Let Joy Overtake You

This piece was a mixed media Master Study of one of Joni Eareckson Tada’s pieces. I used sand for the background, some plaster for the angel, carpet fibers for the leaves in the foreground, and blue jean fibers for the leaves in her hand. I know it’s meant to be displayed near Christmas, but I need to be reminded to have joy every day of the year, not just in one season of my life. It reminded me of the verse from Isaiah:

“Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” -Isaiah 35:10

Let the gladness and the joy of the Lord overtake you today as you rest in His love. This song Never Have I Ever by AGAPAO Worship brought a smile to my face and inspired me to post this today. Enjoy:

A Million Lights

This commissioned piece reminded me of this verse:

 “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork.” – Psalm 19:1

The Master Artist knew what he was doing when He created such beauty for us to enjoy. Attempting to replicate the different colored galaxies was much more difficult than I had previously thought – perseverance was the key. I used acrylic paints for this painting and sealed it with a fixative spray. When I was working on this project I also thought of how much He cares for those stars that He calls them by name:

”He tells the number of the stars; he calls them all by their names.” – Psalm 147:4

If He knows the innumerable clusters of stars by name, surely He knows your name too! We reflect His light in this world, and when we let this light shine, the world will see the glory of God. This song, ‘A Million Lights’ by musical artist Michael W. Smith reminds me of what we are to do with this light – let it shine!  Just for fun: I hid a few spaceships in this piece – see if you can find them!(There are four in all)

Follow the Master Artist…

Rendition of Ron DiCianni’s Holding Heaven

For the past two months, I’ve been teaching my students how important a Master Study is for emerging artists to improve their artwork. However, it is easier said than done for the teacher to pursue improving their own work of art! So, I decided to do a Master Study of one of my top ten Favorite Artists of all time: Ron DiCianni! His piece, Holding Heaven, holds a tender place in my heart since most illustrations/renditions have Joseph somewhere in the background or on the side apart from Mary and Jesus. It must have been an incredible moment realizing that Joseph is holding the greatest teacher in the universe!

“The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”-Philippians 4:9

Whenever I decide to follow something seemingly simple – I slowly realize how intricate the original piece is compared to my humble beginning. Experimenting with cloth for the figures of Jesus and Joseph, scripture and sand for the background, blue jean fibers for the facial hair, and plaster to bring out Joseph’s arm/hand made the project seem impossible. But the moment I recognized why Ron DiCianni created light/shadow in specific areas, the faster and simpler it became for me to follow. In short, the longer I studied the original, the closer I came to the Master Artist’s Masterpiece. The longer we study the Greatest Master Artist of them all – our Heavenly Father – the easier it becomes for us to recognize Him working through us touching the world with every reflection of His light we share. Merry Christmas!

CouCou The Parrot

The amazing design of the parrot always captivated me because unlike common birds, it has brightly colored wings which immediately captured my attention.  It must have been such a wonderful sight for Adam and Eve to see these creatures for the first time, and Adam may have had a challenging time figuring out appropriate names for all of the exotic animals he encountered!

These creatures must have made God smile too, because: ‘God saw that it was good.’

“Then God said, “Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that scurries and swarms in the water, and every sort of bird—each producing offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.”- Genesis 1:20 -23

I decided to create CouCou the parrot, which is based off of the yellow-headed Amazon parrot. Just as God said that ‘it was good’, my hope is that this little parrot will bring you a smile too! This project was inspired by the Nancy Drew PC Game Series. Enjoy!

Be Still And Know That He Is God

The intricate design of butterflies tends to make me stop what I am doing and appreciate their beauty.  Taking time to pause reminds me of this passage in the Psalms: “Be still, and know that I am God.” –Psalm 46:10

There are those times in life when we should be still in the moment and enjoy the incredible creation God has provided for us. This butterfly project was an extensive undertaking of time and surprising research when it comes to the types of butterflies that exist today. I hope you enjoy the butterflies designed in this piece as much as I did when working on them.  If you see one outside, take a moment to be still and know that our heavenly father created this creature of incredible grace and beauty. If you think the butterfly is amazing, just imagine how amazing you are to God. He sent his own Son into this world to take our punishment and give us a new life. God willingly sacrificed Jesus to die for us; the least we can do is to joyfully live our lives for Him.

The process: I bought butterfly decorations at the dollar store, the original ones were made out of feathers which made the texture much more realistic. I had to add feathers to the ones that did not have the feathers included in the package. The background was originally a framed calendar, which I just replaced with thick paper and a little brown pastel to provide a faded, vintage appearance. The butterflies originally came with a wire which I numbered with masking tape to keep them organized.  After I researched butterflies that I liked the most, I would number them and write the technical names on a sheet of old paper to give the appearance of age. Some of the bodies on the insect were either too big or too little in terms of the size I needed for inclusion in this collection. To remedy this, I used a glue gun and acrylic paint. The wings were too weak on their own, so I added masking tape under the wing’s back side to provide support. I created the moth located in the middle of the collection using the glue gun and left over wings that I cut off for the smaller sized butterflies. Enjoy!

• Restoration •

Did you know that God loves to make things that seem too old to have any use left to them into a new thing with an even greater purpose than before?:

 “Do not remember the former things,

Nor consider the things of old.

Behold, I will do a new thing,

Now it shall spring forth;

Shall you not know it?

