Thursday, May 21, 2020

Painting While Staying In

Personally, I believe it’s very clear that it is way past time for the country to be reopened. And most of the country has at least partially opened. But where we live, we are still under the lockdown restrictions.

Watercolor is a diversion for me, and I feel like I am making some progress in learning, mainly by doing.

Here are some of my works, completed since we arrived back in our Washington home on May 1.


Tree frog



Tulip



Little chick



Puddle Duck



Kingfisher

#watercolor #findingmystyle #puddleduck #kingfisher #tulip #littlechick

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Geographical Transitions

We left Missouri this morning at 7:00 AM, embarking on the front end of our 18th round trip from Missouri to Washington to Missouri, in a period of 7 years. Yes, its a tough drive (about 30 hours of actual driving, each way). Getting one house ready to leave for awhile and then “opening” up the one on the other end is challenging. 

But for now, it’s what we do in order to be with all the family some of the time.

This trip is happening as the pandemic continues to trend in the right direction. In fact, most of the states we travel through feel pretty safe, with low incidences of COVID19. It will be interesting to see where people are wearing masks, where McDonalds are open more than just the drive-through, and where there seems to be lockdowns and where not. I will say this, if people are “staying home,” I’d hate to see the highways when they are not.

Just before I packed away all my art supplies for this trip, I did a couple of paintings. These two demonstrate that I still play around with different styles, and really neither of these is representative of my best effort. Neither of these is my favorite style of watercolor painting. And what is that? Still not sure—Probably somewhere between very loose watercolor and realistic. Whimsical styles (like the puffin) are fun but not where I would want to spend most of my art time.

I continue to maintain that if I forge ahead, learning is taking place.

This little puffin is another from the Watercolor With Me in the Ocean book by Dana Fox. These little creatures in her books are very simple to do, and I usually rely on this style to give me a quick project that kind of fills the blank space while I’m trying to get motivated to do a more challenging attempt.

 
I followed a tutorial for the following tulip piece, and I do not like how it turned out. But I made a decision a long time ago that I will post the bad with the good. That makes me feel more accountable. This piece IS, however, more artsy and realistic than the whimsical puffin above, so it’s closer to what I like a finished product to look like.


So now we are in Lincoln, Nebraska, and I am seeing almost no one wearing facial masks. In Missouri, many people are wearing them.

This is just a strange time.

#tulips #puffin #roadtrip

Thursday, April 23, 2020

What I Can Control

In the midst of this pandemic, which is absolutely trending in the right direction (although the governors of some states are still balking at the thought of relinquishing their new-found power, by keeping the economy shut down), introspection reveals that I have been allowing the incessantly distressing news affect my mental health. 

That must come to a halt. I can’t control what is going on in the world, but I can control my response to it. I’m done with letting it color MY world.

So, I must focus on things I can control.

Like how I spend my day (still following “stay at home” orders—for now).
     
Like how I stay in touch with my family.

Like what I can do to cheer someone else.

Like facing the day with a smile on my face and a song in my heart.

I have been sort of having to “make myself” work on little art projects, but I forge ahead, because in the end, it IS something I can control, and it does help lift my spirits.



This was a page in my Crossway Journaling Bible, Interleaved Edition. In this Bible, every other page is blank to allow for journaling. The reference here is Psalm 103:1, “Bless the Lord, O my soul.”

I just purchased a second book by Dana Fox. I have worked in her Watercolor With Me in the Forest many times in the past few months. Her second book, Watercolor With Me in the Ocean, is also going to be fun.




My first piece from the Ocean book is this little crab.



So, I just saw a headline from Vice President Mike Pence (whom I HIGHLY respect) saying he believes this horrible pandemic will be largely behind us by Memorial Day weekend. I pray he is right, and I hope we are back to nearly normal perhaps well before that.

Meanwhile, I hope I can do better with focusing on things I can control.

#whatIcancontrol #PeacefulAcres #DanaFox #watercolor #crab #BibleArtJournaling #BibleArt #ScribblingGrace

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Not By Choice

Something feels very strange—it actually feels very wrong, very frankly. This time of “confinement,” of being told I should stay home because of the pandemic, makes me ask, almost daily now, “What country do I live in?” 

