and was inspiring for me to do.


While there are no Scripture verses that actually use the word “lighthouse,” there are many passages that describe God and Jesus as “light,” and His followers are to be a light in the darkness.


I have always loved lighthouses. They are beautiful and symbolic of safety and strong, true direction.


I sketched the lighthouse on a blank page in my altered Purpose Driven Life book, then lightly gesso-ed over it and then used a light charcoal pencil and watercolors.


Linking to

Anything But a Card Summer Challenge

Friday, August 9, 2013

Mixed Media: Cheerful Little Flower

flower on square board wm

Feeling cheerful today, as we are expecting some special house guests for the weekend! My daughter and grandson are coming, and I’m looking forward to their visit!

This project was inspired by a lesson in Wild Art Summer. I used a 2x4x4 board that my husband cut for me. I covered all sides with gesso and then used book paper (cut the leaves, stem, and petals from it) and acrylics (some with glass bead gel mixed in). Some of the petals were created with pieces of gesso-ed muslin.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Watercolor Simple Sailboat: Peace Be Still

sailboat wm


One of the reasons I am okay with sketching and painting is that I can sketch “the idea” of something rather than getting “hung up” with details of “the real thing.”


Here, the “idea” of a sailboat invokes feelings of peace and solitude. I like that. I’d like to be on a sailboat someday.

Watercolor: Thoughtful Lady in Floppy Hat

thoughtful lady wm

I am quite “taken” with some of the art that is created by the gals in my Wild Art Summer class, and I used one of their works as inspiration for this piece.

Watercolor: Bursting with Blooms

bursting with blooms


Taking inspiration from my Wild Art Summer class, here is another spread in my altered book. I am so inexperienced with watercolor and with sketching, that I probably shouldn’t even “publish” this stuff, but this way I can “document” my {hoped-for} progress!


For this little lady, I decided to bring in some heavy body acrylics on top of patterned paper to give her hat some dimension…

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Art Journal: Cheerful Birdies

cheerful birdies

While most of my recent projects have been sketching and watercolor, I still love to do crazy art journal pages. This one uses a strip of watercolor paper I did for a class, some vintage dictionary pages, and I even did some stitching!! Yes, me, with a sewing machine! Well, at least a mini-sewing machine. My mother taught me to sew when I was 17, but I never really enjoyed sewing. It’s rather fun to use it for crafting now.

I find I am rather drawn to bright colors for summer.

Projects from “the road”

While on our recent road trip to the Pacific Northwest and back home, I worked on a few projects. I am completing some of them now that I am home.

my lavender

Lavender is a common sight in Oregon and Washington.

place of relaxation

Still completing pages in my altered “Purpose Driven Life” book. There are always some pointed reminders that show through, as I use a light coat of gesso and then watercolor for the background.

Linking to

Anything But a Card Summer Fun