John 8:36 - So if the Son makes you free, you will be truly free.

Galatians 5:1 - We have freedom now, because Christ made us free. So stand strong. Do not change and go back into the slavery of the law.

This is my journey.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Thanksgiving kinda snuck up behind me, tapped me on the shoulder and screamed "boo!" in my ear. Tomorrow I've got a bedroom to clean, pies to bake, kids to watch, and presents to make... "I'm swamped!"

And then Christmas... only one month till Christmas Eve eve! How did this year slip by so fast? I'm kinda sad... as a kid, everything seemed to take ten years to happen. Christmas Eve night was a year long, and it felt like it would never end.

Now, it seems like everything just goes by too fast! Every day zips by, and then it's gone. Everyone grows up too fast around me.

And Christmas. I love how steady it is. Each year different, and yet the traditions are always the same. This year is my last year with those traditions... next year I will be starting new Christmas traditions with my now-fiance, then-husband.

Maybe we will try to hold onto old traditions with all our might. Maybe we will create new traditions no-one has ever heard of before. Maybe we will just be boring and sit around a pathetic tree just the two of us and open the presents we got each other.

In any case, this really is my favorite time of the year, since I get to do one of my favorite things... bake desserts and give people presents!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Perfect Day

Just a little piece I wrote earlier this year...

It's the kind of day a photo can't share. The clouds a soft gray, the sun just heading down. 
The breeze picks up grabbing your hair and whipping it into the air. The trees rustle like the days in your childhood, birds chirping their good evening song. It's cool but not cold, 
and the road stretches before you like a never ending trail.

It's the days of your youth living again, the days you never want to forget. The sun glistens gold on the edge of the horizon. Clouds spread bustily across the sky in ripples of silver and pure white. The sun comes out for a moment, blinding and sharp.

Shadows of the people are long, long, long, stretching far down the road. 
Just a moment and the sun is caught behind a tree.
Everything shines gold with shadows in between. 
It's the picture perfect moment that a camera can't capture. 

Then the sun is in your eyes again and the road is flooded with light. 
Wind picks up, blowing hard against your face. The sun dips just below the horizon, glowing brighter than ever while the world all around turns to gray. The first day of summer, so beautiful, so lovely.

This is the perfect day.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Working Woman

I've got a job. Working at a customer service call center, and I start Monday. The hours (at least for the first month) are just what I like, 6am-2:30pm. Though that means I can't write, I'm hoping to catch up at a different time of day (like that will work :-P My inspiration is NOT very flexible)

It should be pretty interesting, though I won't have much time for painting anymore. I guess I don't mind too much, since I will still have afternoons/weekends free, and the pay will be worth it.

It's like one of those "growing up" things. You don't really WANT to do it, but you have to. As a kid, money never seemed far away, my parents always had money, I was always provided with what I needed and some of what I wanted... it couldn't be that hard to GET money, right?

Heh. Heh. Yeah, you're probably laughing with me here... :D

It seems so far away now, the innocent logic of a kid. That somehow money would fall in my lap, would be readily available when I needed it, as it seemed to with my parents and older siblings.

I hope someday to realize my dream, and be able to make a living off of art and writing, or to work from home and have enough time to fully use my talents to paint whatever I want.

For now, I'm not leaving the chance to make and save some money... that's ALWAYS a good thing. :-D

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Book Review: The Dragons of Chiril

  "The Dragons of Chiril" by Donita K. Paul, is a book revolving around a young woman named Tipper and the quest she goes on with many varied companions, to save her father's life and restore the disintegrating world.

  It is not so much about dragons as it is about each of the companions and their personal growth during the quest. The premise was quite interesting, but the execution of it, not so well done.

  The beginning was very slow, and until halfway through the book, I had to force myself to read on, just for the sake of this review. Halfway through it became easier to read and the pace picked up, but I didn't really start to care about the characters until the last few chapters.

  Much of the dialogue was confusing, it was hard to tell who was talking, and I had to read over what I had already read more than once. The character and location names were unnecessarily long and confusing.

  All in all, it was an interesting read, though the ending was a bit rushed. I would not read it again. I give it 2/5 stars.


You can also read my review on Blogging for Books here:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

To Write


I have a new book idea (yay!). I can't work on it yet as I am currently editing my novel "Enchanted Rose" for self-publication this December.

I can't really say much about it, other than I can't say much and it has a lot to do with what has been going through my head lately; regarding authoritarian/abusive families.