It is increasingly more grating, as it becomes clear that the horrific predictions of death as a result of the coronavirus are, thankfully, not going to come to pass. As to why/how we got to this point, I cannot begin to know (though I have my theories, like everyone else). 

But it is NOW that I’m talking about. Truth be told, I am not convinced that this ridiculous shutdown of the country, and the forced collapse of our economic system, should continue. Forget whether or not it should’ve happened in the first place (and I have my opinion about that as well). I’m talking about NOW. Even those “holy” scientific “data” numbers are no longer supportive of the total shutdown that we still have in Missouri, and most of the country.

Be that as it may, watercolor painting gives me something that I feel is a little bit productive (well, at least, I do have a “product” at the end of the “process”).




Inspired by Rachel in the UK, this simple snowdrop painting was fun to do. I am not sure if I have ever seen a snowdrop flower in person. It is very sweet, I think.

Other things that have been going on for us during these days of forced isolation: the new roof was completed on our home on Peaceful Acres (as well as clean gutters with new mesh covers).


We are still having some very cold days here in MO, but today is beautiful: sunny and 62 degrees. I am so ready for spring.

As most of us in the US, I am longing for the days when life returns to normal. I’m not sure we will ever make sense of what has happened in the world for these last several weeks.

My prayer continues for the healing of our land.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. - 2 Chronicles 7:14

#PeacefulAcres #watercoloursbyrachel #watercolorpractice #snowdropflower


Monday, April 13, 2020

Spring Activities


Spring is bringing the green back to Peaceful Acres. The grass and the underbrush are bright green now, and the leaves on the tall oaks and maples have gone from tiny buds to recognizable leaves. It’s time for the hummingbirds to return.

I love birds, and I continue to try to paint them, although I struggle...my “style” seems to be somewhere between whimsical and realistic, and I guess that’s okay. I am learning from an artist in Australia, Louise De Masi, among others. She does a beautiful job with birds, and this hummingbird was done following her YouTube tutorial. It was fun to do and made me feel lighthearted, with a forward look to spring and perhaps the disappearance, if gradual, of this horrid pandemic virus.

Meanwhile, an outpouring of spring weather caused hail damage to the roof of our home here on Peaceful Acres, and today the roofers delivered the shingles for an entire new roof, construction on which will begin tomorrow.


#watercolor #hummingbird #spring #PeacefulAcres

Friday, April 10, 2020

Spring Watercolor Pansy


Still trying to get back into the swing of regular painting. Above is my watercolor pansy. Here is my reference photo:



Spring is definitely in the air, and with it a feeling of hope for fresh starts and new growth.

Our country, along with the world, is in the midst of a historical global pandemic that has resulted in sickness and death. While the statistics are terrible, it now appears that the number of deaths is not going to nearly reach the dire predictions of even two or three weeks ago. This is a good thing, of course.

I join many other Americans who are ready to see a return to normalcy. 

The flowers and plants that we see around Peaceful Acres right now remind me that God is still on His throne. He is in control.



My church (Go Church - Ridgefield, WA) remembered the cross last Sunday. Tonight we will have a season of prayer on this Good Friday.

But Sunday is Easter. While we will not be able to gather with others in a physical church setting, we will be celebrating while “attending” our worship service online, through Facebook Premiere Video.

No matter the circumstances, Easter is about celebrating the risen Lord. That never changes. While the sorrow may last the night, joy comes with the morning light!

Hallelujah! He Is Risen!

He is not here. For he has risen, just as he said.” Matthew 28:6 CSB

#Easter #pansy #watercolor #GoChurchRidgefield #spring #heisrisen #helives #hallelujah #PeacefulAcres #JaneMagnolia #redbud

Monday, April 6, 2020

“This Do in Remembrance” Then and Now


The date was June 28,1959. It was Daddy’s first Sunday as pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church (located close to Jefferson City, MO). 


Those who know me well, know the story well. The significance of the date: I met Russell Ford that day. From that day to this (literally), he has been my only love.

But this story has a theme that is different from the re-telling of our love story.

Shortly after Daddy became the pastor, the church ordained some new deacons, including Russell’s dad, Joe Ford (far right In the picture below). Among the men already serving as deacons was Russell’s maternal grandfather, Cecil Scott (fourth from the left). My dad, R.V. Wilson, is standing behind the deacons.

