40 Year Together

Reference Photo by Kellie Doschades Trenkle

After 40 years of marriage I finally painted a portrait of my husband and I together as a Christmas gift for him. Double portraits can be tricky because they have 2 unique personalities and faces to paint, AND you have to get them right so they are recognizable.

I love this reference photo because of the tenderness in my husbands face as he kisses my forehead. This man loves me so very well! Getting my husbands features right was easy. I could probably paint him in my sleep. I know his face so well. I thought that capturing that look of love would be the difficult part, but that came easily too.

Surprisingly (to me anyway) was the trouble I had painting myself. After all I have known me all of my life, right! LOL! But that also might have been my problem. When I look at myself I see the wrinkles, the tires eyes, my wide nose and double chin. And those are just the physical things I see. My list of personal flaws is much bigger. SO I see my mistakes, my sailors and places where I just don’t measure up. I also know I’m not the only one who has this distorted view of myself. Am I right?

Anyway I got the painting to where I thought it was done, but one of my dearest artist friends told me to take my image further. She said “you are way more beautiful than that!” Which for some reason was hard and awkward for me to hear. But she wouldn’t let me call it finished until I had captured the me that she sees. AND I am very thankful for that. Not just because it improved the painting but because It lifted me up when I didn’t even know I needed lifted.

If you have been looking into a mirror of distortion while seeing your reflection, I would like to encourage you today, as my friend did for me. You are not the sum of your flaws and mistakes. You are loved, You are beautiful! The Bible tells us that “While we were yet sinners ( That’s all of us) GOD demonstrated his LOVE for us by sending Christ to die for us.” Romans 5:8

You were created just as you are by the Master of all Master artists. YOU ARE LOVED!

Motherhood

The moment I saw this photo of my beautiful daughter in law and my grandson taken by photographer Naomi Lynn Vacaro I knew it would someday be a painting. Naomi is great at taking photos that already look like classic paintings. So it doesn’t take a great imagination to envision it as such.

While I usually focus on making the image look as much like a portrait of the models, this one was motivated by feeling and not in it being a portrait. So as I blocked the painting in, I lost focus of it being a specific mother and child and focused on the feeling of the sacredness of motherhood. I wanted it to be representative of the Madonna, but not be her exclusively. I wanted her to represent the Holy gift of motherhood in all women.

For me being a mother and grandmother has been my greatest and most fulfilling job of my life. The bond I have with my children is so beyond words; and the bond with my grandchildren is a golden thread that wraps so tightly around my heart I could burst with joy.

I love this piece because the focus is not on the mother, but on the mother’s focus on the child, because that is what being a mother is all about. Motherhood is learning to die to self and give your everything for someone who is totally defenseless and dependent on you. Sleepless nights, fevered brows, knee scrapes and heat aches, motherhood is pouring love into the lives of our children in hopes that they will learn from our example how to love and how to expect to be loved.

NOTE: To you young mothers;

I know it’s hard to see the beauty and sacredness of motherhood with tiered bloodshot eyes. I know the difficulty of sleepless nights, praying that the baby will sleep through the night just once. That the 2 year old will stay in her own bed all night instead of crawling in yours and laying on your face. I know the frustration of adolescence, acne and hormones. My children are all grown and married and starting families of their own. and I still have an occasional sleepless night worrying about them.

I remember the days of just wanting 5 minutes of silence. Now with all 4 grown and out of the house I have hours of the silence every day. I find myself longing for and cherishing the days my children and grandchildren visit so I can hear their joyous laughter in these walls again. I know it’s hard being a young mom. But take it from an old mom, it all passes all too quickly. Try to cherish every minute that you possibly can. This t0o shall pass, and when it does you will dream of just a few hours more to hold your babies in your arms and feeling their sweet breath on your neck.

Collaboration

This summer I had the honor of doing a collaboration project with my artist granddaughter. I had started working on a floral diptych shortly before my annual art in the garden show. So just for fun I set up my easel along side my artist daughter, and pulled out my paints. The plan was that in slower moments I could steal away and paint. This would be great fun for me, but also for visitors who could get a peek at my process.

The problem was, that I was so busy with visitors that I just never got around to painting. But I did notice that my granddaughter was standing and watching her Aunt paint and I recognized her yearning to paint. So I placed my paint apron on her and said “have at it.”

She was very hesitant as I had already started the painting a couple days before, and she was afraid she would ruin it. But I assured her that that was not possible and encouraged her to paint.

Soon she was well into the process. So much so that she called her brother to fill in on her shift at work so she could keep painting. A sign of a true artist if you ask me. Someone who will give up a regular paycheck just for the joy of creating.

Anyway, her work was so beautiful with its broad brush strokes and bold colors. Totally in contrast to my well blended more pastel style. But together these two styles worked wonderfully when in juxtaposition with each other.

Since there were two canvas, I had her do the bud and a few leaves on my painting and I did likewise with her canvas. The affect was superb.

Our paintings are now available and hanging at the MindPower Gallery in Reeds Port Oregon.

Christmas Cuddles

 

I don’t know about you but the greatest gift I can receive is a hug from my grand kids, let alone when one comes up and cuddles in for the long haul just because. Well that is what happened Christmas day 2019. I was sitting on the sofa with my granddaughter when she leaned into me and got real comfortable. This was not the first time by any means, but as she is 16 now it was kind of a surprise. A very wonderful surprise.

I’m not sure why it surprised me, but it did. You see my eldest grandson (18) started collage this fall, and well I guess I have been telling myself that since him and his sister are full grown that this old lady was going to have to learn that she was just not going to see them much anymore. “They will go off to school, get lives of their own, move away  and lets face it, what young adult wants to hang out with an old lady? right?”

Now I’m not one for Drama, or feeling sorry for myself and dwell on negative things (AT ALL!) But this one kinda came in the back door without me noticing. Even without me realizing that I was thinking it. It just seamed like a fact.

But this Christmas proved all of those worries to be totally false. First of all, My grandson goes to school south of home and so he just stopped in to visit with me on his way home for Christmas vacation. I almost missed him because I was playing my stereo so loud. LOL! But he pounded loudly on my door to make sure I heard him. We talked for over 2 hours (something that he and I have never done before.) Grown up to grown up. It was the most fabulous thing to happen to me in years. We found out that we had a lot in common, and that many of our thought patterns were the same. We even like some of the same music! It was absolutely a magical moment in time that I will cherish for ever.

Then on Christmas day as I was sitting on the sofa beside my 16 year old grand daughter, she turned and leaned into me and snuggled in and stayed there for about 20 minutes, maybe more. At one point my arm went to sleep and my back started hurting, but I wasn’t about to move and possibly end this beautifully precious moment. Realizing that this was a fleeting moment in time, I asked my daughter to please take a photo of us together so I could cherish it forever. (Something I rarely do, but I am doing more often these days.)

Then a couple days later I see this post on my granddaughter’s Instagram and I was moved to tears. So much for my fears of the kids not enjoying time with this old lady! LOL!

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To my surprise my husband heard me ask my daughter to take a photo and he pulled out his camera as well, so I was blessed with two different views. While I loved the head on shot my daughter took, the side view from my husband struck me as a potential painting.

 

 

So a couple days after Christmas I started on the painting. It was so wonderful to work on this one with the joy of this memory so fresh in my mind.

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I started out with just basically blocking in the forms and trying to get a good start on the values. I did not worry so much about likeness right away.

The red blanket on the back of the sofa stops behind my granddaughter’s head in the photo, but I wanted to use that bright color of the blanket as part of the composition to bring attention to the two faces. So the blanket magically got a little bigger.

One of the tools I like to use while painting a portrait is to take photos of the progress as I go and compare them to either the reference photo or to a previous stage in the painting to see if I am getting closer to the likeness of the subjects or further away. It is amazing what this process can point out to the eye very quickly.

 

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Another tool I like to use is to change the photo of the painting to Black and white to check if my values are correct. Nothing makes a painting fail quicker then not getting the values correct.

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This painting is only a 12″x 16″ so these faces were pretty small. I’m not sure why I keep doing this to myself, but it is hard to get a likeness when the faces are only about 2″ square.

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Once finished with the painting, I purchased a lovely floating frame for this gallery wrapped canvas and wrapped it up as a valentines gift for my beautiful Granddaughter. It was such a joy to take her and her mom out for a coffee and to present her with my heart in the form of a painting. I think she liked it! What do you think? I sure do love this KIDDO~

A Time to be Born

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This piece is #3 in my Ecclesiastes 3 series wrapping up a very emotional year.

