I love watching birds in flight. The beautiful, majestic bald eagle soars high riding the wind, then dives down toward the water to catch a fish. This is the time of year that people start watching for eagles at Wolf Lodge Bay on Lake Coeur d'Alene, mid November to end of January, with the peak between Christmas and New Years. Last year peaked 217 eagles were counted on December 30 at Wolf Lodge Bay. The eagles come to feed on the kokanee salmon. Several birds can be spotted on the same trees. How many do you see in the photo here? I count 5.
Isaiah wrote: "but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not be faint."
The closest I come to flying is in an airplane. I recently took a trip to Colorado and on one of the flights we experienced a lot of turbulence (more than I remember ever experiencing before). I will admit that a plane dropping what feels like 2-3 feet suddenly and shifting and swaying makes me extremely nervous, terrified. I have an active imagination that can picture way too many scenarios. I realized that I could panic or I could trust the pilot, who had probably flown through plenty of turbulence, and pray. So I closed my eyes and relaxed. I allowed myself to ride the waves of air. It was like a rollercoaster up, down, toss to the right, now the left, drop and up again...It was not nearly so bad as I thought it would be.
And as I sat through it and relaxed into it, I began to think about my fears. How many of my fears are based on being out of control? How much do I not enjoy the things that put me in that position, like down hill skiing, roller coasters, huge water slides. Yet as an artist, very little of an art business is really under my control. I cannot predict what will sell or touch someone's heart. I cannot know which classes people will want to take. Oh I try and I stress myself out over it all.
Can I learn to ride the wind with my Lord?
Soaring with the wind like a bird on the wing
Can I learn to let go, close my eyes and trust
Ride the waves of air
Up and down, sideways, up
Trusting He will not let me fall
Let go and just ride
When relaxed it is not nearly so bad
As I thought it would be
Could I learn to enjoy it?
Would that be going too far?
Let it go.
Relax in His arms on the waves of the air
Trust and relax
Let it go, that control
Let it go
On Eagles' Wings, Watercolor
(Above) 7 in x 11 in
Update on the painting of the North saskatchewan River West of downtown Edmonton. I decided to post the progression of the painting process and I will add more as I complete the painting.
I like Summer. It's a time to rest from the busyness of the year, a time to take a break, hike, travel, try something new, and meet a new friend.
This summer I took a break and traveled down to the San Francisco Peninsula, where I explored the natural scenery, and had time to paint, rest and visit with some family. A lot of my time was my own as my husband, Sam, was busy taking courses on Enneagram training. The weather was beautiful. We were fortunate that all the smoke from the forest fires stayed north of us, but we certainly got our fill of it coming home.
My cousin Nate and his wife, Karen, generously opened their home to us for a part of our stay. They have landscaped a beautiful garden with paths and raised garden beds. I found one flowering bush, a Red Tiger Abutilon, particularly enchanting. And one day as I sat in the garden painting the Tiger's blooms, I heard him. He made a clicking noise, and I looked around to see a humming bird flitting from flower to flower on the other side of the Tiger. He was curious, too. He even came and looked me over, fluttering just three feet away! My camera was right next to me, but he wasn't ready for that yet, and zipped away as I reached for it.
I decided to go a little slower, to get to know him first. I learned his song, and when I started to hear it I reached for my camera even as I looked for him among the trees and flowers in their garden. He wasn't as shy this time, and even posed for me, letting me catch him sitting on a branch.
The next day I came again to his garden, taking time to just be still. I sat and I read, enjoying the beauty of the garden. And I waited. I waited for him to come to me. Forty-five minutes had passed when I heard his song. He came, dancing, darting, pausing in mid-air like a breath, flitting from flower to flower in the golden sunlight of the morning. And then he was off again, and it was my turn to breathe and wonder. So beautiful.
For me, the beauty and wonder of God's creation is part of his love song to us. In big and small ways nature speaks of God's great glory and love, and I particularly enjoy first hand experiences like these.
And I also love it when I can capture nature's beauty on film so I use them later when I create with God in my paintings. I was dancing inside as I experienced each of the beautiful animals and places on our trip. Each one felt like a gift.
I saw elephant seals, California seals, egrets, hummingbirds, pelicans, deer and fawns, tide pools, the ocean, redwoods and lots of people. I took thousands of pictures, sketched and painted 'plein air".
Here are some of the paintings I started… or sketched...
I look forward to sharing some of these new paintings when they are finished. Some of them are a perfect fit for the new show I will be installing at the Glenrose in late October: Flowers and Birds. Mark your calendars for Wed October 31 for a reception 2-6pm.
One of the things I do when I teach is to demonstrate painting techniques. Sometimes I already have a painting in mind and sketch it out before class, knowing it can work for a demo.
However, most of the time it is a technique or project that I start with the class or a demonstration of a technique for one of my student's projects. Then, I have a partial painting or just some random colors and texture that I can turn into something else.
Over the last couple of years of teaching, I have accumulated more unfinished pieces than I have managed to complete. I just counted 59 I had photgraphed last fall to record the process of painting. Rather daunting. I had no idea there were so many. Not all of them will be completed. For those that will be completed, something about them inspires me to press on with them.
Artist: Julie Drew
October 25, 2018 - Jan 2, 2019
Reception: Nov 20, 2018
2 - 6pm
Location: Blue Curve Gallery
Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital
10230 111 Ave NW, Edmonton AB
I love flowers and birds there is something that is so joyful of the beauty of flowers and the singing, the soaring and the delight I find in watching birds. When I walk in the great outdoors, it is like a treasure hunt to see what I can find. I am thrilled when I find something that really catches my eye and my heart. I take a photo reference or sketch it right away.
Flowers come in so many shapes and colors. I seek to capture the details and essence of the flowers. Birds have a character all their own. I particularly like the ones I do not see every day, like the egret, eagle and osprey. These birds and flowers speak to me of God’s beautiful creation.
Sept 27, 2019 -Jan 2, 2020
Art on the Inside gallery, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital
10230 111 Ave, Edmonton (basement level outside the cafeteria)
- Just being present
- With anticipation, expectantly
What are you looking forward to?
- For clarity, direction and inspiration
- For redemption… and transformation
- For Spring, new life, hope
- For rebirth, regeneration, new growth
Is about letting go and trusting the process
but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint. - Isaiah 40:31
Empty Nest, Winter of my Soul
New things come, old things pass.
It is hard to let go.
It is hard to say good-bye to what was,
Treasured moments; the good, the bad
letting go is part of living.
It is part of loving.
There will be new beginnings;
Such is the circle or spiral we live in.
We cannot hold on to the present.
It must fly
And the empty nest
is the memory we have left.
Theme: Saturation - Ephesians 3:16-20Recently, I had the privilege of joining a dozen fine folks at King's Fold Retreat Centre, just outside of Cochrane, Alberta, for a weekend of faith and art. Julie and Sam Drew have been leading Art: Vocabulary for the Soul workshops for a number of years and I cannot imagine a better place to put creatives in touch with their Creator. (Read the full blog post: Photos from Art: Vocabulary for The Soul)
Posted by Bleeding Heart Art Space on Monday, July 18, 2016
Do you have a creative inclination? Are you thirsty for God? Do you think: "How can I use my creativity to connect with God?" How do you listen to God, hear his voice? Are you looking for new ways to connect and listen to God?
This Spiritual Retreat is for those who want to connect with God. Whether you are an artist or writer or just curious to try something new, we are all able to connect with God creatively. Students will be encouraged to create in the art of their choice -- painting, writing, photography, dance, etc. Instruction for watercolor and drawing will be provided for those who desire it. Supplies are available for a nominal fee. Coaching for the other painting mediums and writing will also be available. There will be solitude and group time in the schedule. King's Fold is a beautiful location in the foothills along Ghost River.
Artist Julie Drew and Sam Drew, Spiritual Director
$360 by Sept 9, 2016
$410 after Sept 9, 2016
$65 extra for a single room
Payment Plans Available
Refund Policy: Refunds of all payments except a $50 deposit available until Oct. 1, 2016.
No refunds after Oct. 1, 2016.
Cost covers accomodation in a beautiful location, 3 meals on Saturday & 2 on Sunday, and the program.
Sam is a spiritual director and Christian teacher. He has taught and led numerous one day retreats and week-long courses on topics of spiritual formation, including "Writing Your Spiritual Autobiography", "The Theology of Spiritual Formation," and the "Institute of Spiritual Formation" through the Urban Sanctuary in Edmonton. He also preaches regularly as part of the Teaching Team at Calvary Baptist Church in Edmonton. Sam has a Master of Divinity and Certificate of Spiritual Direction from North Park Seminary in Chicago, as well as a Certificate of Spiritual Formation from the Urban Sanctuary.
I miss teaching, seeing my students and interacting with them. I miss coming up with solutions to whatever they are working on. I have been creating videos and painting. Anticipating what I will need for teaching is hard. I see how I often teach with flexibility and subjects that are student led to some extent. I have found that students learn better by painting what intrigues them or pulls on their heart. That is harder to anticipate in a classroom session online when I do videos ahead of time. I have some videos to start with. And ideas with how to proceed. So now I need to connect again with students.
Have you wanted to take a class with me, but you lived too far away? Now is your chance. I am offering three opportunities (types of) online classes. It will not be the same as class time in person, but we can make it work. What you will need besides the usual paint supplies, is a computer, phone or tablet.
If you are interested in any online classes or groups I need your feedback to finish designing the classes. Please indicate your interest in art classes or groups in the registration page.
One on one mentoring/ tutoring: This is for students who have been working on their own and would like feedback on their paintings. This can include what to work on, improve or change in a painting, solutions to frustrating parts and even how to tackle a new painting with suggestion of procedure. The sessions can last about an hour. $52.50/ session. (pay for 4 sessions at a time, includes GST $210 CAD) (options: once a week. once a month or twice/month)
Small group mentoring (3-6 people): This is for students who have been working on their own and would like feedback on their paintings. This can include what to work on, improve or change in a painting, solutions to frustrating parts and even how to tackle a new painting with suggestion of procedure. The students will learn from each other as well, as they listen to the feedback for every painting. This could also include group projects or themes. Each student has about 20-30 minutes focus time during the session. $26/ session. (pay for 4 sessions at a time, includes GST $104 CAD) (options: once a week. once a month or twice/month) If this interests you, please, take the survey of the days and times that would work for you. Tuesday/Wed/Thurs. 10amMT or 2pm MT or 7pm MT
Online classes: These will include videos, pdfs and some group feedback sessions on the paintings in process. Live classes will be recorded for you to work on your own time if you cannot make the live session. I am still working out the details.
The classroom settings will not open until the fall. However, I will be doing two things this summer in person this summer. Let me know if you are interested through the registration page.
Handmade Papermaking in my backyard - with social distancing and up to 4 people. (Date to be arranged based on weather.)
Plein air painting sessions. This one is harder to schedule in advance, as it is dependent on the weather conditions. $20 for an afternoon, suggested locations to meet:
Chickakoo Lake -
Overlooking the river valley
Terwillegar Foot Bridge
Other locations or suggestions?