Julie Drew

Julie Drew

Birds and Flowers Art Show

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.

hummingbird

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...

bird paintings in progress salt marshessea coast

 

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


Morning Watercolor class, Wednesdays  count me in
8 week session $180 

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 bloomwhereplanted opt
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

 


river of delightWatercolor 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  Art Vocabulary For the Soul Retreat-student work
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

Retreats 

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

enneagramshadow150wThe 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

Prayer GardenThis 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

  • Being
  • Meditating on scripture
  • Expressing myself through art
  • Engaging  my heart 

 

Would you like to experience one of our retreats?

We have two retreats this fall 2018. One is on the Enneagram in Love and Work and the other is an art and faith retreat like I described above: Art, Vocabulary for the Soul 

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:

  • Eleven people joined me for a fun floral workshop in April.
  • In the travel journal class I am teaching on Thursdays … we are going to take advantage of the warm days and will do some plain air painting together. It is a good way to observe the spring and enjoy the warm weather.
  • On May 12, I will be at ‘That Bloomin’ Garden Show and Art Sale’ at the Alberta Ave Community Centre on 118 Ave with my floral paintings, like the one above here.
  • Babies remind us of all that new life and possibilities can be. I look forward to meeting my new grandson, Griffin, later this month in person. I have seen him on skype with his proud sister, mom and dad. How precious!

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?

 

Saturday, October 27     10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

$100 Fee includes all supplies!

Location: Artelier

count me in

In this class you will have the opportunity to make a variety of papers from natural and recycled fibres. We will begin by making 6 to 8 different paper pulps such as cattail, thistle, poplar fluff, blue jeans and more, out of seeds, cotton fabric, and recycled acid-free paper. You will then create papers from each of the pulp vats, using the templates provided. You will take home 10 to 15+ unique pieces of paper.  All the pressed leaves, paper and natural fibers are provided. If you want, you can bring some of your own inclusions like pressed leaves or flowers to add to your pulp.

You may wish to bring suitable art clothes, notebook, snack & drink.

Images below are from the Papermaking Workshop on Nov 12, 2016.

recycled paper papermaking workshop pressed leaves papermaking workshop2 fabric natural fiabers for papermaking workshop havingfun at papermaking workshop blue handmadepaper natural fiber handmadepaper wtih petals making handmadepaper making pulp papermaking workshop red handmade pape with infusionsr pouringpaperpulp handmade paper withleaves blending pulp papermaking workshop handmadepaper withblackjeansandrecycledpaper thistle cattail handmade paper lightblue handmadepaper

I love wildflowers – maybe because no one planted them and they are just there to be. I am thrilled to come across fields of them when hiking. I look for them on the forest floors. Some are so tiny, they are easy to miss. They are not usually in cultivated gardens. That would, after all, go against the definition of a wildflower:

a flower of an uncultivated variety or a flower growing freely without human intervention.

Do you know how you are supposed to plant a packet of wildflower seeds – randomly toss the seeds over a designated space of soil and lightly cover with top soil.

Since I planted them – does that make them cultivated and not wild? Is it intervention when I move them back to the part of the garden where I want them to stay?

Wildflowers can be beautiful weeds when they pop up where you don't want them. They are hardy plants that flourish in difficult places. They do not require great care. They are tenacious, they travel and do not stay in one nice uniform place in my garden.

I finished this painting of wildflowers, Bloom Where You Are Planted, (10 x 7 in, watercolor) during the Deep Freeze festival this month. The process of this painting reflects on the subject matter.

Part one - arbitrary, haphazard. (Wildflowers show up wherever there is a bit of dirt – not planted or planned.)

During a watercolor class I was teaching, I started this piece as a demonstration for pouring watercolor. I had a vague plan… I arbitrarily masked out bits of possible flowers and a butterfly. This would save the white of the paper for later. While I waited for it to dry, I prepared three small containers of watery watercolor: green, blue and pink.

I wet down the paper, poured on the paint, threw on some table salt and placed some rock salt at random intervals. Using a bit of hard plastic, I quickly made random strokes for grass lines. I let it dry.

I wanted stronger colors, so I masked out some places I wanted to keep from the first pouring. I prepared three more cups of watery watercolor and poured it on. Salted again and waited for the result.

After it was completely dry, I took off the masking fluid and salt.

Part two – Turning dabs into flowers wherever they show up. (Wildflowers bloom wherever they are. I have found chamomile growing in cracks in the sidewalk.)

This is the stage that I brought to the Deep Freeze festival to work on. Once the masking fluid and salt were removed, I could see the different parts that were saved. Now came the point of turning the random bits of white into the flowers and a butterfly. I looked through some photo refences of wildflowers to get possible ideas for both the flowers and the butterfly. The flowers are asters, daisies, black eyed susans and additional flowers from the ideas of others. The butterfly is a combination of several butterflies.

