When I was a kid there were craft kits you could buy for making “leather” wallets, purses and name tags for labeling your stuff, like a luggage tag. The kit came with cut-out pieces of “leather” that were hole punched around the periphery of each piece, and you were provided lengths of thin plastic string that you whip stitched through the holes in the “leather” pieces to assemble the object you were crafting. I recently came across one of these “leather” luggage tag gems at an antique store attached to the handle of a vintage suitcase. I was immediately transported back in time to fond memories of this craft activity, usually anticipating the creations as Christmas gifts for loved ones and friends.
Recently I completed a series of paintings inspired by this jolt to my crafting reminiscing and delivered the set of three canvases to Reflections Gallery yesterday. They are titled The Get-Away Series, Art That Moves. If you have the chance to visit the gallery look closely at the one titled, Week Away. You’ll see one of those plastic string stitched “leather” luggage tags attached to the handle of the vintage travel case image. Attached to its owner’s bag for decades making sure nobody gets it confused as belonging to someone else.
Those who confess Jesus as their Lord are tagged as belonging to Him, but not with a leatherette, plastic stitched tag that can unravel and fall off or get wet and the ink smudge. “They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their forehead.” Rev. 22:4 Our “luggage” tag is forever permanent and it has His name written on it. So no one else can claim us. Additionally, He has our name tagged to Him. “Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49:16 He will not forget us. Double security.
Daily Glory Glimpses Blog
The Get-Away Series, Art That Moves arrived at Reflections Gallery September 16th. Visit in person or check them out on my website www.janefnewman.com
"Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever." Psalm 28:9
The above image is 1 of 3 in a new series of paintings titled, The Get-Away Series, Art the Moves, headed to Reflections Gallery September 17th-November 12th. Visit my website to view more or even better, stop by the gallery before they "move on". www.janefnewman.com
Daily Glory Glimpses Blog
...cont... The title of these latest pieces is BookMarks: A Library of Line, Shape, Value, Color & Texture. You would think the subject prompted the title, but actually it was the paint application technique that dictated the name. These canvases are images created exclusively using MARKS. By choosing tools that echo the size and shape of the desired details, the marks made next to other marks create the illusion of stacked books. The paintings are very realistic but at the same time they are very abstract depending on the viewer’s position. If you get "up close and personal" with the canvases all you will see are lines, shapes, colors and textures(the basic art elements), from a distance they are hyper-realistic renderings of time-worn volumes.
This paradox reminds me of our Omniscient, All-Knowing, All-Wise, All-Seeing, All-Powerful, Loving-Unconditionally, Merciful, yet Personal, Approachable, God! He creates our every detail as if knitting us in His hand with a magnifying glass, ("For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14); and knows who we are without hesitation when we come running, especially when we have distanced ourselves from Him, (“So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20).
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Click on the Sneak Peek tab for more information about the BookMarks series.
Last post, I began an ongoing discussion about the inspiration behind my latest painting series titled, "BookMarks:A Library of Line, Shape, Value, Color & Texture". The paintings are created using layer upon layer of pushing and scraping paint applications. The photo to the left is an example of the first, initial layer. Very bright values are loosely blocked in to capture the essence of the Light I see in the stacks of books. Progressing layers will mostly cover this layer, but because of the texture on the canvas surface, as well as the untraditional tools used to add the top layers, these bright colors will peek through randomly (the photo below illustrates the progression). As I worked on the 7 canvases that make up this series, God spoke to me through the layering process as well as the subject of these time-worn volumes. The bright colors of our childhood and youth peek through the maturity of our journeys as time passes. Our covers might be well used but they have a beauty all their own that include include and work with the hues of the past. We are a work in progress with a Master Creator who is continually adding new layers. Only He can see the Masterpiece He is creating in you.
"But also for this reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:5-8
...next time, abstract realism!
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Click on the Sneak Peek tab to learn more about the BookMarks series.
I have recently completed a series of paintings titled, BookMarks:A Library of Line, Shape, Value, Color & Texture. The images were inspired by old, time worn and weathered, leather bound books. Most, not all, but most of them are large bibles from the 1800's. I have been asked, "What inspired you to create this series?". The answer began back in October 2018. My husband and I were doing research into the history of the published Word of God, the Bible. A few weeks time was spent reading and thumbing through volumes of information. We would even refer to some of the antique Bibles we have collected over the years. During that quest for deeper knowledge of how we have God's written Word, I was nudged to capture the beauty and timelessness of these well thumbed volumes on canvas. The Word is so precious to me and learning how It has remained basically unchanged over thousands of years is Awe inspiring as well as creatively inspirational. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8
"Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, He confirmed it with an oath." Hebrews 6:17
to be continued...
The story of how the paintings were created and the techniques used are for future posts. I hope you will place a bookmark here to catch-up on the journey in the days to come...
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Spiritual discomfort, being stretched to new limits and unknown territory is an alarming experience, whether you are a "seasoned" Christian or one who has just discovered Jesus as your Savior. Jesus himself taught that "new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved." Wine skins in bible times were goatskins. They used new skins for fermenting new wine so that over time as the wine went through its aging process the skins could adjust to the process of the chemical change by slowly stretching making room for the wine's maturation. If they had put the new wine in old, used skins, the skins would have burst because they were not pliable and flexible to handle the pressure of the wine aging process. Similarly, when God calls us to "new horizons", be them a first call to living a Christian life or a tenth call to serve in a missionary capacity, we need to remember to put on "new skin" so that we can be flexible & pliable to handle the pressure of the change, opposition, criticism, second-guessing, and temptation to backslide that may come along with "new horizons". And remember that it takes time for "new wine" to become "good wine"(see John 2:1-12).
Beautiful song on YouTube about this topic: New Wine by Hillsong.
"Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved." Matthew 9:17
Our winter and early Spring rainfall was above normal, but we have had no rain in weeks. So I try to give my thirsty plants a drink every other day. It's amazing how parched, tired, and wilted they become if they fail to receive a regular sprinkling of that precious water. We are no different in our need for regular drinks from The Water Fountain of Life. If we do not regularly seek His presence, read His Word, Pray for Guidance, serve His Purposes, we, too, become parched, callous, impatient, fowl, tired, wilted, and basically Lifeless for His Kingdom Work. Seek Him first. Drink from the Living Water daily, if not hourly, minute by minute. Refresh your Soul. Then offer a drink to another. We are all so very thirsty.
"...but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever. The water I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:14
In the Garden is one of my all time favorite hymns. Gardens are quiet places, contemplative and serene. Places to listen and be heard. I recently read a devotion entry written by Teresa of Avila about the Garden and wanted to pass it along because it expresses perfectly how I feel about this topic...
"When you enter into the spiritual life through the gateway of prayer, you would do well to see yourself as one who has set out to create a garden. This garden is a place wherein out Lord wants to come and walk and take pleasure. But just now, the soil is barren--except for the places that produce plots of weeds. His Majesty wants to uproot the weeds and plant in His garden many fruitful and fragrant blossoming plants. You may take it for granted that the Lord is already afoot, walking in His garden, if you have any desire to seek Him in prayer, for He always calls to us first and it is His voice we hear when we think it is our desire to pray. If we want to be good gardeners of the new-sown soul, we must, with God's help, see to it that the good plantings are tended and grow--and I am speaking now of godly virtues. At least, we must see that these good things are not neglected and die. Rather, we tend our souls carefully so that the first blossoms appear. These are the spiritual "fragrances" that begin to rise from our lives--the fragrances of faith, goodness, self-control, love, and the like. By them, many, many others are refreshed in spirit and attracted to the Lord. Then the Lord, Himself comes to walk in the midst of our garden. And it is all our joy to sense that He is there, taking pleasure in the lovely virtues." (from The Blue Book by Jim Branch)
Weeds and backsliding go hand in hand. It takes daily attention to control them. They pop up when and where we least expect them, but, with God's help, they are controllable, and eventually are not so difficult to overcome. Then you can spend more time enjoying the blooms from the good plants you've cultivated.
Another "Garden" song I love is by Kari Jobe, called "The Garden". If you would like to listen it, go to:
2 Corinthians 2:15 For we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are perishing.
I recently posted this image on Facebook asking, "What do we have here?". Art has the wonderful capability of being whatever the viewer sees it to be or makes them feel. I think that is why I love art, both viewing it and making it. