I like reading stories of redemption both real and fiction. I was reading one this morning. And as the lost soul in the story was brought back into the welcoming and loving arms of those who loved her, I was struck again of God’s overwhelming love for me. My heart did a happy dance as I read.
As Easter and as spring approach, I think about redemption, transformation, new life and resurrection. I see it echoing in the stories I read, in the buds swelling on the trees and plants beginning to push their way again to the surface.
I have been closely watching what looks like a dead poinsettia to see if the tiny leaves will indeed spring forth and the plant will come back to life.
A few years ago, I painted this painting of transformation. A pile of garbage with a plant growing out of it. I have found it interesting to hang it at the art walk, because it invites conversation. A lot of people have thought it was about the garbage in the ocean. It has made people feel sad or depressed, irritated or caused them to laugh.
As I painted it, I was thinking about myself and all the things I do not like about myself, the things I would consider my garbage. So, I put on the painting items that should have gone into my art room garbage or recycling bins. I was thinking about redemption and how God redeems these parts of me with his love. This was then represented by the plant growing out of the garbage.
But as I thought about and even shared it at one of my art and faith retreats, I realized I expected to be transformed; that redemption was about change and becoming new. What if redemption is not just the transformation?
No matter what I do I cannot see past the image of garbage. How can garbage look redeemed? But, what if it is a new perspective or looking beyond the surface?
What if I can learn to love those parts of myself that I see as garbage? God loves me, all of me. Can I learn to love all of me too and see myself with his eyes? Like the dead Poinsettia, if i am patient with it - and really look, I can see tiny leaves emerging from the stem. I am thankful that God is patient with me and is helping me see things better in my own self.
This new awareness is slowly bringing redemption to new parts of me. Failure – learning to trust God and others, as well as to accept my own limitations. Feeling lazy or unproductive – learning to rest and take care of myself is important work too.
As I look to all the signs of redemption in the world around me, it reminds me mostly that God is redeeming all of me too. He loves me! And that makes me want to dance and sing.
In what ways do you see God’s redemptive work in your life?
Each image contains the steps for that image. The last image has the details a little larger.
It is exciting to try something new. In February, I had the privilege of teaching a group of 23 junior high students how to paint stars and planets in acrylics.
Having never painted star systems, I looked for pictures on the interenet we could use for inspiration. I was amazed at all the beauty captured these days by the powerful telecopes. I was in awe.
I took some time to paint two acrylic paintings on the day before the class as samples for the teaching. It was good to figure out what could be done in a two hour class.
It was fun for me, better still, the youth enjoyed it too. Each student was given 5 colors: Purple, red, blue, yellow and white. We started by painting a sphere which would be the planet.
Then we used Purple red and blue with a touch of yellow to paint a dark atmosphere around their planet. From there they were given free reign to add to it – stars, more planets, a galaxy or rings like Saturn, one student turned his planet into a fireball comet. See the student samples below.
I loved watching the creativity come out.
As I sat in my contemplative space in my art room the next morning, and thought about the paintings, this scripture came to mind:
1 The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
4 yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4)
Usually when I think of this passage, I think of the sky we can see everyday: the amazing clouds and sunsets, stormy skies. But as I looked at the paintings on my easel, I thought about how much bigger the heavens are. We cannot see it without the aid of a powerful telescope. It is huge and glorious. The beauty, the detail, the way it all can work together, all speak loudly of a creator. Someone who could orchestrate all of that together so it keeps on going as the planets revolve around the sun and the stars do their dance across the universe.
Here is the enormous truth - we are just a tiny little part of an entire universe – and yet God loves us intimately. He loves us and desires a relationship with us. He wants us to trust him.
Well, if he can create and run the universe – why is it so hard to let go, trust him and accept his love?
How are you doing with letting go and trusting in God? In accepting his love for you?
Bundle up! It is time for Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Festival. With winter outdoor activities of skating, ice sculptures, a giant ice slide, artisan market, art galleries, musicians and trolls and vikings, there is something for everyone. Watch the video below.
I will be in the Nina Haggerty in the Artisan Market with my art work.
Gallery and Market hours:
12-8pm Saturday, Jan 12 and
12-6pm Sunday, Jan 13, 2019.
Have you ever noticed that there are more people out and about from November through December? This is the season of waiting: waiting in traffic, waiting in lines, waiting for the holidays, waiting for family, waiting with anticipation. When we read the Christmas story we are reminded of other ways of waiting: Mary waiting for the birth of Jesus, Israel waiting for freedom from the romans, Israel waiting for the promise of the Messiah, Elizabeth waiting for a child of her own, God waiting for us to turn to him. I wrote more about waiting in the blog I wrote about the painting, Waiting for the Promise, shown here.
In church last Sunday, we were asked to write down on a ribbon what we were waiting for. The ribbons were knotted to twine and will be added to the Christmas tree at the front of the church. They are prayers to God.
What are you waiting for? Hope, friendship, healing, forgiveness, work, paycheck, family, time, retirement, vacation, all the above???
For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I will not be shaken. Psalm 62:5-6
May the hope of Christ fill you this holiday season for whatever you are waiting for!
I was thinking about beauty today as I sat in the dark with my breakfast and watched the sky come slowly alive with color. It was a lovely, soft colored sunrise. As the colors bloomed in the clouds, I felt a bloom of joy and wonder and contentment inside of me. I found myself smiling and singing a praise song.
If I had missed seeing it, it still would have bloomed, but I would have missed the blooming in my soul in response.
Birds and flowers have been on my mind recently with the show I have up now at the Glenrose. Birds and flowers are places of beauty for me and they remind me to enjoy the moment and to let go and trust God with my worries.
26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?[k] 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Matt 6:26-30
My response to this has been writing words to a new song. It isn't finished yet, but I like these lines here for finding beuaty in the moment:
There is wonder, there is beauty
If I would stop to see, what’s right in front of me.
There is wonder, there is beauty,
All around me, as far as I can see
Beauty is fleeting like a sunrise or a sunset, a well decorated cake, a scrumptious dinner that engages your taste buds in a heavenly way, a flower growing in a rock, the shadows of a tree dancing on a wall, a child’s smile of pure delight, a new song.
If I am too busy, or too focused on tasks, I can easily miss the beauty around me. In order to see it, I need to pause, and even look for it.
Beauty can nourish your soul.
When we allow beauty in, when we take a moment to absorb it in through all of our senses, it can bring a sense of joy and peace. What brings you joy? What do you see, hear, taste, feel or smell as beautiful?
I challenge you to notice five beautiful things today. Don’t just notice them, take a minute to soak it in and be aware of your response.
Write down your responses and read them at the end of the day. Then sit with that a minute. What did you find beautiful today? How did it nourish your soul?
With the City Arts Centre, location Terwillegar Rec Centre:
Painting: Watercolour 1 & 2 course #651636
Register (Adult Programs > Visual Arts Programs > Adult > course id #651636 in the search Or look for the title.) Or call 311.
April 8 - June 10, 2019, Monday afternoon
1 - 4 PM
Whether you have been painting awhile or this is your first class, all are welcome. As with any medium, it takes practice using the different techniques over and over on a variety of subjects. There is time to work on your own painting projects and time to do the group exercises to enhance your skills.
Location: Terwillegar Rec Centre \multipurpose room C
Drawing and Painting with Mixed Media course #651623
Register (Adult Programs > Visual Arts Programs > Adult > course id #651623 in the search Or look for the title.) Or call 311.
April 18- June 19, 2019, Thursday afternoon
1 - 4 PM
Need a break? Sharpen your drawing skills and add painting. 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 and we will use some watercolors for backgrounds to the paintings. We will work torward the idea of travel sketching as well by taking a couple of plein air sessions toward the end of the eight weeks.
Location: Terwillegar Rec Centre \multipurpose room C
April 4, 2019
Prepare your heart for Easter. We will reflect on the Lent passage as we fingerpaint and draw our responses. We will do three paintings/ reflecting exercises and have time for response. No art experience necessary.
The assignment from the last session was to look for ways redemption, transformation, new life are showing up around you. Use a medium of your choice (write, draw, photography, etc) to respond to it. Bring your response artwork to share on April 4.
Sign up for $25
No painting experience is necessary.
Register through the Bleeding Heart Art Space on the event page, scroll down to see the bundle or individual class registration
location: 9140 118th Ave (second floor)
June 21, 4 pm - June 23 3 pm, 2019
$340 shared room early bird price until Mar 15, 2019
$390 shared room after Mar 15, 2019
location: King's Fold Retreat Centre, 20 min west of Cochrane Alberta
Fall - Art Vocabulary for the Soul Retreat
Oct 25-27, 2019
Early bird price until July 15, 2019
Location: King's Flod retreat Centre
Watercolor Painting: Oceans
4 weekly classes in August
More details coming
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.
Whew! It has been a full fall with opportunities to teach, play on the worship team, assist in an Enneagram retreat and show my art. The solo art show, Birds and Flowers, at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital went up last Thursday. The watercolor painting of the Egret Landing is one of the 19 paintings on display at the show. I was also invited to be part of the the Art of the Unknown show last weekend, with a week’s notice. It has been good, but I am incredibly drained!
I went into the fall knowing that my weekends were mostly full. I had this idea that I could take a day of rest and paint during the week. Painting can help me process things, but that didn’t happen most weeks. The busier I got, the more I kept pushing that time of rest to the side. By denying myself those moments of peace, I lost touch with my inner self, I became disconnected from my feelings and everything became chores to accomplish, even painting. Then, some things started to fall to the wayside, I became less organized, I started to lose things, while the pile of tasks grew until it was like slogging through a mire to get to it all.
Does this ever happen to you? What do you distract yourself with?
The story doesn’t stop there. I lasted a lot longer because I slowed down the pace at which I worked, I took breaks and I kept up with some exercises, but really, it wasn’t enough. At noon on Saturday as I was sitting and painting at the Art from the Unknown show, I started getting the aura of a migraine. I had pushed myself too hard and my body was enforcing the rest I was not taking on my own. There is a reason God calls us to take a Sabbath rest. He knows we cannot keep going, but we tend to try anyway.
“‘There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the LORD.’” Leviticus 23:3
When I take that sabbath rest, I am saying, “Lord, I trust you with my work. It is not all about me and what I can accomplish. I trust that what gets done is enough for today.” When I don’t take it, I am essentially saying that it is up to me, and I am not trusting God with my life.
It isn’t just the Sunday or Sabbath day, it is a mindset or an attitude. Am I able to let things go at the end of each day? Can I trust God or am I relying on me?
It is just over a week until our next art and faith retreat: Art Vocabulary for the Soul coming up on Nov 9-12. Where we will be reflecting and responding through art, to scriptures like the Leviticus verse above. Our theme is ‘God Our Provider.’ God is constantly proving that to live in his word we still have much to learn.
We have an extra day on this retreat, due to the long weekend. With that extra day, I look forward to resting, as well as creating with the others who are coming.
We will be the very first group to use the brand-new Accommodation building at Covenant Bay Bible Camp. There are three more spots – Do you need a moment to rest and time to connect with God through scripture and art, too? We will have writers, painters, photographers and those who will be new to expressing themselves in art. We would love to have you join us, too.
Upcoming Fall Group Art Shows
Kaleido Arts Festival and Gallery
Evening Sept 14
Sept 15 & 16, 2018 12 - 6pm
11th annual Festival on 118th Ave and 92 St - 95 St
I have two paintings in the Nina Haggerty gallery this year. I will be running the Papermaking workshop again also in the Nina Haggerty building, our 10 year of running the papermaing workshop at the festival.
Hazeldean & Ritchie Communities Art Show and Sale
hosted by Calvary Baptist Church (7215 97 Street)
Eleven plus artists connected in the Hazeldean and Ritchie Communities are gathering to share their art with the community. Come out to support local artists.
Saturday, September 29, 2018
10 am - 2 pm
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.
Studio Location: 6724 - 86 St, Edmonton
Drop in for $25/lesson pay in cash on the day
9:30 am-11:30 am; Oct 10 - Nov 29, 2018
City Arts Centre at Terwillegar Rec Centre: (register: call 311 or visit edmonton.ca/eReg)
Drawing and Painting with Mixed Media 1-4 pm, 8 Thursdys,Sept 27-Nov 15, 2018, $155 (register: call 311 or visit edmonton.ca/eReg course code #635333)
Sharpen your observation and drawing skills in this mixed media class using watercolor pencils, watercolor, pen and graphite. We will explore the process of sketching and capturing a mood, a place and an idea. These techniques will increase your overall paintings and give you tools to sketch and paint on the go, taking your creativity outside the studio!
Workshops at Artelier: 10032 81 Ave
Floral Watercolor Workshop
Sat, Nov 3, 2018, 10 am -4 pm, $80 ea Supply list provided upon registration.
We will work on two paintings during this one day workshop. The first will be an exercise in pouring watercolor and using creative techniques to loosly establish a field of wildflowers. This is an excercise to loosen up and play with what turns up, working with the unpredictability of watercolor.
The second painting will be a more traditional approach of composition, and techniques to paint translucent petals and leaves. We will alternate between the two paintings, allowing one to dry while we work on the other.
Registration call the Paintspot 780-432-0240
Watercolor Workshop: Painting the flow of water (Landscapes with Waterfalls)
Nov 24-25, 2018, 10 am -4 pm, $160 ea Supply list provided upon registration.
Painting water: how it flows and moves over rocks and tumbles to the river below. This intense two day workshop uses a lot of basic techniques to capture the movement of water. We will work on one main painting and several exercises for creating movement in water. The exercises can be turned into mini paintigs by adding the landscape around the river or waterfall. Bring your favorite waterfall pictures for reference photos.
Art: Vocabulary for the Soul Workshop
Sat, Dec 1, 10 am -4 pm, $80 ea $15 supply fee
Art has a way of allowing us to see what is on the inside of us, our thoughts and feelings, and even the things we keep hidden from ourselves. In this workshop, we will use different exercises to engage our inner self, by drawing on the artist within. We will begin by fingerpainting, letting our inner child come out to play. The exercises will progress through the day utilizing different mediums that will be available to choose from: watercolor pencils, pastels and oil pastels.
Optional: pencil, color pencil, 9 x 12 sketchbook, eraser
The Enneagram in Love and Work Workshop
A Personal Development Retreat
Oct 19-21, 2018 $165
(Additional optional fees including accommodation)
Star of the North Retreat Centre, St Albert
The Enneagram is an incredible tool for helping us truly see ourselves. It is a map that guides us into our hearts and souls, bringing to light the desires, motivations, and fears that drive our choices and actions. Often we get stuck in these choices and actions, circling in repetitive life patterns without knowing why.
The Enneagram gives us a hand up toward true and deep self-transformation, improved relationships with others, and a more authentic relationship with God.
Art: Vocabulary for the Soul Workshop
Nov 9, 4pm - Nov 12, 2018, 2pm,
Early Bird $265 shared room, until Oct 21, 2018; $300 after Oct 21
Accommodation Lodge, Covenant Bay Bible Camp on Poplar Bay of Pigeon Lake
This spiritual retreat is for those who want to connect with God. Whether you are an artist, writer, musician, 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.
Thank you for coming out to see me!!
There weree 450 artists showcasing their artwork and demonstrating their skills.
When: July 6 - 8, 2018
Time: 10 am – 5 pm daily
Where: The event is a grand promenade along Whyte Avenue (82 Avenue) from 101 Street to 108 Street. Artists will fill all the green spaces and several street closures, too. It's a long tour, so bring your walking shoes!
My Location: I have a new tent this year, a white one. I will be on 105 St, north of Whyte Ave again. As it is set up by our arrival, I won't know my exact place each day until I get there. I will post it on facebook.
I finished some new paintings which will be on display. I look forward to sharing them with you!
At our last art and faith retreat in June, the theme was Flourishing in the Unexpected. This flourishing is about staying present to the moment even when our instincts tell us to disengage, run in fear, tense up, or take control.
Take a breath, pause, and distance ourselves from the reaction we are feeling. Then letting it go to trust in God and walk through the situation with Him. This is abandonment to God as Madame Guyon talks about it.
Abandonment - it is not about doing so much as being still and receiving. The Interior is not a stronghold to be taken by storm and violence, but a kingdom of peace, which is to be gained only by love. ( p. 36, A Short Method of Prayer, Madame Guyon)
I have felt overwhelmed at times over the last few months. One day, after I had finished talking to two different clients and still needed to write up the quotes, I came out to the kitchen for lunch and my daughter was there. As we talked, I became aware of how tense my shoulders were. The conversations had not been tense or difficult in any way, but I had so many other tasks and appointments ahead that I was just feeling overwhelmed. My daughter started rubbing my shoulders and told me to just breathe. (which is what we have been encouraging her to do as she has dealt with her own issues)
As I breathed and allowed my body to relax, the tension eased. My perspective shifted. All the items on my to do list didn’t magically disappear. But as I distanced myself from my reaction by breathing, I could see that my fear of failure and worry about what others think of me had coloured my view, again. As I let it go, I could again trust God to walk with me through it, trusting that what needs to get done today, would get done.
The Enneagram has been helpful for me as I come to understand myself in these situations. The fears I have, the things that trigger my ego to panic/ survival mode, are not going to go away. I have been working on these patterns for 53 years. But as I breathe and separate myself from the reaction, I can sometimes let my ego go and trust God instead of myself.
Flourishing in the unexpected is not about great success or everything going great. Instead it is a willingness to trust God, let go of our hold/desire for control of the situation, just breathe and relax. It is learning to trust God with the process of our lives, walking forward on the journey into pain and suffering, joy and sorrow, fear and disappointment and hope.
Ways I Work on Listening
Would you like to experience one of our retreats?
Was it just me, or did it seem like winter didn't want to let go this year?
Winter letting go is like the old passing away so the new can come. Think about the scripture that talks about old ways letting go so the new way can come:
But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. Romans 7:6
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Is 43:19
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ Rev 21:4
Every year I look forward in anticipation to spring - The hope, the new life. Buds bursting forth. The creeks and river flowing with the snow melt. Even how it feels like people are coming out of the hibernation (we hole up in our homes in the cold weather for 5+ months). The parks are filling up with activities of baseball and soccer, families at the playground, people are out walking and biking. We can actually see and greet our neighbors now that we aren't just dashing from house to car. We linger and enjoy the warmth of the sun.
As I move into spring and new life, what old things must pass away? What baggage or regrets, pain or loss can be set aside, or let go of, OR to think of it another way… What new life is coming in with the spring?
Ways I am engaging in the spring:
Take some time to sit in the sunshine and soak in the spring, notice the buds bursting, the new life flowing. Let it renew you, too.
In what ways are you engaging in new life this spring?