Kids gravitate to paint and paper like bees to honey! I love watching the eagerness in their eyes. I'm thrilled to be launching plans for collaborative art projects for the Children's ministry of King's Park Church, Creating large scale pieces to be displayed in hallways and classrooms, the kids are totally enthralled with the process!
My experience as an elementary art educator really helps. It's all about the planning. As the saying goes, 'the devil is in the details!' Breaking the end product into simple sequential bite-sized steps is a must. Packing up supplies for each Sunday morning's action portion demands near neurotic obsession to double and triple check what's needed. So far, so good!
Living out my alter ego of interior designer, I've planned for all of the artwork to have a cohesive aesthetic 'look.' All images are being created from paint-stained papers collaged onto canvas. The fabulous textures that result from the painted papers breathe with a vibrancy that's otherwise often elusive to achieve simply with painted canvas.
The most rewarding part of this adventure is seeing the smiles on the kids' faces as they spot areas they have had a part in. Working with so many children, it amazes me how they can find 'their' spot! It's like a massive 'Where's Waldo!"
I'll post more pics as we move along!
May grace , peace and beauty surround you.
A page from my sketchbook.....
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."
FEAR is that miserable nuisance that gnaws at the gut, mercilessly squeezing us and hungrily holding us hostage. But, fear hides a dirty little secret. It's bark is louder than it's bite. I'm a slow learner though, and this understanding has regrettably taken most of my life to learn.
I draw a lot of encouragement from this scripture about fear:
2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
When I feel the hot sticky breath of fear on my back, I'm a lot quicker these days, to turn and square off with them. The majority portion slinks off and dissipate. Stubborn ones, serve as reminders to be courageous.
"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear." Mark Twain oddity is that most of our fears are unfounded exaggerations of our anxious perceptions. We dread 'tomorrow' but then when it comes, the malicious critters have usually crawled away. We dread personal interactions, only to find
We humans are fear magnets. Have you noticed? Our fears create internal land mines and mazes of self doubt. We fear not looking like we have our act together. We fear being rejected. We fear being vulnerable.
This quiet little painting is about that often elusive character trait called patience. In today's 'kick but, take names' rat race to the top, patience is rarely a word that's uttered. But it is actually packed with power. Auguste Rodin, one of my favorite sculptors,said it well. "Patience is a form of action." ~Auguste Rodin
Although not usually associated with typical "power" attributes, patience is actually pivotal to successful living. Contrary to popular opinion, patience is not something that some few chosen people are just born with. But rather patience is a choice. Patience is a muscle we can strengthen. Patience is a garden we CAN cultivate. For the follower of Christ, it is a 'fruit' that grows in the heart and mind as result of the Spirit of God actively living within.
What exactly is patience, anyway?
Well, that could be a lengthy answer, but, simply stated, it has two main components:
1. It is is a persistence in our capacity to keep on going even though you can’t yet see the end result.
2. It is a decision to make peace with the "now" moment in which we find ourselves. This one act results in a boat load of peace!
Why is patience so important?
Besides making those around you a heck of a lot happier to live or work with you, it keeps that deathly trait, anger, from squeezing life's juices right out of us!
Here are 6 little acts that can help patience grow stronger:
Who doesn't love helium balloons? Something about a bundle of them just spreads cheer. Hope is like that too. A person whose hands hold armfuls of hope, brightens any room they may enter. Encouragement to the human soul is like helium in balloons. It makes us rise. It makes us float over hard circumstances.
This painting is sold but prints are available here.
I owe it all to "dear 'ol Mom." Forever twisting resources into new inventions (like drapes into dresses and scraps into upholstery) She defined repurposing long before it was chic and instilled in me the mantra of "waste not, want not." Feeling quite badly about the insane amount of paper towels consumed when Art Party guests or Team Building participants wipe the paint from their brushes, I devised a way of upscaling them into new pieces of art! Glue soaked, gessoed and painted, these paper towels get a total make over.
These 12x12's, pictured below, are commissioned pieces made from such transformations. They are the stepping stones which began an exciting journey of discovering the creative possibilities of recycling the mundane paper towel. Many subsequent works, using the paper towels, can be seen here.
This little pastel sketch is one I did quite a while ago. I was thinking about the words, "You can do it!" They grab the heart, arresting it from the precipice of fear and doubt. We all have unfed pockets that hunger for encouragement. What I've noticed, though, is that there's an interesting boomerang effect that's put into motion when we are the first to offer encouragement to others.