It is fun to see where it can go. This is a good challenge for me to not have everything figured out ahead of time, as I often try to control too much. It allows me to trust the process, letting the flowers bloom where they fell on the page.

Like the hardy wildflowers that bloom wherever their seeds fall, we too can bloom where we are ‘planted.’ We do not have to always be in control – really. I was thinking of this as I was reading in Jeremiah chapter 29. Jeremiah tells the people in exile to build houses have families… go about life. Don’t live as if your current situation is temporary. Don’t wait to be present until some ‘tomorrow’ comes. They are going to be there for awhile (70 years). He is calling them to bloom where they have been (trans)planted. They need the hardiness of wildflowers to bloom in unfamiliar territory. And through Jeremiah, God promises that he has plans for them.

Bloom. Be. Do what you do. Shine. Make the world a beautiful place.

Wildflowers do that. Can I?

 

As we forge ahead into 2018, are you prepared for the adventure?

It is the time of year, when I think of goals and plans. Yet, I know, even though we may make many plans, life has a way of taking us on unexpected turns.

This last year, I studied abiding in Jesus and being present. So, as I begin this year, I wonder if there is a way to be present and think of goals and dreams without losing focus and heart when “life takes an unexpected turn?”


“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.

It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)


Can I be like the tree and withstand the “unexpected” droughts and storms? And not just survive, but flourish and bear fruit? How deeply am I rooted?

Growing my “Roots”

I take time with God each morning.
I listen as I read scripture and journal.
In listening, I let go.
I am still in order to open my heart and hear.
Sometimes I receive amazing ideas that make me think and dig deeper.
Sometimes I see images.
Sometimes I cry.
Sometimes it feels dry and void.
At times, I am inspired to paint or write.
I am trusting God in the process and waiting on him.
As I spend time in His word, I am sinking my roots down.

Since early November, I have been working through the first 17 chapters of the book of Jeremiah. The tidbits I have been gleaning are beginning to coalesce. This morning, I had a glimpse of where it may be taking me. Finally, I am getting somewhere tangible! Exciting!

I can make goals, but they often feel arbitrary, intangible and hard to pursue until I feel this connection to where God is leading me.

The more I trust God and let go and wait for the process, the more the roots can grow and find nourishment in God, the Living Water.

I have hopes to finish another book this year, to paint flowers and birds for a solo show in October, write another song for the June retreat. Read more. Journal more. Paint more. Spend time with family and friends.

But most of all, I want to walk where God is leading me. I want to be like the tree that is planted by the water that deeply sends out its roots so that it can flourish in the unexpected turns that life brings.

I look forward to the adventure of what 2018 may bring …

And sharing it with you.

I spend a lot of my quiet time with God, reading the prophets. In them, I hear God’s heartfelt cry for his people to “turn to him and live!” He speaks of what he does for his people and would do much, much more if only they would seek him, seek his face.

Isaiah 45:21b-23New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
There is no other god besides me,
a righteous God and a Savior;
there is no one besides me.
22 Turn to me and be saved,
all the ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.

Jeremiah 24:6-8New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
6 I will set my eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not pluck them up. 7 I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD; and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.

Jeremiah 31:33-34New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the LORD,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Isaiah 7:14New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman[b] is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.

Matthew 1:22-24New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
22 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
23 “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,and they shall name him Emmanuel,”
which means, “God is with us.” 24 When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife,


This time of year we can see how much he loves us, when he made a way to come down and be with us through his son, Jesus. This baby would grow up among us and show us the way to walk with God. He is Immanuel, God with us.

I love the phrase in Jeremiah “They shall be my people, and I will be their God.” Immanuel. I belong to him. We belong to him. He cares. He loves. He is with us.

May you experience the joy of God's love and Immanuel this holiday season.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

 

 

DEEP FREEZE: A BYZANTINE WINTER FESTIVAL Jan 13-14, 2018

Nina Haggerty Building

Gallery hours: Saturday and Sunday 12 - 6 pm

Artisan Market Hours: Saturday and Sunday 12 - 6 pm

"We are pleased to announce that the eleventh-annual Deep Freeze: Byzantine Winter Festival will be held on January 13 & 14, 2018 and will be situated along four closed blocks of Alberta (118) Avenue between 90 and 95 Streets.

The Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival is a free family event that brings together Ukrainian, Franco-Albertan, Franco-African, Indigenous, and Acadian/East Coast communities to revel in the magic and beauty of winter. Come embrace our cold northern climate by melding artistic panache with authentic cultural and heritage winter games!