Titled “A Time to be Born”

This year has been a roller coaster of emotions for me. If you are a regular reader you know that I lost my big sister on Christmas day last year. So, even though I had planned to paint more paintings this year then ever before, turns out I have painted three. This season of painting has been filled with passion and raw emotion as I worked out the avalanche of emotions that were, and still are, churning around in my very soul as I allowed them to flow through me onto the canvas.

The first two paintings I have done in this series were working out my grief.Remembering tender moments and reliving old regrets. But #3 was going to be different.

In February, We found out that our son and his wife were expecting another baby. Our home was filled with joy again. This would be our 4th grandchild. Soon, though, that joy turned to worry as we got the news that the baby would have a 25% possibility of having Cystic Fibrosis. Months went by, waiting for news as Dr. visits  and check ups were scheduled, We found out the baby was a boy! Helping pick out names, counseling love and hope to our son and his wife as they worried, trying to be strong for them, feeling like a rag that had been rung out once to many times myself. Praise the Lord, the birth went amazingly well, and spirits and hopes were high, but after a few days it was evident that little man Kai was indeed sick with the dreaded disease. The roller coaster ride goes on still.

I decided to go on with my painting series. After all “to everything there is a season”, right? I decided to use my emotions artistically and focus on the positive. So about a month before Kai was born I started this painting. Using a reference photo of his older brother Grey taken by their aunt Naomi, I picked one that had the main focus on the connection of the hands and heart. It would be the companion piece to “The Last Goodbye.” and I wanted the emotional connection of the hands as well as a connection between the two pieces of art.

I started with a sketch up on canvas as I usually do, then quickly blocked in all the elements. In my typical way I adjusted the back ground several times and worked to keep the main focus on the hands not the baby’s face.

 

 

 

 

As I progressed, I felt something was wrong with the composition but couldn’t put my finger on it. So I walked away from it over night and when I had looked at it with fresh eyes I quickly realized that the mother’s thumb on the head was serving as a stop sign. So, It had to go. I fiddled with that hand and moved it several time before getting the thumb where I wanted it being the support for the head. fbsheet

Also around this point in the painting I switched from Acrylics to oils like I did with “The Last Goodbye” painting to get better blend ability.

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The idea in my head was to make the background for the baby the sheets, like in the companion piece. I was also planning on adding just a touch of the green, like in the hospital gown, for the babies diaper cover. But once it was painted in, I felt it was too cold and void of emotion and warmth. So to fix this problem I decided to switch the green to the background and the white sheet to cover the diaper and lower left hand corner of painting. Once this was done I was so pleased. The painting was now warm and full of life.

To me the green represents the LIFE in these two paintings. I “A Time to be Born” there is so much life to look forward to, and in “Last Goodbye” there is just a remnant of life left. I had accomplished telling the story.

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Part of my creative process is watching what happens as I paint and deciding where to go from there. As I progressed through this painting I was having difficulty with the hand that supports the baby’s head. Things that work ok in photographs do not always translate well into a painting. you see the ye is naturally drawn to the point in the painting with the greatest contrast. The mother’s pale hand against the dark hair and strong shadows of the baby’s head was creating it’s own focal point. This created a problem for me as the story I wanted to tell was to be told through the emotional connection of the hands. So I had to do a delicate dance of lowering the values of the hand and even graying it out some so that it would feel more like a background element, even though in reality it was the thing in the far most foreground. I needed to be there as part of the story, but I didn’t really need it as a main character.

At the same time I was dulling out the left hand, I was increasing the contrast and intensifying the color of the baby’s hand. I did this by adding glazes of a warm shadow color and adding more warm reds to the tips of the fingers, with reflected red light bouncing off of the mother’s fingers. I also added those same reds to the ear to give baby a nice health glow.47391629_218022855766036_7897445495763632128_n

A Time to be Born

11″x 14″ Oil on canvas

#3 of the Ecclesiastes 3 series By Jackie Little Miller

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I wonder what painting the Lord will have me work and FEEL my way though next. It has been therapeutic yet, painful. I love that it is taking my art up a level, but a little apprehensive of what might be next. I’m hoping for some laughter and dancing soon. LOL! But I know my God is faithful. I know that His plans for me are for good, His thoughts are of peace for me and not evil, to give me a future and a hope. And I will keep painting though what ever He brings my way next.

