Wonders of the Sea

Wonders of the Sea…

Have you ever really looked at a shell? They contain God’s amazing creativity and ingenuity. The shell grows with the creature inside of it. Even the tiniest ones are miniatures of the large ones.

I started collecting shells as a little girl in landlocked St. Louis, Missouri. My parents had taken a trip to Vancouver, BC and they brought back a shell package with a large scallop shell as the “basket” holding the other shells including a piece of bright pink and purple coral, a tiny starfish and sea horse. What a wonder! So beautiful! Such tiny detail! I loved to look at them and dream of finding them on actual ocean beaches. I found some fresh water clams in a slough area on a school field trip. I was thrilled.

Treasures of the Sea on Julie's DeskWhen I was twelve, my family and I went on a Big Trip West. We were gone a month- driving and tent camping. We circled the western states, missing Nevada, even going into Canada to Vancouver Island. We saw and experienced many amazing things. One was the Oregon coast. My dream of walking an ocean beach and finding beautiful shells had come true. We combed the beach for shells, rocks and interesting driftwood. I was mostly interested in shells and hoped to find some whole ones. Mostly I found bits and pieces of shells.

Last summer, I joined my parents and sister at the Oregon coast. It is still beautiful and I still enjoy some beach combing, but now I also want to paint it or just sit and drink it all in. I love the crashing waves, the sea foam, the sea spray and all the wildlife. I love the tide pools - these miniature worlds of life and color.


As I watch the tide pool, I am reminded of what Jesus said about birds of the air and flowers of the field. (Matthew 6: 25-34) Small parts of creation, but examples to us. God desires our trust, “don’t worry about food, clothing.” He will be our provider. He who cares about those little things like flowers, birds, and sea creatures, cares even more for you and me. Isn’t that a wonder?

Last visit with you, I posted this possibility painting.
possiilities n treasuresBThis is what I saw in it. It is still in progress.


How has God been taking care of the details in your life? Leave your comments below.

possibilities n treaures









Matt 6:25-34

Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


Melancholic, Drippy days

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?

Harbor on Croatia's Coast

In 2013, my husband and I traveled to Croatia for a week. I have not painted as much of the harbors and Croatian coast as I have of the waterflal parks there. We took a day and drove the length of the coast all the way from where we were staying in the little village of Baska Voda to Dubrovnik. (about 4 hours down the coast.) It was a winding road with tiny red roof, white stucco villages dotting the coast with their harbors. The sea was filled with Islands. I knew it was called the Dalmation coast for its many islands. But seeing it was different. The tall hills (short mountains) on the islands reminded me of the Puget Sound in the Seattle area. I like the tall masts of a ship yard, standing like setinels. This miniature painting is only 3 x 7.5 inches. 

This is one of the paintings I will have in my booth at the Art Walk. You can fin me painting in my tent space on 105th Street between 82 Ave and 83 Ave.


The Process of a Painting

I wanted to share with you the process of the painting. I have added some details below. I  wrote in a previous blog the beginning thoughts on why I painted this. If you missed it, you can read those here in this article Wonders of the Sea.

The Possibilites:


On wet watercolor paper, I poured liquid watercolor: blue, green and pink and I sprinked salt  and rock salt on whie it was still wet.  I was playing with color and letting whatever came from it, set the stage for the painting. 

This method of painting challenges me to let go and engage in the process. 



Mapping It Out:

step2 mapping out the painting

After it dried, and the salt had finished it's work. I looked at it until I saw possibilities.

I put masking fluid on theparts I wanted to save from the first pouring, and poured another layer of liquid watercolors - blue, pink and green.




A little more mask...


I painted a layer of yellows and orange, before adding more masking fluid to save more of the light colors.


One more pour..step4

I put masking fluid on theparts I wanted to save from the first pouring, and poured another layer of liquid watercolors - blue, pink and green.




Once it is dry, I can begin to remove the salt and masking fluid by rubbing with the rubber pick up.




Sometimes it can just pull right off. I am never sure exactly how it will turn out until it is all removed.


More Possibilites:


Now I can see all that I had "saved" in the lighter colors. Now to make sense of it all.


The tedious details:


This is the stage of the "pushing and pulling" that I talk about in classes. A wet brush and an brush with paint. Often with small brushes so it takes time.


And still more:


Still more to go to finish it up. Can you see the changes?


Ta Da!

wndrs sea1100

The final touches finally finished!!! I am plsead with the result. I hope it makes you smile. It is so cheerfully colorful. 

I look forward to sharing this painting at the Blue Curve Gallery in the Beauty of the Coast Art Show July 1 - August 14, 2016. 

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

            Lamentations 3:22-23

One summer I was at the beach in Oregon, just watching those crashing waves come in and pour over the sand and rock. I had been contemplating this verse in Lamentations. I thought about how those waves are never ceasing. They just come and come, over and over. Endless. Never ceasing.

Even when the water seems almost calm and still the waves continue the gentle lapping against the shore like a breath – like breathing. In and out, in and out.

If you stand in the ocean and let it run into you with the power of the waves. They can rock you on your feet.

God’s love, constant and never ceasing, is like those ocean wave that just rushes in not stopping, limitless.

Think about God’s love as waves of love washing over you. Let him rock your world with the power of his love. His mercy never ceasing, his love never ending, washing over you, breathing into you.

Think about that today. Where does that take you?

This will be another verse for the Art Vocabulary of the Soul Retreat, October 28-30, 2016 on Saturation: Eph 3:16-20
Come join us and see where God wants to lead you and speak into your heart.

Only a few spots left- don’t delay. Sign up today.

Beauty of the Coast Art Show

I invite you to the breathtaking beauty of the coast with its awe inspiring coast with its cliffs and expanses of ocean from the mists to the sunshine. I enjoy painting the details of the animal life and the wonder of the tide pools. I worked mostly in watercolor, but for some of the paintings I used my handmde paper to capture the texture and feel of the scene.

I have scheduled two days to go and do painting demonstrations there and answer and answer any questions people have of my art. Come Join me - I would welcome your visit!

Beauty of the Coast Art Show

July 1 - August 14, 2016

Blue Curve Gallery

Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital


Painting Demonstrations: July 13 and July 25 from 10 am to 2pm


Water in the Landscape

Painting the Nature of Water: waterfalls, tumbling water, waves crashing into rocks.

July 22-25, 10:30 am to 4:30 pm

Location: Paint spot: Artelier is located at 10045 81 Avenue NW, Edmonton (back alley entrance). The workshop space is one block south of The Paint Spot.count me in

$395 ($315 + $80 Supply fee)

Registration through the Paint Spot

Water is amazing as it moves, flows, reflects and tumbles down a mountain or hill. It is translucent and picks up color around it. It changes as it moves. I never get tired of painting water.

Learn how to paint the nature of water as it falls and tumbles and crashes over or into rocks. We will look at how it reflects or picks up colors around it. We will look at the flow and how it changes the way we paint it. Included will be filling in the landscape around the water.

In this Four-day workshop, each morning, we will work on studies with an aspect of painting the movement of water. In the afternoon, we will apply what we learned to a full landscape working on your own projects.

We will cover: 

  • The use of masking in the waterfall, and water movement
  •  Painting the rocks under the surface of the water
  •  Capture the luminescence of a wave that is crashing
  •  Painting the reflected lights and color on the water surface

I will be teaching with demos in the morning and coaching you on your projects in the afternoon. You are welcome to follow along with the demos or work from your own reference photos.

Techniques in watercolor we will touch on:              

  • Planning a painting
  • masking
  • layering
  • color mixing the shades in water
  • sponging
  • spritzing water
  • scraping
  • cling wrap
  • wet into wet
  • wet on dry
  • pushing and pulling

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