Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Final Day in Marge's Art Boot Camp

This is my final full day in art boot camp, and I have finished all the projects I have started. Marge suggested I display all I have made in her gallery at home. So, I laid out everything I have made during the past week. And breathed a deep sigh of relief and satisfaction.

Telling my story through the pottery shape.

Marge, the art sarge, has decided to become a videographer for her art friends. I think she'll be famous in this medium someday.  :-) She has worked me to the bone, but I am a better artist, person and teller of my faith story. I am eager to put into practice the things I have learned under her fine care. Thanks so much, Marge and Nelson!  Here is Marge's blog to follow all her magnificent art:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Using Art to Tell Your Story

I am dog tired today; I have made art from breakfast till dinner. How can an artist get so physically tired? I haven't run or done the treadmill, but I am really wiped out! After dinner, I'll continue with making the pages of my story to share with others in a variety of countries. We are all excited at all that is happening here at Marge's "home front."

I'll try to post the full book tomorrow - my last day here in art world. Today, I am sharing page one of the book here. Marge has transitioned over into videography. She has made videos of Pat telling her story as she was making her story rope. Good stuff for sharing soon.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Making Art Books/Telling My Story

Just so you know I have not forgotten the Moroccan arches, I am posting a picture of the concept I have currently perking on the back burner. I am hoping to make an art book using the arch as the shape on each page. I have had to set it aside for now. 

Today we visited a very special couple who listened carefully and lovingly as I shared my story. They are so grounded in God's love. They have been in several cross-cultural places using art to share relationship and stories. It was a special afternoon with them. I could say so much more, and I hope to share in person with many of you.

Their transparency was restorative and healing as we shared, prayed and sipped our tea.

Once we returned, Marge carefully showed me how to make a fine accordion book to use to tell my story. I practiced cutting, gluing the book together. Then she showed me how to apply gesso to both sides of the book. I am now preparing my second book all on my own while Marge takes a little break on the couch. She MORE than deserves it! She is one amazing woman. 

Nelson and Marge capped the evening off by taking us to a nice spaghetti dinner at their favorite Italian restaurant. If anyone wants generosity stories, I've got them! Just let me tell you about Marge and Nelson. We have totally re-arranged their beautiful studio space, have books and prayer journals lying all over the place along with old cups and napkins by spent cups of coffee. The artists rest  and create in this loving generosity.

I am also posting the second set of tags I have made for the wordless book. The photo may be a little dark because it is already 10:30 PM, but I hope some of you enjoy them.

If you'd like to see and hear Marge's perspective on this creative week, follow her here:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Story Ropes

Marge sharing her story with story ropes.
Today was a turning of the corner in my understanding of using art and faith. Story ropes. I'll have to share them when I return to the great Northwest and beyond. Marge shared her story first, using her story rope. She came up with the idea for the story rope when preparing to share art and faith in Rwanda.  Marge and Pat (another wonderful artist and mentor) listened carefully as I shared my story with them using my story rope. It is amazing to see one's life, so far, in the "story rope" art form. I am totally sold on it!

I am blessed to have made something that may be helpful in a variety of situations and can easily be replicated. There have been many, many ah-ha moments during this art retreat/workshop with wonderful Marge the art sarge, and today was no exception. She continues to be so kind in sharing what has been helpful for women in her cross-cultural experiences, as well as in sharing her story. 

My Story Rope.
We've now begun prioritizing which projects I should learn in the few remaining days I have here. I think we are going to relax this evening a little by watching Pat's famous flamenco movie, but the process will continue first thing tomorrow. Thanks for joining the journey!

If you want to meet Marge, see her blog and find her art at:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Getting To The Essence

Today was an absolutely lovely day. I have been so blessed to be able to spend time with Marge and Nelson, Pat and now, Martha! What a day of listening to Marge the wonderful art sarge, and trying to bust out of my tightness in my art. Marge is trying to get me to the wonderful place of creating the essence of something. The wheels are turning, on the right side of my brain, ever so slowly.

One assignment today was to take a photo and try to replicate it into shapes using painted paper. This is a process. For me, it might take a bit of time. I began with the lighthouse image, then Marge suggested I try something simpler. So, I moved to the suitcase shape. That is simpler and quite useful for this next series.

I viewed a few videos with Paul Hobbs sharing his art and faith. So much perking here art wise! The creative, fun fire hose continues to blast on the east coast at Marge's house!

I was working, on the sly, when my mentor wasn't looking, on a book of Moroccan type arches to use in a book in the future. I'll try to post a little picture, but then, Marge just might find me out:-)

For the real scoop see:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wordless Book Tags

One cool way to share faith in Jesus is to use the Wordless Book. It is a book with just colors: gold, black, red, white and green. Gold represents heaven, black represents sin, red represents Jesus' sacrifice for our wrongs, white represents the clean hearts we are given (Jesus' righteousness) as we are saved by Him and green represents growing as a follower of Jesus. 

Marge has taught me to think outside the box on this one. As usual, I have loosened up a bit, doing my artistic gymnastics with my new coach on the east coast. It has been lots of fun, and very stretching. The only other part of this project I need to complete is the sleeve to put the tags into for protection. That is a project in itself. More to follow........

My amazing mentor, Marge!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Learning Design With The Cross

Today was a real workout for me! Marge lives up to reputation - Marge the Sarge. I have "come to the source" as they say. She is a living, breathing, walking expert on art, arts in mission, painted papers, collage, telling your story through art and much, much more. And she is a good listener as well! I feel like I've been hit with a beautiful, creative water hose of sorts!

To see Marge's perspective on our time together, and see her amazing art go to:

And this is only day one. Stay tuned!!!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Road Trip - The Creative and Generous Marge

simple accordion book ready for creativity!
My pastor has been teaching us about generosity in past weeks. When I think of a person who exemplifies generosity, it would be my artist friend, Marge. An exciting turn in the road is just around the corner for me because Marge and I have crossed paths. I am going to be spending a week with this amazing artist and world traveler, wife and mother, whom I have come to love and respect via Facebook. 

She has cheered me on, prayed for me while I was in Morocco, and encouraged me to keep making art through the ups and downs of this ride called life. She has always generously given positive words to me. (Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. —Proverbs 16:24)

actually hope to do some collage with Morocco as subject matter, and I hope to get ideas for an accordion book, to make, with Morocco as the subject matter. So, this turn does have Morocco in mind a wee bit:-)

Marge has invited three artist friends to her home; it will be fun to be part of a group of people in their "right minds." (This calls for laughter!) I'll be there for a week, and I hope to blog about my experiences. Check back here to see what we are up to! I've got "art in my suitcase" as Marge would say, and I am heading her way.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fes Medina Finito!

I hope some of you have enjoyed the Fes medina. It is a bit odd to have the clothes on the line with the medina in the background, but I like the dangling lightbulb and funny orange pants. It reminds me a lot of Fes from a distance. The paper is a bit curled, so I'll try to iron it tomorrow.

I think I will try to do a bit on the two unfinished oil paintings this week. I'm wanting to wrap this series up, but one never knows when working on the right side of the brain!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fes Medina Continued

When not checking in with the latest news on the earthquake situation in Japan, I have continued to lay color down in the Fes Medina piece. I am hoping to pump the color in the next section of work time, but this may be it for today. I need to take a break to let the paint dry. 

The background is fluid. 
 I keep playing with the buildings, taking some away, adding others, adding the aqua tones throughout the painting. I think it is time for a brisk walk in the warm sunshine, and then I'll look at the piece again with fresh eyes.

I spent more time through the evening on this one. I think it's a little more solid, but I'll have more to go in the morning.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fes Medina

I have begun a watercolor using a photo taken from outside the town of Fes, looking down into the medina. I hope to add a number of roofs above the roof I have begun to lay down. Fes has 17 miles or kilometers of medina, and I'd like to suggest that fact.

