I want to share about a recent watercolor I completed. It is a piece that came out of a prompt from Fellowship Bible church ministry of Spectra. The opportunity was given to whomever wanted to create a piece of art telling your story / your faith. I was nervously excited to participate. Brene Brown says it is a good thing to be vulnerable and what better way for me as an artist to share in my language of art. So here is where I went with it…
I follow an uber talented artist, Kathleen Giles . Her work excites me. She paints in watercolors and her work of people is stunning. I want to paint like her. The shadows, the light and dark contrast in her paintings are brilliant and illuminating. So I used this Spectra challenge to practice painting like Kathleen. I used these images of hers as a map to follow.
My story my faith journey is about not feeling enough and looking to the world’s standards for validation. Then slowly learning (still in the process) of exchanging the world’s standard with God’s standard for me. Accepting that I am already enough without “doing”, “earning” or “striving”. He made me perfectly imperfect. Just as he wanted me, born already enough. Psalm 139
13You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
It is a bumpy acceptance because of the enemy’s voice in my head that keeps interrupting God’s voice.My journey is ongoing, forgetting and then remembering to ask for His guidance and strength to step around the enemy who is always trying to trip me up.
My life since giving Christ Lordship of my life has been God revealing to me, his best for me.When I invite him into my struggles and joys he gives me this inner peace and direction that always leads to love.Love for myself and love for others.On my own I resort to selfishness.The closer I draw near to him the more I recognize his voice.Holy Spirit helps me differentiate the voices in my head and put off the enemy’s taunts and lies.
My journey is ongoing, imperfectly perfect. I am enough.
So back to my art piece connecting the story of my faith with my painting. My daughter Brooke has a tattoo on her arm that says “You Are Enough” in hebrew. To remind her and others she comes across, just that! In Him, Christ, You Are Enough. I knew I wanted to paint her and her tattoo to help tell my story. I wanted it to be a painting that matched Kathleen Giles style. I began taking photos of her trying to capture a good reference of light and shadow. I wanted the tattoo to be highlighted but also a natural pose. It is hard to pose someone and have it not looked posed… here are a few that I took:
then my husband Joe took this candid picture of Brooke on her way to OBU for the new school year. I loved it for the reference I was looking for. Her tattoo showing and the dance of light and shadow. So this picture became my reference photo to create a watercolor telling my story, my faith.
Here is my set up. My painting in progress, with the magazine and article on Kathleen Giles process next to me to refer to. My ipad with the color photo of Brooke to be able to zoom in on details. And the black and white photo copy I used to trace her onto my watercolor paper with chaco paper.
Here is a progression of the painting:
then, the completed painting! This was so fun to paint and be able to connect it to the telling of my story, my faith.
When I am tracing an image onto my watercolor paper. The tool I use over the top of my paper image is a stylus. This exact one I really like. The tip is small enough that the traced line isn’t too thick. You can order it here
Our new church campus opened up in Fayetteville about three weeks ago. Our church has an art ministry called “Spectra”. Here is our mission. Our latest gallery initiative for this new location was under the theme of Impressions and Expressions of Fayetteville, Ar.
I entered two of my paintings with this response,
I have been a part of the Fayetteville Farmers Market for ten years, as an artist vendor. This is such a rich gathering place where community is built between the growers, farmers, artists, and craftsmen with each other and with the customer. It is such a wide variety of ages, socioeconomic status, and nationalities. These folks walk separate and different paths through the week then come together here, in this invigorating “hang out” on the square. The surroundings of old buildings, fun shops, gorgeous landscaping are so aesthetically pleasing. Right in the heart of Fayetteville the fragrance of fresh flowers, newly picked vegetables, fruits with the occasional scent of rich coffee and homemade goodies fills the air. The streets slowly fill up for a gathering place, a weekly connection for all involved, both vendor to vendor and customer to customer. Hugs and handshakes are exchanged. This is truly a slow paced, happy place and time in our cities week of hustle and bustle.
These two paintings of mine are visual reminders to express my joy of this wonderful place. First the sunflower painting represents my favorite time of year at the market when the these magnificent beauties scape the streets, spilling out of barrels and buckets waiting to be purchased to adorn someones home. The second painting is of a little girl leaning in to smell a flower from our corner vendor, Dripping Springs. Dripping Springs has been the prized boardwalk location on saturday mornings. Their booth consistently provides happy helpers eager to serve our community with their farm fresh food and flowers. As is the reputation of all our hard working vendors. I am grateful to be a small part of belonging to this beautiful, colorful, creative slice of life in our community of Fayetteville.
Ephesians 2: 19-22; The Message
…You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.
Top painting: Catching the Fragrance
“Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same.” .-Helen Keller Original Watercolor
I am excited to share this opportunity to show some of my newest watercolors. The Bank of Fayetteville on the downtown square in Fayetteville, Ar. Has invited me to show six pieces of my art for the month of April.
I will introduce them here to you. If you have a chance to see them in person, I’d love for you to stop into The Bank of Fayetteville during the month of April. Their hours are,…Monday- Friday 8:00 – 5:00
here is the map of their location
Now for the introduction to my newest watercolors.
“In the depth of winter I finally learned there was in me invincible summer.”
Grazing and Gazing
“We don’t see things as they are;we see them as we are.”
Look for the Light
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”
This week in my classes that I am teaching at The Art Location we are focusing on value. I admit I am still a student of value myself. So this lesson is for me and those in my class. The virtual instructor gives us a good definition here:
value can also be a part of describing atmosphere in a landscape or any painting that has shapes or subjects behind a main subject. The “Helpful Art Teacher” Has described it very well here:
Now an interesting twist in watercolors is that you do not typically use white or black to lighten or darken a color. Not using black or white watercolor paint is to be a “purest” watercolorist. To increase the colors to a high key value you just add more water and less pigment. See the note in this link about white paint in watercolors and how it changes the transparency.
I will end with an example of a high key painting of mine…
A favorite quote or verse can be just the inspiration for your next collage. I have so many quotes and verses that resonate with me. One that I always go back to is: “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” by C.S. Lewis What is your favorite quote or verse?
The next two weeks in class at The Art Location we are working on “words” as our theme. Starts tomorrow! Not too late to join in. Call 443.4583
A thank you to Angie for supporting local art with my art.by.beth notecards. Her recent stop to pick up about 12 cards for her to send through out the year was a gift to me and to her. To say thanks to those who give an extra hand or someone to send words of encouragement to has many benefits. Hand written notes are such a win win. It is psychologically very beneficial to the sender, http://positivepsychologynews.com/news/aren-cohen/200812121313, it screams you care to the receiver and when sent on local artist cards you support your local arts. A triple win. I hope you and I both remember to say thanks more in 2014. Oh and let me know if you want some art.by.beth notecards to send them on. (wink)
My Watercolor of the Dickson Street Bookshop. From my local art series.
In todays paper, a profile on our Dickson St. old and used books, bookstore. Something to be valued in a business that has been a mainstay for so long even in this growing digital commerce. I hear from so many who purchase my watercolor print of the bookstore of how much this bookstore has meant to them. I am happy to have a way for people to honor their memories with this watercolor painting to hang in their own home or office.
These cows remind me of the heat of summer. The blazing sun just kind of zaps my energy. With the heat index today, it is 107 degrees. Colors used in a painting can definitely elude to seasons, times of day, weather, and even the mood of the artist. This is an example of a triad palette and represents how I feel today, lazy.