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 “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 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