Saturday, June 29, 2019

Inadequacy



A doodle for a friend who was just asked to take on a huge responsibility, and who is wondering if he will be adequate. I sent him this gentle reminder of how we can be made to be enough and more....
“Jesus’s miracles often begin with a recognition of want, need, failure, or inadequacy. Remember the loaves and the fishes? Each of the Gospel writers tells how Jesus miraculously fed the thousands who followed Him. But the story begins with the disciples’ recognition of their lack; they realized they had only “five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?” The disciples were right: they didn’t have enough food, but they gave what they had to Jesus, and then He provided the miracle.
Have you ever felt your talents and gifts were too small for the task ahead? I have. But you and I can give what we have to Christ, and He will multiply our efforts. What you have to offer is more than enough—even with your human frailties and weaknesses—if you rely on the grace of God.”
Michelle D. Craig, First Counselor, Young Women General Presidency
Divine Discontent,” October 2018 General Conference

Worms

A few weeks ago I took my son fishing.  We had an enjoyable time...he lost interest much quicker than I did, but he enjoyed spending the time skipping rocks across the lake.  I looked at the worms, the awesome, squiggling, morphing tubes of color in my night crawler container.  A few weeks before the fishing trip, I painted one night crawler, for fun, but decided to paint an entire glob of them when I got home from camping.  So much wonderful color and detail in all of the world around us!  Even the creepy crawly things....or especially the crawly stuff.




Sunday, June 02, 2019

Octopus and Night Sky



A couple of weeks ago, after hearing of the heartbreak of a friend in my neighborhood over his wayward son, I chose to paint an octopus as I reflected upon a promising quote that I had heard years ago about the influence of striving parents over their children.  I sent this little doodle to him with encouragement to continue to look for that "perfect brightness of hope" that can come to each of us through heaven.
Here's the quote that I referenced in his letter, and that tied into the little doodle that I sent off to him:

“The Prophet Joseph Smith declared—and he never taught a more comforting doctrine—that the eternal sealings of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the Cause of Truth, would save not only themselves, but likewise their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either in this life or the life to come, they will return. They will have to pay their debt to justice; they will suffer for their sins; and may tread a thorny path; but if it leads them at last, like the penitent Prodigal, to a loving and forgiving father’s heart and home, the painful experience will not have been in vain. Pray for your careless and disobedient children; hold on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation of God” (Orson F. Whitney, in Conference Report, Apr. 1929, 110).

Yesterday I made it home after a weekend of camping up on the Mongollon Rim in Arizona and was enamored by the night sky, when there was no other light but that of the stars.  The forest was quiet except for intermittent cricket songs and the breeze playing across the needles of the pines that towered above.  It was marvelous to just stand under the handiwork of God and gaze into the heavens, such solace!  When I got home yesterday, I painted this night sky, trying to recall the feelings of being under the starry sky.




Saturday, May 25, 2019

Continuing in the Garden...

Last week I posted a few doodles of snails, inspired by a recent book that I finished reading. These last few days I decided to continue to look for critters that would be found in a garden or in the wonderful nature that surrounds us, and paint them, cut them out, an do a collage or compilation of the things I have found.
I like the idea of painting a myriad of little creatures and then compose them on a paper in various ways until you get the layout that you want.  Here's one of the layouts which captures a frog from this week, a snail or two from last week, and a couple new critters and plants.



I think I'll take a break from the envelopes for a while and play with my nature "cut-outs" for a bit.

This reminds me of when I was a little boy sitting in Sunday School classes and having the teacher put little cut outs of people on a flannel board...maybe I'm longing for Sunday School, or for more youth....I could probably use a good dose of both.

These are all done with gouache and outlined with pen and ink.

Here's the pile of critters from the past couple of weeks that I'm still trying to figure out how to compose.  So much fun!



Thursday, May 16, 2019

Inspired by "Crawdads"

A few days ago I finished reading "Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens.  The book was an interesting read, and the story was quite a page turner.  There were a few scenes that were a bit too elicit for my liking, but aside from that, I was really quite intrigued by the story.  But equal to the story was a fascinating main character who spent most of her time collecting living things, or memento's of living creatures in the nature that surrounded her.  Not only would she collect, but she would catalog, and paint things to help her remember what the memento pertained to.  I was intrigued with some of the descriptions of what she collected, painted and how she put them together.  Consequently, I chose to do a little snail and shell collecting and doodling to satisfy my "fix" for a little nature gathering.

This is all done in gouache with a pen and ink outline.




Saturday, April 27, 2019

Experiencing Change

It is the season of change.  Weather goes from cool to hot.  Animals go from egg to chick, or pup to adult. And some insects go from larvae to pupa to butterfly. Change seems to be constant.  In fact the thing that never changes is that there is always change.  Likewise, in our lives, change is inevitable.  We age, grow grumpier or happier, healthier or more sick, more active, or more sedentary.  In all this, much of how we change is up to us.

Recently I did a couple of envelopes for people that are being asked to go through some intense amount of change.  One, who is suffering the stark reality that their body is changing, is infected with a life threatening disease, and may end the life as they currently know it.

Another was for an individual who, after already undergoing extremely invasive surgery to remove a tumor, is about to undergo yet another surgery to continue to cut away at the growth deep inside of her her brain.

I can't imagine how each of them are feeling, how they will react to their circumstances, how they will grow through these challenges.  I trust that they will let the change happen, and come out on the other side a stronger, more beautiful, wise, and capable individual because of the transformation that occurs during difficult times.  At least, this is my hope for them both.



Both are done in gouache.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Everything is Blooming and Flying

Alas, the winter season has retreated (at least in some parts of the U.S.), and we are beginning to see the brilliant life that bursts through the earth every spring.  Seeds that sat dormant and plants that seemed dead are reaching colorfully past a season of dormancy.  The Easter Season is upon us and nature is a wonderful reminder that things that appear dead, gone, destroyed are able to rebound.  Things that are broken are able to be mended and flourish.  We need that reminder.
Here's an envelope that I did for an individual that recently lost her mother to cancer.  I thought a gentle sympathy of spring flowers and a message of a "perfect brightness of hope" would be appropriate in her time of sadness.

This is done with gouache, acrylic, prismacolor and bit of pen and ink.


I also recently did another envelope for a friend going through a difficult time, and who needed to be reminded that we are not forgotten in our struggles.  Here's the envelope that I sent to him: