Julie Drew

Julie Drew

4 Thursdays: Nov 19 - Dec 10

2 - 4 pm Mountain Timecount me in

$60 +GST

  • Gain confidence in painting in watercolor
  • Explore techniques with the exercises given to practice on your own paintings
  • Paint your favorite photo with personal coaching
  • Recorded classes can be viewed again or later if you cannot make the "live" session.
  • Questions can be asked ahead of the session if you will be missing it.

 

Comments from the last class:

"I love the student portal!"

"I am learning so much."

"Thank you for your wonderful teaching!"

For each class, I will send you a zoom link.

Before each class, I will have you send me an image of what you would like to work on and send a picture of your painting to that point. (Take a picture with your camera or phone download it to your computer to send in am email. Let me know if you have trouble with this. and we will look into alternatives.) Also include in your email any questions you might have about the painting or the process. 

During the class time I will go through the images that were sent in and answer questions you and the other students have. The “class time” will be recorded so that even if you have to miss it, if you sent in your images and questions, I will cover them during the “class time.” The class time sessions will be split between answering questions, helping with paintings and showing some demonstrations.

There will be an assignment for each of you based on the photo reference you want to work on.  As not everyone is an independent worker, there will also be a video available each week for you to learn from if you choose to and want more direction. 

pdfRecommended floral watercolor supply list

Register Now

 

 

 

 

 

THURSDAY AFTERNOON WATERCOLOR SESSIONS - ONLINE CLASS

Thursday afternoons 2 - 4pm MDT  from November 19 - December 10, 2020

PAINTING FLORALS - ONLINE CLASS

Thursday afternoons 2 - 4pm MDT  from October 22 - Nov 12, 2020

For each class, I will have you send me an image of what you would like to work on and send a picture of your painting to that point. (Take a picture with your camera or phone download it to your computer to send in am email. Let me know if you have trouble with this. and we will look into alternatives.) Also include in your email any questions you might have about the painting or the process. 

During the class time I will go through the images that were sent in and answer questions you and the other students have. The “class time” will be recorded so that even if you have to miss it, if you sent in your images and questions, I will cover them during the “class time.”

The class time sessions will be split between answering questions, helping with paintings and showing some demonstrations. There will be an assignment for each of you based on the photo reference you want to work on.  As not everyone is an independent worker, there will also be a video available each week for you to learn from if you choose to and want more direction.

pdfRecommended floral watercolor supply list


Thursday Afternoon Watercolor Sessions - Week 1

November 19, 2020

 

Good afternoon, Class. Here ia a demonstration of sponge painting trees in fall colors. Sponging can be used to create texture in other ways as well: on rocks, paths and other foliage. 

Below is the Beginning of painting an Iris: drawing the iris and laying in the first layers of paint.

iris withdeepershadows

 janet

 janet2

joywds

 stone milk house

irispurpleandyellow

  

 

Fall is here, the branches are bare, and the bitter cold winds are back. I brought my flowers in from the deck in to enjoy until they were done. My Gerber Daisy bloomed again, and the others have not stopped blooming. The flowers are all straining toward the window for the glimpse of light upon their faces.

They take up space on my office floor near the sliding glass door, but it is worth a little crowding to see beauty right there as I work. So fun to extend the season of growth and blooming as we move into shorter days and longer nights.

Seasons are not only about weather and nature, we human beings have our seasons as well. As I reflect on the last few months, this has been a season of learning to be present to what is right in front of me today. The outdoor painting excursions (plein air) over the summer and early fall were, perhaps, the greatest example of this. Covid 19 shutdown all of my indoor classes, but the outdoors were beautiful after all the rain in June and July, so we went outside. And there we learned to be present to and see the beauty right in front of us.

With all of the changes due to covid, the daily news, learning new ways of doing things and uncertainties of what is coming next, I looked forward to each plein air session. As I ended the plein air season, I started the online class and we have had three of the four sessions. Although well received, it has been a big learning curve, but I am adjusting and modifying it as we go along. (I had to try different tripods, and get a new piece, an arm extension, for my tripod to make it work better.) In the last session, I had us all painting the same flower (the one blooming in my office). I tell myself that I do not have to figure it all out, and I can ask for help, which allows me to be present and take one step at a time. 

painting florals session3 blogpost

This all led to my thinking about the passage in Ecclesiates 3 that

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

For each statement there is an antithesis. Opposites. Even extreme opposites. As I looked at the passage this morning, I realize I prefer to focus on the positive sides: to plant, to heal, to build to laugh, to dance, etc. There are times when the opposite is necessary: to grieve, to die, to throw away, to speak, to hate, etc. But there is an in between place that is not spoken in some of these, not necessarily a wishy-washy middle ground either, but another space of time to be in. I decided to find the in between space for each. Here are my results:

Born – die… there is a time to live;
plant – uproot… there is a time to grow, flourish and even harvest
kill – heal… there is a time to get along with each other, respect, nurture each other
tear down – to build… there is a time to take care of what is there, appreciate what you have
weep – laugh… there is a time to just breathe
mourn – dance… there is a time to just be
scatter – gather… there is a time to not take personally what others do
Embrace – refrain form embracing… there is a time to just be together
Search – give up… there is a time to let go
Keep – throw away… there is a time to reuse, recycle, repair
Tear and mend… there is a time to clean and take care of 
To be Silent – to speak out… there is a time to be yourself
To Love and to hate… there is a time to accept others as different from yourself
War and peace… there is a time to forgive

I cannot change others, or the world, but I can work on myself. What season or time are you in?

 

Nature in Watercolor (2 weeks - twice a week) course id #684156

Register (MoveLearnPlay.edmonton.ca >Registerd Programs > Visual Arts Programs > Adult > course id #684156 in the search Or look for the title..) Or call 311.

Monday & Wednesday morning, Nov 16, 18, 23 and 25, 2020 

9 am -12 pm
$92.00+ supplies

Whether you have been painting awhile or this is your first class, all are welcome. We will touch on colour theory and the mixing of colors as we utilize a variety of techniques to create paintings of landscapes and other subjects of your own choice. There will be some group exercises to enhance your skills as well as time to work on your own painting projects.

Location: Terwillegar Rec Centre \multipurpose room C

pdfWatercolor class supply list

 Hay Bales wb

Drawing and Painting Skills (2 weeks - twice a week) course id #684157

Register (MoveLearnPlay.edmonton.ca >Registerd Programs >  Visual Arts Programs > Adult > course id #684157 in the search Or look for the title..) Or call 311.

Monday & Wednesday afternoon, Nov 16, 18, 23 and 25, 2020 

1 - 4 PM

$92.00+ supplies

Sharpen your drawing skills. Never taken a drawing or painting class? No problem, this class is for all skill levels, taking you to the next step in the process. We will use watercolor pencils and ink to draw and sketch landscapes, animals, and people. We will add watercolors for backgrounds to the paintings. 

Location: Terwillegar Rec Centre \multipurpose room C

pdfDrawing and Painting supply list

135snowscape1000w

Card Making with Watercolor and ink course id #684160

Register (MoveLearnPlay.edmonton.ca >Registerd Programs > Visual Arts Programs > Adult > course id #684160 in the search Or look for the title..) Or call 311.

Saturday, Nov 28, 2020 

12 - 4 PM

$65.00

Create 10 Special Cards to give this Christmas. We will paint with watercolor and draw and write with permanent ink to make unique cards for family and friends. All supplies included.

 autumn reds with poplars, acrylic, 8x10 in, Julie Drew

Location: City Arts Center 10942 83 Ave

Beginner Acrylic (2 weeks - 4 sessions) courses id #684540

Register (MoveLearnPlay.edmonton.ca >Registerd Programs > Visual Arts Programs > Adult >  course id #684540 in the search Or look for the title.) Or call 311.

Mon & Wednesday Morning 9am - 12 pm

$92

Explore Acrylics by learning the basics of color mixing and painting through the subjects of still life and simple scenes from nature. Bring your own supplies. A supply list will be provided when you register.

pdfBeginner_Acryic_Supply_list.pdf

 Flowers over the Lintel, acrylic, 9x12 in, Julie Drew

Advaced Acrylics - Acrylic Exploration (2 weeks - 4 sessions) courses id #684539

Register (MoveLearnPlay.edmonton.ca >Registerd Programs > Visual Arts Programs > Adult >  course id #684539 in the search Or look for the title.) Or call 311.

Mon & Wednesday Afternoon 1-4 pm

Take your acrylics to the next level by working with advanced brush techniques, mediums, glazes, collage and color theory. Bring your own supplies. A supply list will be provided when you register.

 

Explore Acrylics and its possibilities through the basics of color mixing, brush work and moving on to techniques to enhance your creative potential. There will be group projects and time to work on your own projects during each class.

Location: City Arts Center 10942 83 Ave

pdfAdvanced_Acrylics_-_Acrylic_Exploration.pdf

Painting Flowers in Watercolor

  • Gain confidence in painting watercolor with this focus on flowers.
  • Explore techniques with the exercises given to practice petals
  • Paint your favorite flowers with personal coaching
  • Recorded classes can be viewed again or later if you cannot make the "live" session.
  • Questions can be asked ahead of the session if you will be missing it. 

 

Join me on Thursday afternoons 2 - 4pm MDT  from October 22 - Nov 12, 2020

Cost is $60 for 4 weeks.  painting a dahlia in watercolor

 count me in

 

Waterfall Workshop
Sept 12, 10 am – 4 pm

$80 +GST+ pdfSupply List 

Location at Artelier Studios,10032 81 Avenue
Registration taken at the Paintspot.ca

• Gain confidence in painting the cascading of water.
• Learn 6 effective tricks that will enhance your watercolor paintings.
• Discover different ways to interpret the same waterfall scene
• Increase your ability for taking the next step with your painting as you work from your photo references.167lvng wtr1000w

You will work through the trick exercises in the morning using your photo reference or one the teacher supplies. In the afternoon, you will continue by putting the tricks together in a final painting.

6 Tricks for creating the sense of falling water:

1. Using a mist spray to create a misty falls
2. Using Masking fluid for water droplets and
    a. for waves a water with toothpick and Kleenex
    b. to layer the color.
3. Shades of blues to grays to capture the subtleties of water
4. Negative painting rocks under the water
5. Salt to create texture in water and rocks
6. “Pushing, pulling and lifting” to create the sense of depth

 count me in! I want to be there

count me in

  • Create your own unique papers 
  • Learn the process of simple papermaking with ingredients found around the home and outdoors.
  • Be inspired by the possibilities as you create alongside of others
  • Use the equipment provided to make your creations.

red handmade pape with infusionsr 

Papermaking Workshop

Saturday, September 19

10 am - 3:30 pm

6724 - 86 St, Edmonton

$75

  • Create about 10 - 15 unique pieces of paper out of recycled watercolor paper, fabric, and "fluffy" seeds (from a choice of thistle, cattail, fireweed, foxtail, poplar, down feathers, onion skin).
  • All supplies are included, including some infusions (i.e. pressed leaves and flowers)
  • Help create the 6 vats of pulp in the morning at 2 meters apart  

 pressed leaves papermaking workshop2

What to bring:

  • a mask for when we are creating the paper in the afternoon
  • a bag lunch or plan on going to the nearby Tm Hortons for the hour lunch break. 
  • (optional) your own infusions  

count me in

 

creatingblending pulp papermaking workshop bluewithheartonionskin handmade paper

On July 17 in the evening I noticed that we had water on our floor in the basement by the furnace. We have had trouble with our washer before, but this was more. So that evening we started to investigate and pull out the washer and dryer and lift up the subfloor to see where the water was coming from.

Two nights before we had had a severe thunderstorm. It lasted three hours and poured sheets and buckets of water during the whole time. And, prior to that night, it had rained pretty consistently for over a month. It was so bad many farmers’ crops were flooded south of Edmonton.

After pulling up about half of the flooring in the basement and removing the sodden drywall, we discovered 3 new cracks where the water had come in.

It has been a lot of work, but we have made progress in repairing and cleaning it up. We are finally starting the painting stage, and we hope to get at least a couple of rooms finished before our grandchildren and their parents come next week.

I was not planning on mudding and taping drywall this month. But this task was in front of me. Adding one more unexpected challenge to the craziness of living in COVID 19 times and figuring how to do classes online, my husband, Sam having major surgery this summer and our dog being diagnosed with a malignant tumor that needs removal.

Did you know there is an art to mudding? Getting it as smooth as possible and extending it outward to make the bump where the tape is almost invisible. This is not unlike painting (with thick acrylic paint) and palette knives, only the mudding spatulas are much larger at 2 in, 6 in and 12 in.

How well do you deal with interruptions? Do you take them in stride? Do they cause you stress and shut you down? Do you set about making a plan to conquer it?

I find it interesting how each of us can react differently to a situation that is thrown at us out of the blue.

It made me think about Abraham (he is still Abram then) in Genesis. He had a number of interruptions or unexpected turnings thrown at him. One of these was in Genesis 14. Several kings had a war and looted the place where Lot, Abram’s nephew, lived taking Lot and his family as captives. When Abram hears this, he acted decisively, gathered his fighting men (about three hundred) and went after them, rescuing all the captives and bringing back the stolen goods.

This is not, of course, the first time I’ve experienced unexpected, life interrupting events like this, and, In the past, I wouldn’t have described myself as acting decisively. I certainly did act, I am good at getting things done, but first I would panic, then get anxious, and then get frustrated and annoyed that I had such inefficient feelings. Finally, I would push down my bothersome emotions and dive in to try to get as much done as possible. It created a stressful environment for those around me and usually exhausted and injured me.

I am happy to say I have been learning that I can take care of myself, both emotionally and physically – paying attention to what I can and cannot do, even as I work forward at an even keel; more practical, less panic, asking for assistance, and not trying to do everything myself. Acknowledging my emotions and my limitations frees me to be present to the situation and see things more calmly. It frees me to act more decisively, and, even, more efficiently.

Do you like to draw or paint scenery, buildings, landscapes? These excursions will:

   •  Increase your ability to detect the nuances of light, shadow, colors and depth.
   •  Learn how to paint or draw quickly to capture the essence of what you are seeing.
   •  Be inspired by the work of other students as we paint together at 2 meters apart.
   •  Explore Edmonton and surrounding parks in new ways.

 pleinairsession ChickakooLake

We are meeting up once a week at different locations in and around the surrounding countyside near Edmonton. The dates for the next 2 weeks are set based on the weather forecast. 

Tuesday, Aug 25 Mill Creek Ravine. 10 am Meet at my house. (sign up for details)
Thursday, Sept  3 - 10 am

Sign up to receive the email notification of date, time and place for that week. RSVP your spot for the date. $20 each, for each session. You can bring the cash to the meeting place.

count me in



Each session will include:

  • 10-15 min walking in to the locations
  • At least one 5 min sketch to warm up, and practice looking for the essence of what we are painting. These will mostly be in pencil.
  • 15 min color sketch with pencils or watercolor
  • 1+ hour watercolor or watercolor pencil painting

Watercolor Plein Air Painting Kit. Travel light. pleinairsession McNally Rivervalley

  • Portable/closable small watercolor pallet (with a red, blue, green, yellow, and deep purple)
  • At least one small round brush, and one ½ in. flat brush
  • Watercolor sketchbook
  • 2H Pencil (and an 8B if you have one with a smugder/stomp)
  • Eraser
  • Lid (to put water in)
  • Small flask of water
  • Masking pen/ masking fluid with lid and toothpick and or q-tip
  • Small piece of natural sponge
  • A little bag or container of salt
  • Rag
  • Camera
  • Something to sit on (portable chair or blanket)
  • (hat, sunscreen, bug repellent, snack, hand sanitizer, mask, water bottle)

Optional:

    • Waterproof pen
    • Watercolor pencils.

Possible locations :pleinairsession McNally Rivervalley3

  • Flowers in Cloverdale (July 10)
  • Chickakoo Lake (July 17)
  • Overlooking the river valley where McNally High school sits above the blue Dawson bridge. (July 20)
  • Telford Lake (Leduc) (7/28)
  • Old Barn -Canola field ((8/6)
  • Hay bales in fields (8/11)
  • Stone Barn Garden (Leduc) (8/17)
  • Millcreek Ravine (Tuesday, 8/25, 10 am)
  • Cooking Lake /Blackfoot Prov rec Areapleinairsession McNally Rivervalley2
    • Waskahegan Staging Area
    • Islet Lake
  • Strathearn – overlooking 98 Ave hill looking downtown.
  • Terwillegar Footbridge over the North Sask. River
  • Sherwood Park Natural Area
  • Elk Island 
  • South Cooking Lake Park
  • North Cooking Lake Natural Area
  •  

I am so thankful that we were able to have our Art Vocabulary for the Soul Retreat at the end of June. King’s Fold Retreat Centre did a great job in putting in place social distancing, and alternative set ups to make it work. We had a small group of seven. I want to share with you some of the theme and images we made as we worked through the it, listening to what God had for each one of us.

The theme of New Life had been resonating in me since before Covid-19 struck. It was a theme of the dark and death of winter moving into the new life and resurrection of spring.

When we went into self isolation, and everything was battened down and restricted, I kept wondering how it would feel when we started to emerge again. Would it be like the image portrayed in the movies where a big catastrophe happens and when it stops people come out slowly as if waking from a nightmare and start to slowly move and embrace one another and picking up the pieces of their lives.

With the three stages of emergence, our picking up the pieces has been a slow process. We are still in the pandemic. It has not been eradicated, there were new cases in Edmonton again. It is still rampaging around in other parts of the world.

Then, in the last few weeks before our retreat, with the murder of George Floyd, the wave of worldwide protests and the outcry of justice and humane treatment for not only the blacks, but the indigenous and the people of color, we were again in the midst of a movement we didn’t understand and don’t know the end of.

There was a sense of death to the ways we have always done things, and we are trying to figure out how to change, to do things differently. Change can bring fear, but also optimism and a whole host of other feelings.

Our first exercise addressed the emotions we have been experiencing since mid March. We used tempera paints with sponges, fingers, plastic cards, q-tips and toothbrushes. What do you see in the paintings?

expressing emotions during covidpandemic7expressing emotions during covidpandemic1expressing emotions during covidpandemic2expressing emotions during covidpandemic3expressing emotions during covidpandemic4expressing emotions during covidpandemic5expressing emotions during covidpandemic6

 

The next exercise we read Psalm 107: 1-21 and reflected on the Israelites continual falling away and coming back to God; death and resurrection. As we celebrate resurrection one of the things always included in resurrection, is the death that comes beforehand. So, we had participants reflect on that experience of death and resurrection or seeing good things and even transformation come out of some of the difficult times in life. The following were our painting responses.

Ps107 Heightsanddepths response 2Ps107 Heightsanddepths response 5Ps107 Heightsanddepths response 1Ps107 Heightsanddepths response 4Ps107 Heightsanddepths response 6Ps107 Heightsanddepths response 7Ps107 Heightsanddepths response 3

 

 

Saturday and Sunday, we spent time creating and seeing where the creativity took us. I took a few pictures to give you a taste of the creativity abounding in the weekend. I also introduced some new pouring methods and we had fun experimenting.

student work Anne creating timepouredacrylicstudentwork pleinair jsd studentwork1creatingtime2creatingtime3

Registration is now open for the next Art Vocabulary for the Soul Retreat, October 2-4, 2020 at King's Fold Retreat Centre. It will be a small group of 8. 5 spaces are still available.  $375 early bird until Sept 4. $435 after Sept 4. Will you join us?

Take a walk down Whyte Avenue to 10516 to see three window displays of my artwork. They will be up until July 30! This is in place of the annual Art Walk which cannot take place this year due to Covid-19.

 #Yegartwalk 

Grow Centre
105160- 82 Ave
Edmonton

20 Days of Art-filled Window Displays
For 25 years artists have brought art out to the sidewalks of Old Strathcona.

In 2020, during Covid-19 restrictions, we are putting art behind glass. Visitors can view art and contact the artists to purchase. Delivery of art can be arranged between artists and patron.

When: July 10 – 30, 2020

Time: Shop hours may vary but windows are viewable all day.

Where: The event is a grand promenade along Whyte Avenue (82 Avenue) from 101 Street to 108 Street. It’s a long tour, so bring your walking shoes! Stay tuned for printable maps.

 

art on whyte 3art on whyte 2art on whyte 1

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, 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. 


Florals - 4 weeks - Tuesdays, starting July 28. The live component will also be recorded for viewing later if you cannot attend. 

Waterfalls - (in person version: Sept 12 at the Paint Spot one day workshop)

Mixed Media - 

Acrylics

Basic Watercolor - 4 weeks - Thursdays, starting July 30 The live component will also be recorded for viewing later if you cannot attend 

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. August  - sign up to be part of the workshop.) 

Plein air painting sessions. This one is harder to schedule in advance, as it is dependent on the weather conditions. $20 for a session, suggested locations to meet:
Chickakoo Lake -  July 17, 10 am
Overlooking the river valley
Terwillegar Foot Bridge
Muttart grounds - July 10

Other locations or suggestions?

 

 

I woke this morning thinking and singing this song, Your Faithfulness, by Brian Doerkson.

I don't know what this day will bring
Will it be disappointing, filled with longed for things?
I don't know what tomorrow holds
Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness

I don't know if these clouds mean rain
If they do, will they pour down blessing or pain?
I don't know what the future holds
Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness

Certain as the rivers reach the sea
Certain as the sunrise in the east
I can rest in your faithfulness
Surer than a mother's tender love
Surer than the stars still shine above
I can rest in your faithfulness

I don't know how or when I'll die
Will it be a thief, or will I have a chance to say goodbye?
No, I don't know how much time is left
But in the end, I will know your faithfulness 

When darkness overwhelms my soul
When thoughts are storms of doubt
Still I trust You are always faithful, always faithful (© 2002 Brian Doerkson)


Recently, I heard this again as I listened to an online concert by Brian Doerkson. He wrote the song at a time of uncertainty in his own life, which he shared during the concert.
His songs have a wonderful depth to them that I connect with. Music, like painting, can help me engage my feelings.

It is rainy this morning as I write this. I feel melancholy. This Covid-19 isn’t going away and continues to impact us. How we do things has to change. How I teach will be affected. There is unrest, violence, and protests in so many places. I needed those words today:

"When darkness overwhelms my soul
When thoughts are storms of doubt
Still I trust You are always faithful, always faithful" (© 2002 Brian Doerkson)

God is faithful. Always faithful.

God isn’t going to make the problems disappear, but walks with me through the difficulties, Child's hand holding Jesus hand, pencil, 12 x 9 in, artist Julie Drewholding my hand, giving me courage to face things and uphold me, uphold us as we grieve for the changes, for the heartbreaking violence in the news. We are in a time where we need each other, to set aside our independent stances and to work together, instead of being not be divisive.

I am reminded of Psalm 33:13-22 which speaks of God looking down on all the inhabitants of the world, whom he knows and created. He sees: “the king not saved by his great army, warrior not saved by his great strength, war horse vain hope for victory”… “Truly the eye of the Lord on those who fear him, who trust in his steadfast love” (And then comes the move from individuality to corporately) “Our soul waits for the Lord, he is our help and shield, Our heart is glad in him because we trust in his holy name.” There is something to be said about working together, caring for and helping each other, standing with each other.

Sometimes I just need a good cry, to let myself feel melancholy, and accept this part of me too. We need our rainy days to grow, too. Last summer, I sat in our tent which has a covered day use area, and painted the scene above of the inlet at Ucluelet, BC as the mist rolled in and the rain came down. It was a day much like today, with the sun coming out later. Once I am able to express my feelings, the load is lighter, and a shared load is lighter still.

Are you able to connect with your feelings, with the depths within yourself? How does that happen in your life?

Last fall, I wrote a few times about rest and the scripture that kept coming up when I went to write. (you can read the articles here…What Are You Waiting For? and Season of Rest) I was thinking this morning about this and reflecting on COVID-19 and the call for us to #stayathome. I also considered my attitude in staying home and reflected on migraines.

Troll Falls side view

When I get a migraine, I receive it as my body’s way of telling me I’ve been doing too much and not listening to it. My body is taking over to enforce rest, so I go to bed. It is a fitful, painful rest, and it is often a couple of days before I can even look at a computer or phone screen. For years I lived in fear of migraines and the pain they would invoke, because my first migraine was so severe that I ended up in the hospital. It has taken me a long time relax, to rest more and listen when my body starts giving me signs, but now I get less migraines that stop me in my tracks.

Our world has been stopped in its tracks. Did our world keep going at its frantic pace too long and now we are being enforced to rest? Is it painful? Are you discombobulated? As a society, we do not rest well. How are you doing? Are you well?

Edmonton, where I live with my husband, Sam, and our two girls, has been shut down since March 14 and social distancing is the new rule, with as many people working from home as possible. I have been out twice with my girls. We went out on Friday to pick up supplies for my son and daughter-in-law who are in quarantine after their return from South America. The streets were nearly deserted. We were armed with our gloves and hand sanitizer and stayed our distance from others. I saw the workers in stores all doing their part in wiping down shopping carts and basket handles for the customers, and limiting the number of people going into an establishment. How very surreal.

I am used to spending the day by myself. Now everyone is home and I am finding a new rhythm for my day to include some time with the others. Like Sunday: worked out with one daughter, played my guitar and sang worship songs with both daughters in the morning, took time in my studio to paint in the afternoon working on the painting Upper Troll Falls, Kananaskis AB and ended the day playing a game of Pandemic with Sam and one of our daughters. (It seemed appropriate – we lost twice to the game). A nice restful Sunday. Now the new week is progressing and routines are falling into place again. Last week I listened and read more news and felt more anxious. This week, I have limited it so that I do not use up all my energy on what I have no control over.

Our daughter Reena spends a good part of the day connecting with her friends via snap chat, texting and phone calls, but then that is a normal response to her day. I have never spent much time on the phone with people. I am short with answers on texting and email. It is something I have to consciously do or think about doing. It doesn’t come naturally.

In this time of self isolation, how are you staying connected? How are you resting and taking care of yourself? Are you able to still work from home? How are you filling your days?