Wednesday, July 28

Permission to Dream Big. Part 1

I feel like dreaming big
and sharing those big dreams with you.
There's some, no there's a bunch, of fear,
but I'm just going to
because I think it's important
for all us.

I am hesitant to dream out loud
And I'm trying to figure out why.
I think I associate dreaming big
with discontentment.
As if what I have is not enough.
As if I want more, more, more.

But that's not it. at all.
Dreaming big dreams is not the opposite of contentment.
Unthankfulness is the opposite of contentment.
Contentment is rooted in gratitude. and peace.

And stuffing the dreams that God has planted in my heart,
Not using the gifts that he has given me
to fulfill those dreams,
is not humility.
It's fear and unfaithfulness.

I really believe that if I
lay my dreams down before the Lord
and commit them to him,
they may not happen the way I expect,
but his plans for me will always be better
than the ones I have for myself.
(even when I don't get it)

It's okay to dream big.
This is my bigger picture moment.

Shelley has been a huge inspiration
to me to not be afraid
to dream big
and to share those dreams
with you.

Kelly Rae always has great things to say about this.
Especially this post on abundance.

Monday, July 26

Everybody needs their own cheerleader.

Let me introduce you to mine.
My blog friend/encourager/cheerleader/angel.
I don't care what you call her,
she has been a constant encouragement to me.
She helps me chase those gremlins away.

Her name is Heather and this is her blog and
she's hosting a giveaway of my art on her blog today.
So visit.
And comment.
And try to stay cool this Tuesday.

We are off to the mountains today
for a few days of doing nothing.
Jigsaw puzzles.
Afternoon naps.
Hikes and barbeques.
I'm so ready.

Sunday, July 25

I'm starting to freak out.

it happens every year at this time.
but things are about to change.
and i just need to be honest about it
for a little bit.

you see, i've worked part time
teaching kindergarten
ever since my son was born
two years ago.

going back to work
full time
5 days a week.
missing my baby
missing my art
feeling rushed
+ frazzled.
jumping into
the rat race.

don't get me wrong.
i love my job.
i was made for my job.
it makes me so happy.

but i'm anxious about the balance.
i'm anxious about the crazy scedules.
i'm anxious about being able to do it all.

i don't feel ready to say goodbye to my baby boy.
and i don't feel ready to say good bye to art.

i know it will all be okay.
i just feel anxious about it.
i need to take it
one day
at a time.

these verses have
always helped me do that.
find joy
and peace
each day.

Saturday, July 24

In love with fresh salsa

I don't know about you,
but I've never made fresh salsa.
It's always sounded complicated and unnecessary.
Like making crackers or something.

I've never been so wrong.
I was finally inspired by Paige,
only because it looked (and is)
so darned simple.
and yummy.

I made up my own version
and it is everything I've ever wanted
in a salsa and more.
The 3 of us were inhaling it.

Here it is:
1 can of black beans drained
1 avocado diced
1 red onion diced
2 tomatoes diced
2 green onions chopped
a handful of cilantro chopped up
a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice
fresh pepper and garlic salt
olive oil

Mix everything except the avocado + let it marinate over night.
Add the avocado at the last minute.
Eat to your heart's content.

Monday, July 19

Getting Unstuck: Inspiration for Mixed Media Collage at your Fingertips

Inspiration is everywhere.
From everyday objects,
to a few words you read in a book,
to other artists' work.

In my last post I whined about
getting stuck in my art,

and I've been thinking about
how I get unstuck

For the past couple weeks
I have been inspired by
setting my brushes aside +
painting with my fingers.

I love the way it feels on my fingertips +
I love the way the paint blends together.
it seems to create more texture.
and make it look more interesting.

Sometimes I get on a mission to
accomplish, accomplish, accomplish,
and painting with my fingers
slows me down and
reminds me to just play
and see what happens.

Try it out and
Let me know how it goes!

Sunday, July 18

Making and Making and Getting stuck

Sometimes creating is pure bliss.
You know, when you're in the zone?
And nothing could be better.
Creating is
the perfect escape.

Like when I finished this piece
for our Friday play friends Julie + Gigi.
It only took me 2 years to finish,
but I finally finished.
So satisfying.

And this commission was fun and simple...

And this piece is for a friend who adpoted a little girl from Kahzakstan.
So fun to create for her. I still need to add a little poem.

and then you just
get stuck.
completely stuck.
totally stuck.

seems wrong
looks wrong
feels wrong

I've gotten a few requests
to create a collage with Joshua 24:15
"As for me and my house,we will serve the Lord."
And I thought of all my little houses.
I liked how it was going in the beginning
and then everything just stopped.

I changed the roof from blue to green to yellow
And now the roof looks too big to me.
I think this painting and I
just need some space.

I wasn't in love with the changes I made to this sailboat,

The contrast and colors in the flowers seemed a little too harsh to me.
so I muted the red by adding some white, brown, and yellow,
which made it more pink.
And I think I like it better.

When I get stuck on a painting
it's always a battle for me
whether to push through the pain,
or get some space and come back later.

I have to admit that most of the time
I leave it.
I have a lot of
unfinished pieces.

But sometimes, when I do force myself to push through
I see a light at the end and
painting emerges
and transitions
into something beautiful.

What a great metaphor for life...