 

Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out my art process! To see more of my paintings check out jackielittlemiller.com

 

 

Last Goodbye

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This is my second painting in the Ecclesiastes 3 series, to everything there is a season. I have been a portrait artist for years and love the human expression. Driven by a desire to push myself past faces, I started thinking about doing a series of paintings on hands. Then I thought maybe hands and feet, and I came to the conclusion that I just wanted to be able to paint expressive emotion without the aid of facial expression. So I had all these possible ides running around in my head, day and night. especially at night. I tend to do all my best thinking just before I go off to sleep. After the process of painting “A Time to Mourn” the series was set in my mind. But this painting was of the full body and was a dancer. So then I’m asking myself questions like, if this one is of a dance, does the whole series need to be represented in dance? Do I use the whole body in all the paintings: Or can I still go with just hands, or hands and feet? So many conflicting ideas overwhelmed my thoughts. Then the answer came to me.

In December of last year when my sister was passing away,  I sat in the room with her holding her hand, as she was taking, what I knew were some of, her last breaths, I looked down at my hands holding and caressing hers. The artist in me wanted to capture this moment forever with a photo of our hands touching for the last time this side of heaven.The rational side of me, how ever, talked me out of it saying that it would be crass and insensitive of me. For several months afterword I mourned that decision, as my sister and I were so very close and her hands and my hands worked along side each other so many times. She was like an extension of me and I of her.

One day as I sat visiting a friend who had just recently lost a dear life long friend, she was expressing her feelings as she and another friend sat saying their last goodbyes to their failing friend. She looked at me and said, I have something I want you to see. She then opened photos on her phone and showed me this beautiful photo of the three friends holding hands. She expressed to me how she had apprehensions about taking the photo, and had almost talked herself out of it, but her other friend encouraged her to go ahead and take it. As I looked down on this photo, I was taken back to that precious unforgettable moment with my beloved sister. I instantly asked permission to paint this photo, and was graciously granted permission, with my friend saying, “Maybe it was meant to be shown to you!” And I think she was right.43672923_560139704412003_7099662553256558592_n

So I started with a sketch up. I changed the angle of the hand on the left as I felt it was leading the eye off the page coming in directly from the left. instead I angled it from the bottom left corner to lead the eye in to exactly where I wanted it to land. I also enlarged the drawing to fit the size of canvas I wanted to use. I did a little shading with my pencil to give myself indications of shape and values needed. I then started by blocking in the sheets and hand furthest underneath it all, working myself to the top hand.

working in acrylics has always given me a challenge full of frustration. It dries so quickly and just doesn’t give me the time I need the for subtle blending needed to paint skin the way I would like. I admit I am a blend-o-maniac! There I said it! Another frustration that was getting the better of me was that acrylics tend to dry darker then the wet paint. sometimes 2 or 3 shades darker. Usually I would be able to press on through and get it done anyway, but this year has been rough when it comes to how much patience and to be honest how much energy and even desire to paint. So any frustration at all will shut me down in minutes. So again progress on this painting stopped for about a month.

 

I know it’s normal, as I am grieving, to be frustrated and lose focus easily, but it is also very stressful. I have the creative ideas constantly flooding my mind and I need to be able to express them or I kinds get a little crazy. It’s like therapy to me to paint through my pain and emotions. Anyway, I started entertaining the thought of trying to paint with oils again. I had stopped because the fumes would trigger my migraines, and nobody can be creative with a migraine, right? So i did a bunch of research and purchased oil paints with just pigment and oil, and got an odorless solvent which I use very sparingly. I was so blessed to find that they did not trigger migraines and the blend like butter. I am In love!

Once I started painting with the oils I felt like a bird set free from her cage. These paints are wonderful. I am in blend heaven. And I can paint for days with the same pile of paints before they dry up on me. This is going to take me a while to get used to as the canvas stays wet for days too. But this is both good and bad. Good because I can continue to blend and get those subtle blends I want, but bad because I can still blend and get those blends I don’t want! LOL!

Back to the painting itself. In the photo my friend is wearing a silver bracelet that she wears all the time as it is very special to her. I really wanted to get that bracelet into the painting. But as I started blocking it in I realized that my eye was being constantly drawn to the bracelet more then to the hands clasping, where I wanted the attention to be. So I made the hard decision for the sake of the composition to remove it.

Once that decision was executed and the arm was finished being painted, I went over my darks with a couple layers of glaze to deepen the wrinkle, in the hands as well as the sheets. added a few age spots, and glazed in some red to the arthritic joins in the main hand. Showing the painting to my friend who took the photo she says “I love the painting but it makes me cry every time I see it.” This is the highest complement ever! and I have to agree, it makes me cry too from my own precious Last goodbye with my sister. But it’s not the ugly cry that it used to be, it is the cry of being blessed by a women I will never fully let go of!

 

fbsignature“Last Goodbye” From the Ecc.3 series

14″x18″ oils on canvas

 

Grief is a Strange Animal

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It has been Six months since my big sister/ best friend passed away. Six Months of grieving, six months of not being able to breath, six months with very little creativity and art; and Four months since I created my last piece titled A Time to Mourn. Though it may be my best to date. It expresses my grief more then I could ever express it with words.

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Grief is such a strange animal. I thought I knew this beast well, because I have met it on many occasions before.

This time somehow, it seams bigger and meaner. It seems to have backed me against a wall separating me from my creative side. It seems that with every attempt to vest this beast I am left feeling as though I have lost my artistic balance and I drop my brushes in defeat, frozen, temporarily paralyzed and unable to move my arms and mind into submission.

But I am not one to give up, I am brave, and bull headed. So I keep charging in and making myself go though the motions. Knowing that deep inside me creativity is alive and well and will eventually surface and be the victor. Each day I am desiring more and more to create again. I want to force myself past this dragon of grief and go to my favorite place to live, in the land of laughter, sunshine and creating things. Because I just want to be happy again.

I have to say though that It is not a scary monster, it’s just big and in my way and becoming very annoying. Like Rex from the movie Toy Story where he says “I’m going for fearsome here, but I just don’t feel it. I think I’m just coming off as annoying.”

I know that this beast called grief is not my enemy, or an enemy to my art. He may even be there, larger than life, to protect me from something that would wound me deeper while my heart heals.  I need to let him stand there and do his job. In the end it will cause me to be a better artist, painting with more feeling and emotion.

For without the darkness, one can not truly enjoy the light. Without the tears and pain, one can not truly appreciate the laughter and Joy. Without the experience of devastation one can not truly appreciate the creative process.

Thank you all for being so understanding and supporting me during this painful time for me. May God richly bless you!

A Time To Mourn

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As many of you know, I lost my sister/ best friend recently. It has left me unable and some times unwilling to express my emotions. Which is strange because this is what I do, I put my feelings onto words, whether in poetry, song or in some cute way to make us all laugh at our circumstances and feel better about them. But Now, I’ve got nothing! No words will come out, they will not even form in my mind, and even when they do they refuse to come out of my mouth in any coherent manner.

Being an artist, I turned to painting for my therapy, or processing of my emotions. My original thought was to just do something simple. I can’t concentrate long enough or even care enough to focus on doing a portrait and make sure that it looks like a specific person. I had painted a few dancers and thought I could continue in that series. After asking for help with reference photos from my friends on face book, I was overwhelmed with the out pouring of responses. Several photo were dramatically lighted and drew my attention and so I pulled one of them and started considering the composition.

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Original reference photo from Melodie Lauhan

That night as I was falling asleep I envisioned a dripping background to this piece and that I could do in monotone in sepia colors. So the next morning I started to paint.20180203_132423

Once the background was painted and dry I traced on my drawing of the dance just like in the photo. Then I started blocking in her form.

 

But the more I painted the more I felt the sadness of the piece, as if I was painting my pain. So instead of trying to fix it and make it brighter or happier, I decided to embrace the pain, crying with every brush stroke applied to the canvas. Soon I realized that this dancers pose was not expressive enough to show the depths of grief that I was feeling. So I decided to move the arms and make her holding her head.

