Saturday, January 31, 2015

30 Days of Painting—Looking Back






Here are all of the 30 paintings at a glance. I'm proud of the variety of subjects and techniques that I achieved this month. In the past 30 days, there were:

6 Abstracts based on prayer
3 Illuminations based from the Bible
5 Winter scenes
7 Landscapes
1 Seascape
2 Water close-ups
1 Study
2 Florals
1 Insect
3 Birds
6 Animals
23 6x6 Paintings
5 8x10 Paintings
2 Extra large paintings
2 Gifts
1 Commission
4 Subjects never before attempted 

My favorite technical accomplishments are:
Foggy Mountain River
SQUIRREL!
Learning to Fly
Holy Family

What was YOUR favorite painting or genre?

Thanks, again, for following along these past 30 days. Come and see these live and in person at the Lipscomb art event this February 6-8 at Lipscomb Academy in Nashville.

Stay tuned for more on my upcoming participation in a show benefiting Warner Parks, February 12-14.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Rosie


6"x6" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife



Another 30 days of paintings is complete. Today, I'm celebrating with some roses. This quick study of roses is in honor of my youngest child, whom we aptly nickname "Rosie". I think it might go well in her room.

Thanks to all of you who have followed along these 30 days. I hope you have enjoyed these paintings as munch as I have. 

More paintings coming soon, so stay tuned.



Thursday, January 29, 2015

Butterfly


6"x6" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife
SOLD



Almost didn't make a painting today. But I'm glad that I did. Today, another painting was born. That gives me a great feeling. It makes my day a little more beautiful.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

It Is Well with My Soul 6x6


6"x6" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife
Commissioned



Today's painting is a 6x6 replica of my abstract based on the hymn "It Is Well with My Soul." It was commissioned by a daughter for her mother who is a lover of sacred music and recovering from illness. What a beautiful thing to know that this art will aid in the healing process and remind them of the comforting words in this beautiful hymn.


It Is Well with My Soul
Horatio G. Spafford


When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Foggy Mountain River


8"x10" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife
SOLD



I just love rushing mountain rivers. Today's painting comes from one foggy morning in the Great Smokey Mountains.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Rooted


8"x10" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife
for the Friends of Warner Parks exhibit
SOLD



Plein air painting with the Chestnut Group today. This beech tree is from a protected property nicknamed "Valley of the Big Trees."

About a dozen of us walked single file into the valley, our feet crunching on the stiff, frozen leaves. Our faces were already feeling the bite of the cold winter air. Some painters were well prepared with pouchade boxes neatly tucked into backpacks. I was hiking my trusty french easel with hacked back-pack strap attachments and a loud, but very functional TJ Max bag full of gear. 

Our guide told us stories of interest as we journeyed through. She told us how the land we were entering had been left mostly untouched for the better part of a century. She showed us places of interest— like where four species of trees were growing from the same mound of earth. She shared how they revere the fallen trees just as much as the living ones. The fallen trees become a new haven for other inhabitants of the forest.

The painters each found their places of interest from which to paint. I went the farthest into the valley to find this beautiful Beech tree. Its massive roots spread out for a distance of about 8 to 10 feet. They looked like giant fingers gripping into the side of the hill. Behind it, another tree had previously fallen and and broke apart on the back of the mighty Beech.  At first glance, the Beach just seemed to be shades of gray. But after spending some time looking at it, I discovered a rich palette of greens, pinks and blues. I knew this was the tree whose story I had come to paint today.

I set up my easel on the hillside. And a steep hillside it was. There was no level place to stand. As I painted, the winter cold was getting the upper hand one me. My paints felt thicker the joints of my fingers were getting stiff. My back was getting sore from the incline. But this is what plein air painting is all about. It's an adventure every time, and a opportunity to better understand nature. So, I pressed on. I loved every second of it!

