Thursday, December 31

Melange Challenge: Illuminating


See other Illuminating works from the Melange Team here.

Let me start by saying that I have been so...
blessed
inspired
encouraged
by the online community,
this family of sisters
that I have found in the blogging world
this last year.

creating can be so isolating,
which is one thing I love about it,
but lonely at the same time...

but to create alone
and then come and share it with dear friends
who are all creating along with me...
it is a gift.
a blessing.
shared life.
so much more fun.

and to connect with people
on a completely different level.
a level that even my dearest friends don't get.

to chat with people who are excited
to discuss their favorite gel mediums...
my dream come true.

All this to say thank you
thank you to my online sisters this year
for sharing

your creativity
your encouragement
your struggles
your lives
your faith
your heart
your very selves.

It is a gift to me and I am blessed.

Wednesday, December 30

The Parable of the Talents: It's not about me

The Parable of the Talents
Matthew 25 (For the whole story see yesterday's post)



It's amazing to me that I've read and reread the book of Matthew and I've just kind of skipped over this parable...
just floated through it.

and now,
21 years into my faith,
the Lord is opening my eyes to things
I've never seen before...

I'm reading
and rereading
and rereading
these words,
this love letter written for me,
and coming to know my Lord in a different way...

Walking into a new understanding
of my createdness
of my creativeness
and the gift
the grace
that it is.

While I was walking today I realized something about the "talents" or "gifts" we are given. It seems so obvious that it's almost embarrassing, but here is today's epiphany...

Guess what... are you ready...

It's not about me.

No, I'm not kidding.
Yes, I'm still learning this.
How long has God been trying to hammer this into my head?

Let me explain.
It just dawned on me
the gifts that the Lord gives us
our creativity
our talents
aren't for us at all.
the point of a gift is to give it away.
the point of being entrusted with a gift
is for us to give it away
(more on the whole trust word tomorrow,
because that'sa whole nother aspect of this story.

My point is,
my creativity and my art is not for me.
yes, it brings me joy.
yes, it makes me feel like I'm flying.
yes, it gives me eternal glimpses of my creator.
yes, it does so many things that I can't begin to put into words,

but it's not for me.
It's for God's glory.

I just need to get out of the way.
and enjoy the ride.

The Parable of the Talents: Giving our Gifts

Creativity is God's gift to us. Our use of it is our gift back to God. We are intended to be creative."
Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way



This year I resolve... to make time and room for God. for creativity. for health: mental, emotional, physical, spiritual...

As I listen more and more to the creative voice inside of me,
I can't help but come back to the parable of the talents
again and again.
and again and again.

there is so much to learn here.
(the whole parable from Matthew 25 is told below)


God has entrusted
(I love the word entrusted)
He has entrusted every single one of us
his creation
with these gifts
straight from his heart
to ours.

and they're different,
our gifts,
but we all have them.

And for some reason,
rather than believe my creator
I have believed this lie for so long:
That to celebrate and explore this
precious gift is somehow
frivolous or
selfish or
wasteful or
silly

but look what the Lord calls those who use their talents:
good and faithful servants.

my epiphany:
to not use this creative gift,
to not give time
and attention
and energy
to what he has given to me

is to hide this precious gift I've been given
out of fear.

how long will I let fear keep these gifts hidden?
when will I step out in faith to really explore, discover, and celebrate these gifts to find out what the Lord has in store for me?
"exceedingly, abundantly beyond all that I can ask or imagine"

What gifts have you have been entrusted to gift others with?


The Parable of the Talents
14"Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15To one he gave five talents[a] of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
19"After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'

21"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

22"The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.'

23"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

24"Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'

26"His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28" 'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

Tuesday, December 29

The holiday madness is over...

The holiday madness is over. So fun. So much. I'm exhausted. and happy to be back to bloggerville.

Favorite Holiday Picture: Shopping at Target.
Like mother, like son.
I am notorious for fallign asleep any place. any time. hmmm...
maybe blogging at 1:02 AM has something to do with it... nah.


Favorite Christmas Morning shot:serious bedhead...


Favorite Christmas Gift: The wagon
nuf said.

The only thing better than traveling is coming home. And creating...I'm getting to that part...

Thursday, December 10

Enough typing... just create something already! sheesh.





Have you ever noticed that blogging begets blogging begets more blogging? Kind of like creating and painting and praying? I put it off until I have "time" and then once I do, the floodgates open up and I just want to sit here and blog all night, especially the amazing inspiration and ideas and connections in so many other wonderful blogs... I have like 17 blog ideas creeping around my head right now... but sheesh. The husband & baby are in bed & it's time for me to stop tyoing and just create something already...

Christmas gifts are about to be made... at any moment. Really. I mean it. If I don't fall asleep I'm gonna make some serious art tonight.

My creative mind has been flooded with ideas lately and I haven't found a spare minute to play, so tonight is the night... coffee is brewed. Thursday night TV is over. I'll let you know how it goes...

Oh, just picked these up form the printer today: little boy transportaion prints. So fun. I really love my printer (Jim at Andersen's in Encinitas). I'm always surprised by the color and quality he captures. Getting more prints is like Christmas... so fun...

Oh how He provides...


Baby trying to sweep with 3 brooms at once. Very serious about the whole thing.

Anything daddy does, he wants to do. so cute.

Sheesh,it's been so long! This baby has been talking up a storm, sweeping and coloring and climbing stairs. He has been obssessed with crayons and lights and brooms and anything daddy...so sweet. It's overwhelming to see this daddy with his baby. I mean, I knew that Darryl would be a great dad, but I had no idea what that really meant.

and when I see them together... it makes me love him in a completely different way. And it's so fun to do together and I just know that these moments are precious and fleeting. That they are a gift. Pure grace. Poured out on me. I could never have done anything to earn this kind of love, the Lord just provides. Over and over and over again. That's just who He is. That's just what he does. My Jehovah Jirah. And all I can do is say thank you, Lord. Thank you for this moment.

Tuesday, December 1

What I want to remember this December...



The first day of advent.
This is what I want to remember,
to focus on
every.
single.
day.
this December...

how deeply
and fully
and completely
I am loved
by my Jesus.

That's what this
whole, big Christmas deal
is about---
the love of Christ.

Now, what exactly does that
look like?

I guess that's
part
of
the
journey...

Monday, November 30

Back to where I began...





I started painting again, after an 11 year hiatus, about a year and a half ago and I feel like I've been set free. Let me explain.

I've always had a needto be creativein college I took classes and painted for fun and I always imagined that, as a teacher, I would have hours and hours of free time to paint to my heart's content... as you can imagine... I never painted again until

a year and a half ago. I was eight months pregnant and looking for artwork for our baby boy's nursery on a super tight budget. I couldn't find anything. anything.I wanted cute. inspiring.

so finally, after looking around, I said, "Really? I can make something for this baby."

So I started painting and I literally have not stopped. I felt so free + at home. so comfortable, so me. It just felt so right to be painting again that I kept on painting and painting and painting. i started painting for friend's kids and then for myself. So here are just a few of the children's paintings I've been working on. I have about 1,000 more ideas in my head, but so little time!

Saturday, November 28

Christmas, ready or not...




Okay, okay, okay... so, now that it's after Thanksgiving, I'm officially really excited about Christmas. Yesterday Jack took a nap and we put up the tree. He came down the stairs and has been absolutely obsessed ever since. So sweet. "Wow!" he says, over and over and over... Wow.

We decorated the tree & the rest of the house, put up stockings & snowflakes, made cookies & watched A Charlie Brown Christmas. We even went to Wal Mart & bought a little tricycle forJack. He tried it out in the store. His feet barelytouched the pedals, but he was on cloud 9.

Breath in, breathe out. Okay. I'm ready. Ready or not... here it comes...

Holiday traditions to start with our family this year:

Advent devotionals with the wreath & the calendar...
I bought an advent devotional book a fewyears back, actually when I was single, and thought, I want to do this with my family one day... I was reading through it, and it'sreally, really cool. Not just for kids, but for the whole family to refocus our hearts on Jesus during such a crazy time. You read a verse from the Bible, read the short commentary, answer a question, and sing a Christmas song. so sweet. I'll let you know how it goes...

Go to the Living Nativity at Horizon
Every year we say we're going to go, and it gets so busy that I'm exhausted by the time it comes around. But this year Jack will love it. We're going. For sure.

I want to start painting houses for a little village. Each year everyone paints a house and our village grows and grows. Love it...

I think that's it. Remember Erin: Keep it simple. Focus on Jesus. Keep expectations low. Repeat to yourself, "You are not Superwoman. You are not Superwoman.You are not Superwoman." Breathe in, breathe out.

Thursday, November 19

I would choose time.


Has it really been a week since I blogged? Time flies... Well, I've been feverishly, once again, getting ready for the Encinitas Street Fair. My mind is going to explode with ideas for paintings... It's like one painting gives birth to 10 more and pretty soon I have 103 little infant ideas floating around in my head... with extremely limited time to get them out on canvas.;

It just stinks that we have to sleep. If only we didn't have to sleep! Just think of the time we would have on our hands.

I so often forget that I am human and procrastinate until the night before and figure... I can just stay up all night. And then my 7th cup of coffee hits at about 3:00 AM and I realize, "Dang. I'm not superwoman? I totally forgot." and I promise myself to remember, but I don't. I forget. again and again...kind of like after Thanksgiving..."I'm never, ever eating this much again..."

It all boils down to time and money. To get money, you have to sacrifice time. To get time you have to sacrifice money. And the older I get the more I realize just how very precious time is. Money comes & goes, but unfortunately I need it to eat and buy new socks and take a shower...

But had I a choice to make I would choose time. Over and over again, I would choose time.

I'm off to paint at 2:15 in the morning, with only 2 cups of coffee in my belly and a brain overflowing with ideas... Just call me Superwoman, but please don't ask me how I'll get up with my baby in the morning. Thank the good Lord for Sesame Street!

Friday, November 13

More flowers...





