In the Grip of Great Art

        There was once a work of art that was so engaging that people would stand mezmerized for hours and hours just staring at it. One fateful evening, there was a fire in the gallery where it was hanging. As usual people were gathered around it entranced. Smoke filled the room. . .  the viewers stood rooted to the spot. Flames shot up. . . still no one moved. In record time, firemen burst into the premises to drag the stupified people out. Instead, they too found themselves in th grip of this piece of art. Tragically, all the observers including the firemen, were lost in the fire along with the painting. They burned in place. They could not tear their eyes away. 

       I am horrified by this story, and at the same time so curious as to the subject! I don't know if it is a true story, but sometimes when I remember it, I like to imagine. . .  what was painted on that darn canvas!!!!

What do you think it was?

Paul, An Apostle of Christ

My husband and I just went  to see "Paul, An Apostle of Christ". It was very well done. I came away with a clearer picture of the experience of the early church. They trusted in God and He empowered them by His Holy Spirit to walk the journey set before them with courage.

Thank you for portraying these brothers and sisters in Christ as real people with failings and fears.
The story and performances drew me into their pain, loss, and hope to come. It was inspiring to see people finishing their Christian walk with courage and trust in the One who called them into His marvelous light. 

“We overcome evil with good, not more evil”, is a timely message in our current culture as well. Thank you for your hard work in bringing us this wonderful gift of encouragement!
 

My Muse

       DEGAS has been my muse for the last few weeks as I practice Master paintings. Admittedly, the first one I attempted was just sad, but that's ok. It reassures me to know I have lots of
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT. 
       Looking down for hours I got a pain in my neck. This week I set up my French easel. It's
A LITTLE COZY in my studio room now. It feels busy and exciting. 
When I'm tired of one project I jump over to the other. It's very efficient.
       The second attempt at a Degas painting was much better.  It's a little challenging painting on a primed watercolor tablet. The acrylic paint is giving me some agony. It wants to stick and not move at all. I've considered going back to oils. As you can imagine, 
a copious amount of muttering accompanies this painful process. I may dig out a
BERET to wear today. 
Then, I can pull my little French cap from my head,
THROW IT TO THE GROUND, 
and wave my hands madly at the ceiling when the paints aren't cooperating. 
I may mutter French things . . . 

Ok, I can't think of any French things to mutter. 

I’ll growl.  
       

Today, I'll attempt a Degas ballerina painting. 
I may
or may not
wear a mustache.

"The Colossus of California"

        My sister was only six or seven when she created her master piece. Her teacher provided a pile of scrap lumber for the class (2x4s, big stuff). Her tiny fingers worked industriously on her abstract sculpture hammering with childlike precision. After she ran out of nails, she began colorizing her creation with great glops of tempera paint until the entire apparatus was encased. 
       Then one day after it dried (possibly months later). She brought it home. Puffing out her tiny chest, she referred to it proudly as “My Sculpture”. It would have been more aptly named “The Colossus of California”. 
       She determined to gift it to Dad on Father’s Day. The angular projections were unwrapable, so she presented it naked, with a bow. It was received with marvelous expressions of gratitude. Dad took a picture so she could see it sitting on his desk. I remember wondering how he would get anything done with “The Colossus” looming over everything. The picture remains in the Family Archives to this day.  
       Many decades later, she brought up the subject. 
       “Do  you remember that Sculpture I made for Dad when I was little?”
       “The Colossus? . . . Sure.”
       “Dad and I were talking about it the other day. I was saying how cool it was that he kept it in his office for all those years.” 
       “Uh huh.”
       “Well, apparently, he took a photo of it and then tossed it in the office dumpster.”
       Hahaha! (a moment of shared hilarity)
       “Well, it was colossal.” 
       I love BIG art. It may have been the early influence of “The Colossus”, but whatever the source. I do think it is delightful. In fact, this last weekend, my husband bought me a huge gallery canvas. It’s beautiful. It barely fit in the car. We journeyed home from Portland with it in the back seat; a Goliath canvas its height laying sideways across the seat. The monstrous quiet of the white gessoed surface screamed the whole way home. 
       I love how it looks, sitting there on my easel in the sunshine, full of promise. I can hear it shouting from the studio, 
       “I . . . AM . . . COLOSSAL!”
       I have to do something about that or I’ll go deaf. With giant glops of paint, my fingers start to create.