Friday, February 29, 2008

Budding Artists - Grandson Day

When I was at the Contemporary Art Museum last weekend, I bought a Buddha Board at the gift shop to use at home, for the grandsons, for myself, for some reflection stations I'll be doing for Youth Ministry and more.
The flyer says; "the Buddha Board is based on the Zen concept of living in the moment. You simply paint on the surface with water and your creation will come to life in bold design. Then as the water slowly evaporates, your art will magically disappear leaving you with a clean slate and a clear mind - ready to create a whole new masterpiece."

Okay, so, now that I am living in the moment here with the grandsons, I have that GrassRoots song... "Sha-la-la-la-la-la live for todaaaay" in my head...*L*

The grandsons LOVE this... and they are turning into budding artists! Who knows, maybe one of them is the next Picasso, eh?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Portrait of the Self: Lent 2008 Self-Examination

Here is my entry that has been submitted to ECVA for the Call to Artists for Portrait of the Self. My daughter took some "professional" photos of it for me, and it makes it look GREAT! (thanks Kasey!).
My artist statement tells more about this piece: The invitation we received at the begining of Lent,(inviting us to observe a holy lent, with self examination) as found in the Book of Common Prayer pg. 265, helped form my entry for Portrait of the Self: Lent 2008 Self-Examination.

In the lower right, things that keep me separated & distant from God; in the glass vial are scrolls; greed, pride, lusts; dry bones, darkness, frowning masks and other "evils". They are put behind the "ME" thanks to Christ's sacrifice, which even evil recognizes, as shown by the crucifix held by the agent of death around the vial. The lower left side is a foundation of the spiritual dwelling, as living stones, I am being built into myself. (1Peter 2:5)

The ME represented in this piece has a collection of masks over one eye - I too mask some things, hide them from others, and am not as open as I should be with God. The tear is sorrow at my sins, many still present, yet also represents tears of joy that God loves me despite my failures. The door handle on the outside reminds me that Jesus stands at the door and knocks, waiting on me to open to Him.

The hands of ME represent willingness to give to others, and share Christ's love from my heart, and I cling to the cross, to the sacrifice of the One who is the Lover of my soul. Inside the lower part of ME is a small child, sucking her thumb - my inner child, trusting, yet afraid at times, to take the needed steps of faith.

The decorative finial at the top, represents the glory of heaven, a place too awesome to fully describe or represent. I know that I am still searching the ME that God made, I also know God knows ME fully, and I look forward to the time when I will know God fully too, for now I know in part, but then I will know face to face. (1 Corinthians 13:12)


Click on this link at Episcopal Church and Visual Arts "Portrait of Self" Exhibit to see this piece included and many other great art pieces in the exhibition there too!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Pictures from the Artist Weekend in Chicago

It was a fun weekend at Kasey's house where my sis in law, Lisa, and niece, Melissa and me and Kasey enjoyed art museums, art stores, artsy picture taking and lots more! Parking downtown underground (where Kasey took this photo of me) was a bit pricey, but better than taking the train and taxi.

Here are some pictures from the weekend.... The pictures tell the story themselves in most cases...Michigan Ave. window shopping could be dangerous we found out!

At the Chicago Art Museum we saw lots of statues, and paintings.... There was one statue that seemed vaguely familiar to me?? heh heh

Melissa, Kasey & Lisa on the steps at the Contemporary Art Museum.

Here's a shadow/reflection-in-a-puddle picture of Kasey outside the Contemporary Art Museum.

Thanks Kasey for letting us stay at your place, it was LOTS of fun!!! And thanks especially for taking the pictures of my Portrait of the Self and School Daze assemblages...they turned out GREAT! (I'll be posting the Portrait of the Self picture here soon).

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Weekend at the daughters place...

This has been a fun weekend so far... spending it at my daughter's with my sis in law and one of her daughters... so far we've gone out to eat, watched movies, shopped, Kasey took pics of some of my assemblages, and we've visited the Chicago Art Museum, walked Michigan Ave. looking at shops & watching out for falling ice from above, ate some more...went to a movie.. "Juno", which hit close to home..*wiping tears*, and now we're having snacks (yes, eating again) and watching more movies back at Kasey's place. We WERE going to come home tonite.. but there is a Contemporary Art Museum that we missed and are going to visit tomorrow, so we stayed an extra night.

Heading out to enjoy more of the night....
More to report when I get home

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Portrait of the Self preview pics....

I'm done!! I have finished my entry for ECVA's Call to Artists for Portrait of the Self. I am having my daughter take some "professional" photos of it this weekend when I go down for a visit, so I can email the pics to ECVA for my entry. But until then... here are some partial pics of the finished piece... I'll post some of the whole thing after I return home.

This has been a fun self examination of myself for this piece... that IS what Lent is suppose to be about... and that's kinda cool... I like this kind of Lenten discipline.. *S*
The whole assemblage piece stands almost 4 feet tall... it's one of the biggest ones, except for my torsos, that I've done so far.

More to come....

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lent must be all about SOUP.....

Did you know that if you google "LENT IS ABOUT SOUP", there are 901,000 sites you could visit that have something to do with that??

I betcha that if you were able to go to ANY church during Lent, you'd find they had soup to eat for many of their Lenten meals. There are Wednesday Soup Lunches & Devotions; Lenten Evening Soup Supper/Video Series; Soup/Stations Fridays; Soup & Salad Fund Raisers; Meatless Soup Recipes for Lent; My Big Fat Greek Lentil Soup; Soup and Sustenance; Soup Kitchens for the Hungry & Homeless; and more! I even read where the Greeks eat a soup made from lambs' innards, magritsa, on Easter Sunday...ewwwwwwwwww!!

It seems our Lenten Journey would be stiffled if not for SOUP! Must make Campbells Soup stock holders happy, eh? *L*

Heck, there is so much soup consumed during Lent I imagine the Three Bears would have not only been complaining about their porridge, "It's too hot! It's too cold! It's just right!", but also complaining, "What?? Soup/Porridge AGAIN??"

Remember this from your childhood?
Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold
Pease porridge in a pot, nine days old.
Some like it hot, some like it cold.
Some like it in the pot, nine days old.

Most people are familiar with the age-old nursery rhyme, and many have wondered, “Just what exactly is pease porridge?” For that matter, who would like the stuff after nine days in the pot? Not to mention perhaps having to eat it for 40 days during Lent! *L*

Pease porridge, was a form of split pea soup. In Britain and elsewhere, dried pease, or peas, were added along with seasonings to water and hung to simmer in a kettle over a fire. Vegetables were added as available, and sometimes the pease porridge was flavored with bacon or salt pork. At the end of the day, the pease porridge cooled and thickened, remaining in the pot to congeal. Eaten cold and thick the next morning, water and additional vegetables might be added, to thin out and extend the porridge for that day’s meals, and so on for the next day and the next and the next. It’s conceivable that the pease porridge in the pot would indeed be a few days old or more by the time it was finished off, or finally given up on and fed to the pigs, or thrown out when Lent ended.. *L*

I wonder if they got "free days" on Sundays in Lent and didn't hafta eat pease porridge then?? Things that go thru my mind...ha ha! that I have self-examined soup this afternoon, while cooking soup for our Wed. Evening Lenten Series tonite at Church, I guess I should really focus on my own self examination and see why it is I do the things I do, or leave undone things I should get done, or I should go and reconcile myself to my "neighbor", and all those things I know would benefit not only myself, but those around me... Lord, in Your Mercy, hear my prayer.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Call To Artists from ECVA - Portraits of the Self

The Episcopal Church and Visual Arts (ECVA) has a call to artists for PORTRAITS OF THE SELF.

The self-portrait is a deeply traditional art subject. Artists have created images of themselves since ancient times, resulting in an art form that spans all eras and encompasses all types of media. Self-portraiture not only gives the artist a ready subject, but also one with which the artist may be less objective. The resulting self-portraits often reveal the passion, courage, and energy of the artist's soul.

How do you see yourself? How do you present yourself to others? Does your image reveal your personality, character, and values, or do these attributes hide behind an invisible veil that reflects mystery?

We invite you to use your art for self-exploration and to share an image of what you discover about your own unique physical, emotional, and spiritual persona.

Exhibition Dates: April 4 through September 30, 2008
Submissions deadline: March 21, 2008
Curator: David C. Hancock

Portraits of the Self is a "members-only" exhibit. Artists wishing to submit art for this exhibit must first be registered at The Artists Registry.

If you are not already a member, we invite you to become part of this rich and diverse artists community at ECVA. All artists are encouraged to participate.

1. Submissions are now being accepted for Portraits of the Self, an online exhibition which will be displayed at from April 4, 2008 through September 30, 2008. The submissions deadline is March 21, 2008.

2. All digitized reproductions of art media (2-D or 3-D) will be considered.

3. Artists may submit up to three (3) entries.

4. Images should be in a .jpg or .gif format with a minimum of 600 pixels for the longest dimension at 72ppi. We need high-resolution images in order to show your work properly. Questions? Contact

5. Each entry must include title, medium, date created, and size (if applicable). The ECVA Entry form can simplify this process.

