On the morning I went to spend the afternoon painting at the Glenrose, we had a fresh blanket of new snow the day before. But the sun was shining, and as it is a spring snow, we know it is temporary.
I decided to approach my blank watercolor paper with no agenda – no plan just to see what came.
I started with the blue and energetically, whipped those lines across the middle of the page of the page. Hmm, thinking of the blue snow shadows, I then threw clouds in the sky. But no, the sun is shining so there should be blue there too. Then followed the trees lifting their empty branches to the heavens. On a faraway hill the treeline of evergreens emerged. The bank and rocks pushed their way through next. Finally the tree shadows emerged and all of a sudden the sun was shining on my page.
I talked with Glenrose patients and visitors as I let the painting emerge. As one fellow said – “That has got to be Alberta.” It is all the parts I love about winter in Alberta: the long blue shadows, the white crisp snow gleaming under the sun’s rays, the shapes and gestures of the trees reaching to the heavens, creeks frozen or flowing.
Even so, I look forward to spring and I am out looking for evidence of its arrival. The pussy willows are showing their tufts. My daffodils and tulips are beginning to push through in the garden. But spring is teasing us. It is snowing again this morning. Spring is long and slow here in Edmonton, but it is not without hope. Like today, we will probably get more snow before winter finally let’s go.
Like spring, God’s redemptive work in our lives is long and slow. We may go two steps forward and one step back (and sometimes one step forward and two steps back), but he is there with us. He made a way for us.
Praise be to God who gives us the victory in our Lord Jesus Christ
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
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.
Fall Art Classes Line up:
New: Watercolor for beginners to intermediate
Monday nights in Devon Still room in this class
Sept 23 - Nov 25 omit holidays
6:30 - 8:30 pm
$190 + GST + supplies
With the City Arts Centre, location Terwillegar Rec Centre:
Painting: Watercolour 1 & 2 course #661080 Full class - 0 spaces left
Register (Adult Programs > Visual Arts Programs > Adult > course id #661080 in the search Or look for the title.) Or call 311.
Sept 16 - Nov 18, 2019, Monday afternoon
1 - 4 PM
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
Drawing and Painting with Mixed Media course #661081 Still room in this class
Register (Adult Programs > Visual Arts Programs > Adult > course id #661081 in the search Or look for the title.) Or call 311.
Sept 26 - Nov 14, 2019, Thursday afternoon
1 - 4 PM
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. We will work toward the idea of travel sketching as well by taking a couple of plein air sessions during the eight weeks, whether permitting.
Location: Terwillegar Rec Centre \multipurpose room C
Making Masking Work in Watercolours Still room in this class
Nov 7-28, 2019, Thursday evening
6:30 - 9 PM
$160 + supplies
Nov 7: Masking tools and texture
Nov 14: Masking and shades of white (creating subtle colors to blend with the masking) Waterfall examples
Nov 21: Masking in layers (floral examples)
Nov 28: Masking with soft edges ( sky example)
FALL 2019 - Art Vocabulary for the Soul Retreat Still room in this retreat
Nov 1-3, 2019
Early bird price until Sept 15, 2019
Location: Covenant Bay Bible Camp
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. Participants will be encouraged to create in the art of their choice -- painting, writing, photography, dance, etc. Read more about this art and faith retreat
Registration is on the Covenant Bay Camp website (Create an account and then login to register.)
registration opens in January,
Early bird: March 20, 2020
Location King's Fold Retreat Centre