As light began to fall behind the valley, we packed up and hiked back out of the forest. I felt privileged to have been a witness of such a sacred place. I felt thankful for my colleagues and the efforts of The Chestnut Group for arranging this unique opportunity. I made some new friends in those woods that day—and one very, very old friend—Mr. Beach.




Painters in the Valley of Big Trees





Reference photo… just in case I don't get finished.






In-progress photo

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Heron Flight


6"x6" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife



Today is my son's 15th birthday. If there are such things a s spirit guides, My son's would be a Blue Heron. (See previous post here) So, here is a graceful heron gliding over the horizon of the lake. Happy birthday, son. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ten Minute Apples


6"x6" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife



Another thing about the 30 day challenge is that you get to post work that is finished, unfinished or simply a study. Today's painting is an exercise I learned from Carol Marine. You divide your canvas into fourths. in each square, you paint a simple object in ten minuets. That's it! Just ten minutes and not a stroke more. The process is repeated four times. This was the first time I have ever tried the exercise. I learned a lot from it. You can see the progression with the first apple being the upper left. The last one is the lower right.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Kitchen's Creek


8"x10" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife
$125.00 (Unframed) + Shipping
$150.00 (Framed) + Shipping
Click HERE to Purchase



Today was a lake kind of day.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Water Lilies


6"x6" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife
SOLD



I totally get why Monet painted water lilies. There is much to learn from painting this beautiful plant.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Learning to Fly


6"x6" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife
SOLD



Last spring, I witnessed a baby robin learning to fly. His father coached him with worms. This painting is from an photo I caught of the two of them together in a beautiful family moment. After about 2 hours of mustering up the courage, the little boy learned to fly.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Prayer of Adoration


6"x6" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife
SOLD



Of course, not all prayer from our hearts are filled with need and brokeness. There is plenty of love, wonder and joy in our hearts for prayers of adoration. So today's prayer abstract is one of love and adoration. 

Plus, I couldn't help but celebrate a little on this the half-way mark of this 30 day journey.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Prayer of Illumination


6"x6" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife
SOLD



Whether it's seeking a word from scripture or finding God in our everyday lives, we all need the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit to see and to understand.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Prayer of Confession


6"x6" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife
$75.00 (Unframed) + Shipping
$100.00 (Framed) + Shipping
Click HERE to Purchase



Let's face it. Nobody's perfect. And here's my confession: I did not do a painting yesterday. Therefore, to ensure that I actually complete 30 paintings in 30 days, I'm adding a second painting today. This one is aptly a prayer of confession.


Prayer of Supplication


6"x6" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife
SOLD



"My Shepherd shall supply all my needs." Our daily bread includes more than just food. We all need portions of patience, creativity, compassion and courage to survive each day.  May this prayer help you to rely upon God for the things you need today.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Prayer of Petition


6"x6" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife
SOLD



It seems that 2015 has been a rough beginning for too many people close to me. Many prayers have been given for them. Remembering back to an abstract I made on prayer last year, I'm painting a new prayer abstract today. This time, it is a prayer of petition. A prayer to lift others up to God. A prayer for healing, strength and peace. 

May it this painting help you as you pray for the needs of those close to your heart.

Peace.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

(After) The Baptism of Jesus


8"x10" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife
SOLD



This weekend, many christians will reflect on the baptism of Jesus. So I thought I'd do a little reflection of Jesus and baptism. This painting is based on the story according to the Gospel of Mark:


In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.

The painting is an exploration of the latter part of the story. After Jesus was baptized, and the spectacle of the Holy Spirit, what happens next is quite like a parable. After the baptism, there were no celebrations, no baptismal certificates, no luncheons with family and friends. After Jesus' baptism, the Holy Spirit (who had just come down like a dove and rested on Jesus) lead him into the wilderness for 40 days of solitude and fasting. 

