Enjoy The Good

Sometimes people can feel a bit guilty for ‘having fun’ in the midst of this pressure-filled world. Tutorials and people discussing how to be productive isn’t a bad thing, however, for a perfectionist(like me), continually watching videos on this subject can apply unnecessary pressure for us to be a work horse only. If you are simply ‘enjoying the moment’ for one day – you may briefly consider yourself to be wasting time. This way of thinking contrasts with the Bible:

Every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.”-Ecclesiastes 3:13

We should make time to enjoy the little things in life. If God Himself took a break from creating the world to enjoy all that He had made, why can’t we take pleasure in life too? Spending time with family and friends is creating a special memory and it is being productive by strengthening your relationships to last.

A few activities that I enjoy doing are playing pc games/board games, and I am always intrigued on how to create/bring objects that exist on the screen and make it a part of real life for everyone to enjoy. While I was playing Nancy Drew: Phantom of Venice pc game, there is a mini game Nancy played called Scopa which I had no idea existed as a real card game until last month. I painted over a board game(don’t worry, it wasn’t a classic!) and decided to bring the board into the real world. This is a project which has taken me a while to do, but it it finally finished! I used acrylic paints to create a Scopa Board that resembles the board from the pc game, and I ordered the actual Scopa cards from Italy. Now my family & friends can play the classic 18th century Scopa game together! Remember to make time to enjoy the Good!

 

Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob's Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder

And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. .” – Genesis 28:10-17

For the first two months in the school year, students are studying the art styles of Art Deco and Art Nouveau. I thought that I would show you one of my examples of Art Deco, while illustrating Jacob’s dream from Genesis. This piece integrates silver and black Sharpie with a small amount of Acrylic Paint to make the scene pop out. When reflecting on this event, I can’t help but wonder if Jacob ever thought God would use a dream to speak to him so vividly. I am sure he was exhausted from traveling and thought he was simply going to get a night of sleep, then continue on his way as usual. However God had a different plan for Jacob. After Jacob had this vision, he did something that we often forget to do. Jacob took the time to rise up early, gather large stones and form an altar; upon which he glorified God for giving him the dream. Today, we can often get distracted and mistakenly ignore what God is trying to reveal to us as we go about our daily routines. When we share precious moments with God where He speaks to our heart, we need to write it down. Then we can thank Him for giving us the opportunity to uplift others with what He has shown us throughout our day. Don’t forget the dream God has given you. We can reach out to others with His love in so many ways ~ sometimes just to bring a smile to someone who needs one. These actions make an ordinary day into an extraordinary day where we can make a difference for good!

Happy Spring

It has been a while since you have seen new artwork on this blog due to the fact that I have been working on several projects at once. In short – it has been a challenging transition back into the normal flow of life. (I will be posting each project on this blog as it becomes “finished”). One of the projects that I was able to finish encompassed four different types of flowers that I sculpted and painted. I first applied plaster to the canvas, and sculpted the plaster to replicate the original type of flower that I was referencing. After the plaster was completely dry, I started to paint the background a gray-tinted field. When the paint was dry, I continued painting the flower, then glued a small colorful ribbon on the front to complete it. As always, I examine each piece that I have finished and consider what scripture would best accommodate it. It seemed that silver would work best with the background – so I penned the verse in the background to bring unity to the composition. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do!

 

Every Living Creature

Living Creature

Every Living Creature

“In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” – Job 12:10

This piece was designed from a photo of my Russian Blue cat who recently passed away. When I mention this, someone immediately thinks that it would be bringing a sad memory to my mind…however, it does the complete opposite. On occasion, my cat would give me a ‘Well?’ look as if she was the queen of the castle and I was her mere servant! It makes me laugh thinking of it! This painting captures that look she would often display, and it makes me smile. Little things like that make God smile too, and I can’t help but think that He designed animals to bring joy into our lives. God loves us so much more than we can ever imagine, and He gave us the ability to bring His life and joy to the world. Even this small cat with an ‘attitude’ reminded me to look up to the One who gives all of us the ability to be thankful for the seemingly small things in this life – even for our very breath. This mixed media painting was created using sections of a puzzle, newspaper, acrylics, and watercolor colored pencils. I hope you enjoy it.