I'm kind of stuck on painting flowers these days... Here are some more... I feel like I should move on, but they are so much fun to paint that I think I might just have to stay here for a while. Hmmmmmmmm... we'll see...

Wednesday, November 11

My budding artist...

this year's baby...



After watching me finish up some paintings, Jack climbed up into a grown up chair, grabbed a pencil in each fist and proceeded to write, and write, and write. He sat for 30 minutes at the kitchen table intently writing...

a masterpiece...

Saturday, November 7

Holiday denial...

Last year's baby...





Okay, okay... I refuse to acknowledge the existance of holiday paraphenalia popping up... everywhere. I even saw a house with Christmas lights... on November 6th! What the heck. I feel like walking around with my eyes closed and my fingers in my ears singing the Star Spangled Banner so I that can live in blissful denial that the holiday season is quickly, and I mean quickly tiptoeng up behind us.

Most of all, I want to resist the temptation to look forward to the 26th, so I can relax until next year's frenzy. I want to relax, enjoy, savor, capture every moment this season, especially with Jack & Darryl now.

My friend Ginger over at Weiner dog tricks made a great list,something alongthe lines of: things Ilike about the holidays & things that stress me out about the holidays. Then she proceeded to eliminate some of the things that weren't her favorite... and add to the list of things she loves. I highly suggest this approach, way above mine... So hear goes. I'm gonna start with things I love about the holidays...

Things I love about the holiday season
Watching How the Grinch stole Christmas & Elf & Charlie Brown Christmas. Elf always makes me giggle, even though I've seen it 100 times.
Ice skating at the Hotel Del (okay, I've never actually done this, but doesn't it sound like fun?)
Christmas Eve Chili Party, getting to see dear friends and family
Opening each little square on the advent calendar
Garland and stockings on the mantle
Decorating the Tree
Going to see A Christmas Carol
Cinnamon smelling pine cones for sale outside of Michael's
Reading the Christmas story in Luke
Singing Christmas carols

Ummm... I know there's more, I just can't think of them... I'll get back to you. Oh, baking Christmas cookies, of course...

As Darryl and I have started our family & holidays with a child I want to be intentional about the traditions we create and the messages behind them. What we do and why? Is it for real or for show? Kids see right through your words...

I want my child to believe me when I tell them...
that the birth Jesus really is the reason we have so much joy.
that the most important things in life can't be bought or seen.
that Christmas really is about what we have to contribute to each other.

I want to create traditions that are a joy, not a burden. That bind us together and that are the heart of what we believe to be true...

What about you? What are your favorite holiday traditions?

Tuesday, November 3

A finished home...








I finally finished my home series. I started so long ago and the street fair made me finally dfinish. I don'tknow why it's so tough to finish. maybe because it's so... final. Does anyone else have that problem?

Here are the final homes I created...

Monday, November 2

The power of art.






Wow. I can't even tell you how encouraged and inspired... and well rested... I am. We had such a fabluous time at the street fair. Better than fabulous. We got to meet so many dear, sweet, encouraging, people. That's my favorite part. It just reminds my imporatnant, no essential, art is to life. like bread, no pedicures... Being connected to strangers through art, and all of the sudden these strangers become dear friends... all because of some images paint and paper, but really it's my heart and soul on display. So when people respond to it, it's like... I can't even describe it...

I am so grateful to the kind souls I met & connected with at the street fair.

thank you. thank. thank you.

It is always surprisingly emotional and wonderful.

So, my new collages are coming! As soon as this baby goes down for a nap, I'll get them up on my ETSY site... We'vegot abotu 4 hours to go!

Be the change you wish to see inthe world today! (Ghandi)



New Collages coming soon!

Friday, October 30

New prints




I picked up my work from the printer today and I'm so happy with the color & quality. It's tough to get a reproduction that captures the original. There are always differences, the question is just how much. I went to a local printer (Anderson Stationers) and he did such a great job matching the colors.

So... here are some of the pieces I have been working on... and I can officially say that I am done with them!

Thursday, October 29

Off to the printer...





So I got 15 (yes 15!!!) paintings off to the printer today to make prints for the street fair Sunday. While I should probably be sleeping I can't stop wandering around grabbing inspiration from so many great blogs out there.

Wednesday, October 28

Progress

Okay, I am making some progress over here and it feels so stinkin' good! I finally feel like I'm moving forward, albeit at a snail's pace.

I'm spending my days dressing up like a banana (that might be what is slowing me down)and my nights getting ready for the Carlsbad Street Fair on Sunday. Yes, friends, this Sunday. As in, 3 days from now.(Insert &86%#$@%^ here. Take a deep breath. Sip freshly brewed coffee at 11:21PM. Keep going...Si, se puede!)



So, today's progress included adding charcoal (the almost-final stepin the whole process)to my home series: 8 home collages that I'm feeling a little insecure about right now. They are so fresh. It's a good thing I don't really have time for insecure/vulnerable art feelings right now. I've got to get these babies sprayed with fixative and off to the printer tomorrow.

So here's where we are so far...