6. Please include a statement about what influenced you while creating the images submitted.

7. Please include your name, desired email contact information (optional), local ECVA Chapter (if applicable), church/faith community, and concise biographical information. This information will appear on the exhibition Web pages, so please include the information as you want it to appear.

8. By submitting entries for this exhibition, you agree that we may use the images on the ECVA Web site (, in printed and visual promotional material produced by ECVA, on The Worship Well, our partner Web site (, in the ECVA Newsletter, and Episcopal Cafe (

9. The selection of work for the exhibit will be at the discretion of Curator, David C. Hancock.

10. Deadline for submissions is March 21, 2008.

11. To submit art, include the requested information in an e-mail, with attached images. Send to Images may be sent attached to multiple e-mails (please state this in the first e-mail, and use the same subject line for each message; for example: Portraits of the Self, Smith, Image 1 of 3 [2 of 3 or 3 of 3]).

Silent Snow, Secret Snow...

When I was in high school literature class I remember reading a short story that has forever stuck with me, Silent Snow, Secret Snow. I loved that story, and I loved dissecting it in class and writing what I thought about it all. I think, in some strange way, I related to the boy, Paul, as well. Paul often heard the postman walking outside on the sidewalk, except for one morning, when the footsteps were muffled, by the snow which had fallen during the night and silenced the postman's steps. This is a picture of our front steps, and the mailbox on the outside porch.

Today we are in the midst of the biggest snow storm of this winter season, we've already received well over a foot of snow since last night, and it's still coming down...steadily, quietly...."..(the)snow starts coming faster and is getting deeper...."
I went to work for a few hours, and when I came home, I went out and took pictures of the snow, the neighboorhood, the trees...
"The snow has become beautiful, yet paralyzing. He thinks that nothing has ever given him so much pleasure. As he counts the houses on his street..."

In "Silent Snow, Secret Snow," sanity is defined as the ability to function in the everyday world and interact with people. Conversely, insanity is measured by the degree to which one is unfamiliar with everyday occurrences and the inability to communicate with others.

I think I'll go and get this book and re-read it again... and perhaps I'll make an assemblage based on it too....should be an interesting one!

...till then, the snow has shut down the schools today, and a lot of businesses, but our Ash Wednesday services are still on... the one this morning had a few hardy souls who managed to get there... not sure what tonite's will number, especially since the silent snow keeps adding up... and up.. and up....
"The snow is talking to him now, saying that when they are alone, it will tell him a story and pile high against the door to keep every one else out of his room."

(Don't worry, I'm not nuts... I'm just a little crazy! bwwhahaha..*S*)
Now, if I can figure out how to grill the steaks tonite when the grill is covered in snow!! *L*

Friday, February 1, 2008

It's Grandson Friday!

Treat time today included messy ice cream drumstick cones... remind me to rethink this next time..*L* The boys loved them, their faces loved them too.. ha!

Sooo, now that it's nap time and not quite lunch time, I think I'll try to get a little work done around here... or, maybe I'll take a nap too? Good idea!

A New Look For Lent??

What's this? New linens for the altar? A new look we're trying out for Lent ?
It does look a bit like sackcloth doesn't it? *L*

The other picture tells more of the story... We're having repairs at church done on the ceiling abve the altar, and so, things are in a bit of disarray around here.
The painters came in with all sorts of scaffolding on Wednesday, and discovered they needed more than they thought to get up high enough... plus a ladder on top of all that! Sure am glad I'm not the one who has to climb all the way up there... hmmm, wonder if they feel closer to God waaaay up there?? *lol*

That did get me to thinking of all the things we sometimes do... the "heights to which we climb", thinking it will get us closer to God somehow. God doesn't tell us we have to do some kind of extraordinary things to get His attention, to get closer to Him, He simply says., "Come to me... "
We also know this is true... “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8

How do we get to know friends better? By spending time with them, by talking and listening with them and to them. Same with God, prayer is communicating with God, talking to Him and listening as well. Spend time reading about God too, in scripture... Hey, what a novel idea, eh?!

So, don't think you have to have tons of scaffolding and planks and ladders, and be on the highest peak to get closer to God, He meets us right where we are...and that's pretty awesome!

Hey, this would be a cool idea for an assemblage.... let's see what God will bring to mind as I explore the dungeon basement here for some of my collected "treasures of loot" for ideas for another assemblage piece.... More to come from this at a later date, I hope....