Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Unexpected Beauty"

"Unexpected Beauty”
6" X 6" Oil on Raymar Panel

When my missionary friend in Africa said she had sent me a photograph that she thought might make a nice painting, I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive (sorry, Barb!)  It’s not that I don’t trust her opinion – ‘cuz she really has good taste.  It’s just that my visual perception of Africa was compiled primarily of the 500 (give or take) pictures my husband and son took on their recent missionary trek there.  Not that those aren’t worthy of canvas– it’s just that none of them are anywhere close to the subject matter or colors I’m used to painting.  

Now, be honest - aren’t you thinking brown (as in hippo, dirt and desert), gray (as in elephant, hut and desert), and ochre (as in giraffe, lion and desert)?

But, faithful friend that I am, I anxiously opened the download and looked.  Surely she must have made a mistake and attached photos from the States instead!  Lush foliage, vibrant botanicals, a purring ‘felix domesticus’, and ………. a charming daffodil yellow home, acces-sorized  with clay pots of fragrant blooms????

Ya gotta love those moments of Unexpected Beauty!  They happen quite frequently really – it’s just that we usually are so focused on what we expect  - our “earth tones” - that we’re not even open to seeing the “color” God places in our paths.   Like the true “cerulean blue” confidante who had merely been an acquaintance before you faced an insurmountable issue.  Or the strength of the primary colors you experience when God empowers you to do something you dread and know you could never do on your own.   How about the “tickled pink” laughter between girlfriends as they help each other find humor when dealing with overwhelming work or family issues.

Just a reminder – start looking :)

“to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in His temple.”
Psalm 27:4

Many thanks to Barb and Doug for supplying the reference photo for this painting!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012


6" X 6" Oil on Raymar panel

Available at Ben and Penny's
(on the river behind Cafe Aruzzo)
Newburgh, Indiana

Fini!  The fourth and final piece of my South of France series – I think - well, for now.  We complete our make-believe mini-vacation at a quaint shop in the Eze Village in Eze, France, overlooking the Mediterranean, near Monte Carlo.   Before going on, inhale deeply that fresh sea air – ahh – you have a glorious day ahead of you!

Not knowing what type of shop this is, its name, “Infini”, triggers our imagination to purchase a souvenir from one last boutique - of your choice!  Will you choose French-milled soaps, wine from the local vineyards, or parfum?  Oh, is that a restaurant across the street (Creme Brulee!)……and one down the street (Croquembouche)?

Choices - opportunities we take for granted.  Some come so natural, or habitual, that sometimes we don’t even realize we’re making them.

Are you, by chance, a “Greys Anatomy” fan?   This past week, they aired an unusual episode where all the normal characters had “chosen” differently years ago.  They had selected different career specialties (or drugs instead), and significant others, so that even their resulting personalities were far from the real character.   As I continued to think about it over the days following, I was reminded of a phrase from an old friend,

“Today’s choices are tomorrow’s consequences.”  Really!

Soooooo…..ahem……what are you gonna do today?  Will you step away from the security of the familiar and follow that dream?  A calling from God?   How about lay down a bad habit and start anew?  Do something special for someone?  Or maybe  change your attitude or response to something that has chosen you.   

Whatever you choose – I
 hope you have a day filled with warm sunshine,
even if you have to make your own!

And remember, the possibilities are “Infini”!

My gift to you today – hope you enjoy! 

Many thanks to Anne Heinrich, the photographer for the reference photos from which the series was painted!