I will even make a road in the wilderness

And rivers in the desert.” –Isaiah 43:18-19

Be encouraged! When you think that you have nothing left to give, God will provide a new path for you to continue on this journey throughout life. 

Speaking of old things…

This was a vanity desk that is from either the 1940s or late 1930s. I decided to paint it white/yellow to match the rest of my bedroom. This project took me about three days to complete. It reminded me of how God takes the seemingly ‘ugly pieces’ in our lives and makes them new again. You may see a visit or two from Bingley the cat…Enjoy the transformation!

Small Things

When life goes on in a slow pace, there are times when I have wondered, does God care about these small things in life? He clearly answers this question:

“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” –Luke 12:7

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” –Matthew 6:26

Do not be discouraged, He indeed cares about the seemingly small things in your life, but He cares for you immensely more than anything else on this earth. Remember to rest in His love for you and know that He will not only take care of all the ‘small things’ but He will take care of you too.

Here are a few small things that I have finished this year, enjoy! These projects were inspired by items found the Nancy Drew PC Game Series with different alterations.

“I will be like dew to the people of Israel. They will blossom like flowers.” –Hosea 14:5a The Flower Dome piece looks similar to the Anthurium Scherzerianum flower species. It is a tropical plant that looks almost as if it was made for a different world!

 “In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” –Job 12:10 The sculpture resembles a small house cat (Yes, I love cats).  I enlarged this piece and added more paint texture to give it more vibrancy. It reminds me of all the joy my previous cats gave during their lives, and it makes me smile in reminding me to cherish every moment.

“I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”-Esther 4:16 The Wooden Puzzle Box project took a while for me to complete, but it was worth it to achieve a captivating visual on the life of Esther. She was just an everyday girl who was called by God to live an extraordinary life!

All We Need

This is a painting that I created which was inspired by a cover from the 1927 Woman’s Companion magazine.  The love this little girl has for her kitten is captured perfectly in this scene. It reminded me of how much more God cares for us, His children, and how His love is to be expressed in every aspect of our lives – even in how we treat our animals.

“The righteous care for the needs of their animals,

    but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.”Proverbs 12:10

You can see the difference love makes – not just in the big things, but the small things too. Just as God cares for our needs, we are to share that same love to one another so that we can make a difference in our world. This song, ‘All We Need’ by musical artists Out Of The Grey reminds us of what we need in our lives – God’s love.

All We Need By Out of The Grey

Little did I know that not long after I had completed this painting, I was to receive a similar gift, too. My cat, Emily, passed away in 2018, and I did not think that there would ever be another cat in my life. However, I now have a cat who looks exactly like the kitten in my painting! God is so good! Enjoy!

Ruth

This piece is the last painting of mine inspired by a painting done by Art Nouveau artist, Paul Berthon, in 1897. In this painting I depicted Ruth from the Bible, using acrylics and gel pen for the verse. In the Bible, Ruth is completely devoted to her mother-in-law, Naomi, after tragic deaths in the family occurred. Naomi’s husband and two sons, one of which was Ruth’s husband, died.  Ruth’s love for Naomi was so strong that she was willing to stay with her mother-in-law and follow her during an uncertain future.

And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, and to return from following after thee, for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” -Ruth 1:16

Ruth was given a chance to go back to her former life, but she was faithful to Naomi.  She decided to adopt Naomi’s faith and join Naomi’s people, her home, and her God. Little did Ruth know that she would marry wealthy landowner Boaz in the future, and be able to provide for all of Naomi’s needs. Remarkably, Ruth and Boaz’s son would play a pivotal role in fulfilling God’s plan occupying a part in the genealogy of King David!

I wonder if Ruth ever thought how different her life would have been if she did not remain with Naomi after the death of her first husband.  I’m so glad that she chose to go with Naomi at that difficult time. Ruth’s decision to follow Naomi and embrace Naomi’s God caused Ruth to become part of the family line that would eventually bring forth the Savior of the world, Jesus. I have included one of my favorite songs on Ruth which brings her words to song in Song Of Ruth by Lamb. Enjoy:

Song of Ruth By Lamb

Hope and Strength For Such A Time As This

This painting was inspired by the famous Art Nouveau artist Paul Berthon as an advertisement for a monthly literature review in 1897. I used acrylics and Elmer’s Glue(for the crackle effect on the Moon). In my version, the woman is Queen Esther walking the gardens, pondering on the message her uncle Mordecai sent to her to take action to save herself and her people:

“…Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” –Esther 4:14

Perhaps God had placed her in this position in order save her people, the Jews, from being killed by a new decree inspired by evil Haman.  The King made a decree unknowingly placing Esther’s life – and the lives of her people – in danger. He was unaware of Esther’s true identity as a Jew, and she knew the severity of the consequences following his decree. Nevertheless she made the decision to reveal the truth to the king, even though doing so placed herself in danger. She sent a message back to Mordecai with this response:

“Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, ‘Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.’” –Esther 4:16

God had to be her hope and strength in order to continue with this decision.  Esther’s selfless action determined the fate of all Jews in the kingdom, ultimately saving her people from death and bringing peace to the kingdom. This song also coincides with the topic of God being our hope and strength, God Of My Hopes by Michelle Tumes. Put your strength and hope in the Lord! Enjoy: