Monday, December 28, 2009


Today, I'm 62 and will be getting Social Security soon. Finally a birthday that pays off!

John Mortimer who died this year (he wrote Rumpole of the Bailey) said:

"Dying is a matter of slapstick and pratfalls.
No one should grow old who isn't prepared to look ridiculous."

I'm prepared and I've had practice!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

be joyful

"Be joyful, though you've considered all the facts."

Wendell Berry

One of my favorite authors of all time. He wrote the novels Hannah Coulter and Jayber Crow and many others. I've loved them all. He also wrote this poem:

The Wish to Be Generous

All that I serve will die, all my delights,
the flesh kindled from my flesh, garden and field,
the silent lilies standing in the woods,
the woods, the hill, the whole earth, all
will burn in man’s evil, or dwindle
in its own age. Let the world bring on me
the sleep of darkness without stars, so I may know
my little light taken from me into the seed
of the beginning and the end, so I may bow
to mystery, and take my stand on the earth
like a tree in a field, passing without haste
or regret toward what will be, my life
a patient willing descent into the grass.

~ Wendell Berry ~

(The Collected Poems, 1957-1982)

Friday, December 18, 2009


This image is part of the Advent show at Calvin CRC. It was used on the Image and Spirit blog which must be where other people are finding it. I just got a notice that a minister wanted to use this image on Sunday and that someone else referred to it on their blog. How amazing that an image can have such a wide audience!

Saturday, December 05, 2009


A new twist to my mixed media work. The trees are stenciled onto black paper using atomized paint and stencils I cut. Then I enhanced them with colored pencil. My goal is to mat this series and sell them unframed at the gallery. They are in standard sizes, so the customer could choose the art and then choose their own frame. There will be more seasons to come, but winter is a natural!

Thursday, December 03, 2009


I thought this piece was done and I framed it, but it's still sitting in the basement. I don't know what's wrong with it, nor do I know why this post is underlining itself....but if you click on it, it takes you to a closeup of a wonderful collage that sold this fall.

Maybe (and now there's no underlining) it needs more weight on the bottom...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Advent work at Shawnee Park CRC

These pieces of my work are part of a show for Advent at Shawnee Park CRC behind GR Christian High. It was put on by Robin Jensen (who was my first formal art teacher when I went to Calvin College).

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Advent show at Calvin CRC in Grand Rapids.

These pieces of Advent art are on display at Calvin CRC in Grand Rapids on Ethel and Thomas SE from now until the beginning ofFebruary. The show ranges from icons to realistic interpretations to abstractions, all telling and celebrating the story of the birth of Christ in some way.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


This beautiful painting found its rightful owner yesterday. It has a lovely red and black frame and someone came in the gallery and fell in love! What fun!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

CRANE ORCHARDS small version

Just a little landscape painting to balance the abstract stuff.

Advent starry night 3

I have been playing with graphics for some Advent related events. The arc of the music really tickles me. I think it communicates joy. The Bethlehem scene has "O Little Town of Bethlehem" in the sky and on the ground and the nimbus around the bright star is the "Magnificat" in two versions. "Magnify the Lord, magnify the Lord!" I don't know the tune of the lower sunrise music. Visually, it seems to echo the radiance of the sun. A musician friend tells me he thinks it's got a Mexican feel.

Monday, November 09, 2009


Here's another Advent themed piece, this time with a Michigan landscape overlap. The nimbus around the sun sings "Magnify the LORD!!" Small lines of text in the sky say "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world". There are leftover bits of Joy to the World in gray and "Alleluia, alleluia in the sand. I don't know what the music is from exactly but they are songs from liturgies from Church of the Servant and part of the redemption song.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

details: a great light, new every morning

A combination of the Isaiah 9:2 passage: "the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light." and "the mercies of the Lord are new every morning" from Lamentations 3:22-23.

Great is God's faithfulness!

A GREAT LIGHT: new every morning

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


This painting has been bugging me since I framed it. I like the colors and the composition. But something wasn't quite right. This morning I popped it out of the frame and punched the contrast. Now I think it does sing.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


For want of a better title, ALCHEMY is what this collage will be called. Titling art is difficult. I don't like using 'untitled' because it doesn't give the viewer anyplace to hang their hat. And it would be hard for me to remember which "UNTITLED" was which!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I just finished this, cut a mat, was ready to frame it when I thought I'd put a layer of medium over it to even the finish. Turns out some of the marks are watercolr pencil and the many areas melted and discolored the whole piece. Bummer. I've already started a new piece on the back.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Holy Silence finished after 30 hours

After 30 hours of work and much prayer painted into it, here is Holy Silence- an image of the pre-existent Christ. John 1 is a touchstone on this. "In the beginning was the Word..."

It was a great workshop, very contemplative and restful, but I'm relieved not to have to drive anywhere tomorrow.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Holy Silence


Monday and Tuesdays part of the process in my icon workshop at the Franciscan Life Process Center.

Friday, October 16, 2009


This was just painted over an old painting of a sunflower. This one is much more satisfying!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


A little 8x10 begun long ago and just finished. Destined for a silver frame and a trip to the gallery.

Holy Silence

Holy Silence

Be still.
Listen to the stones of the wall.
Be silent, they try
to speak your

to the living walls.

Who are you?
are you? Whose
silence are you?

Who (be quiet)
are you (as these stones
are quiet). Do not
think of what you are
still less of
what you may one day be.

be what you are (but who?)
be the unthinkable one
you do not know.

O be still, while
you are still alive,
and all things live around you

speaking (I do not hear)
to your own being,
speaking by the unknown
that is in you and in themselves.

“I will try, like them
to be my own silence:
and this is difficult. The whole
world is secretly on fire. The stones
burn, even the stones they burn me.
How can a (human) be still or
listen to all things burning?
How can he (or she) dare to sit with them
when all their silence is on fire?”

-Thomas Merton, from The Strange Islands: Poems by Thomas Merton

**The icon above is by Father William Hart McNichols at St. Andrei Rublev IconsHagia Hesychia or Holy Silence)

Next week I will be writing an icon of Holy Silence at the Franciscan Center. For anyone who knows me, Holy Silence will be a stretch.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Just playing around in preparation for a pet collage. It's amazing how seeing sketches on screen points up the mistakes.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

step away from the blog!

I haven't posted in a while- we've traveled to Colorado and I've hung shows, this must be a time to lie fallow for a bit. Time to get back into the studio!

In the meantime, our gallery at 219 West Main in Lowell is having a birthday!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


This is a barter. Can you guess the person's initial?

Monday, September 14, 2009

old paper

While looking through a flat files of prehistoric work from my long forgotten past- 26 years ago- I found these handmade paper pieces. I still think they're interesting. The texture fascination is something that continues in my current work.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Lost for words:TIMELINE 9/11

The center of this piece is a newspaper photo of the columns used to build the twin towers from a newspaper in the 1960's. The composition grew from there. I'm remembering those who lost their lives and those who lost loved ones and also those students I was teaching that clear blue Tuesday on 2001 who shared that experience with me.