Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. ~ 1 Peter 4:10

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Summer Coming to a Close

Wow, life has been keeping me busy! I can't believe the summer is coming to a close. Things are beginning to start up again for the fall and I've been preparing. My daughter starts her last year of preschool next week and my MOMS ministry as well as the LifeGroup that my hubby and I lead are all starting up again in the next few weeks. It is going to be fun to get back into the swing of things again!

I thought I'd share some more photos of my artwork! Here are a few more finished pieces.

This is titled "Beginnings of Creation" and is mixed media on canvas. I created this for a show that our visual arts ministry at church, Collage, was participating in. It was a local community event called the Live Green Expo. The theme of the show was recycling and taking care of our planet so I used recycled magazine pages to create the tree and leaves. I also wanted to convey the idea that God is the ultimate Artist, the Creator of the earth! The verse is from Genesis 1:11: "Then God said 'Let the land sprout with vegetation - every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.' And that is what happened." Here is a close up of the verse, Genesis 1:11...

This piece I did for a dear friend who just had her first baby! It is also mixed media on canvas and the verse is Psalm 119:73, "Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands."

I've got several still in the process, all in different stages. I also began Wyanne's Art Play class and am so loving it! I worked on some new watercolor pieces last night and had so much fun. It has been a while since I've used watercolor and it was nice to pick it up again. If you are looking for online classes, I highly recommend Wyanne as well as Paulette Insall. Paulette is currently taking sign ups for her fall mixed media classes. You can check them out here! I'm just so thankful to these ladies for sharing their wisdom and talent with others!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Harvesting Creativity

Here is the follow up to my last post about ways I try to nurture my creativity. It was fun exploring my environment and spending time thinking about how I try to live artistically and creatively in day to day things. These are a few I came up with; I'm sure I could think of even more!

I've always tried to create a warm and welcoming feeling in my home. I want it to be a safe haven for my family. We are all artists in my family and so being in an inviting and stimulating environment is important to us. I love to decorate and through that share my own unique style. I also love to surround us with color and art on our walls. Above is just a little snapshot of a vignette on top of my kitchen cabinets.

Of course painting is one of my creative outlets. Here are a few of my in-progress pieces waiting to be finished. I find I enjoy having several going at one time in different stages. This allows me to work on whatever part I'm feeling drawn to at a given moment. I'll post these when I finish them up!

Scrapbooking is part of my art as well and I love the idea of leaving a legacy of memories by creating pages that tell our family's stories. Of course I love the artistic and creative process involved and all the supplies, but more and more I'm enjoying the telling of simple, everyday moments that make up our story during this season of our lives!

This is my studio area. It is a studio/guest room and I really need to get in here and do some purging and organizing. I also do a lot of my painting at the kitchen table...so worried about messy spills on the carpet in here. Anyway, I look forward to someday soon painting the walls a yummy rich color, adding new window treatments and creating a space that is a bit more reflective of me and what I love. This is a good start though! And my kitties love the way the sun comes in brightly every morning!!

I decided to get creative with my hair recently and added some fun and funky highlights!
Love, love, love to read and this definitely inspires my creativity. I read everything from fiction novels, christian life books, magazines, and art/scrapbooking related books.
I enjoy music as well and feel like it helps in creating a creative atmosphere. I listen to a wide variety including rock/pop, 80's classics, musicals, praise and worship and contemporary christian.

Finally, I try to harvest creativity by nurturing other's growth and interest in the arts. That is why I became an art teacher!

I truly enjoyed exploring the everyday ways I try to harvest my creativity! It is nice to think through an idea or concept and see how you are actually living it out in your life! :) Thanks to Stacy Julian for the great idea!

Friday, August 8, 2008


So I didn't even realize until today that the date was 8.8.08. Wow, that's kind of cool! :) Stacy Julian posted a really neat challenge related to this on her blog. First, I was to watch this 4 min. video called The Harvest. Very interesting! Next I am to take another few minutes to think about how I'm harvesting my own creativity. What is working, what is holding me back, what do I wish I could do and why am I NOT doing it?

Hmmmm...lets see. I've been much better this year about harvesting my creativity in that I'm creating more art and creating more often than I have been for a very long time. Back in January I found Ali Edward's One Little Word challenge and my word for this year has been CREATE. I've actually made it a priority and I'm creating on a more regular basis. I wish I could say that daily I was getting in some painting, scrapbooking or other creativity, but at least it is happening much more often that it used to! I really feel God created me to be creative, to share my passion for art with others and ultimately to glorify Him with my work. He has opened so many doors for me just in the past 6 months. I can't wait to see what He has in store for me and my work in the future.

So, what is working as far as harvesting my creativity? Again, making it a priority. Scheduling time for my art, sharing it with others, not being afraid to take chances and step out there to see what will happen. The worst thing that can happen is someone says no thanks, and I move on to the next open door.

What is holding me back? Time definitely! Wouldn't it be awesome if I could paint all day and not worry about cleaning my house, doing laundry or cooking dinner. Okay, so I am thankful I have a family to do these things for, but it sure would be great to have more creative time! I am so thankful for the support and encouragement my family gives me to pursue my artistic dreams!

What do I wish I could do and why am I not doing it? I guess my wish is that my art could be my ministry. That I could create and sell my work to make a little extra income for my family. That I could teach others who want to learn more about art. That I could inspire others with my story that God has a unique plan for each of our lives, different from anyone else's. Why am I not doing it? I'm not there yet, but I am taking steps and getting closer!

Now, Stacy says to "grab your camera and take 8 pictures that are evidence of your personal creativity. Anything that is flourishing because of your unique blend of spiritual gifts, skills and talent (yes,this includes children) can be seen as the result of your creative process, so photograph these things today and use this opportunity to realize just what a difference you make. You, like today's date will NEVER happen again." Very cool! I think I'll just give this a try!

Off to take photos! I'll try to post what I come up with soon! :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Where has the time gone?

Wow! July flew by! We stayed busy with a trip to Houston, VBS, and lots of visits to the pool trying to survive the crazy 100+ heat wave. It is hard to believe the summer is almost over. I did have some time during VBS to get some painting it! That was nice! :) I need to finish several new pieces and get them posted. I'm also so excited to begin some new online classes from one of my favorite artists, Wyanne Thompson. She is incredible and I can't wait to get started!

I've also been on a mission to get myself and my home better organized. I just finished Simplify Your Life; Get Organized and Stay That Way by Marcia Ramsland and so loved it! I have so much to do! Life just seems to go so much more smoothly and I get so much more accomplished (less wasted time) when I am more organized. I'm drowning in old paper clutter, my studio is a mess and all my supplies (both scrapbooking and painting) need much better order, I have a spare room that needs to be cleaned out, and we have a neighborhood wide garage sale coming up in Oct, so needless to say I have lots of projects to get to! Now just finding which one to start with....! Well off to bed so I'll have energy to get started tomorrow!! :)