What 'goes around, comes around' in fascinating ways. It may not be a straight line that connects "A" to ""B", but for the person who's watching and listening, that encouragement DOES find a way back home to roost. I've seen it happen countless times. When we live to be a voice of encouragement , we will end up BEING encouraged - sometimes in the most unexpected ways. This principle reminds me of the ancient proverb,
"A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25
It's a fun experiment to test! Try encouraging others for a week! Let me know how it boomerangs for you!
Friends are like angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.--Anonymous
These 'angels' are not the floating, hovering sort, but rather the close -by and in-your-face kind. They appear in our lives just when we need their smile, their wisdom, their encouragement.
Personally, I am so thankful for the 'angels' in my life. They are always there for me, with unconditional love, understanding empathy and supportive encouragement. And I'm reminded of the apostle Pauls' words in Philippians 1:3 " I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy ..."
Their prayer for me is always that my "love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that I may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. Their commitment to me is to the end that I'd be filled with the "fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God."( Phil. 1:9-10.)
To them, I humbly say, 'Thank you!"
(The image in the painting above, pulled from my paint stained paper towels, commemorates these unlikely angels, called friends. These paper towels, stained from my Art Party guests' brush cleaning, provide endless surprising visual prompts.
Learning to Speak Love
It's really the little things that make (or break) a great relationship. Funny how that is, right? Our words and actions are like tiny little pebbles. If the actions are kind and other-centered, the pebbles seem to cluster together to 'ground' and build solidity to the relationship. If our actions are self centered or unforgiving, the pebbles wiggle into our shoes so that we cannot seem to walk in love for a single step!
The great little book The 5 Love Languages is like a linguistics course in learning to communicate love to your spouse in the 'native tongue' that THEY speak.
In a comment to this post, a reader shared their own piece of marriage advice. I think it's brilliant. Here's what Jason says,
".... one of the fundamental things in our marriage has been that we always trust the other has our best in mind. This thought has saved us from many emotional train wrecks. When we choose to believe the best about someone, we don't get cynical or bitter towards them, we grow closer to them despite their shortcomings."
His blog, Command-and-promise, is deep and well thought and built on great Biblical truths.
What great principle have you learned in building a lasting relationship? How have you learned to speak each other's 'love language?"
The greatest life lessons are rarely openly expounded. Usually they are cloaked, disguised and tucked under circumstances and opportunities. Rarely do they shout, "Hey, this is really valuable stuff, Fella,! Listen up."
I've found a few of these "life lessons" even lurking in my Art Parties! I didn't go searching for them. They actually crawled out and found me! Since launching Art Parties by Eleatta in 2008, I've been collecting and saving these little bits of truth to share with you! Here, I've lined 5 of them up for your parusal. They're in no particular order. Just enjoy! ...and let me know if you'd like to come observe them in person at an Art Party!
- Every day is a blank canvas.
Each time we rise from bed, we have a brand new opportunity to create the color, line, theme and texture of that day. It's a new day; it's a fresh start.
-'Mistakes' are fixable
Most of our goofs can be wiped, fixed, altered, repaired, forgiven or forgotten. Painting is a constant reminder that Mama was right, "Don't cry over spilt milk." If there's a spot or blotch where it shouldn't be, don't panic, just paint over it! Just call a 'do-over!'
- Lighten up
Don't take yourself too seriously. Relax and enjoy the ride. Studies show that when we try new things, we feel more "alive."Five year olds never need to be coddled into enjoying time at an easel.
- Life is a journey
Life is a process. As the paint is layered onto the canvas, step-by-step, I remind the guests to embrace the process. In a day of uploads, downloads, copy and paste, the slower pace is welcome relief.
- Be confident
Outlook and perspective can make or break a man or woman. My observation during Art Parties is that it is the mindset which is brought to the easel that determines the outcome of a painting much more than the "skill" of the party guest.“As is our confidence, so is our capacity.” — William Hazlitt
These are the first little group of hidden truths from the Art Party room. I'll be sharing more soon. What do you think of these? Are you the type that views flubs and goofs as easily repaired or do you tend to 'sweat the small stuff?" Is it easy for you to remember every day is a blank canvas? I remind myself often of the ancient promise, "God's mercies are new every morning."
Welcome! Glad you're here! This little spot is where I share thoughts, writings and verses that fuel my life, my marriage, and my art. My desire is to offer up hope and grace and help make your life feel a bit lighter.