Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Story

Once upon a time, over two thousand years ago, a man named Jesus lived in a faraway land.  He was born in the hay among the cows and sheep, his young parents in shock and awe.  He beat the odds, as they would say today, and became the most famous man in all of history.  Perhaps this was the first thing he taught us:  that no matter our humble beginnings there are no limits on our life.

Around the age of 12, as this boy was beginning his journey out of boyhood into manhood, he was drawn to spiritual things.  He had a great yearning in his heart for knowledge.  Instead of hanging out at the mall, he slipped away from his parents and spent time "at the church" with the rabbis.

Time passed.  He grew into a man.  There was no media back then but people still began to follow him wherever he went.  They listened to what he had to say.  They watched him perform miracles.  He was charismatic.  Just to be in his presence was uplifting. Just to touch the hem of his garment was healing.

The leaders began to get a little worried.  What if this continued?  What if they lost power and their control of the people?  Hmmm.  Their worry turned to riot as they demanded the death of this man.

They did it in public.  They could have killed him at night out in the fields.  No one would have known. But they wanted to make a point.  "You people cannot think for yourselves.  You'd better fall in line with the government or you will be sorry.  Just look what is happening to him."  Even some of Jesus's closest friends were afraid and betrayed him.

Back then the punishers wanted people to suffer.  They made it hard, humiliating, slow, inhumane.  They crucified them, broke their legs.  They mocked his ideas so they would break too and die with him.  Ha.  That didn't work.

A rich disciple of Jesus named Joseph asked Pilate for Jesus's dead body and Pilate, feeling a little squishy about the whole thing, said okay.  Joseph honored the body of his friend, cleansed it, wrapped in white, and laid it inside a new tomb he had just built.  At least he could do that.

I could say the rest is history since today is Easter.  Jesus didn't stay in that tomb for long.  He wasn't finished.  He came back.  He didn't die.  We don't either.

We remember and memorialize those we love.  And those who have impacted the world and our lives.  So today the whole Christian world does that.  We do it with Easter bunnies, and Easter egg hunts, and new dresses and deviled eggs.  We go to church and read Scripture.  We celebrate the good, not the bad, not the suffering.  Not the agonizing hours he hung upon the cross to teach us about everlasting life in such a poignant way we would never forget.

So this man who was so threatening had the last Word after all.  Love.  Goodness.  Forgiveness.  Power.  Humility.  Hope.  Joy.  Rest.  Brotherhood.  Newness of life.  Always another chance.  Always another Spring.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

My Favorite Tree

11" x 14"   Oils
Lavender Fields

I think this is only the second tree I've ever painted.  For some reason painting a tree has been daunting to me.

Trees are so could it not be daunting to try and capture their essence?  How could I possibly do them justice?  They represent so much don't they.  Strength, beauty, respite, shade, comfort, memories, and on and on.  Any tree you've planted in your yard probably has a story.

I remember my husband and my kids digging up a "huge" tree and moving it from the front yard to the back yard.  On a recent trip back, 25 years later, is "still there" and even "huger" than it was then.

I remember planting cuttings from my Grandfather's peach tree that eventually grew as tall as the house showering white blooms every Spring.  And forsythia bushes that practically became trees started from a snatch of roots from Nanny's yard in the 70s.  

Outside my window right now is a Japanese Maple Judy gave me...a friend right beyond the pane.

That's what a garden is to me.  In the South we call it "the yard".  More than the colors and blooms and textures and berries, all of which I love, it is the story that each plant tells that matters to me.  

So back to my tree.  I love it.  Isn't it beautiful?  I struggled with it.  It's looser and more layered than I usually paint.  My friend helped me.  He could see what I couldn't.  Together we made quite a work of art I think.  And I am confident enough now to paint another tree and it will be a dogwood. 

There is a big story about dogwood trees...
 Just waiting for them to bloom.  

Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Who Is Sailing This Boat?

11 x 14  Original Oil


Every painting has a story. 

 The artist knows the story and that is all that is important.

I loved creating this boat.  If I could paint it again, and I just might, I would do a few things differently...but  

I still love it just as it is.  


Nice blog to visit if you love the creative spirit.