From the Studio/Porch

I am working on some big wooden panels this week. It is so much fun to work big again! The weather has been really beautiful, so I am working on my porch. It has been great to have such terrific light, and lots of fresh air. The windows in my studio are painted shut, so until we get them open I am trying to work outside when I can.  Here are a few in process shots:

3X8 ft. panels - I brought these home in my Vibe! 

Sometimes the most gorgeous things happen by accident

The red is a base layer for gold leaf 

After the first day - base layers 

 I have been working wet on wet to get lovely drips and bleeds 

At the end of day four 

Text in the center

Text along the sides

Today I am applying gold leaf over the red, as long as the wind stays calm that is. On Friday I will have pictures of the finished pieces for you. I can't wait to see how they turn out! I love that not matter how much I plan, the end result is always a surprise for me as well. 


Catching up

I really need to write fifteen blogs to catch up on everything that has been going on this past month, but here is a start at least. My little Friday/Monday blogging schedule crashed and burned when we left town for a retreat at Laity Lodge and I am just now recovering! Here are some photos from the retreat. We had a terrific time out in the Texas hill-country: hanging out with like minded pastor/artists, making art, and soaking up the great talks and panels. Most of these photos were taking by the super talented Erik Newby. Thanks Erik!

We spent time in the great hall listening to David, Luci and others talk about mentoring and naming. 

Luci talks about thumb prints. 

Steven shares on Sunday morning before communion.

Luci, Andi and Vito discuss naming and names during a panel. 

People lining up to put layers of wax onto their encaustic pieces. 

Jeff Guy takes a look.

Brain storming and making plans.

In the studio with Shannon. Happy teachers are we! 

Works in progress.

Finished encaustic pieces. 

Ceramic demo in the next studio over. 

The Welcome Wagon gives us perfect bedtime story songs on Saturday night. 

Miriam and Charlie inspire us on Friday night .

Happy campers! 


Friday in the Studio

Wedding Cross Detail

Friday ended up being one of those days where nothing worked. I think I learned a lot but, at the end of the day certainly I did not have much to show for all my hours. I told David when I picked him up from school: "Making art is hard!" The myth of the artist who, sized by inspiration, creates something amazing in a flurry of subconsciously fueled activity, is pretty damaging. It is especially offensive to those of us slogging through the hard work of trying to pull something interesting, beautiful, meaningful, AND unique from our minds and hearts.

I ended up working quite a bit on Saturday and Sunday, trying to recover something worth showing. Here are four pieces that came out of my little Friday of Frustration, and one quote that is perfectly encouraging for times like these.

The final version of the wedding cross

First Lenten piece - "My Child"

Sketchbook pages for "My Child"

Second Lenten Cross

Lenten Cross Inscribing Detail

Third Lenten Cross

Third Lenten Cross Detail

"On a final note, for any of you pursuing something that you feel deeply, something you know you need to do in order to be truly alive, something that requires every iota of courage you can muster, something that makes you at times forget there is a clock meticulously ticking, something that requires you to risk losing everything familiar, something that excites you so thoroughly that is sometimes becomes impossible to sleep, know that it will make perfect sense to quit hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times along the way and get on with something else. Know that you will certain days be numb and exhausted and joyless. Know that perseverance is infinitely greater than talent. Refine the work. Hone the work. Mercilessly cut away the parts that are not vital. Then  let your growing body of work speak for itself. And hang on for dear life."

- Linford Detweiler, Over the Rhine

Amen to that!