(By the way, Russell is also an ordained deacon. #legacy )

 (The picture below is from a digital scrapbook album that I made for Russell’s parents several years ago.)


During many of the years that her husband served as deacon, Mayme Scott (Russell’s maternal grandmother) made the unleavened bread for the Lord’s Supper services. That recipe was passed down and archived in my sister Janene’s collection of family recipes. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Grandma (Mayme) Scott’s Unleavened Bread


1 cup flour

1/4 cup water


Mix. Then knead and knead and knead. Using a rolling pin, roll it out as flat as you can. Cut it into tiny squares. Bake at 250 degrees for 20 minutes.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Fast forward to last week. Here we are in the middle of a global pandemic, and churches are not assembling. Our church, Go Church, in Ridgefield, WA, pastored by our son, Mark Ford, would be observing Palm Sunday in an online service (true for most churches in America).

Mark gave the heads-up that our service on this Sunday before Easter would focus on remembering the cross and would include an observance of the Lord’s Supper, which he would lead online. He suggested that we could each participate in our own homes.

Russell and I, being in the *ahem* “at-risk” group (age), have been self-isolating, not even going out for groceries, as we are well stocked. So, to prepare for our participation in the Lord’s Supper, we would not be purchasing the “bread” anywhere but rather decided to make Grandma Scott’s Unleavened Bread. 

I halved the recipe (didn’t even need that much, but any smaller amount would’ve been too difficult to work with). It turned out great.





Now, what to do about the juice... 

We remembered that we had bought a variety flavor case of GatorAde, a suggested staple for those self-isolating, because of the electrolytes. Guess what—one of the flavors was grape. So there you have the juice for the remembrance service!




As Mark pointed out in his sermon, this will undoubtedly be an observance of the Lord’s Supper that we will always remember. And the Go Church - Ridgefield service (Facebook Premiere) was the most meaningful service I have ever experienced.

“This do in remembrance of me,” a directive, for “as oft as you do it,” to remember what Jesus did, willingly, on the cross, to pay the price for our sins (my sin)—for anyone who is willing to receive His gift of salvation.

#PalmSunday #InRemembranceofMe #LordsSupper #unleavenedbread #legacy

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Palm Sunday {Bible Art Journaling}



It has been a very long time since I have completed a Bible Art Journaling page. Today I was inspired by a YouTube video done by my friend Jenna at scribblinggrace.com. I did this very quickly, obviously, but I used this project to remind myself of this season—all the scriptural events surrounding Easter.

They took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. - John 12:13


#BibleArtJournaling #WatercolorinmyBible #PalmSunday

Monday, March 30, 2020

Don’t Worry (Really?)



“Consider the lilies [daisies] of the field; they toil not, neither do they spin. Yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Matthew 6:28-29


During these days of following the “stay at home” guidelines that are especially important for those of us who fall into the category of “older,” amidst all the scary (okay, alarming) news, I have been reviewing some of the notes I have made in recent years about worry. Oh, wait, that’s an admission that worry has been a challenge for me, even before this most recent stress-inducer called a “global pandemic?” Well, yes, it is. Yes, it has.

I have my list of Bible verses about fear and worry. I love all of them. My favorite is still: “Do not worry about anything. But, in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7-8

Yes, I know it is not good to worry. Of course I know I can’t change anything by worrying. I know that worry is evidence of a lack of faith. I know that trust and worry cannot live in the same heart. I know all that. Still, it’s difficult for me to put into practice the things that I know.

So it is helpful for me to study about what God has to say about the topic, and following is one of the articles I have saved for reference.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anxious: Choosing Faith in a World of Worry by Amy Simpson


I began to notice a theme throughout God’s story, a call for people to release their cradling hold on fear, turn away from it and trust him.

 

We wave it [worry] as a flag of self-importance, fly it over our own castles and kingdoms to proclaim to the world around us that we are responsible, capable, indispensable.

 

A lifestyle of worry is incompatible with a life of faith.

 

We must let go of the mistaken belief that life can and should be safe. That our powers extend farther than what God has granted us. That our chief purpose in this life is to avoid danger and accumulate treasures. That we possess and must preserve that which actually belongs to God.

 

Ultimately, it will nudge you toward the God who offers spiritual freedom and rest to all whose hearts are troubled.

 

Embracing faith is the one human choice God values most—above showing kindness, trying to be good and following all the rules.

 

Willful worry amounts to rejection of God’s character and damages our capacity for the life he calls us to.

It is rooted in a theological misunderstanding of who God is, the nature of life in this world and our place in the universe.

 

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines fear as “an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.”

Merriam-Webster’s defines anxiety as “painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind usually over an impending or anticipated ill.” Anxiety usually appears not in the face of an immediate threat, as with fear, but when anticipating something that will or might happen.

 

Anxiety is an alerting signal; it warns of an impending danger and enables a person to take measures to deal with a threat. Fear is a similar alerting signal, but it should be differentiated from anxiety. Fear is a response to a known, external, definite, or nonconflictual threat; anxiety is a response to a threat that is unknown, internal, vague, or conflictual.

 

In general, fear is a response to an immediate and known threat. Anxiety is a response to a possibility.

Although both fear and anxiety may help us in the short term, neither is a healthy place to stay.

Unfortunately, some of us choose to stay in this place of unease by indulging in worry.

 

Merriam-Webster defines worry as “mental distress or agitation resulting from concern usually for something impending or anticipated.” Unlike fear, worry is not an immediate response to real or perceived danger; it’s anticipatory, rooted in concern about something that may or may not happen. Unlike normal anxiety, it’s not an involuntary physical response but a pattern we choose to indulge.

 

Whether we realize it or not, worry is an action. It’s a choice we make to stay in that place of anxiety that was designed to protect us from immediate danger, not to see us through everyday life.

 

So if you’re worried, as many of us are, and you want to change that habit, how do you do that? You can try to just stop worrying, but simply changing a behavior doesn’t address the true source of the problem. For real and lasting change, you also need to “let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” (Rom 12:2). Of course, that transformative process is conducted and guided by God and his Holy Spirit, not by us. But we can choose to welcome and cooperate with that work, or we can choose to fear, resent and resist it.

 

Surround and saturate yourself with the truth about God: who he is and why he is trustworthy and who you are in relationship to him. Ask God to change the way you think about him, about yourself, about everything.

 

Even though we believe in God and theoretically believe he is all-powerful and loving, sometimes it’s hard to really believe he is in control of the world we live in, he will never leave us and the people we love, he is aware of absolutely everything we need and capable of providing it, he knows us better than we know ourselves, he is far more powerful than absolutely everything and everyone who scares us, and he has a great plan and a great view of realms and reasons we can’t even imagine.

 

A worried mind races and wrestles, trying to find a new perspective on a problem or a possibility that no amount of thinking will unravel. Like the infamous Grinch, who “puzzled and puzzled ‘till his puzzler was sore,” we seem to believe that with enough thought, everything that weighs on us will become clear, manageable or avoidable. The problem is, much of what we worry about is outside our control or hasn’t even happened. Often we’re trying to solve problems that don’t yet exist.

 

Sometimes worry is a way of trying to do something about a situation we honestly can’t do much about.

While people with a high internal locus of control tend to be high achievers and influencers, extremism on this scale is not truly healthy. It fails to reflect reality. We are responsible for ourselves and the influence we exert around us—but we are not responsible for other people’s choices, and we are always subject to God’s authority. People who desire more control than they’ve been granted are prime candidates for repeated disappointment and ongoing frustration—not to mention relational friction. The more we worry, the more we reinforce the idea that the objects of our worry are our responsibility and should be under our control.

 

Worry changes our mood, which in turn affects our relationships. Marriages and friendships suffer as people argue more, demand more of one another or withdraw from relationships. When we’re worried, we may focus so thoroughly on our own emotions, impulses and thoughts that we can’t properly participate in anything else. The process of worrying feels so important, we withdraw from others and live in our own heads, effectively ignoring the people we love and responsibilities that need our attention.

 

The proper attitude toward the Holy Spirit is one of listening—purposeful spiritual stillness that allows us to hear his voice. Ironically, while we are wringing our hands and trying to figure out how we can help God intervene on our behalf, the Holy Spirit may be speaking words of comfort, or even resolution, we are too preoccupied to hear. But the consequences aren’t only physical. Worry wears us out emotionally and spiritually as well.  We may lose sight of the ways God blesses us, cares for us and the people we love, and sustains our world. We may even miss the ways he redeems the bad things that happen to us, bringing good from bad, beauty from pain, according to his purposes. Even when we are aware of God’s good gifts, worry can keep us from enjoying them because we’re waiting for something bad to happen or thinking about the unknown future.

 

When we fail to trust God, we behave like frantic sheep who have forgotten they’re following a shepherd. Sheep are made to follow one leader.

 

God is calling all of us to step out and be different from our worried world, exercising such determined trust in him that we actually let go of worry.

 

Take some time to enjoy the way God has made you. Express yourself! Are you artistic? Create something beautiful.

 

Give yourself permission to stop thinking about bad things and enjoy good things.

 

God tells Joshua three times, “Be strong and courageous!” He also tells him to reject worry and dismay—again, not simply for the sake of putting on a good show for the people, but because God is with him: “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Josh 1:9).

 

Clearly, God wants us to trust him. And clearly, he sees our worry—and our choice to stay in a place of fear—as betraying a lack of trust. God doesn’t say, “Don’t worry too much” or “Worry only about what really matters.” He says, “Do not worry.” “Do not fear.” “Do not be afraid/troubled/anxious.” He calls us to trust him, to acknowledge who he is and to live as if we are in a world he owns completely.

 

So what can you do when that temptation calls? You can start by reminding yourself where you place your trust. Try personalizing a passage of Scripture that can serve as your statement of commitment to the way of faith and trust in the one who holds all things in his hand. Memorize it and recite it when your heart is troubled.

 

Choosing to worry is a sin, an act of rebellion against God, a rejection of our assigned place in the universe, a barrier in our relationship with a God who wants us to live in bold purpose rooted in his character. Worry is essentially a spiritual problem, which ultimately cannot be overcome merely through an act of the will—the solution is rooted entirely in who God is.

 

God will give you strength and grace to declare in faith, “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last” (Job 19:25).

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


#DoNotWorry #DaisyArtInspiredbyWatercoloursbyRachael #Watercolor

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Hope in the Darkness

Today, in the midst of this horrible global pandemic, I was looking for positive signs of hope around me. First, I found some evidences that spring is coming. For me, evidence of winter turning to spring has always been symbolic of new life, fresh starts, and reasons to look forward and not back.

I found some signs of green on Peaceful Acres.



The day lilies are popping up in the flower beds.



The magnolia tree and the forsythia are blooming!




But perhaps the most touching sign of hope I saw today was a Facebook post. It was made by someone I do not know, posted publicly and shared by a friend. 


This is what happened: As a result of a spontaneous idea posted on that person’s Facebook page, many people in a community (it appears to have been in Fayette County?) in Georgia, gathered last night in a parking lot of a local hospital. In their vehicles, they flashed their lights, played and sang “Waymaker” as they prayed for the hospital, the workers, the first responders, the patients, etc. Above, I have put the link to the Facebook post so the video can be viewed. The post also contains these words, which I am pasting here:

Even when I don't see it, You're working
Even when I can't feel it, You're working
You never stop, You never stop working
You never stop, You never stop working

Waymaker
Miracle Worker
Promise Keeper
Light in the darkness
My God
That is who You are

This is our community tonight gathering in our cars, at our hospital, Piedmont Fayette Hospital to pray over every single person in the building, every single worker, every window seal and every door post of this building from the front to the back, the top to the bottom  ! Healing in JESUS NAME!!! Restoration!!! Comfort!!! Protection!!!! Wisdom!! Strength!!! Peace!!!  FAITH!!!!!! LIFE!!!!!!!!! 

Thank you to every healthcare worker, first responder, and every individual fighting this crisis- whether behind the scenes or on the front line here in our community and all over the nation who are tirelessly and faithfully fighting on our behalf. 
We are behind you. We are covering you!!! 

We THANK YOU!!! 

2 Chronicles 7:14 
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 

JOHN 14:27
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” 

PSALM 91
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 
I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

#SocialDistancingWasRespectedANDPracticed #WeCanMakeADifference  #FaithToMoveAMountain #FlattenTheCurve #ThankYou

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yes, hope. I love it when I see God’s people exhibiting their strong faith and doing what we can do—praying and supporting.