I especially appreciate the dangling lightbulb. One can check on one's wash at night. How wonderfully helpful!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Petersen Art Center

When not painting, it sure is fun to tool around at the local art store. I had not heard of Utrecht art supplies and Petersen's Art Center in Salt Lake City, but now I am a big fan. It is warm and inviting with huge sales that artists just love. They also offer workshops and classes to use all the amazing supplies. I wish I could stay on and make pottery! I have found some special colors I have been wanting to get for a painting of Morocco that has 2 bright articles of clothing. 

After picking up some good deals, a special brush, a large clip board for studies and sketches and a great carrying case, Janet and I head for a lovely cup of coffee and homemade cookies at a shop called "Paradise". I am enjoying our time together and our growing friendship. We are cheering each other on to make art.

I will post what I complete today, later on tonight or in the morning. I am happy painting in sunny Utah. 

I enjoyed sharing about Donald Miller's writings, and how they have helped me. I shared one of his quotes today, and will add it here. 
"When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are."
Donald Miller,  A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Primary Colors Moroccan Door - Completed

It is a good feeling to finish a painting. This one seems fresh and lively to me. Let's hear it for primary colors! (Red, Yellow, and Blue:-)
I like how the interior has flowed into contrasts of lights and darks.
I'll try to bring this use of lights and darks into the next painting.

I think the entry is inviting yet slightly mysterious. And, wonder of wonders, there really is a doorway in Morocco like this one.

Some of my other works have been a little darker or more somber, so I have enjoyed working with these bright, primary colors! It's just what I needed on a dark, rainy gray Seattle weekend.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Primary Colors of Morocco

The doors and doorways in Morocco are truly interesting compositions in their own right. We all often took countless photos of various doors during our travels. Maybe we dreamed of creating "Doors of Morocco" posters. Hmmm. It's been done, we find out while glancing around at a tourist trap. 

I am struck by the primary colors of this doorway, so I decide to do a little watercolor of it, with great thanks to Gail S. for her amazing eye for photography. She is a wonderfully creative teacher at my former school.

I'd like to add a shadow or hint of a person inside. I'll continue adding layers, but I hope to finish this weekend. Meanwhile, my oil paintings are waiting patiently for me....

I have added a little more color and worked on the arch; that's all for today.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Moroccan Window

I spent some time today in preparation for a new painting of a Moroccan window. I have left the dye vats and the beggar ladies to dry a bit. Some days I seem to loose the edge in my painting drive. I end up spending time living and sharing life with family and friends, making plans for next steps, going to the art store, telling stories to my grandsons. Tomorrow, just maybe, I begin the window painting.

Here is a picture of the medina in which the above window resides.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Beggar Ladies Part 3

OK, it is kind of like giving birth with this one:-) Slow and steady with blasts of work.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Beggar Ladies part 2

I have an artist friend, Jackie, who says she sometimes does one brushstroke on a piece....pushing herself to move forward. That is how I felt today as I put some color on my beggar ladies. I rested much of the day, and I am hopeful the lovely dinner my housemate made will strengthen and nourish my sick-weary body.

The ladies live on in Morocco, and I pray for them as I paint them here in Seattle.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Beggar Ladies

I am letting the Dye Vats painting rest a bit. I have started the underpainting for my beggar ladies painting. I saw these gals just about every day when I was living in Morocco. My roommate and I always made certain we blessed them with a little coinage each day, and they would greet us/thank us with hands to their hearts. I just wanted to hug them and let them know God made them and loves them.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dye Vats, Layer Upon Layer

I've been sick the last couple of days. I've gone to bed and awakened hours later wondering how that unplanned slumber can happen.  Being sick makes certain one gives up control of the hours in ones day. All the fighting to be well ends in ruin. Sleep takes over and it is good. As I am falling off to sleep, I think about those 365 day painters and wonder if they take days off. If they are human.....they must.

I am hoping to paint today. (I did!) I'd like to keep going on the dye vats. It is time to add more layers to finish. I am emotionally done with the painting. I wonder if other artists get to that point. I'll post a picture if I get more painted today. I've done one photo with daylight lights. This has been a good regimen, and I pray that this artwork brings light and life to others some day.