Sunday, February 03, 2019

Tentacles and Vines

Lately, I haven't been as prolific in my painting as I used to be.  The schedule was to knock out a friendly note and painted envelope to someone at lease once a week, but I have been a slacker, and have not kept up the pace.  Surprisingly, I've had a couple of people reach out and express frustration for not being able to get a "weekly fix" of the posting of what was painted from the week before.  Whoops....

Nonetheless, here are a couple of things that I've done in the "designer envelope" portfolio from the past couple of weeks.

As stated in a previous post, I have a good friend with which I correspond on a fairly regular basis.  We use snail mail, or regular post office, home grown, pen to paper communication.  But in an effort to keep all the correspondence in one place, we send a large sketchbook back and forth to each other with letters written to each other on it's pages.  I enjoy being able to go back and read what has been written previously, and it reads like a thoughtful conversation of counsel going back and forth between friends.

Almost a good as the written word inside, is the chance for me to paint on the package as it goes back and forth.  I used a quote about the "Tentacles of Divine Providence" in my last letter to my friend, which spoke about the ever reaching influence of Diety on our families as we strive to watch over and serve and love them.  Consequently, I thought it would be fun to decorate his package with a giant tentacle.  Here's how it turned out:

 So that is going to the post-office this week.

Also, I found out recently that a dear friend of mine from Rome, GA suffered a stroke and is currently recuperating at a health care rehabilitation center away from her home and her husband.  I feel sad at the struggle that she is facing, and the uncertainty of what lies ahead for her and her family.  I painted her this envelope and included a note about how I've been grateful for her good example, and how she has done so much to stay attached to the "True Vine" (See John 15:1).  I thought a little doodle of a vine would be a nice visual to reinforce the message.

This too, will have a trip to the post office this week.
 Both are done in gouache, with a small amount of inking.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

By their fruits shall ye know them

There is a little elderly couple in our neighborhood that has been very sweet to us and the rest of the neighbors.  Last year, she called around to many of the people in our vicinity and wanted to share the lemons off of her lemon tree.  She would ask, I have lemons, how many do you want?  After inquiring, she went around from house to house and dropped off two, or three lemons, or however many were requested, on to the porch of the neighborhood.  At almost 90, this effort was touching and inspiring.
Sadly, the husband of this good lady passed away during the Christmas holiday.  We had the chance to go to the services held for this good man to support the family, but I wanted to paint her a little token of appreciation for her example, and for the many acts of service that has filled up her life and that of her husband.
I thought it would be appropriate to doodle a few lemons, and thank her for her “fruits.”

This is done in gouache.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Live Oak

The other day at work, I received the most wonderful email.  It was from the spouse of a vendor that I use.  I‘ve never met her before, but she secretly disclosed that her husband’s birthday was coming up in December and that he would be undergoing his third round of chemotherapy right on his birthday.  I was floored since he has hidden that he has been battling cancer.  Nevertheless, she reached out to a number of his friends and colleagues to write him a card, words of encouragement, etc. and to send it to her so that she could suprise himon that tough week.  What a thoughtful spouse!  I was grateful that she invited me to participate.

This weekend, while I was considering his situation, I reflected on something that I recently learned about the live oak tree.  After hurricane Katrina hit and devastated New Orleans, it was found that very few of the live oak trees were damaged or destroyed as compared to many other species that were pummeled. Among the reasons for the resilience of that particular type of tree was the fact that the roots of the trees entertwine one with another and form an underground root system that is very strong.  Also, because the trunks are twisted, they were flexible and resistant to snapping under pressure.

For his envelope I decided to sketch out this little community of live oak trees for my friend to remind him that he has many surrounding him during this storm and that he can make it through this challenge.

This is done in pen and ink and gouache.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Eastern Dragon

On our lazy, post-Thanksgiving Saturday, as I pulled out the paints, I asked my son, “what should I paint.”  He said, “Dad, do something colorful this time.”  I’m not sure if his comment represented a sparsely worded treatise on all of my work, or just a quick response to answer a father’s query.  Nonetheless, I pondered his response and began to think about fun things to doodle that were colorful.  I chose to do a pen and ink drawing first, of an oriental dragon, remembering some parades from my youth wherein I was fascinated with the colorful dragons animated by lines of people holding up poles to give life to the swaying and weaving puppets.
Here’s the final result...a line drawing colored with gouache.

Is it colorful enough?

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving Frog

Alas, on this holiday week I have found a few extra minutes to finish a frog doodl that has been on my mind.  I wish everyone a restful holiday, with much pondering about all of your many blessings!  And, after you loosen your belt while digesting the feast, please make time to paint, or draw, or create!!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to use my scanner for this, so I shot it with my phone...a better scan to come in a few days.

This is done in gouache.

Happy holidays to you and yours!

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Resting Sparrow

It's been a while since I last posted.  Life has been exceedingly busy as of late, and I haven't made the time needed to paint another envelope for giving away.  But, this weekend I changed that and went back to one of my favorite subjects, the lowly, yet beautiful sparrow.  I've written about and painted sparrows on previous occasions and how I continue to marvel at the truth found in Matthew 10:29 wherein we learn that even a sparrow does not fall without our Heavenly Father knowing about it, or the accompanying assurance in verse 31 which teaches us that in His eyes, we are of more value than the sparrows.  There are so many voices in the world today which seem desirous to rob us of hope, faith, reassurance while supplanting it with fear, anxiety and concern.  Surely, we can find reminders in the world around us of the goodness in the world, even if it comes from a little bird.

This one was done for an old acquaintance of mine who is going through some challenges with the health of her daughter.  The note of encouragement that I pulled together for her is going out with this doodle.

This is done mainly in gouache with an acrylic background, and pen and ink outline.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Sticking Your Neck Out

A few weeks ago I painted a turtle while exploring some of the fears and challenges that I am facing in my life. It was therapeutic, and helpful as I pondered the various triggers that can cause someone to want to just hide “inside the shell” or face the challenge head on.
Today, I returned to the turtle theme for a friend that I have at work.  A few weeks ago he found out that his wife has stage 3 breast cancer.  Without a doubt, they have been faced with the very real choice that comes with all the uncertainty of such a diagnosis.  Do they hide?  Do they run?  Do they revert to what is familiar? Or, do they move forward, trusting in the love that they have for each other and the growth that will happen during the journey?
I painted this little one for them, another reminder that we can put our necks out of the comfortable shell, we can trust that even thought the future looks uncertain and scary, that there will be growth as we move forward, even if slowly.