Evolution of a Painting

Evolution of a Painting

The Evolution of a Painting

This is a custom commissioned piece that was made to order. This piece has cool blues and greys and is contrasted with warm gold and orange tones, which are complimentary colors. The painting process usually begins with a movement or a motion I want the canvas to take on as I begin to paint. I mark out the general flow of the piece and begin layering. My strokes begin thick and coarse and slowly move to soft strokes, and thinned layers to finish. I hope you enjoy seeing some of the process as much as I do. This piece is called Bold Cold, it’s 30″x40″ acrylic and gold leaf on canvas. Pin the photos you like!

Bread Machine Revelations

Bread Machine Revelations

What baking my own bread has taught me about necessity.

My husband and I make our own bread, not for any particular reason except it is a fun thing to do and right after we got married we were going grocery shopping and I mentioned that we needed bread. Joel said, “oh well I’ll just make bread.”

We haven’t bought bread since. We could buy bread, but it’s more fun to make it. When I mentioned to a friend that we make our own bread she said, “oh like in a breadmaker?” No, like actually kneading it, letting it rise, and baking it in the oven in an old-fashioned bread pan.

I never really would have thought about baking my own bread. Growing up, my family mostly bought bread, there were times when my mother would make homemade bread in a breadmaker and I sort of assumed that bread was tricky to make.

My reasoning was, “man if they have whole machines devoted to bread making than it must be complicated.” Then Joel waltzes into our kitchen and just whips up a delicious batch of homemade bread and made it look like no big deal.

My relationship to kitchen utensils was shattered. The dichotomy of the relationship rested on the necessity of the utensils. But in hindsight, people have been grinding their wheat, and baking their own bread for thousands of years and I’m pretty sure Williams Sonoma wasn’t selling cavemen bread machines.

So what is necessary? Probably not half of my kitchen utensils, probably not having more clothes than I can count, probably not having a shoe for every occasion, clearly bread machines aren’t a necessity, and when it comes down to it, bread is probably not a necessity (better off eating veggies anyway).

I’m not saying it is bad to enjoy tools that make your life easier, or that we shouldn’t enjoying having a variety of clothes, or eat bread. I think those are good things in moderation (especially the bread eating :P). I just got a change of perspective when I learned you didn’t need a bread machine to make bread. It caused me to think about what other tools and objects, in my life I take for granted and assume they are necessities. When it comes down to it, we don’t need much to live, a little food, water, sleep, love, and life purpose is about all we need.

I’m learning to reorient myself toward a life of less consumption. Reanalyzing what is a necessity and asking myself the question, “do I really need this? And what is the point of me buying that, or eating this?”

Questioning the purpose behind my habits is hard because sometimes it reveals gluttony, self-indulgence, and sin and all because I realized I didn’t need a bread machine to make bread. Thanks a lot bread machine for the revelations and totally making me overthink bread.

Appreciating Abstract Art

Appreciating Abstract Art

I have received overwhelming support, encouragement, and interest in my work since I launched my art career. Every now and then, I’ll come across someone who doesn’t want to flat out tell me they don’t like my work, but they’ll pose the question, “what do you think about people who don’t think abstract art is really art?”

 

I guess my response in return would be,

“what do you think art is?”

Here’s what I think art is: I think that when God created man and woman in His image, He made them to be creators. The fact that we have imaginations and the ability to create is one way in which we are made in the image of God. We are His artwork, and He lets us be artists, whether that is through painting, music, serving others, or drafting complex spreadsheets, it is all creation.

I think that anything that points to the gory of God and anything that is uplifting to hope and faith in Christ is art. Anything that makes you thankful to be alive and anything that helps you enjoy God’s creation is art. I also believe that our purpose in life is to strive to that end.

Here is why abstract art is art, in my opinion. Realism is indubitably art, because it is a direct reflection of people, landscapes, or objects. I think of abstract art as a more base level of God’s creation. I cannot imagine a world without color, light, balance, and shape. I cannot really imagine nothingness, because even when I picture that, there is the color black in my mind, which is the absence of light, but still a color.

Abstract art for me is a celebration of God’s gift of color, light, and form. When painting I’m so thankful for color and for the ability to mix and create colors. I’m thankful that I am able to lay gold leaf into my paintings and see how the light reflects off of those golden pieces of light.

 

This dying leaf looks like beautiful abstract art as the light cream, brown and gold tones creep up on the brown leaf.

A person who only thinks realism is art is like someone appreciating the human body, but not realizing or appreciating the individual cells, muscles, and bones necessary to make that body functioning. Color, light, form, and canvas balance are the bones, the veins, and the muscles of realism. Realistic paintings rely on color, form, shape and light to be realistic. Realism is the body. Abstraction is the individual parts.

In Genesis 1:3, just after God created the heavens and the earth, He created the light and separated light from darkness. Light is made of wavelengths of color. If God took the time to make those elements individually I think that it is okay for us to take the time to appreciate those elements of light, color, and form individually. He could have made the world and all its elements and inhabitants in one fell swoop, but he chose not to.

I propose, that we can appreciate both realism, and abstraction. Both the whole, and the part are glorifying to God because he made not only a realistic world, but he also made the elements of color, He causes the light to shine, and He is the master of form. Don’t be fooled, even God dabbles in abstraction in nature, like in the dying leaf, or in the swirling sea.

 

Phytoplankton Bloom in the Baltic Sea.

Be a creator and enjoy creation.