 

 

 

I moved her hands several times before getting them exactly where I wanted them also changing the tilt of her head. I was even blessed to get my Photographer son Isaiah Miller to photograph my beautiful daughter in law in the hand pose I needed, and under the same lighting conditions as the original reference photo to make it easier for me to paint it correctly.The problem I had now was that  I could not repaint the background as I loved the feeling of the drips so I had to hide the painting of the hands on the floor in the hair. Since my daughter in law has such lovely long full hair, this was an easy transition.

 

 

Once the detail in the hands and body were complete I felt I needed to clothe her in black to finish the look of one who mourns. Once that was done I felt that I had achieved expressing my inner most emotions. I hope that you can feel what my heart is saying and I hope that it touches you deeply.

Please leave a comment telling me how this piece makes you feel and what it tells you. I would love to hear from you.

 

First and Final Breaths

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I’ve been called out in the middle of the night, to race to the bedside of a friend or family member, to help usher in new life many times. With the knowledge that the time was near, I would set out my clothing in a neat pile so that I could hastily put them on and be out the door within minutes of getting the call to action. Unable to fully give into sleep, afraid I might miss the call.  Anticipation filled my mind as I lay thinking about how this could be the night. Eventually, the awaited call would come and I would jump out of my bed and rush out the door.

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Hours would pass as my sister and I would bathe troubled brows, put pressure on lower backs, and talk women through each contraction; helping them to relax, easing their pain, whispering words of encouragement and love into the ear, and words of the life that was to soon come. Long painful minutes often stretched into back breaking hours of bending over beds with no thought of our comfort, only thoughts of helping to ease and comfort others.

How many time have I held a hand as life struggled to make its way into this world, to take it’s first breath? 50? 60? It’s a moment that takes your breath away, Unexplainable, sacred, and Holy. A moment celebrated with laughter, tears, and relief. And I was honored to be present for so many.

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As I sat by my sister’s bedside Christmas Eve 2017, I reflected on how much the last days and hours ushering life out was much the same as ushering life in.

For weeks I lay in my bed at night, phone by my side, a pile of clothes ready to be put on at a moments notice. But this time instead of waiting with great excitement and anticipation, there was anxiety, my chest tight with sorrow and worry. Tears wet my pillow, as I would see my sister in my mind, wasting away. I was haunted by the thought of losing her. I needed to be there with her, with all my heart. You see, she had been by my side since I was born. She was there for every major and minor event of my life and my children’s lives. I had to be able to care for her, yet I was afraid that I wouldn’t be called in time to rush to her side.

My sister loved Christmas and last wish was to be home for Christmas Eve (The night of their annual Christmas party. She wanted to be with her family. It was a very subdued and quiet party in the living room that night. We all took turns going into her bedroom where there were several chair by her bedside and soft Christmas music playing. Some came in to say their good byes, others crying, some just sitting in silent vigil.

When the hour was getting late, reluctantly, her grandchildren were taken home and tucked into their beds. Christmas music was turned off and we whispered into Sherry’s ear that she had made it through Christmas with the family. All the kids were home in their beds and that it was Ok for her to go to her new home to her eternal life with Jesus.

I was blessed to be able to stay, with a few other family members, to spend one last night with my sister. To tend to her needs, to make sure she was comfortable. I bathed her brow with my tears, Knowing that her pain would soon be over. Whispered words of encouragement and love into her ear, words of the life that was soon to come with Jesus. I held her hand for long emotionally painful minutes that silently slipped into back breaking hours of bending over her bed with no thought of my own comfort, just wanting, needing to do anything and everything I could to ease the last hours of this precious Woman, that had done so very much for me, and that I loved more then life itself !

How many time have I held a hand as life struggled to make its way out of this world, to take it’s final breath? One!  It was a moment that took my breath away, Unexplainable, sacred, and Holy. A moment celebrated with tears, sorrow and yet relief. And I was honored to be present for her birthing into Heaven.

My heart aches now, more then I ever thought possible. I have never hurt this bad or this deeply before. Speechless and sometimes breathless, but never hopeless, and maybe even a little jealous. WHY?

Because: I know My Redeemer lives, and I know that my sister is with Him in heaven today, seeing Him face to face. Oh, How I envy her that. For it is what I long for most in life. I long to see my Jesus and thank him for all that he has done in my life! To thank him for giving me such an amazing sister and family, and allowing me to love others as He has loved me for as long as He has planed for me to do so!