I suppose it will be sort of a way to get my thoughts down on paper, what I can't find any other way to really say. Not that it will be "preachy", but more my perspective on that mindset (which is NOT pretty, to say the least :-P).

It's hard sometimes to write down what I am thinking, to really put down all of my thoughts. In a book, however, through the eyes of a character, it becomes much easier. Somehow the character becomes my voice, even if I don't agree with what they say or think.

My fingers are already itching to start typing this new book out, though I haven't even worked out all the details I will need. I love the potential of a new idea.

In other news, I'm starting my costume for Halloween/Harvest Festival soon. :-D Also, 5am is VERY early. :-P

Alas, my writing demands it, and that demand I cannot refuse.

Monday, August 22, 2011

In Which I Admit My (in)Sanity

I need incentive.

That chocolate sundae after a steady diet. A hot bubble bath after a long day of yard work. Vegging on the couch after office work all day.

I really dislike cleaning my room. Well, I dislike cleaning in general, but my room absolutely most of all. All this stuff that I have absolutely no room for. (10'x15' of entirely occupied space, yes.)

So, in order to actually finish cleaning after I committed to start (procrastination - another whole blog post...), I needed to give myself some incentive. So I decided if I cleaned my entire room, I would be allowed to put up my Christmas tree.

I found out several things while cleaning. 1: I really need somewhere to keep all my cloth OTHER than my 3'x5' closet. 2: I have a lot of heels. 7 pair! I'm not just a shoe hog, I only have 1 pair of sneakers, and 1 pair of flipflops. :-P The heels are all their own category... 3:  Super loud music playing through a booming sub-woofer is incentive all on its own. 4: If you tell people you are putting your Christmas tree up in August, they will think you are crazy, and possibly laugh in your face.

I like to tell myself that putting my tree up early really is incentive and worth all the work it took to clean my room. overlooking the fact that I planned to put it up in a couple weeks anyway.

I love Christmas! Even if it turns me into a crazy person who listens to Jingle Bell Rock in June and puts up the tree in August. It's never too early for some Glitter Words

No really. It never is.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Morning Glory

So, I thought I'd take a break from all the talk and just post some photos. :-) These are some pictures I took the other day of some morning glories and leaves. :-D

A black and white shot of one of the flowers, open to the sunlight.

Another one, in full color. They are usually white with the palest shade of pink or blue on the sheen.

Hiding in the shadows

Almost every single morning glory flower has at least one ant or other small bug collecting nectar from the inside.

A small haven in the backyard. The old woodpile and morning glory plants decorating the fence.

I love me some macro photography! :-D

More leaves, in black and white.

So there's my little selection for today :-D What is YOUR favorite subject to photograph?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What If

I'm kind of afraid.

In 1 week my nephew starts kindergarten.

That means I'm out of a job.

My sister wants to become a personal consultant, and I want to sell my art. A marriage of the two talents will hopefully turn into something beneficial to us both.

But before that... Before I am a household name and make $100,000 per painting... (Ok, I'd settle for like $300, but I'm dreaming big, ok?) I'm really not sure what to do.

I need some sort of filler job before my art actually becomes lucrative enough to support me all on its own.

What if...

What if there aren't any jobs?

What if I can't GET a job?

I worry sometimes.

I don't really need much at this point to support myself. I still live with my parents, so food and shelter is paid for. All I really need is to pay for my phone and the 2 kids I sponsor.

But will I be able to? Most of the time I am pretty optimistic... it will all work out, I am sure.

Yet that little nagging thought in the back of my mind won't let go...

What if?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Procrastination and Incentive

I want to say something valuable.

But what do I have to say?

I have so many ideas, so many inspirations, so much I want to do and say and paint and write... and yet. And yet I have no motivation to do any of it.

Sometimes I wonder if procrastination is more a part of me than being a writer or a painter.

And yet.

I want to be the writer everyone wants to read. I want motivation to bring that dream to life.

I want to be the artist everyone wants to have on their wall. I need a spark of inspiration strong enough to take me all the way through to fruition.

Where is my motivation and where did my inspiration disappear to?

I know what it will require of me. I know how to get it back, I do.

I just don't want to.

I don't because it will require something of me. It will require early mornings and commitment every day. It will require willpower and a solid resolve to do what I need to.

When I say early morning I mean 5 am. 6 at the latest, if I really want to get inspiration back.

