Thursday, October 18, 2018

Hung Out to Dry

The tiny clothespins are real.
The skirt and jumper are cut from outgrown jeans.
There is eyelet lace on the Mom-size bloomers.
And, in a way, this painting set up the opening scene for my novel.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Sometimes I begin with an idea. 
Other times I just know I need to take time for art, 
so I spread out a blank page or canvas, 
pick up a brush or a crayon, 
and wait to see what will happen next.

Playing with pastels

Playing with paint textures and brush strokes

Monday, October 15, 2018


A strange thing about art: sometimes I make things I can't explain and don't understand.

I was in a play about women who made important 
discoveries in astronomy at Harvard, 
and this happened.

 This one is tiny.
I meant to paint in all gray tones that morning,
but some red found its way in anyway.

I have multiple title ideas for this one, 
but maybe it's better left to the viewer.

This one is definitely about womanhood.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Inspiration & Imitation

More miniatures.

My kids' animals go to the art fair
--on our end table! 

 This was inspired by an artist whose work 
I admire at an annual Wichita art fair.
(Metallic acrylic paints on canvas.)

 It's nowhere in particular, though the gray 
building was inspired by the Wichita skyline.
And those could be cherry blossoms.

 A Michigan peninsula, of course.

 An untitled favorite.
I was thinking about relationships,
seasons, friends and lovers--
and this happened.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Art Therapy

On a happier note, here are a few paintings on miniature (2") canvases. I am all for art projects that don't require much clean-up! These are small enough that I can set everything up on a little table on the shaded back porch.

This favorite is a magnet on my fridge.
I've always loved paisley patterns
and metallic acrylic paints are too much fun.

 This one was inspired by a winter sunset 
silhouetting the sycamores in our neighborhood.

Also a magnet.

Of course, ripples and swirls are a recurring motif. 
This happy one reminds me of cupcakes.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Wooden Spoons

I realized last month that I haven't shared much of my artwork here. So I'm going to start a series of art posts with a heavy mixed-media piece I titled Broken.

For the last year, Broken has hung on the wall in our living room near the fireplace. Creating it was an act of healing for me, as years of trauma worked themselves out of my body and into the paint and clay.

Some find it disturbing to look at art about religiously motivated child abuse, but I've found something reassuring in seeing pain externalized and safely pinned to the wall. I'm finally ready to find it a new home, though.


Like all art, it is personal, and I'm afraid 3-D lace, charcoal, and metallic stickers don't translate well into pixels on a screen. But here's a close-up anyway:

Detail of Broken

Thursday, September 27, 2018


I flipped through an old journal today and parts made me laugh while other bits made me want to beat my head on something. I've gained much distance from the girl I was then, but it was so real at the time.

July 23, 1991  Sunday night I asked Momma about perfume—I’d like to start wearing it, not as an allurement, but simply because, well, “perfume rejoices the heart”. Momma didn’t say no, she gave me the go-ahead to choose a kind and let her smell it!

July 24  Our septic was repaired and our phone line went out of commission. We did some baking, the cleaning, and some laundry, and carried on an active social life (Mrs. E----t, Mr. H----h, invitation to Doyle B---’s for dinner on Sunday…). A--- and I went with Dad to the church business meeting. I was grieved and distressed by some intentions the Board made known at the meeting—more signs of a lukewarm church.

July 25
I sense I haven’t been too wonderful in my attitudes at home lately. Lord, give me grace. Change my heart—take my will and make it Thine!
July 26  This morning I rose early to do some work on my skirt before work. I worked at Jo-Ann Fabrics for five hours, earning $21.25. Not bad! This evening I read part of the Russian alphabet book I got from the library last week. I’m finding it really helpful. 
July 27  I finished my denim skirt. This evening we got pizza and watched The Hiding Place video—a great combination for a fun evening! We picked some sweet corn from across the road for lunch. It was SO tender and sweet! The Lord really provides the best for us!
July 28  This morning some of us were ill, so only us four oldest went with Dad to church. We had to leave before the sermon again [we walked out to protest rock music]. Only the Lord Jesus knows what a struggle that is! I am committed to God’s will, but it’s certainly not easy.

July 29  We made donuts, I studied some Russian.
July 30  This afternoon Dad took me to Gaylord to help him get some data. This evening Dad mentioned that I had some pay coming—I had totally forgotten about that aspect! He insisted on paying more than I really earned, too! Truly God is good. Once again, He’s providing.

July 31  I worked on some correspondence and helped clean the kitchen (cabinet-organizing cleaning). The babies went to the doctor, Momma and Dad brought home pasties. Many of us have miserable colds. Lord Jesus, I’ll need Your strength for tomorrow! Thank You for making it available to me!
Aug. 1  A tiring day. Five of us are on antibiotics now. I slept in, helped some with meals and babies, and read and laid around feeling miserable. I did plan many projects to work on when I’m feeling better, however! Lord, please work to perfect my attitudes! I want to be a crown of glory in Your hand!
Aug. 2  This morning we cleaned, this afternoon most of us laid around in the living room feeling miserable and watching videos. It was pretty much fun. 
Aug. 3  I wrote to Becky and the others cleaned the shed. I did some ironing and experimented with spray starch and sizing. I nursed my cold and this afternoon Dad took five of us to the library—I found The Tempting of America by Robert Bork and an introduction to Russia.

Aug. 4  Right now I am in my room playing with [two-year-old] Timothy. We’re having fun singing up the scale and playing with a white feather that he discovered on the floor from my pillow.
Aug. 5  Today was reasonably pleasant and enjoyable. Also, my cold is improving.
Aug. 6  A full day—work in the morning and play in the afternoon. For some unexplainable reason I felt strangely thoughtful and even almost sad as I worked by myself. I’m afraid my joy in the Lord is ebbing—guess I need more time in the Word, or maybe I just need to throw my whole heart, my whole life, into making Momma successful. That’s it. I know that’s what I need to do. I must work to make my parents, my family a success. This is not easy or natural for me! I forget often.
Aug. 7  I am still having occasional pain in my toe (the one I possibly broke a few weeks ago) so I soaked it in mallow water for a while today while I worked cross-stitching a bib for Beth’s baby shower tomorrow.

If I could speak to my fifteen-year-old self, I'd tell her that her heart is beautiful.
That she is allowed to rest.
That even if she wasn't as kind and diligent and inquisitive as she is, she deserves just as much care as the friends and family she wants so much to serve.

And I think, if she heard that, she would cry.