#SignsofHope #SignsofSpring #Waymaker #WeWillGetThrough #Endurance #GodisStillinControl

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Some Transitions

In early February we returned to our MO home, having been in our WA home since Christmas. We finally pulled the trigger on something we have talked about for some years and listed our property (we call it Peaceful Acres, our 4,600 square foot home on five acres). We designed this house ourselves and selected every tiny thing in it. We have loved living here for a season of our lives, but we look forward to what comes next. The great thing is, it’s our choice.






We spent a lot of time de-stashing and getting the house ready to show. We are now in a holding pattern and not expecting a lot of activity right now, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Everything is slowed down. So, we will continue to enjoy this place until it sells. We will be looking for a smaller place, on one level. The two of us are sort of rolling around in this big house!


One of the things we have loved about this place is seeing all the wildlife. This robin nearly killed himself flying repeatedly into the glass door on our deck. But I liked seeing him, a harbinger of spring.


Now that the world has sort of shut down until the pandemic passes through, we are spending a lot of time inside.



 I caught up with my scrapbooking. I kept putting off getting back into painting, because it has been weeks and I wasn’t sure I could still produce a decent piece of art!

Today I actually completed a watercolor project. 



So, now that I realize I can still come up with a product, the fear is gone, and I’ll get back in the groove of regular painting, while keeping up with the other routines of life.

#watercolor #peacefulacres #transitions 

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Watercolor Art on Rainy Days

It’s challenging NOT to be obsessed with the weather out here in the Pacific Northwest during the rainy season. Many of the “natives” don’t seem to think about it much, but when you have spent most of your [long] life in a part of the country (mostly Missouri) where NO weather pattern lasts for days on end (I’ve lost count of how many days in a row...rain, rain, rain)...well, yes, then you do think about/obsess about it. Or, speaking for myself, I definitely do.

During these rainy days, I am not motivated to go outside. In addition to completing my 2019 Creative Memories Scrapbook Album (which was a huge project), I have played around with several little watercolor art projects.

Since I have a few to share, I will take this opportunity to discuss a little bit about how I see “style” or “technique” in watercolor. 

I will say that about a year ago, when I first started experimenting with watercolor painting, I took note of the various styles and got in my mind that I needed to settle into one style as I moved forward with learning and practice. What style would be “my” style, which style should I focus on as I learn?

But I have now observed that many of my favorite artists actually use different styles at different times. That works for me, because my mood is different some days than other, and I tend to paint according to my mood. 

Here’s what I mean by “style” or “technique.” This is from my layman, non-professional viewpoint. I see two major different styles of watercolor. Again, in my terms, I see “detailed/realistic” watercolor and “loose” watercolor. Each of those styles has a lot of variation, under the “umbrella” term. 

I tend to be more “realistic” and not so much “loose.” However, even my more detailed work is not totally realistic (I’m not that good). Under the umbrella of detailed, though, there is a cartoon/illustrative style. It isn’t just dropping watery color (loose), but is more detailed, with a goal of creating an “illustration” of the object. The extreme on the continuum of “loose” styles is mainly wet-on-wet, laying down a lot of watery paint, and letting it run. Many artists are great at that technique. I have not had much success with my attempts at strictly “loose” technique.

Here are some of my rainy-day projects with a brief description of the [varied] styles.


I’ll share this one first, because it’s not “really” watercolor, but is using watercolor paints on a sketch on a Bible page, called “Bible Art” or “Bible Art Journaling” or “Bible Journaling.” I have about four Bibles I use for art journaling (eventually one for each of my grandchildren), and this one is on the page of Matthew 8:20, where Jesus is talking about the commitment needed fo follow Him, as He said that even foxes have dens, but He [His followers] does not have a place to lay His head. This is an example of detailed (or at least NOT loose) style, although it is not meant to REALLY look like a fox, even though it is fairly realistic. I mean, you CAN tell that it is a fox. I think?



This little chickadee is an example of detailed (NOT loose) style and yet an illustrative technique; that is, while it is not loose, it is also not meant to be a realistic version of the chickadee.



This black-capped chickadee (compare to the previous picture) is a detailed style, somewhat realistic, although because I am not professional, it isn’t exactly like a photo of a chickadee. 