I want someone to give me the incentive, to want to read what I write. But I have to write it first, right? Well, it's half-written, I only have to finish it. I only have to get up early.

I only have to push myself to want to again.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thankful for Others?

Thankful for Who Now?! (Link)

This article made me think...

It's so easy to be thankful for people who never annoy us, who are always there, who laugh and cry with us, who are our best friends and close family members.

But what about those whose little idiosyncrasies drive us crazy? What about those who impose on our personal space and never seem to leave us alone? What about the person who doesn't trust you and always seems to see the worst?

Maybe that person who is always pushing to be your best friend, even though you find them slightly annoying, really has no-one else to turn to as a friend. Maybe those little idiosyncrasies are the results of a broken childhood.

It's so easy to get caught up in my feelings of annoyance, or aggravation at people and think that gives me a right to not love them, or not be kind to them. What am I, that they are not? Am I a perfect person, that I can make such judgment calls about others?

I want to be close, but only to a point. I want to hold others at a distance, to judge them for their vulnerabilities, but keep my own safely hidden from sight.

We need to be open, vulnerable to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Not to the point of sharing our deepest thoughts and emotions unwittingly, but not so far removed that we can't share with anyone who doesn't agree with us in every way.

I want to see others for who they are in God's eyes. Precious. Unique. Worth dying for. Even despite their weaknesses, their mistakes, their absurdities. God still loves them.

The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:31

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." Ephesians 4:2

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." 1 John 4:7

I want to love others the way God loves others. I want to be thankful for their place in my life, and to add to theirs in the best way I can.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Girl I Used To Be


The daydreams of a past captured in a sight, a smell, a song.

A whimsical child, a melancholy teen, memories of a life that is no more.

The person I used to be, the dreams I dreamt and lives I imagined.

One song brings it all back. A flood of emotions, memories, daydreams. A writer, an artist, a singer. Sunsets, rooftop musings. The summer days she swam alone, the deep blue sky so near, a wind rustling the cottonwood leaves.

Those years, I was someone else. Someone different than I am now.

But am I so different?

That girl. Her dreams for the future, her love for her family, her desire to say something worth saying. Is she so far from what I am now?

She imagined worlds, worlds where she could be anything, do anything. Some she read about, others she created and wrote down herself. The things she wanted to do, to say, to share with others in what she wrote.

If only she could capture on paper and canvas what she wanted to say in her mind. The scenes she wanted to paint, the pictures she would share with the world. The possibilities seemed endless, her imagination a bottomless pit of inspiration.

Life seemed so easy then, so full of potential. And it was.

Before the realities set in, before responsibilities become the norm.

Can part of that innocence be captured, put in a capsule, brought out again when life seems to become too much to bear? Can those dreams be dreamt again, and imaginings brought to life?

There is no backward button, only forward, marching solidly with time. That person, that girl, she is captured in a moment. A moment impossible to get back.

For a moment, for a song, I relived that girl. I dreamed her dreams and felt what she felt. I knew her emotions, the moments the song brought to the forefront. She was real.

That girl was me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011



We all make them. Arguments, breakups, forgetfulness.


We all have it. Something we did, something we said, somewhere we went, someone we hurt.

How much of us is our past? How much of our past is part of our present? Should a mistake made once haunt us forever? A mistake made twice, or three times?

I have hurt and been hurt. I have done things I regret, more than I can count. Other people have said words to me that I know they regret, just as I have regretted my own.

Is it possible to move forward? To let the past be the past, and the mistakes therein not project into the future?

Everyone's mistakes are different, and not all mistakes are noticeable as such right away. Sometimes hindsight reveals what we could have done better, what we should have said differently, what we wish we hadn't done, in light of the future.

I only know one thing. I will not be ruled by my mistakes. They are done. I will apologize if any situation requires it, then hopefully move forward.

Are my mistakes a part of me? Yes.

Do they define me?


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Life Update

So life has been interesting lately. Babysitting, attempting to set up a business, painting, writing, engaging in online discussions, working on a relationship...

But it's good. :-) Each day unique, each moment a treasure. Finding people to work for is not quite so simple as it may sound... especially when one has no name made for themselves. But I figure... SOMEBODY managed to do it (in fact many somebodies!), why not me?

Art, on the other hand, I don't really know what to do with. I haven't been feeling inspired at all. There are some things you can just push through with and finish, but generally, in my experience, painting/drawing without inspiration leads to Very Bad Art. :-D

Writing is... coming. :-D Though I am *planning* on having "Enchanted Rose" finished and self-published by Dec. 1, 2011. You can see updates for that on my writing blog:

I'm also thinking about revamping my Etsy... adding more -different- products to it. Stuff like crocheted blankets, painted plates, repainted dolls, greeting cards, etc. What do you think?

So that's my life at the moment... busy, but mostly busy inside my cranium. And it's good. Fun, tiring, exciting! Life.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Music Is My Muse

Music is my muse.

The song in my heart is the same one played in the words on a page.
They weave a melody of letters and notes, a piano and violin between the pen strokes.
A harp is the tune of flowing letters. A drumbeat, a melody.

Music is my muse.

The brush swoops across the page in a concerto, a daydream of summer lullabies.
Yellow and red, blue and purple, splashing across the canvas in sharp notes
fading softly to the edges.
The picture is the song running through my mind; brought from a dream, suddenly to life.

Music is my muse.

The everyday music of wind through the trees, of sunshine on grass,
the laughter of a friend.
Deliberate, meaningful music, brought to life in the throat of a piano, a violin, a flute.

Music is my muse.

The words I write are the songs I sing.
Songs of the heart, how I dare to dream.
A melody in the story of the pen on a page.
Love and dreams behind the songs, behind the stories, within the heart.

Music is my muse.

Every painting is a song, every pencil stroke a note.
One is an opera, the other a short song, but both tell the same story.
What do you desire? What do you have to share?
What is in my art, in my writing, in my heart?


Music is my muse.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Quiz Me!

So... I haven't posted in a while, and I decided to do something kinda silly, just cause. :-) So, here are some random questions and my answers... :-D

How would people describe your personality? (If they could only use ONE word.) Are they right?
Crazy. They are very, very right. :-P

What celebrity/celebrities would create a “Star-Struck” feeling if you saw them in real life?
 Ioan Gruffudd, definitely. *swoon* (see picture)

Who is your favorite blogger? Why?
Too many XD

What is your comfort food/drink?
Um... I don't think I have one :-P Probably all food.

Be brave – tell us something very random and weird about yourself.
I see red and blue "halos" around the edges of all physical items...

Do you have a strong desire to do something you’ve never done? What is it?

Yes, go to Australia. Also: publish a book, sing in a concert, and get married. :-D

Movies: Action, Drama, Romantic Comedy, Documentary, Comedy? What are your favorite genres?
I like all movie genres, though how much I like a movie oftentimes depends on the content of the movie itself. Though I must say, I always go for a good romance... :-D :-D

Books: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Romance, Biographies, True Stories, Self-Help, Devotional/Study? What are your favorite types of reading material?
All... though I heavily prefer fantasy fiction. :-D

Music: Funk, Rock, Country, Jazz, Classical, Film Score, Blues, Classic Rock, Crooner, Alternative, Heavy Metal, Techno? What are your favorite types?
I like all music except country and heavy metal. LOL... Especially soundtracks and funk and 50s-60s...

If you inherited a million dollars, what is the first thing you would do with your money?
Buy a car, save for a wedding, take a trip to Australia.

Name one weakness of yours (confession is good for the soul).
I tend to make quick assumptions that usually turn out to be wrong.

If you could live anywhere at all (and take all your loved ones with you), where would you go?

New Zealand or San Antonio. :-D :-D

Strange Talent? Can you juggle basketballs, put your legs behind your head or perform some other strange feat?
I can bend my index finger up in a very unnatural position...

What’s something you consider yourself to be good at? (Don’t worry, it’s not bragging, it’s acknowledging a God given gift).
Drawing and writing. :-)

What is one of your favorite things to catch a whiff of?
Roses, fresh baked bread, fresh cut grass, rain, new books.

When you leave a social gathering, do you wish: You would have talked more or You would have talked less?
Always that I had talked less. I tend to talk too much.

If money wasn’t a factor, what stores would you shop in?
White House Black Market, Rue21, Forever 21, Melrose

What is your greatest fear or strange phobia?
Spiders and deep water, such as oceans and lakes. I fear riptides and sea monsters.

What is your greatest accomplishment?
The amount of fine artworks I have created to date.

What are your favorite animals?
Horses, Snow Leopards and White Tigers.

Are you a hopeless romantic?
Very much so... I am a ridiculously hopeless romantic.

What movie or book character can you most relate to?
Elizabeth Bennet: for wit and character. Rapunzel, for long hair and interests. Belle, for character and personality.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Childhood Poem


Do you remember what it was like as a child?
Dirt in your feet, getting wet, running wild?

Do you remember how it was to be young?
Every day something new, every hour so long?

Do you remember climbing trees to the sky?
Reaching the top and wishing you could fly?

Do you remember how you felt as a kid?
New discoveries every day, wishing you were big?

Do you remember the summers so long?
Yet not enough time before it was done?

Do you remember your toes in the grass?
The tears that you cried stepping on shattered glass?

Do you remember hugging dryer warm clothes?
Laughing to tears at some silly joke?

It seems we forget as time passes by
To enjoy little things, to pause in our life.

The world looks so big, when we are so small
But does it lose all its beauty when we grow tall?

Childhood passes, once here, then it's gone
Yet our simple imaginings, they can go on.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Art

If anyone who reads here wants to check out my artsy blogs, you can find them here:

This is my "cartoonyish" art blog. Some of it is manga/anime, some of it is more based on illustration.

This is my "real" art blog, which is paintings and drawings that took about 3-7 days to complete. More realistic stuff than the other blog.

I am hoping to get set up with a real website sometime soon... guess we'll see!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Daughter's Heart

A lovely poem Ben posted on HSA.

Don’t you know that she was entrusted to you
As the masterpiece of all creation,
A pearl more valuable than all the riches of the world,
A pearl so precious
He paid His own blood
To purchase?

Don’t you know that as a little girl
It was your love that brought her joy?
She danced in sunny fields
That your smiles would warm each day.

Don’t you know that as she blossomed
In a gorgeous rose of womanhood,
She treasured every compliment you offered
With an overflowing heart?
She spread her wings
With an eager smile,
Believing you were there
With open arms,
Each step she took.

Don’t you know that every critical word you’ve spoken
Have broken her spirit,
Clipping her wings and grounding her
In heartache?
Every ounce of condemnation
Shrouded the jewel of her heart;
No longer does she sparkle
In the radiance of your acceptance.

Don’t you know that more than anything else
She longs to be a little child
Who can crawl into your lap,
Feel your arms around her,
And know that you’ll love her
No matter what tomorrow holds?

Don’t you know that the gift of your love,
Unconditional, unrestrained,
No matter what she does,
Or where she goes,
Would warm her heart
Beyond anything else?
Don’t you know that it
Means so much to her
That she would shed her very blood
Just for a single smile
Of love, untouched
By those little stings
That carry her heart
To the grave?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Children Don't Say No

It bleeds incessantly. Most days you try to ignore it, relegating it to a continuous throb in the back of your mind. Then are the days he wields the knife again, cutting deeper and deeper each time into the wound that never quite heals.

It is your fault, somehow, it is your fault. You ask for it, he says. You want it, he says. You don't, you hate it. But you second guess yourself, are you asking for it? How? How do you stop? You don't even remember what it's like to be normal. Is this normal?

You build and build the courage, finally confessing and revealing the wound to your mother. She stares for a long time at the cut, saying nothing. Finally, she opens her mouth. "It isn't really that bad, is it? Just don't say anything about it, I will take care of it."

She leaves you and you wait. He comes again. And again. You try to speak to your mother again, ask her why she doesn't help you, but she never lets you get that far. She gives you new clothes to wear, longer sleeves to cover the wound. As though if it is out of sight, it will fix itself.

The blood dries, hardens and becomes a part of the sleeve. You tug at the cloth sometimes, trying to separate the clothing from the wound but mountains of tears well up in your eyes from the pain. Is it so embarrassing that my mother can't tell anyone? Is this all my fault? What have I done God, that you punish me? Is this the destiny of my life?


How much more the pain of the abused child? Sexual abuse much like a bleeding physical wound (I am focusing on sexual/emotional since that's what's been on my mind lately). Sons and daughters alike, their innocence stripped by someone they love and trust. And not only that, but their pain is covered up and forgotten, treated as though THEY should be the ashamed ones.

Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. - John 3:20 

What if someone had the ability to get inside you, to cut you from the inside? Someplace that has no visible effects, somewhere nobody could find unless you told them. They could shame you into thinking there is nothing you can do, that you deserve it, that you are unworthy of real love.

Is that pain lesser than the gaping wound on your arm? If you ignore it, will that change its effect on you? How is emotional/spiritual/mental abuse and pain any "less" than physical? And why do people - especially Christians - feel such a need to cover it all up? Covering for the abuser only enables him/her to continue abusing!

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. - Ephesians 5:11

"Oh, we're just going to love the abuser." Well...what about the victim??
"It will ruin our witness/reputation." It's already ruined!
"I don't believe it." Well, you'd better! Someone's life may be at stake.
"He's changed." He/she won't be changed unless they take responsibility and accept any punishment for their actions.
"It isn't that bad." Who are you to judge the extent of someone else's pain?

Are appearances really that important? More important than the well-being of a daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend? (And that goes for boys as well!) I guess this hits just a little close to home for me (not my own experience, but someone very close to me). It angers me that people rob children of their innocence, and that others will willingly cover up for them!

So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. - Matthew 23:28

(This link is actually a power/abuse wheel for abused wives, but is helpful just to see what the different types of abuse are, some obvious, others more subtle.)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In The Dark

Silent cries in the dark
You draw my tears,
You steal my heart

Dreams of life in the unknown
I grow, I feel
I long for home

Somehow I know who you are
Can't see your face
You seem so far

Can I speak on my behalf?
I want a chance
To speak, to cry, to laugh

For just a moment, I am here
Please let me stay
Don't act in fear

The dark surrounds, the light afar
I feel your touch
Your beating heart

Please, crying one more time
Take my hand,
Not my life

Friday, January 14, 2011

Audrey in Graphite

So I finished the first in my series of drawings/paintings of all the same picture! The first done is Graphite Pencil, size 12"x16". Here I have the 9 stages of production.

Here, just the very basic layout.

Starting a bit of shading, some background and the shadow on her neck. Brought her arm in a little, shortening it a bit.

More shading around, working on a few details.

Darkening the shadows, adding more. Put in the basics of her ear.

Starting to put in the black background as a lighter shade of gray. Working more on facial details, and side shadows.

Finally drew her eyes. Put in a lot more shadows on her arm and neck, a little on her dress. Darkening her hair.

This one is a little blurry since I took it at night.

Adding more black to the background. Worked a lot on her hair, and softening the shadows on her skin.

Background fully colored in, just a few minor details left.

And here it is, finished. I didn't quite get it to look as much like her as I'd hoped, but hopefully that will improve as I continue to draw/paint it.

I used graphite pencils, 4H, 2H, HB, 2B, 8B.

Next up: Acrylic Paints. This will pose more of a challenge, since I will have to take a black and white photo and turn it into color.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

An Artistic Endeavor

So. I want to do a sort of experiment. Perhaps a little scientific, but very artsy.

I want to see what the real difference is between all the mediums I use. I mean, how I use them differently. So, the only way to really see, I think, is to draw/pain the same picture in different mediums. So I will do it seven times:

(In no particular order)
1. Graphite Pencil (Black and White)
2. Acrylic Paint (Color)
3. Oil Paint (Color)
4. Colored Pencil (Color)
5. Pen & Ink (B&W
6. Watercolor Paint (Color)
7. Soft Pastel (B&W

Each medium poses its own challenges and possibilities. I want to see what the real difference is if I use pencil as opposed to oils, pen and ink or pastels.

So, perhaps the most important decision of the whole endeavor: what picture?

A portrait of a person, I decided rather quickly. Not just any person; if I want to advertise commissioned portraits, it would be best to do someone rather well known, a face I like. Beyond that, the picture has to be interesting and inspiring enough for me to WANT to paint/draw it 7 times! So I chose this:

Audrey Hepburn. One of the most classy and fashionable women of all time. Also she has a very nice and beautiful face. One challenge this will pose is the fact that it is a black and white photo. I would have chosen a color photo, but none of them moved me quite the way this one did.

I love contrast. I have to paint contrast. I love sharp blacks and pure whites. I love deep red put next to soft yellow. I love baby blue mingled with royal purple. I love dark shadows and bright highlights.

This picture is very unique and intriguing to me; diagonally split between very black and very white, with a woman's face tying them together. I think it will hold my attention long enough for 7 artworks portraying it.

And so I begin. First up: Graphite Pencil. (Be on the lookout for upcoming blog posts about my journey with that!)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Jesus Was Not A Great Teacher

There is an idea: "Jesus was a great moral teacher, but nothing more. He had his time, taught, gathered followers, then died."

If Jesus was only a human, only a "great moral teacher", then he was also an awful liar.

Jesus answered, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me." - John 14:6

Jesus answered, "I told you already, but you did not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name show who I am. But you don't believe, because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never die, and no one can steal them out of my hand. My Father gave my sheep to me. He is greater than all, and no person can steal my sheep out of my Father's hand. The Father and I are one." - John 10:25-30

In the beginning there was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God... The Word became a human and lived among us. We saw his glory—the glory that belongs to the only Son of the Father—and he was full of grace and truth. - John 1:1,14 (obviously referencing Jesus)

Jesus answered, "I have been with you a long time now. Do you still not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. So why do you say, 'Show us the Father'? Don't you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I say to you don't come from me, but the Father lives in me and does his own work." - John 14:9-10

How can he be a great teacher whose teachings we hold in high esteem, yet at the same time be a liar of the worst kind? If he was not truly God, he would himself know this, and would yet choose to lead hundreds in his wake, knowing he was really giving them nothing?

You cannot accept Jesus' teachings without also accepting Who he said he was. There is no either/or.

He was either lying, insane, or telling the truth. Why would we respect the teachings of a blatant liar or a lunatic, who in one breath says "love your neighbor" and in the other lead many hundreds down a trail of lies about who he was and their eternal destiny?

But there is one more option. Jesus was telling the truth, and he was Christ, the Son of God, and yes, even God himself.

"You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon, or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." - C.S. Lewis

Friday, January 7, 2011

A New Way To Paint

There's always someone taking art to its limits, not satisfied to just paint but throw clip art on the painting. Not wanting to just draw but putting a couple paint strokes on the paper. Alexa Meade has taken these inspirations and truly stretched their limits.

Many artists attempt to make a painting look like a photo...not many try to make a photo look like a painting - and succeed so fantastically!

I must admit, I'm inspired. :-D

Monday, January 3, 2011

Not Even In The World?

"If you leave, you are condemned to hell."

A friend of mine in her early 20s was told this as she informed those she loved that she was moving out. No encouragement, no love in these words. Instead, there was condemnation and displeasure. Why was she condemned? Because she chose to move from her parent's house and be on her own. Because she heard God's call and chose to follow even though her parents did not agree with it. They equated this action with sin and giving herself to Satan.

"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." - John 5:24

This doesn't say you have eternal life by doing this/that or not doing this/that. You have eternal life by believing. No person can say whether or not you are "condemned", only God has that power. The rules of men mean nothing to God. He says "Believe, and you will have life". I believe that if I believe and trust in God, then I will have life, regardless of what any person may tell me. Regardless of whether or not they completely agree with everything I say and do.

He [Jesus] will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; - Isaiah 11:3

Does anyone but you really know your heart? People are judging by what they see you do and say, but that is not how Jesus judges! Your heart is what really matters, not your actions. As humans, we can only see what is physical, but God sees everything. It is not up to us to judge others, that is only for God.

The inside is not affected by outside changes, but rather the other way around. To say "all Christians must do this/say that/avoid this/live this way," is to miss God's real plan.

We get so focused on doing only this or only that, yet what did Jesus do? He reached out to the lost. Did he lay down rules for life patterns or turn gray issues to black and white? No, He simply reached out with the Good News to the lost.

I [Paul] am free and belong to no one. But I make myself a slave to all people to win as many as I can. To the Jews I became like a Jew to win the Jews. I myself am not ruled by the law. But to those who are ruled by the law I became like a person who is ruled by the law. I did this to win those who are ruled by the law. To those who are without the law I became like a person who is without the law. I did this to win those people who are without the law. (But really, I am not without God's law—I am ruled by Christ's law.) To those who are weak, I became weak so I could win the weak. I have become all things to all people so I could save some of them in any way possible. I do all this because of the Good News and so I can share in its blessings. - 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

Paul did not live in sin, yet he still found some way to identify with those who were. To identify with someone is to care about them, to show them you are willing to go to great lengths to show them God's love. People just want to be understood. When you understand them for who they are, then they will be ready to listen to God speaking through you (not that some aren't 'ready' before that point.).

God doesn't want an army of robots, all looking, sounding, and living alike. He wants an army of vastly different characters, all gathering together to take on the world on all levels and walks of life.

Jesus said to his followers, "Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone. Mark 16:15