He is making perfect sense out of a perfectly senseless, messed up life!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Premise for My Artwork - Faith Based? 2010

"Most of my artwork is inspired by our Creator's Complexity in that He created each one of us so unfathomable that one has to look many times over to see every aspect of each and every one of us! I appreciate that uniqueness and value those who dare to be who God created them to be! I hope you enjoy my art and appreciate that I also include a bit of whimsy as me being who I was created to be! I don't expect you to love it all but I hope you find something that you can appreciate." - this is from the
"About" on my page on Facebook.

I had someone compliment me, saying that they loved my faith-based artwork. What is faith-based artwork? I had to think about it and I actually consider all of mine to be faith-based. The reason for this is that  I don't make a piece of artwork that He isn't consulted with during every step of the process. He is my constant companion in life so why would I not include Him in this gift He has given me? I believe I am truly blessed by this. So, I don't know what you'd call it if not faith-based? What do you think?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

He's "Better Than Drugs" - 2010

I’m getting rather ‘sappy’ on you this morning!  I remembered that I had asked you to comment on my last blog writing on God’s direction in encaustic painting so this morning I decided to check.  I thank you so much for commenting. Right when I read it, “God With Us” as sung by Mercy Me came on in my Playlist of Worship music. The combination of the song and the comments had me literally in tears!   I am so thankful to God for this new life.  I have no way of explaining so that you all would truly know the living hell I was in for 18 years of my life before rededicating my life to the Lord in 1988.

When we moved to Florida in 2005, we were only here for 5 days when we were in church. We weren’t even close to being unpacked yet.   In 1979-80 I lived as a drunken, doped up beach bum out on Anna Maria Island and this move was going to be entirely different. I ran, fast and furious from that prior life.  I was going to have nothing to do with it.  I believe that is what needs to happen for us to truly have a changed life. God has to be something that we run towards with ALL of our intensity -- ALL your passion -- ALL that is within you! 

God has brought me out of some days even just sitting in my house in a drunken stupor, crying in the dark by the hour to having periods of such sheer joy that there are hardly words to express how I feel! God made us.  God, our creator, knows exactly what we need and He is just there, waiting to give it to us -- waiting for us to ask --- waiting for us to seek after Him.  And, in turn, our lives are far from perfect, but they are so much better because we do not go through them alone. He knows what we need in the midst of anything in life. I once shared that I could be sitting in a pile of dung, praising Him because He makes life worth living! He brings joy in the midst of something most would think of as sorrow! (Isaiah 61:1-3 – this is speaking of Jesus –

1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
Because the LORD has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”)
We, as artists are so blessed.  (I shared this with friends the other day and nearly felt like I could jump up and preach.)  Nearly every day, I turn up my Playlist of worship music and get to work on my writing and/or artwork.  The inspiration from the strongly felt presence of the Holy Spirit is far beyond any drug-induced stupor! 
Better Than Drugs
by Skillet
Feel your every heartbeat 
Feel you on these empty nights 
Calm the ache, stop the shakes 
You clear my mind 
You’re my escape 
From this messed up place 
‘Cause you let me forget 
You numb my pain 

How can I tell you just all that you are 
What you do to me 

You’re better than drugs 
your love is like wine 
Feel you comin’ on so fast 
Feel you comin’ to get me high 
You’re better than drugs 
Addicted for life 
Feel you comin’ on so fast 
Feel you comin’ on to get me high 

Feel you when I’m restless 
Feel you when I cannot cope 
You’re my addiction, my prescription, my antidote 
You kill the poison 
Ease the suffering 
Calm the rage when I’m afraid 
To feel again 
How can I tell you just all that you are 
What you do to me 

Feel your every heartbeat 
Feel you on these empty nights 
You’re the strength of my life 

Feel your every heartbeat 
Feel you on these empty nights 
Feel your every heartbeat 
Feel you come to get me high 

music by john l cooper lyrics by john l cooper and brian howes

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How I Found Encaustic Wax Painting - 2010 +update

I am so very intrigued by the whole encaustic wax painting process at this point. This morning it came to mind to share how this all started. When something is laid upon my mind, and I can’t shake the thought, I parallel it to when I get a song going through my head and I have to find the song and listen to it, to get it to stop. I know this happens to many people as we have shared. It seems to be the same with my writing and other things that God is directing me to do. This thought will go through my head over and over again until I act upon it. I don’t know, maybe the thought would eventually go away if I didn’t listen, but my discernment is strong and grows stronger the more I pay attention. It becomes easier and easier to know what direction God wants me to go, the more I look for it.

Another way that God gives me direction is in the following true story:

It was a Thursday and I was off running errands. Among them was a stop at an art supply store. As I browsed I came upon an interesting free brochure on Encaustic Wax Painting. I’d seen the word “encaustic” once before but had no clue what it was so I picked up the brochure and brought it home with me. When I got home, I unloaded the car and headed to my computer to e-mail my husband that I was home. Not even 5 minutes after I sat down, I received an e-mail from one of my many art-related sites that I frequent with the subject on encaustic wax painting. It had video links attached.  My mouth fell open and I’ve watched this video 6-7 times since.

To explain: I’ve redone the inside of 2 houses. On the last house I spent hour upon hour faux painting, seemingly in the heavenlies I was so at peace. Decorating and needle work were my artistic outlet as an adult.  The mannerisms in this video were reminiscent of my own when faux painting so that it impassioned me to know more.

Then, that night I went to a class at my church and the husband of a new couple there had just taken a class in encaustic wax painting. I was bowled over. Here I didn’t even know previously to this day what encaustic was. And, here it was being pointed out to me three times in one day. I knew this had to be God! In Ohio AA meetings there is a saying “coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous” which I wholeheartedly believe.

I prayed that if this was a medium which I was supposed to pursue that God would make the way to this available to me. I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed about this. “Lord, you know I’m basically broke, so You will need to provide the means for me to get the materials inexpensively.” Already the materials have turned into a pile on the side of my work table for little or nothing spent. I didn’t think I had room for this in this house, but I have also found a way to clear off my work tables with extremely inexpensive purchases of storage cabinets. God is opening all the doors and making a way into this work with this art medium for me.

Since this day, which was only approximately a month ago, I’ve started using the clear encaustic wax medium in my collage work, and it is so very enjoyable to me.

God never ceases to motivate me when I’m on His path!

Just copying this to a folder to possibly edit to be included in my next book and I thought I might share my latest Encaustic art piece:  

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Imperfection - 2010

I was in a class some time ago that was learning about finding out how to see yourself in God's eyes. I heard this song, and that was it. That is how I used to feel exactly before rededicating my life to the Lord! I was drowning in my "imperfection" and I shared this song in class.  I was listening to Skillet today, heard this song again and thought that maybe someone would identify with this song?

from the album Collide by Skillet

You're worth so much
It'll never be enough

to see what you have to give
How beautiful you are
Yet seem so far from everything you're wanting to be

You're wanting to be
Tears falling down again
Tears falling down

You fall to your knees
You beg, you plead
Can i be somebody else for all the times i hate myself?
Your failures devour your heart in every hour
You're drowning in your imperfection

You mean so much
That heaven would touch the face of humankind for you
How special you are
Revel in your day
You're fearfully and wonderfully made

Tears fall down again
Come let the healing begin

You fall to your knees
You beg, you plead
Can i be somebody else for all the times i hate myself?
Your failures devour your heart in every hour
You're drowning in your imperfection

You're worth so much
So easily crushed
Wanna be like everyone else
No one escapes
Every breathe we take dealing with our own skeletons

You fall to your knees
You beg, you plead
Can i be somebody else for all the times i hate myself?
Your failures devour your heart in every hour
You're drowning in your imperfection

Won't you believe it? Won't you believe it?
All the things I see in you
You're not the only one, you're not the only one drowning in imperfection.

Music and Lyrics by John L. Cooper

But you are fearfully and wonderfully made. *Psalm 139:14 "I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well." Why would you need to be anybody else?

It came to mind to add a little explanation about perfection. When I was much younger and I did different mass produced needlework kits, I’d make a mistake now and then and most wouldn’t make any difference at all to the outcome of the finished kit. I learned that, this is what made the piece “mine”. No one else could have that same missing stitch (well, a gross impossibility). This is the way I learned to not be a perfectionist about my art/crafts! It was mine! No one else could make it like I could. That makes it OOAK (One of a Kind), and perfect in God’s eyes!