Tuesday, May 24

Creative Tuesdays: Angel of Stars

I really pushed myself with this one, trying out new things. After creating the initial drawing, I painted the entire piece in black then digitally erased out portions to create the white areas, trying to assimilate that wood-cut process and feel. Working on the texture was actually the most enjoyable part of the process.

Knowing that angels have been illustrated a dime a dozen, I thought of the beautiful Ethiopians my cousin loves working with and felt that would help add a slightly different touch to the versions we're so used to seeing here, especially as I still really wanted to depict some of those classical angel wings!

Anyway, another fun piece. So, how about you? What kind of STARS did you see? Time to check them out...

Saturday, May 14

I need a rainy day in an endless summer, a pocket full of stars...


Linda recently asked me this great question: "Do you have an empathy with the sky and clouds, as they appear quite frequently in your pieces on [Creative Tuesdays]?" Yes, I do indeed have an affinity with clouds, the sky...and stars! Living in big-sky Colorado, we enjoy the most incredible cloud formations, sunsets/sunrises, night skies, etc. As I wrote in my portfolio's bio, they really are signs of hope and the miraculous to me: 

"And, whenever needing that extra lift, I can simply look up... to those magnificent clouds forming off the Rockies, reminding me that I'm playing a tiny yet crucial part in this curious and gloriously complex designed world of dotty wonder."

When at my loneliest and, consequentially, lowest point years ago, I would often gaze at the expanse, the glorious changes above me, tossing up endless prayers and sorrows. While my faith was severely shaken, there was no way to deny the vastness of life and creation, and in that was a small reminder that so much is a matter of perspective. I am only part of the equation. There is hope out there, even when we don't feel or see it!

As it was, this post's headline (part of a song, actually) was my heart's longing. While the promises held onto never materialized as longed for, I still had family responsibilities! I had to press on, as hard as it was, often not sure if I even could. And, here I am, 7 years later, in a life never imagined yet wondrous all the same. I have an amazing, loving wife; beautiful, incredible children; an ongoing continued career, and a legacy to build. 

New people of different stripes come into our life and with these, we have opportunities to love anew, grow, etc. And, of course, I have a best friend who not only enjoys the exact same things as I but who's also creative. Wow. Talk about "stars!" That's how I sometimes feel in this crazy adventure called life. It's sobering. Life's taught me humility; that not only is it OK not having all the answers, it's actually quite liberating, mysterious and magical. When you've faced your greatest fears, you are not only broken then redefined, changed, emboldened and strengthened, you come to more fully appreciate with perspective, that one closed door offers another opening. 

So, I'm hoping for and expecting my own pocket full of stars. How about you?


Tuesday, May 10

Creative Tuesdays: Striped Socks!

View enlarged | (detailed slice below)

A (clothes)line of communication was opened up between them. All it took was a fallen sock, that quick glance, and the promise of love was in the air!

You know how hard I can be on myself with my art — always wishing to have improved something here or there? Well, not this piece! Actually, lo and behold, I'm really thrilled with this one. After sketching it out then painting in the hues, my heart was alight with the story just waiting to unfold.

I don't know about you, but I find young love rather boring, even predictable for the most part, but show me a love kindled in the latter years... and I'm hooked! Perhaps, that's why two of my favourite movies of all time are 84 Charring Cross Road and how 'surprised by joy' C.S Lewis was when his and Joy Davidman's paths crossed. A meeting of the minds led to a challenge then deepening of faith, a startling discovery of true love found in full measure only to be known in the Shadowlands of life. 

So, onto your entries now. Reading your comments and finding out how many of you really liked the idea of this theme was lovely too. So, let's see who got around to actually interpreting it! :) Can't wait to discover what each of you have conjured up and written along the way. Thank you for your contributions.

P.S. Oh, yes, one more thing. Remember how I mentioned that competition Alex and I were entering? Well, guess what? While mine was not chosen, Alex's was and made it to the next round of the top 15. I'm so proud of her! :) Please wish her luck as she paints in her "missing piece" artwork and gets to have her piece critiqued live online in front of the others and the NY kidlit agent! Maybe she'll even get picked to be represented? Now, wouldn't that be exciting? Perhaps one day then I can retire, paint from home while she creates her award winning pieces? Ooh... I have NO problem with that whatsoever. :D