This year’s theme Into The Winter Grove will offer exciting opportunities for both patrons and artists creating unexpected experiences celebrating the community through its urban landscape and exceptional spaces." quoted from DeepFreezeFest.ca

To see this year's schedule: http://www.deepfreezefest.ca/schedule/

 

DF Eng Poster Web

 

When I was a little girl, the Christmas angel visited our home on this day while we were at church and left us each a gift. I remember the feelings of surprise and wonder and joy.

Joy is a word we hang on our Christmas tree and in decorations. We sing about it at Christmas. It is more than happy. How would you describe joy?

Joy is soul deep. It is happiness and contentment, a rightness to the universe, a “God is with me and I have nothing to fear, “ all wrapped up together and tucked deep in my soul. For me, joy bubbles up and overflows when I allow myself to be present to a situation even in sorrow. It can show up in the form of tears, song, inspiration, confidence and a smile.Dancing Joy Figurines

After the June 2017 Art and Faith retreat, I explored what joy looked like. Our theme at the retreat was “Abiding in Jesus.” Linnea Good, our guest leader, shared her biblical storytelling with us. As she told the story of John 15, we listened for what the Holy Spirit was illuminating for us in the passage, what stood out. We listened twice and then we responded with drawing or painting.

I started with thinking about the phrase Jesus said, "…Apart from me you can do nothing…" 

I started drawing shapes that had a sense of being attached at the top of the page, connected to God. As I drew, the shapes took on vine like people shapes and developed joyful lines. I felt this sense of joy associated with the abiding and attachment. I thought how hard life is when I choose to do things on my own. It can be exhausting like the poor exhausted, deflated figure on the right side of the drawing.
When I felt I was finished, I felt from my little figures this sense of joy that the second phrase spoke of: “…that your joy may be complete…”

 

When I came home from the retreat, my little joy characters intrigued me. What would it be like to let them dance across a few paintings?

Dancing in the cosmos,Watercolor and Color Pencil Painting by Julie Drew Leaping for Joy, Watercolor and Color Pencil by Julie DrewDancing as a Family, Watercolor and Color Pencil, Julie DrewDancing Together, Watercolor and Color Pencil by Julie DrewHid n Seek, Watercolor and Color pencil, Julie DrewCelebration. watercolor and Color Pencil painting by Julie Drew

Resting While Doing and Resting While “Just Being”group oct2017

At the Art, Vocabulary for the Soul Retreat last weekend, we contemplated “Resting in Jesus” and responded with paintings, poetry, song writing and just being in community together. It was so beautiful! This group of eleven was great and we felt so blessed to have spent the weekend together.

We were also honored to have Rev. Larry Lindoff and his wife Colleen join us as special guests this time. Larry shared with us on Saturday his own journey of understanding “Resting in Jesus.” He reflected on the Mary and Martha story (Luke 10:38-42) ... Martha gets a lot of flak. Martha was distracted.

Walking the Trail at King's Fold Retreat CentreWhat if it wasn’t the doing that was the problem, but how she was “worried and distracted” as she was doing it. If she slowed down and was able to be present to Jesus’ teaching as she worked would it have been the same? What if we can restfully do our work, being present to the situation we are in; not going at the frantic, hectic pace our world seems to thrive on?

I appreciated that thought. I have been listening to Russ Hudson, a teacher of the Enneagram. He talks a lot about being present, and slowing down enough to feel present as we are “doing.”

But sometimes we do need to “just be,” like Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus.

“When I am constantly running there is no time for being. When there is no time for being there is no time for listening.”
― Madeleine L'Engle, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art

Several years ago, I took a personal retreat at King’s Fold. It had been a busy time and I was feeling exhausted. I found that all I could do was sit on the benches and look at the view. It was the first time I really understood what Madeleine L’Engle described as “being time.” No agenda, no thoughts, no books, no “should’s, or “have to”s, just being, just “here I am, resting.” I found that all I could do was just sit there and be quiet with God. I was too exhausted in my spirit to do anything else. It was an anomaly.

As we listened to the scriptures last weekend particularly the one about not worrying because God will provide as he does for the birds of the air and lilies of the field (Matt 6:25-34), I heard from God to “Just Be.” So, when we sent people out to listen, I went out on a bench and sat in the sunshine to just rest and sit in God’s presence and napped in the sunshine until lunchtime. It gave me the energy to be present to each of the people I was teaching and sharing with in the long afternoon session. 

Later, as I was cleaning up, a simple melody came with simple praise words. I believe it came out of my content and joyful sense of being at rest that I was experiencing during the retreat. The song has been continuing to play in my mind as I work this week. samandjulie

It is nice to feel at rest and not frantic while doing or being.

 

 



 

 

 

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