Sunday, July 5, 2015

Framing the Studio



Framing on the studio began a week ago. It was a great feeling to see it start to take shape.

There were a few setbacks and delays...and some rain. But our contractor is the best and we are very excited to see all of the finishing touches in the coming weeks.


Jeremy is just a little bit excited about how big the carport is going to be....I'm sensing he's having visions of a grand outdoor workshop area. ;)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Building an Art Studio

So many titles could have been used for this post...."a dream come true" being one of the top choices, but I decided to keep it right to the point.

My Art Studio is officially under construction!

This has certainly been a dream for me for many years, and now it is almost surreal seeing it come to life. I am so grateful for the most supportive husband and family. Thankful for my sister drawing up design specifications based on my "completely not to scale" sketches. Thankful for my father in law's input and calculations that helped us know what we were getting into. And thankful for the contractor that the Lord blessed us with. He has made this so much more than I ever dreamed it could be by going above and beyond on all aspects of design and construction.

my studio dream board
(the other bigger dream board is actually on my Pinterest)

Here 's the "before" shot....


breaking ground





Our back yard slopes down a hill so all of the concrete that was poured also included some serious deep and wide footers and retaining wall. Gotta have a firm foundation.







We all placed our hand prints and names in the concrete. It will be covered by flooring but I took pictures and we will know it is there. :)


This one will show. It's on the corner edge of the new extended driveway....under the new carport that the hubby is so excited about. ;-)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New Artworks

I am happy to share two new artworks with you. They are both large, heavily textured acrylic paintings on canvas. Each artwork has a special meaning to me and I've shared a little about each under the images.

P.S In case you might have wondered.....my name is just a watermark on these digital images....I didn't sign it that big. ha, ha!



faith: it does not make things easy, it makes them possible

"For with God nothing shall be impossible."  - Luke 1:37

This painting was birthed in one of the times that I had the chance to turn my worship music up loud and let it fill the room around me as I let my praise flow forth in the form of colors and movement across the canvas. I cannot tell you how these experiences of praise through art feed my soul. What a gift it is to praise the God of all creation in whatever way we are able. I cannot sing worth anything but I feel my heartbeat in the sounds my colors make as they cry out from these artworks to the One who makes all things possible.


close ups of the textures including the gold mica flakes I used:





Lotus Blossoms: inspired by photographs I took of the beautiful flowers in Cambodia when we were there on a mission trip a couple of summers ago.

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what He has done from beginning to end." - Ecclesiastes 3:11


This artwork brings back beautiful and hopeful memories. Memories of a land and a people I came to love and a missionary named Mandi who serves there.  As she and others make their home across this world in foreign lands sharing the gospel of Christ with others for the first time, we lift them up in prayer. We have hope for the light of Christ to bring redemption and freedom and to fill hearts and minds with the joyful promise of eternity in heaven. 

close ups of the texture on flower petals:




Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Beijing Part 3 The International Children's Art Festival

The post we've all been waiting for is finally here!
After hours of going through photos, editing and making collages I think I finally have a good collection of images to make a well rounded "picture book" of this wonderful 5 day artistic event.

I wish I could have published so many more full size images but you would have been scrolling through it all forever!!!


The morning of opening ceremonies a group of artists were asked to do a live painting demonstration creating a banner of popular fairy tale characters from different countries.
Silvia, Lindsey, Jackie, Quinton

Some very talented local Chinese artists also created a couple of banner paintings depicting traditional landscapes.

It was almost overwhelming how many photographers and film crews were there!

Oh, and I'm so super excited to post this list of children's artworks that went with me to China!!!
Check them out. So proud of these kids. Some artworks were from friends and family and others from our local elementary schools and middle school. They were on display in a special gallery in the park where the Art Festival was held in combination with an International Reading & Book Festival. These artworks stayed in China with ICAF and will travel again in September/October to another Art Festival  in a different city in China to be on display once more before they return home to Texas.


Here are some photos of the gallery space:
Each day at the festival I taught three workshops and in the time between each workshop Jeremy and I could walk around and observe or take part in the multitude of interesting activities available. We also had time for a nice lunch break, resting in the shade under the trees or grabbing some ice cream treats (which are very popular in Beijing, yummy!)