Jerusalem Above and Below

This past school year my students and I have been studying Ancient Architecture from Israel. We were studying Israeli Artist and Writer Elhanan Ben Avraham. He has a powerful testimony and displays some of his artwork including one of the largest murals in Israel in the video below:

http://www.heaventv7.com/vod/player/12295/

With Jerusalem, Israel in mind, I decided to do a little research on the topic of Jerusalem – ‘Above and Below’. When the Israeli community says ‘Jerusalem’ they pronounce it ‘Yerusalem’, which stands for Jerusalem Above(Heaven), and Jerusalem Below(On Earth). So in short, when we say Yerushalayim (Forgive me if this is the incorrect spelling), we are calling New Jerusalem(Heaven) down to the earthly Jerusalem, essentially becoming one. My students had the option of creating a heavenly and earthly Jerusalem in one piece if they desired. If you have never heard of this before, I highly encourage you to checkout this interview where Billye Brim and Gloria discuss this topic more intently and what it means for the believer.

Inspired by his testimony and discussing the Jerusalem ‘Above and Below’, we decided to do a small assignment. For this project, I had them immerse their paper into a wok of strong coffee to give the paper a weathered look. When their paper dried, they started to sketch Ancient Israel architecture using charcoal pencils. I noticed they they were having fun working on this assignment, and I decided to do my own version too.

This is the verse that I decided to use: “And He carried me away in the spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.” -Revelation 21:10

Enjoy!

What Happened?

“What Happened?” This is the phrase I use to ask my students to explain how they got from ‘this looks good’ to ‘this needs help’ regarding their artwork.  When I discover how they got ‘off track’ from where they were trying to go artistically,  I then try to direct them to make corrections/adjustments independently so they will know how to progress without me in the future. I am so thankful that God does not need to ask us, ‘What Happened?” when we find ourselves ‘off track’ in life.  Instead He knows exactly what action to take and when to take it in getting us back ‘on track’. God is continually reaching out to the lost; and He always brings hope and life to those who seek it. We should adopt the mentality that when we fail, He is there to turn our ‘What Happened?’ into a powerful testimony to reach the lost.

I had a ‘What Happened?’ experience recently when I came across a painting that I  created years ago. I decided to revive and re-create the composition… resulting in a very colorful, energetic painting that I am very pleased with entitled, ‘As The Deer Thirsts for The Water.’ This successful, re-creative experience reminded me that it doesn’t matter how we begin, but it’s how we finish that counts. I hope you enjoy the re-created painting, along with a ‘Hand Study Drawing’ sketched in January.

Triumph in Christ

Triumph In Christ

October is associated with fun leaf piles, colder temperatures, pumpkin patches, and unfortunately can be associated with a dark holiday. Should we also celebrate this holiday as a Christian? If we look at the scriptures God is very clear on the differences between darkness and light(1 Peter 2:19, Ephesians 5:8, Ecclesiastes 2:13, Matt.5:16, John 8:12, Acts 26:18, Isaiah 5:20), and when we receive Christ into our heart we receive the light of the world into our heart. There are so many distractions around us to pressure us to conform to the pattern of darkness around us on a daily basis!Can our light slowly become dampened or darkened? 1 John 1:5-9 “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

God confirms that it is possible to be deceived when He said: ‘Be careful, then, that the light within you is not darkness.‘- Luke 11:35.

So instead of celebrating darkness, why not celebrate the light of the world and encourage others to live as Christ did everyday? Share the reality of Jesus with someone who does not know Him and who needs to be set free with His Light.

This is how ~ in Christ we can triumph over darkness: Shine our light over the darkness around us, and through that light people will see the truth, love, and hope that is in Jesus. I was inspired to do this piece by viewing an image in a magazine published by Last Days Ministries. Jesus has conquered death, so we can also triumph over the fears,disappointments, and whatever form of darkness by applying the power of Christ and his word! Enjoy this acrylic painting, ‘Triumph in Christ‘, and have a wonderful Hallelujah Night!