Beautiful things rarely happen in our lives without pain being present. Pain is part of life. I don’t fully understand that, or even like it, to be honest. But I know that without darkness we would not know what light is. With out sickness we do not appreciate health, and without pain we could not truly experience joy. I do not understand God and why he chooses to do what He does. I argue with Him quite often, thinking I know better then He does. I also know that He is big enough to handle my little temper tantrums.

His ways are not my ways. I have learned to trust and respect that, surrendering every aspect of my life to Him! Because I know the plans He has for me, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give me a future and a hope! (Jer 29: 11)

Is it Break Time Yet?

1-14650210_10205737911167379_4653442431967828716_n  I know she’s getting nervous about trying something new when I hear the words

“Is It Break time Yet?”

I would love to introduce to you one of my favorite people on the world, Artist Bobi Reinhart. I have been blessed to know Bobi for a little over 2 years now. We met when I started being an art instructor at Ye Olde Art Shoppe in my home town. It didn’t take long to see that we were kindred spirits and to become quick friends. I just love spending time with Bobi because She is like a light when she walks into a room. She is also an amazing artist. Although she would say to that statement, “Really?”

Bobi has one of those rare gifts of being able to paint a knife painting that up close loses definition, but when you step away from it, it becomes crystal clear and stunning.  She has worked on pretty much a smaller scaled canvas for years. But since her style lends to standing back, A fellow artist gifted her with a larger canvas measuring 18″ x 36″. After having a mild panic attach about painting something that big, she came up with the plan to start the concept small, then enlarge it.

She began working through the composition on a small canvas like she was used to using. I have to say as she was painting the first waterfall on the small canvas board (above on the left ) I was struck with very strong emotions, I nearly started crying as it stuck me as so beautiful a place, that I wanted to go there. Before she was even done with it I offered to buy it; and I couldn’t wait to see her full size piece.

Once she completed the first she did another on a slightly larger canvas the same ratio of the larger canvas she would be painting the final piece onto.

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Since it was a long tall canvas she had to stretch the middle of the falls more to get her focal points where she wanted them. But this was easily done and moved rather quickly.

Now I have seen much of Bobi’s work from over the years and know what she is capable of, so I wanted to challenge her to stretch a little further then her comfort zone. I suggested that she do something in all blues instead of the realistic colors from her reference photo. I showed her a few abstract paintings in the blues to give her the idea of what I was talking about. This added a level of difficulty to the painting because not only was she trying to look at her reference photo but also at an abstract blue painting to remind herself to use only blues. So once more she did a small paintings in the blues to use as a reference for the larger painting.

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Finally the day came for her to start on the big canvas. She was asking for break before class even started, but we all encouraged her that she was going to do great. She decided to start by painting the whole canvas a thin layer of blue then started with her knife work.

She only had time to work on this project once a seek during class time so it took her a while to finish up. I invited her to my studio a couple of times to give her more painting time between classes. I really just wanted more time visiting with her because she is so fun to be with!

For a while she struggled with wanting to add yellow to the painting as the original reference photo shows warm sunlight on the leaves of the trees and the bright green moss on the rocks. In the end she did leave some of the yellow in the trees but replaced most of the yellow in the moss area with lovely shades of teal green. Making the shaded areas of the painting in purple/blues and the sunlit areas in the green/blues.

Bobi is such a caricature. I know she’s getting nervous about trying something new when I hear the words “Is It Break time Yet?”

We all love her so much, that It has even gotten to the point that if she misses coming to class, we all jokingly say, “how will we know when it’s break time without Bobi here?”  

Bobi is such a caricature. I know she’s getting nervous about trying something new when I hear the words “Is It Break time Yet?”

We all love her so much, that It has even gotten to the point that if she misses coming to class, we all jokingly say, “how will we know when it’s break time without Bobi here?” Lets just say we had a lot of break time on this painting!

Yakso Falls    18″ x 36″ x 1″ gallery wrapped canvas $450.00

This piece came together so beautiful. The reflections of the water, the beautiful glowing in the trees. I love the sparkle of the water as it cascades down in to the pool. It is all so peaceful and calming. You should come check it out as it will be hanging at Ye Olde Art Shoppe in Myrtle Creek Oregon for several months or until sold which ever comes first!