This painting depicts that moment where Jesus steps out of the water and walks off the stage, soaking wet, with only the Spirit to guide him. If we really think about our life after baptism, Jesus' experience doesn't seem all that uncommon. After we are baptized, there is still a life of suffering, journeying, temptation and uncertainty. But, like Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit as our companion and guide. Together with the Spirit, we face the wilderness head on.—walking wet with the water of our calling. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Dolphins


6"x6" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife
SOLD



One of the things I love about the 30 day painting challenges is the opportunity to paint just about anything. It's a real creative playground where I can experiment and discover new muses. So, for today, something completely different—dolphins. 

We took photos of these dolphins while visiting California. We were supposed to be on a whale sight-seeing tour. We found no whales, but we DID come across a megapod of thousands of dolphins. Take a look at the video here:


video

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Fire & Ice 18"x24"


18"x24" Oil on Canvas
with Palette Knife
SOLD



Going big again. This time I painted an 24"x18" enlargement of one of favorite landscapes from last year's 30. It is of a fiery sunrise lighting the hilltop of a frozen landscape. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Summer Sunset


6"x6" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife
SOLD



Thinking of warmer days last July. Sunsets are always worth preserving.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Sower


8"x10" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife
SOLD


Today's painting is another illumination. This time the subject is Jesus' parable of The Sower.  

"A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold."

We tend to reflect on what kinds of soil we are. But recently, I've been thinking about the Sower. The Sower doesn't worry about getting ALL of the seed into the good soil. The seed is liberally thrown about everywhere. Once distributed, nature takes care of the rest. Jesus tells this parable to his Disciples, I think, to prepare them for ministry. We should spread grace the same way God gives us grace—to all—not just those who appear to be worthy.

So this painting's view of the Sower is from the ground up—for we are indeed the soil. What we see from that vantage point is a prodigal Sower, joyfully throwing seeds of grace to all the world. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Mountain Rush


6"x6" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife



Today's painting is another water abstract. It is from a recent walk along side a river in the Smoky Mountains. This one not only reflects the mountain river color palette, but also a sense of the water's rushing movement. 

You can see some of my previous water abstracts here:

Pacifica

Reflections of Summer

Ripples in the Rain

Playing with Puddles

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Winter Hymn 24"x24"


24"x24" Oil on Canvas
with Palette Knife



Going big for today's painting. I revisited one of my favorite paintings from my first try at 30 paintings in 30 days, Winter Hymn, and enlarged it to be 24"x24".

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Holy Family


8"x10" Oil on Panel
with Palette Knife
SOLD



One of my resolutions for this year is to make more paintings of biblical stories and faith-based themes—what I like to call "illuminations." Painting illuminations was where my painting career began and I'm feeling a strong calling to return to my roots. 

Still in the spirit of Christmas, today's painting depicts Joseph, Mary and a toddler Jesus walking though town. In my opinion, the art world doesn't have enough child Jesus portraits. There are tons of infant Jesus paintings, and plenty of adult ones. To me, a child Jesus, toddling around, is a great way to see the humanity of Christ. After seeing a great painting of a child Jesus in the local paper at Christmas, I decided to take a shot at painting one of my own.

The family is out for a walk. They could be going to the market or to the synagogue for worship. Perhaps they are just out for a little fresh air—allowing Jesus to see the world with his fresh little eyes. Where they go is up to you. The real point is that they are taking the time to go together as a family. The parents are patiently slowing down to walk with the young Jesus, barely able to stand on his own two feet. 

I titled this painting "Holy Family." What makes the family holy, really? Is it because Jesus is in their lives? Is it because they have faith in God? Perhaps. But are they uniquely different from other families? No. I would contend that most families could be considered "holy." 

Families today, traditional or otherwise, share the same qualities as Jesus' family. When a parent, or parents, lovingly teaches a child to understand right from wrong—that's holy. When parents slow down with patience to connect with their children—that's holy. When a family spends quality time together—even if it's via FaceTime from half a world away—that's holy. When we go to worship—that's holy. Even a loving couple without children can be a holy family. Wherever there is love, there is God. Any relationship with God in their lives is a holy family.

I hope you take some time to reflect with this painting and think about all that is holy in your life.