Friday, February 27, 2009

Giving up for Lent

STITCHED INTO LENT, V. Wieringa, Fabric, 2007

My minister published this on his Facebook page and I found it very moving.

I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

This prayer of abandonment by Charles de Foucauld echoes what my husband said when we were talking about the Lenten ritual of abstaining from something or denying yourself a particular thing. He said "For Lent I'm just giving up." I waited and then laughed when I realized that was the end of the sentence. Yes, there's an admirable Lenten discipline- I'm just giving up!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mary Andersen

My friend Mary Andersen is with me and we're doing some computer exploration together. Check out her site: Mary Andersen Art or visit her blog and leave her a comment!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mardi Gras

Yesterday, we had a fun but cold Mardi Gras experience in Douglas, Michigan. We were delighted to stay overnight at the Sherwood Forest B&B. We had the winning bid at an auction fundraiser for the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance and really enjoyed our stay. We walked by Lake Michigan and it wasn't too cold. Beautiful, if you can appreciate a monochromatic landscape, which we do!

Monday, February 23, 2009


This painting is pre 2004, I don't think I blogged it before. I always liked the strong contrast and shadows on it. I haven't painted flowers for a while but the promise of spring is enough to make a person want to use bright colors of paint!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

St Francis image from 1970 and link

This is a block print I did of St. Francis back in the 70's during my time at Calvin College. I found this during a recent dig into an old folder. I almost didn't remember it. I guess I was intrigued by his story even back then. My recent St Francis icon is featured in a post on the Image and Spirit blog.

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's great to have a webmaster!

My webmaster, Arend VanderPols, came over yesterday and we're working on tweaking my website. He also showed me how to put a live link on my blog (I think I have an older version and it doesn't happen automatically). So if you'd like to be on my art news list, click here to go to my website and subscribe! (If you were on the list before, you still can also unsubscribe there.)

Arend also put on another hat and took my picture for a spot on the Biggby Coffee B-Happy Lounge where I'll be the featured artist in March.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stream of Life

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

This is a very cool dance video, the song title is Praan and very googleable. These are the lyrics:

Stream of Life
by Rabindranath Tagore

The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day
runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth
in numberless blades of grass
and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.

It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth
and of death, in ebb and in flow.

I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life.
And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.

This really speaks to my heart and makes me want to DANCE (and travel).


I researched and created this icon from many sources and through much painting and repainting, I developed a design that (to me) seems to reflect the Franciscan spirit. 'Writing' it was a real blessing.

Monday, February 16, 2009

HOLY FAMILY - take two.

The first (top photo) version of the Holy Family didn't feel very restful to me. There were lots of little details that were bugging me, so after hours of 'futzing' with all sorts of bits and pieces, this feels more complete and as good as I can do at this point (bottom photo). I thought it would be interesting to show something not totally successful and show how it was improved. My favorite part is the three hands together. It's what drew me to this piece.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


This icon also uses a pattern originating with Daniel Nichols.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


This piece was 'written' as a gift for the new Grand Rapids Catholic church of St Joseph the Worker. Daniel Nichols of Eighth day icons was kind enough to let me use the pattern he created. Icons traditionally begin with a traced image. Some iconographers create their own patterns. Even though it begins with the same pattern, each icon gets its own look.

Whatever the source, writing icons is a process of connecting to the mysteries of faith. Peter Pearson in his book A Brush with God wrote "whether we are aware of it or not, we dance with God." Contemplating the life of St. Joseph was a wonderful thing to do in the process of meditating during this process. What a complicated dance his life must have been!

I bought a ruling pen and have been experimenting with making straight, clean lines. This is the first time I've achieved success with that!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

HIGGAION TWO in Celebration

This piece was accepted into the First United Methodist Celebration show.

In the Psalms, Higgaion is a word that means murmuring of the harp, or instrumental interlude, or meditation. That is what abstract and non-objective compositions are to me ~ a place to rest visually while sorting out the day.

Monday, February 09, 2009


This piece was accepted in the Lowell Regional Arts Competition for 2009.

My friend Mary E. Andersen got Third Place!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

...if the creek don't rise!

I heard from a friend who is in the middle of a long medical journey. It made me once again think of how fragile we all are. I laughed when she wrote: "It's hard for us to make any long range plans because the schedule is uncertain". If any of us had any sense of how small we are, we'd all have that feeling about making plans! It seems a little dramatic to add 'Lord willing' to everything, but what could be truer? Today it's 50 degrees in GR and the snow is melting (Yay!) so the phrase today would be "if the Good Lord's willing and the creek don't rise!"

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


An update on my surgery, I now have crutches and can put some weight on my foot, but I still have to wear my storm trooper/cyborg boot for at least 3 more weeks. Once I can comfortably wear a tennis shoe, I can have the surgery on the other foot!

I'm continuing to do research for some icons of St. Joseph the worker (husband of Mary, earthly father of Jesus). The ones I like the best I found on a site called Eighth Day Icons by an Ohio iconographer, Daniel Nichols. His work is beyond my current level of skill, but very inspiring.