What do you do when you get stuck?

Tuesday, July 13

Just Start!

I started this blog kicking and screaming.
putting off.
making excuses.
why I can't.
or didn't need to.
until I finally broke down
and did it.
i just started.

i turned one blog year old on July 5.

This blogging adventure has paralleled to my art making.
It's really scary at first.
Like the new kid in school
shouting out to the blogosphere:
Here I am!
all exposed
and vulnerable.
Ummm, wanna play?

and gremlins come out
Really Erin?
Who's gonna wanna hear about your art?
Who's gonna wanna see your art?
You don't evenknow what to say.
You don't have anything to say.
Who's gonna really read what you say?

And you have to shush them
over and over again.
I can already hear the voice of encouragement from Eleanor.
Until you just start.
With anything.
It doesn't have to be brilliant.
you just have to do it.

you take the first step and feel really silly.
and you post about your baby way too much.
and you sit and lurk.
at other blogs
from afar.
until finally you finally make a comment.
and she comments back.

And you realize once again...
I can do this.
This isn't so hard.
This is actually fun.
I think I love this.
All just because you started.
Note to self:
Just start!

A Gift for Linda

Since school has been out
I have been able to paint my heart out
in the middle of the night
any day of the week I want.
And it is really, really liberating.
Such a great escape.
It feels like I grow wings and can fly.

Painting, especially in mixed media,
is so satisfying.
Like play.
I love that there are no rules.
It challenges me to take risks +
get out of my little safe spot.

I've been catching up
with all of the paintings
I have promised to people
throughout the year.

This one is for Linda.
The daughter of our dear family friend, Don.
She is celebrating 5 years of being cancer free.
He gave me her favorite verse
and free reign to paint whatever.
Sweet, sweet father.

Brings me to tears.
It's such an honor
to be in on these special moments.
I feel so trusted,
like I get to be a part
of something really
intimate + special.

Such a blessing.
When we give our gifts away,
we are always, always
Without fail.
Even when we can't see it.
The blessing is there.

Saturday, July 10

Mixed Media Make Over...

I haven't been blogging much because I've been busy in the studio.
Actually finishing. What is that?
Here's what I've been doing...
I had this painting from 2 years ago that I wasn't crazy about.

So I kinda messed with it
and added paper + paint

and more paper and more paint
and then I found this quote that I love to go with it.

So It's done!
For now...

Monday, July 5

Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.

Okay, the baby is with his grandparents and I've been painting.

Julie emailed me about creating a piece in her house for her family's foreign exchange students.

They've had several students from different countries and she wanted something colorful to put in their room.

She chose the quote "Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart."
which is one of my favorites.
I thought of collaging the worldinthe center made out of maps.

She had the idea of including a flag from each of the countries that her exchange students were from,

One of her sons is adopted from Kazahkstan, so we included that flag too.
I started with the idea, and just kept adding layers of paper and paint and maps, until I finally felt like I was finished.

Thank you Julie!

Friday, July 2

New thank you cards

On an unrelated note...
I just found this.
Be inspired and amazed.

Coming back from the printer is the highlight of my life.
It's hard to describe what a thrill it is.

Let me explain.
I spend hours and hours alone in my studio.
then I take it to my printer
and tell him what I want.

and then it always turns out
so beautiful.
so almost exactly like the original.

and they look so professionnal.
it looks like I know what the heck I'm doing.
and it's really satisfying.
that's a perfect word for it.

So here's what I have been creating.
For sale soon in my etsy store.

Thursday, July 1

The Bigger Picture: Be faithful + wait

“Not all those who wander are lost.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

and I think he wrote this just for me.
right before he wrote The Hobbit.
I can't help it.
I'm such a wanderer.
I'm supposed to be calculating my sales tax right now,

but I wandered onto Maegan's blog at Life Set to Words
and started reading Bigger Picture Blogs
and got all caught up in everyone's stories.
and i love it.

and this line struck me...
A moment where you recognized
the role your faith plays in your every day life.
A moment where you take note
of motherhood and the importance of what you are doing.
A moment that made you stop
and breathe in the bigness of it all.

because I was just talking to my friend Kristi yesterday
about how I feel so stuck in my faith.
and unable to move forward.
and trying to do better,
and feeling more stuck.

and it clicked for me when I read that.
this is the real challenge.
what we do every day is so important
yet it can seem so monotonous and mind-numbing
and insignificant...

but it's not.

and I've been thinking about where I want to go with my art
what is it I really want with this adventure?
and I still can't articulate it.
or even picture it.
partly because I believe that
God's dreams for me are
so much bigger than I could ever
dream or even imagine for myself.

so yes, I want to run after my dreams,
but I also want to leave space
for God to take me where He wants me to go
so that I can receive His blessings.

and I feel like He is saying 2 things:
1.)Be faithful in the small things right now.
Matthew 25:23
'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!

2.)Just wait on me. Relax. Calm down. Stop striving. Just sit down and wait on me.
(Ummm, not so good at this one.)
Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
Psalm 27:14

so all of this is to say that i love this idea
of finding the bigger picture
of stepping back each week
and taking note
and sharing
and hearing about
what God is doing
and the role of faith in my life every day.

because it's just too easy to forget
the hugeness of what I'm doing
every day with this little human life.

i'm jumping in.
i'd love to jump with you.