This colorful little hummingbird is sort of a combination of styles. While it is not an attempt at realism, I used a loose technique to lay down the colors of paint, some wet-on-dry (paint on dry paper) and some wet-on-wet (paint applied on top of paint that is still wet). This one may be about the most “loose” you will see from me at this point, as I typically like more “control” (duh) than is possible with a loose style of painting.

I often use a reference photo to paint from. This is the reference photo for this hummingbird:


So, there you have my thoughts on style, and as is obvious, at this point, there is a lot of variety in the styles I use. Obviously, the more illustrative examples are much easier and less time-consuming than the ones that have more detail and/or tend to be more realistic. 

Oh well, it’s all enjoyable, and even though I am the type of personality that will always care about “the product,” I am also all about the process!

#watercolorpractice #loosewatercolor #realisticwatercolor #illustrativewatercolor #rainydaysinthePNW #scrapbookcaughtup #somuchtolearn #Bibleartjournaling #Biblejournaling #Bibleart







Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Winter Day in the PNW (Spring on my mind)

So, we have been out here in Washington state, in our second home, only 3 1/2 weeks this time, and I am told it was raining non-stop, many weeks before we got here. It has rained non-stop since our arrival, for sure. It gets to be a downer after so many days with no sun. 

This morning there was a break in the monotony, in that it snowed for a short time, and some of it even stayed on the ground for a while.

Taken from our back patio:




And then the sun even popped out for a few minutes!



But I think I must already have spring on my mind, because as I was thinking about some easy watercolor subjects, I decided on a couple of flowers (and I don’t usually enjoy painting flowers—probably because I’m not very good at it).





#watercolorpractice #watercolorflowers #easywatercolor #springisonmymind #PNW #coneflower #sunflower


Friday, January 10, 2020

Watercolor Hobby: Being Real

So, sometimes I have to pick myself up and be realistic about my abilities (or lack thereof). I was feeling fairly successful, in terms of accomplishing what I wanted to do, when I finished the flowering cactus plant for my granddaughter. While it certainly is not to the professional level, still, I felt that it represented a good effort.





Then this week I tried another project, and it was an epic fail. So much for self-confidence. Yes, it was an attempt to emulate a highly accomplished professional artist, but my effort wasn’t even good enough to try to salvage. Trash can.

So, I told myself to lower my expectations a bit, and I followed a tutorial for a much simpler (easy) project. At least it’s not in the trash can...




So, I’m not giving up, not quitting...but, I have to be realistic in my expectations and accept that if I’m going to risk trying a high-skill-level project, it might NOT be a success, in terms of product. However, in terms of practice, every effort is beneficial (I suppose)...

#ladybug #floweringcactus #watercolorpactice #sometimeseasyisbetter #letsmakeart 

Monday, January 6, 2020

Granddaughter Heads Back to Mission Field

We were so blessed to be in our Washington home while Tory was at her folks’ home for Christmas.

We have many years of personal knowledge of the hello/goodbye cycle with close family as missionaries. We are thankful for the recent “hello” time that we were able to spend with Tory, as she came to her folks’ home for Christmas vacation. Last night it was time for the “goodbye” time of this cycle. It’s sad to say goodbye. 



But, our Priority Prayer for our grandchildren is that they follow God and are content in His calling on their lives. That’s our Delightful Joy Girl Tory. 


As I have been saying for [many] years: Their part is to go. Our part is to let them go. 


We are so thankful for Tory’s willingness to GO. We are so blessed to be her grandparents.




“For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, so that you may have great endurance and patience, joyfully.” - Col 1:9-11 (CSB)


#HellosandGoodbyes #ProudofTory #GOTory #familysupport #delightfuljoygirl

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Celebrating the New Year

We celebrated New Year’s Eve with Mark’s family at our house for traditional Hoppin’ John, Snickerdoodles, ice cream sundaes, singing, and board games!












Tory loves cacti, and her apartment in Mexico has some cactus decor. So I painted a watercolor cactus for her to take back home with her.





New Year’s Day we went to Red Robin for burgers and then to the new (last) Star Wars movie, The Rise of Skywalker. We have been to several of the Star Wars movies at theaters together through the years.



#NewYears2020 #FamilyTime #FamilyTogether #CactusWatercolor #FamilyBoardGames