Look at these adorable little ones getting creative.
Oh, I especially adore the little girl practicing her Chinese characters with the giant brush!
Here are some of my favorite people! The ICAF staff, volunteers, and awesome international artists at work. The friendships made on this trip are my most treasured thing of all. Love you guys!
Thank you Hattie, Sean, Sasha, and Grace and everyone!

Here are some photos from my Tie Dye T-Shirt making workshops. So FUN!

Here we are on our last morning all together at our hotel before walking to the festival with our superstar guide, Sean. 
Sean, Nina, Jackie, Quinton, Lindsey, Silvia, Martina 

A quick note my friends if you get to read this post:
Nina, my girls want you to come do glittery face and arm paintings for them someday.
And Quinton, they want to make elaborate princess hats with you...or maybe a princess dragon hat combination, lol.
Lindsey, my girls and all my nieces loved the bracelets I braided for them from your fabric scraps, thank you.
Silvia and Martina my girls and I LOVE the children's books we got from each of you and we are going to look online for more of your books for our collection. 
Hugs to each of you. Hope to see you at the next art festival. xo

And now,
a few more images for you from the festival park....


Yay! ICAF China!!! 
Been there. Done that. 
Looking forward to going back for the next one!

*P.S. thanks Lindsey for providing this super cool colorful installation art as background for my celebration pic! ;-) Wahoo!!


Friday, June 5, 2015

Beijing Part 2

It was a good thing we wore our walking shoes because they got a good workout this day from sun up to sun down (even though you really couldn't actually see the sun in the sky in Beijing because of the haze of smog in the air).

example of morning smog from our hotel room window:


We explored the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and had Peking Duck for dinner in a very fancy restaurant. Then we visited a place referred to as the Times Square of China in downtown Beijing, and a popular Hutong where they served the most unusual and quite unappealing fried things on a stick....you will see what I mean when you scroll down through this post. Beware of the video. It might make you squirm a bit. haha....no seriously, it made me squirm


 Notice the enclosed motor scooter in the bottom corner of the collage....well, we were so weary of walking that Jeremy, Sasha and I all squeezed in the back of that thing and paid him to drive us the three or four miles we would have had to walk at the end of the day to our restaurant. Squished and cramped together weaving in and out of traffic perilously close to other bikes, motorcycles and full size cars - yep, it was still totally worth it.

Having traditional Peking Duck in Beijing (where it originated during the imperial era) was more than a meal. It was an experience.

This was the "Times Square" area of Beijing. A mix of some of the most expensive stores, hotels, and restaurants right alongside street vendors, souvenir shops and a very interesting Hutong serving up delicacies you couldn't pay me to try. 
In case you didn't see those fried scorpions, seahorses, and starfish well enough in the collage
...here you go.

video




A rare find:
Beijing's oldest Protestant Church, Gangwashi Christian Church (also called St. Joseph's cathedral) recently celebrated the 150th anniversary of it's founding. The architecture is a beautiful example of early 20th century Romanesque revival and stands starkly amidst the modern bustling city that closely surrounds it.

One interesting thing we observed throughout our visit was the groups of seemingly random people who would gather together in various places around the city (usually in the evening) to do synchronized dances. Some looked like country line dancing and others were more like a mix of yoga and ballroom dance. They were all set to music and completely mesmerizing to watch. There was one going on in the church courtyard when we were there.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Beijing Trip Part 1

There will probably be several parts to this series of posts because there were so many wonderful experiences and we took lots of photos along the way.

Here is a look at the beginning of our journey.


 Got some sleep and up and ready the next morning to go to the Great Wall and other areas of interest.

Let's do this!
....but first, let's hit the huge breakfast buffet downstairs. ;)

Okay, on to our very full day of sightseeing.


We arrived early in the morning and stayed until about lunch time walking, climbing and exploring. 
It was totally worth the money buying a ticket for the gondola ride up the mountain...more time on the wall and less exhausted and sweaty. 





A few of my favorite photos.