Looking for something to do this weekend? Historic New Harmony (Indiana) is hosting a Kunstfest this Saturday, Sept. 17, 10 AM - 6 PM, and Sunday, Sept. 18th, from 10 AM - 4 PM! I have the privilege of exhibiting a collection of my paintings at the Red House Gallery on Main Street. Also in the display will be the art of gallery owner, Patrick Murray.
There will be entertainment and german food, as well as pottery, black smithing, spinning, and weaving demonstrations, wagon rides and wine tasting! All the antique shops, gifts shops, and art galleries will be open as well!
It looks like it will be a beautiful weekend - come on out and enjoy!!
P.S. Also a reminder that the two paintings I have on display at the Evansville Museum will remain in the exhibit until the end of next week.
Nestled on the corner of Edgar and Louisiana Streets in the near downtown area of Evansville, Indiana, is our favorite Friday night dining establishment – Talk of the Town Pizza Bar. Patronized consistently by neighborhood residents, people from all areas of town also flood its intimate interior for lunch and dinner, and to visit with Suzanne and R.J., the bar’s owners and operators.
Suzanne and R.J. opened Talk of the Town in 2003, and continue to reside in the upstairs apartment. Sporting an always clean and tidy appearance, the bar’s décor is classically nostalgic: dark green and white checked linoleum floor, black and white tiled ceiling, neon signs, and photos and posters of yore on the walls, with nary an open spot. There’s a total of a whopping four booths, one of which is considered “the family room”! The bar accommodates 12 customers on padded bar stools, 2 of which are in ……”the family room”.
R.J. can routinely be seen in his chef’s hat, lost in his blues music as he diligently performs his accomplished art of making delectable pizzas, sandwiches, and the best salads on earth! And then there’s R.J.’s counterpart, Suzanne, who, no matter how busy, with boundless energy frequently single-handedly services the entire restaurant, serving as hostess, bartender, waitress, bus girl, cleaning lady, dishwasher, phone operator, sous chef, etc., all with an admirable work ethic and cheerful countenance.
As we enter, oftentimes, R.J. begins making our salad “our way”, and Suzanne pours our drinks without needing to take our order. If we call in a carryout order, she wants to know why we’re not coming in. If we don’t show up for several weeks, she lets us know we were missed.
We don’t know their last name; they don’t know our first names. (I’m the “Friday night redhead!) Nevertheless, we exchange some type of personal information almost each and every time we visit – i.e., kids, vacations, births, deaths, illness, relationship issues, and even church. They are our friends, and friends to many who enter. Talk of the Town is more than a pizza bar that serves food that rivals none! I guess you could say that it’s just a place that satisfies – in a lot of ways.
How did we find this cozy little joint that some have coined as “Evansville’s best kept secret”? Well, after all, it IS the “Talk of the Town”!
One of the real physical needs of the Massai tribe in the sub-sarahan region of Kenya is a clean water source. The people in the villages do not have a water spigot to fill up their coffee pot, wash their dishes, or even take a shower. They must work, and work hard, for water for their families. I am told that one of the best avenues for water accessibility is “the water pan”. It is basically a large basin of land, secured by dams. This water is used by anyone or any”thing” (think four legs here!) that might roam along and need to drink,……or take a bath and cool off. Obviously, it must be purified.
On the recent trip to Kenya by Crossroads Christian Church missionaries, the water dam had broken and communities were in great need. The pastoral team agreed to meet some of the men in charge at 9 A.M. at the site to pray, evaluate, and hopefully help with a solution. For reasons beyond their control, they did not arrive until 5 P.M. The pastoral team assumed the men would be long gone, as by American standards, we don’t typically wait too long for anything! As they neared the area, they could see the gentlemen still waiting for them, trusting that God would provide and the American Christians would be faithful to their word. (And may I remind you they weren’t waiting in an overstuffed easy chair in an air-conditioned family room watching a nice, large remote-controlled flat screen cable TV. This area is essentially desert!)
Fortunately, I can report there is a happy ending to this story. There had been a dozer in the area for another reason. Financial support had run out and, as the dozer began driving away, God made His appearance. The team had just received clearance from Crossroads Church that they would fund the repair of the water pan with dollars set aside for missions. The dozer turned around and headed back for the reconstruction.
Timing can be everything - the “right people” were in the “right place”, at the “right time”………”for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14).
As a speaker at Africa Reflections, Dr. Matt Vassey, a busy Evansville surgeon and pastoral team member, shared his personal response to the Massai waiting for them for 8 hours. Balancing career, family, and personal interests in a God-honoring way, he told of instances where he doesn’t wait. His story was applicable and convicting to all who heard. We start losing our otherwise sweet dispositions when we have to wait for our computer to boot up, wait in line at the fast-food drive-thru, sit in traffic, or stand in line at the grocery when we could so be doing more important things. We even begin to push the panic button when waiting for such things as enlistment orders, a future spouse, the birth of a baby in a difficult pregnancy, or the results of medical tests.
That same impatient attitude spills over to our spiritual lives. When God doesn’t answer our prayers in our time, and our way, we tend to act in a host of futile ways: we may take matters in our own hands, let fear overtake us, or even lose faith.
At a recent family reunion, I have to admit I stalked the little girl in the painting. (I’m sure her mother told her to stay away from people like me!) As I observed her in hopes of a Kodak moment, she picked up her chair (with umbrella attached) and moved it to various places with an assortment of views and angles, but she always stayed in a position to see her uncle. See - she was looking for just the right place to wait. There were a lot of cousins that day who wanted to catch a fish, and just one uncle with one fishing pole. While others hung out anxiously near the shoreline for their turns, she chose to wait patiently and comfortably, protected from the “heat”, with her eyes on her uncle…….…because he was the one with the “power”.
It is a privilege to announce that two of my paintings, Emergence and Elegance, have been accepted in the Working Together Exhibition. They will be hanging in the Evansville Museum from July 30 to September 18th. I hope you get a chance to visit the exhibit and view all of the works!
By their mere existence, they bring beauty to an open field or an area alongside a road, or character and curb appeal to the residential landscape. With perfect positioning, they add color to the patio, interest to the home decor, ambiance to the wedding, and accessories to the prom attire. When given as a gift, they communicate love to a spouse or friend, sympathy to the family of the deceased, wishes of recovery to the sick, hope to the downtrodden, and joy to many celebrations.
People do. Their purpose in life is often to accomplish.
Our mere existence, or idleness, is generally not accepted in our culture. Don't we all have a "To Do" list - if not on paper, at least in our heads? We do our chores, do our homework, do errands, do church, do taxes, do yard work, do school activities, do our exercises, do work assignments, do whatever it takes to get ahead......need I say more?
At a recent Africa Reflections meeting (recap of the mission trip), Allen Mounts, team leader, opened his presentation by stating their main purpose for this trip was "to just be" with the Maasai tribe, not necessarily "to do",...... although, of course, they did. Honestly, being a queen-doer, I was a little disappointed to hear that. I felt my spirit drop just a bit because selfishly, I was hoping to be moved by all the things they did - after all, I had a lot of prayer time invested in this trip!!
Well, that wasuntil I heard, and saw, how the "to be" went down! I love Allen's phrase "to be", but from my perspective, it looked a little more like "walking along side of". You see, they ate with them, and talked with them, and played with them, and worked with them, and learned with them, and prayed with them, and worshipped God with them. They shared special moments with them when no words need to be spoken. They made a huge impact on each other, as evidenced by the visible emotion and audible passion in each of the team members that spoke that evening. I wish you had been there - it was a powerful evening!
So, what does my flower painting have to do with any of this? Since "flowers are", yet they "do" so much, I hope it reminds you "to just be", because sometimes that is exactly what a situation calls for! For whom do you need "to be"?
As Nancy packed the bright pink plastic bins with her homemade chocolate chip cookies and Katie’s favorite pretzels, she desperately missed her daughter. Shipping packages to Katie, a 29 year old single neo-natal nurse, had been difficult due to her remote location as a missionary in Africa. A team from Crossroads Church had offered to transport this “care package” to Katie on their short-term mission trip, along with their own personal belongings.
Meanwhile, half way around the globe, Katie, an Evansville native, had committed 3 years of her young life to the physical and spiritual care and development of the Massai tribe in Narok, Kenya. Unable to visit home, she was alone, missing her family, and anxiously awaiting the team’s arrival.
As they came in to view, she noticed that everyone was toting two blue storage bins, except for one “macho-looking young man” (in Katie's words, and, yep, that would be my son) who was carrying two pink bins with his name on them. (Somehow, John had been assigned to the care of these ‘girly’ bins – maybe because he was the youngest?…….or because they drew straws?) And, oh, how she appreciated that little act of kindness! While her family hadn't been able to visit, her church family was the next best thing, and just eyeing those tubs from her mother felt like a bear hug to her!
As John saw it (and I'm pretty sure that he didn't know about the chocolate chip cookies!) - the view from his window was just a little slit in the blinds. The gesture was such a small thing – something anyone could do…. and would do. It didn’t take any special skill, or a lot of money – and it really didn't even inconvenience him. (Well, maybe he did have to shrug off a few smirks from onlookers every now and then.)
However, the view from Katie’s window had a much broader expanse:
Her view was beautiful, sunny, warm, and fragrant –
and it smelled like home!
She saw the hands and feet of Jesus in these missionaries as they, too, answered God’s call to serve.
What act of kindness can you perform today to change "The View" from someone's window?
Or, if you've been a recipient, please encourage us all by sharing how you've been blessed in the Comment area below!
My mind's eye captured this little princess one rainy afternoon in Brooklyn. Rick and I found shelter in a quaint Italian restaurant with a glassed storefront on Court Street, perfect for people watching. The sidewalks were crowded with aptly attired residents clearly used to braving the elements, and this little girl was no exception. But she was different........
She was pink.....and purple, and teal, and navy...... in her own little world, moving at her own little pace, wearing just what she wanted, and pleased to be doing it. I LOVE that about her!! Is she anyone you know? She reminds me of my granddaughter who wanted to wear a dress to her soccer game, and one of my sons who insisted on wearing cowboy boots every day for at least 2 years of his life! Or maybe she reminds you of you?
She is unique. Unique.....as we all are in our own special ways. Pick a day to just be content with yourself, accepting the gifts God gave you - no comparisons, no masks, no expectations......no make-up!!! (Well, that might be takin' it a little too far for some of us :)))
"Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you......"
Ladies and gentlemen, these young ladies have been working hard all week in preparation for tonight's pageant. I must say, they are quite a competitive bunch......er, bouquet, as they each continue to fight for the limelight in various categories. They are vying for titles in the areas of fitness (Miss Strong Stem), music genres (Miss Heavy Petal), fragrance (Miss Scents-iality), and of course, the grand prize (which is a self-portrait suitable for hanging), Miss Indiana Wallflower!!! And the winner is..........
A big thank you to all who came out to see us Saturday at "Art in the Park" - and a very special thank you to those that were unfortunate enough to be there at the beginning of what seemed like a downpour and helped with packing up - Jamie, of course, and her friend Janet, Becky Hostetter, Brenda and Fred White, Kathleen Boink, and my supportive husband, Rick, who was a bit under the weather that day! Although the event was cut short for some of us (I think there were a few brave souls that waited it out), it was well attended and a successful effort. I enjoyed talking with friends who stopped by, as well as making some new ones. I planned on taking a picture of our booth, but my good intentions were thwarted when the moisture began :))
And now, (drum roll, please).................... For the moment you've all been waiting for.............. the recipient of the drawing for "First Breath of Spring" is...............................
It's spring and the blooms on your favorite flowers (what are they?) are bursting with colors you haven't seen all winter! There's just a slight breeze in the air and it's the first time in months that the weather has been suitable to sit outside. Hmmm........two chairs. One for you and one for your best friend. And an endless afternoon ahead of you with no commitments or responsibilities.........
Back to reality! Today begins the countdown. Weeks of planning and painting will soon come to fruition. I am praying for a delightful day Saturday, visiting with friends and family, and meeting new people :)
The above painting is a sample of my 6" X 6" Art in the Park Specials. They are priced at $75 unframed. I had some awesome floater frames made especially for these little gems. Painting + frame = $115!!!
Okay, as I had mentioned, there will be a "give-away" in conjunction with the Show. It is a 6" X 6" painting of dogwood blooms. (Scroll down a few posts and you'll find a photo - "First Breath of Spring") You have two options to enter the drawing. The winner will be posted here on Monday:
1) Enter at the show by giving me your e-mail address.
2) Enter online by subscribing to my blog. (The subscription box is located at the top right hand side of this page. This means you will receive an email with every new post/painting/photo.)
So you want to enter more than once? Well, there's a couple of ways you can do that.
1) For each person you refer that subscribes to my blog, your name will be entered!
(You'll have to let me know who you've referred as I don't have a way of tracking that).
2) For each comment you leave on my blog, your name will be entered.
3) For posting a link on your facebook page, your name will be entered.
I'm not all that computer-savvy, so get creative - we'll work something out!
I so look forward to chatting with you Saturday! (P.S. Rain date is Sunday.)
Fellow artist, Jamie Fritz, and I will be sharing a booth at Art in the Park art show and sale on Saturday, June 25 from 11-4 P.M. at the Boy Scout Center. It is located behind the State Hospital, on the south side of the Lloyd, just east of Vann Ave., and is accessible both from the Lloyd and from Lincoln Avenue. We'd love for you to stop by and see what we've been working on - plus it sounds like there will be lots of artists represented, as well as other activities.
In addition, I'll be giving away a painting - details to follow, so stay tuned!!
One of spring's "firsts" - appearing as welcomed splashes of color on a warm green palette after a long string of cold, gray days. This is one of my favorite times of year, as I love the reminder of how God continually brings new life to His creation. Give Him at least 10 minutes of your time today - walk around the block and see how many examples of new life you can find! What an spiritually uplifting activity - gets you moving too :)
I am a Purpose Driven Life Daily Devotional junkie!!! Seriously, Rick Warren writes so simply and to the point, that even I can understand it. I enjoy his entries daily, but often God speaks specifically to me through them and the scripture Warren provides. At the beginning of the year, they were on goal setting – something I’ve not done a lot of, being a person that waits to be moved by the moment, or, as they say, “as the Spirit leads.” Well, the Spirit is “moving” me to prayerfully sit down with God, and set some goals. In his entry for January 11, 2011, Warren states , "No goal is really a goal by default. If you don't set a goal, you've already set it and the goal is to stay the same." Omg, I don’t wanna stay the same - YOU don’t want me to stay the same - and even more importantly, GOD doesn’t want me to stay the same!!!
Thus, “Under the Oil” makes it debut today! It is my hope and desire that you be blessed by this endeavor – be it visually or verbally – and that God would speak and move you according to His purpose.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. “ Jer. 29:11-12