Thursday, April 30, 2009


Here we are being silly at the edge of the river in Iowa City after we got married. Coralville, actually. We had our wedding dinner at the restaurant that was in the old power and light company. We've 'negotiated the rapids' pretty well for 31 years with God's help. We wish the same for Lizz and Colin tomorrow!

July 1983

Here we are with Lizz - her impending nuptials tomorrow are making us wax nostalgic! She was - and is- such a cute kid!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

wedding thoughts- 1978

My daughter Lizz and her fiancee Colin are tying the knot on Friday May 1 in Denver. We won't be there, but that is a bit of a tradition in our family. Fred and I eloped, July 27, 1978. Here's a few wedding pictures! I can only hope they will be as happy together as we have been. God bless them!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


My husband said that if plants and buds made a sound as they were coming out we'd all be going deaf! Things are just jumping out of the ground! And the greens are astonishing.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Auction for Kabala Christan School

These are two of my pieces that are part of the art auction at Church of the Servant CRC to benefit the new Christian School in Kabala, Sierra Leone. I have a few more pieces in the auction and Steve Huyser-Honig and Jim VanderMolen will also have some of their photos. The driving force for the the whole thing is Jan Carpenter who is a wonderful painter and paints expressly for this purpose! Remarkable! She had a show like this a couple years ago and really helped with the initial building of the school.

It will happen on Saturday, May 2, at 9:30-noon. You're invited! Should be fun and we hope to raise enough money to add an addition to the school for two more grades.

Friday, April 24, 2009


I'm making some banners for a new Basic English worship service at our church. It's a way of welcoming the people who are struggling to learn English with something familiar. I've done some in the past, but we didn't have these two. The top is Nepali and the bottom is Burmese. I'm absolutely astonished by the shapes and designs! The next step is to show them to a native speaker and see if I copied them correctly. I caught a mistake as I was putting marker over the pencil lines. I skipped a whole section! After much erasing and re-examination, I think I did it!

The quote is Isaiah 9:1: " The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light." We've used the banners in our Advent worship as a way of tying ourselves to the church universal. We also have a set of languages with the furit of the Spirit.


For all my artist friends that may not have heard the news, Grand Rapids is site for the ArtPrize scheduled for the fall. See this link for news!

I just perused the ArtPrize site and blog. It sounds like a real boondoggle. Each artist has to pay $50 and may submit only one piece!! And then they have to negotiate with a venue to show their work. Why not make the fee smaller and give a bit of a smaller prize? First prize is $250,000! And the prizes will be voted on by the public. What if the winner is a picture of various dogs playing poker (painted on black velvet)? Each venue that hosts the art must pay $100. If the artist isn't satisfied with the venue they can take their work and leave the competition...that's it, not recourse. They are also in charge of their own installation. There's an information meeting on Monday. That should be a piece of performance art in itself.


The fascinating thing about painting two icons that start from the same drawing and utilize the same colors and techniques is how they can turn out different! These are the same but have different expressions. Time to turn my brushes toward other things!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I've used up the rest of my icon panels, so these are the last for a while. I also did two icons of Jesus that I will post tomorrow. These are variations on the St Francis icon I did in the fall. Some tiny tweaks and I'll be able to varnish them and move on to some other kinds of art. I love painting icons, but the process is so labor intensive, slow and proscribed that I'll be happy to get into some things that are more spontaneous. I'm getting pretty dangerous with the ruling pens! I used the ruling pen for the halos and for the straight edges on the top piece. The edges on the bottom one were done by hand with a rigger brush.

update: after varnishing the St. Francis icons, it occurred to me that the robes looked a bit like the coat of a Shar-pei! So I redid the robes (top two photos- reflections off the varnish prevent a good photo) and now will have to re varnish. I think they are better.

Monday, April 20, 2009


This piece is hanging in a local gluten-free bakery. Coco Charlotte is at 2481 32nd St SE. It's a tiny place with wonderful products. I have 3 paintings there and I'll change them to a more summery theme in June.

This was a glorious early spring morning with the trees just budding. That is what's happening outside now. One good rain and everything is starting to flourish. The forsythia are covering the city with areas of bright yellow! It reminds me of the poem:

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

-Robert Frost

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Finished signs

The Tosebo signs are done and just need to be sprayed.

Blogging while paint dries

I'm working on icons and on signage for Camp Tosebo. (If you've never looked at their site, check it out! It makes me daydream about good times up there. Come on summer!!)

Both processes involve waiting for one layer to dry before moving on to the next. I'm about on the tenth layer of skin color on the icons. I just sanded the boards for the signage after Fred cut them and I'm putting the 3rd layer of base coat on. There's something contemplative about sign painting, very similar to icon painting. I'm also using the tracing process we use to transfer images when painting icons. First the drawing and then tracing paper. So much mundane preparation time is good for meditation. Almost ready for the fun part!

Friday, April 17, 2009


It's an oldie, but it's springy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

lame video from the gallery

This is video taken by my digital camera of my space at Fire and Water Art. It's mercifully short!! I'm posting a couple more of the space and of our fearless leader on the Fire and Water blog. It's a baby step. When I see how people edit videos and add music online I realize I'm on the outside of that technology!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Christ is risen indeed! Halleluah!

Easter banner created for Park Church in Grand Rapids for Easter 2008. To see closeups and more about the process, click here.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jesus the LORD

On this Holy Saturday I'm posting an icon of Christ I wrote a few months ago.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

A quilted piece that reflects on the sacrifice of Christ.

my sister

Here's a better picture of Maria and a picture of my sister taking a picture of us. Silly fun!


This is Maria, the 9 year old who explained to me how to do this- another GREAT niece. Go to her blog here. She has videos on stacking and dog training.


Things I've learned from children!! This is Josie, my GREAT niece. She's 7- she and her sister have blogs and uploaded videos. I asked them about it and they told me how- it turns out my camera can take video! Who knew!

See Josie's blog here.

Obviously turning the camera sideways is not a technique useful in this circumstance for framing.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


This series is a little further along and now the images need to 'marinate' a while. They may be done, but I have to live with them a bit to see if there are some finishing touches.
Maybe you could leave a comment aqnd let me know what you think.
These are 10"x10" gallery wrap canvases. I went and bought 10 more. I really was trying to do paintings with just one color family and have a limited palette, but all
these other colors started jumping
on. It must be the result of the
long winter!



Saturday, April 04, 2009

You are chosen!

I found this on the Image and Spirit Blog this morning with an amazing image:

"To be born is to be chosen. No one is here by accident. Each one of us was sent here for a special destiny...

This selectivity intimates a sheltering providence that dreamed you, created you, and always minds you."

Words by John O'Donohue in "Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom."


Two more beginnings on 10" square canvas.
I'm going into the studio this morning so we'll see where they go.

Friday, April 03, 2009


These are some 6"x6"under paintings awaiting completion.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

COLOR PLAY- first layers

These are under paintings. I started a batch and will post more tomorrow. I think these two have good 'bones' to hang more layers of paint onto. I'm thinking non-objectively and just playing with color with no preconceived design. Along with brushes and poured paint, I'm using a squeegee which is something Virginia Cobb used in a video (there's a preview showing her using this technique at this link). I watched repeatedly while I was icing my foot (thanks to a loan from my friend, Kathleen Mooney). It's so nice to be doing something new and using paint again! It's not convenient to be in the studio on my scooter, but it's great to be there!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April first

I've seen some clever April first gags on line today. I'm just happy not to be teaching and dealing with the silliness in a school setting, and I'm not foolin'! So nothing clever, just thankful.