"...Who daily loadeth us with benefits"

     There is a beautiful thing about the Christian that makes us different from the unsaved.  Every blessing we get in life, we immediately attribute to God.  God has been blessing me a lot today, and I am so overwhelmed with the love he has been showing me.
     As I go to college, I have endeavored to be as out-going as my personality allows.  Some days though, it is just not as easy to be giving all the time, and it is just refreshing and rewarding to be on the receiving end occasionally.
     This afternoon, while I was reviewing my research for my paper, a high school friend came up and joined me for write a while.  Even though I can sometimes be a loner, it was nice to have someone take the time to just be there.
     Later, while eating my lunch in the shade, a girl from  a past drawing class (an amazing artist herself) came by and started up a casual conversation.  After she left me, my spirits were lifted quite a bit, but I guess God wasn’t done blessing me.
     I went to the art department lounge to write, and a new acquaintance came by.  I have started to get to know her this semester from seeing her in the studio.   She asked if I was on FB and if I minded if she friended me.  She said that she thought I was talented and that she needed to expand her artist social circle.   It was just a small thing that said to me, “I value our acquaintance and want to stay in touch.”
     I appreciate the friendliness of my college acquaintances, but as a Christian, I give God the credit.  I believe he wanted to show me a little extra love today, and he knew exactly what I needed.  Don’t we serve a wonderful savior?
     It also gave me a new perspective for the rest of the day.  I continued being as friendly as I normally am, but it had new purpose and meaning now.  I was more aware of how it may be blessing someone else.  I also realized how important spending time is. For me, it is easier to say a few friendly words and then go on.  I don’t talk much unless I’m comfortable (or writing--or very uncomfortable, and then I blabber).  However, I think I will try to more frequently spend a little time with someone just to show them that I care.  In reflection, I suppose the events of this afternoon served two purposes: to bless me and to teach me.



What's in the Studio

A very stressful day ended well.  After class, I was the last one left in the studio, and I felt the urge to unwind a little and look for things to photograph.  It’s always fun to find cool shots in a familiar setting.

Of course, I had to have a bit of fun editing some them when I got home…
This one looks a little like graffiti.

The slab roller

The wheel

And this is a shot of a little alley I get to drive by every day.  The red-buds are lovely right now.




I almost think that God really does have a sense of humor.  One day this week, I was thinking and worrying about some issues concerning my major (Art and Design).  There were a lot of emotions introducing themselves in my thoughts, so I turned to the only one I can go to for real answers.  I wanted a verse, but I thought--somewhat crossly--there's not going to be a verse in the Bible about art.  I stared at my Bible, wanting to open it, but not knowing where to go.  Sometimes that book seem so big.  My eyes focused on a pen mark on the edge of the pages, so--because I didn't know anywhere else to go--I followed the pen mark and opened up to the page it "pointed" to.  "I Kings"--lovely.  Just what I need.  Then I saw the caption at the top of the page: "God's promise".  His promise was this: "Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father: (1Ki 6:12)"  It was  a reminder to me of what was important.  Sometimes life can seem so important, but pleasing God should be my greatest goal.

But what made me smile?  Where's the humor that I was talking about?  Reread the first phrase of the verse.  Did you find it?  God gave me a verse with "art" in it.  It still makes me chuckle when I think about it.



Heart Bokeh

...playing around with heart bokeh--the cheating digital way, of course.  I blurred the pictures digitally too, but don't look too close to the first one because I had to manually try to create a gradual blur (the bottom is more in focus that the rest), and it turned out a little choppy.  But I shouldn't have told you that. :)



Photos of the Study

I thought about it...but I didn't post pictures with my last post.  Upon request (by my sister who I almost asked before I posted), here they are.

Direct Color

Black and White

Indirect Color (layering)

Fauve Color


Study in Quadrants

This is the painting project I have been working on recently.  It is a study of the American Impressionist Frank Benson.  The original painting is called Summer Day, and I saw it in person at the Crystal Bridges Art Museum!  (I highly recommend a visit to that museum if you are in the area.)  As a study, we explored four different approaches to color.  The first view in the video is a four quadrants together, and then I fade it into monochrome sepia to show the values.  The first quadrant I show is the direct color painting.  It is the "normal" approach to color of mixing it on the palate and then applying it to the surface.  The second quad. shown is a black and white study of values.  The third (my favorite, but the most complexing) is indirect color.  As described in a previous post, indirect painting involves layering transparent colors until the desired color is optically blended.  Because the layers of paint allow some light to pass through, it creates a very different effect than that of the direct color mixing.  It is almost iridescent.  The last quadrant is Fauve (wild beast) color.  Unnatural and highly saturated colors are used, but values are kept the same.  I faded this quadrant into black and white to show the value relationship between the colors.  However, as the second picture in the video shows, the values of this quadrant are darker than what they should be.  I mainly did this because I didn't want to reduce the saturation of too many of the colors by adding white to all of them.  I suppose I'll stop blabbing about this awkward looking painting and just say that I learned a lot from doing this exercise.  I saw "awkward" because the quadrants aren't really supposed to look good next to each other.



Hello my fair-framed friends.  I hope the wind hasn't blown you away too far.

Hello wind.  I have a headband today!  hehehe...

Hello research paper.  I will conquer!

Hello Illustrator.  (i love you) *shhh

Hello daffodils.  You looked so sweet today!

Hello spring break!  You couldn't have come at a better time!

Hello college instructors.  Do you purposely make the last week difficult?

Hello Amanda.  I mean--um--you're not Amanda... (this is when you wish you were on the phone and could say, "sorry, wrong number."

Hello indirect painting.  You are complete!  (or abandoned--either one)



Cannot be Contained

This may be the most excited I have ever been about a painting!!!  I can't contain it and had to share it somewhere.  So...you are the lucky ones, and if you don't want to hear about indirect painting, stop reading. :)

I'm super-duper excited about this painting project.  I'll refrain from posting a picture, because it is still unfinished, and I want to wait until it's complete.  (Hopefully I'll like the finished product and post the process pictures here).

This project was one of those that almost had me completely discouraged.  I'm glad I have a nice instructor, or I may have given up.  When I started, I really did not know what I was doing, but I painted an under-painting in blue monochrome.  Today, I was a little afraid to continue, but in art, I often have to step out, take risks, and be willing to flop.  I'm not sure that I was truly willing to flop, but my desire to succeed was stronger than my fear, and so I put my loaded brush on the blue canvas and began.  With indirect painting, it is the intention to "build" the color rather that mix it on the palette.  This is accomplished by applying layers of glazes over an under-painting.  It was a little hard to be willing not to have the right color down on the first layer, but patience paid off, and now I can't wait to finish.

There was also a sweet lady beside me to help encourage me as I went.  She kept on watching me and saying nice things about it, and I couldn't help but like it because I needed it so much right then as I worked on what seemed like an impossibility to me.




My Little Font Phase

I don't know if it is just a phase, or if I am stuck with this obsession for fonts (yes I am talking about computer text fonts). One day, I happened to stumble upon a really cool font place called dafont.com.  I don't know how many fonts they have, but it must be over a thousand.  Today, I've downloaded my fair share, and I am so excited about them that I am going to share my favorites with you.  (The site appears to be safe, and I have been using these fonts for a few months and have had no problem.)

If you especially like one of these, you can search the font name at dafont.com and click on the link to download the zip file.  Enjoy!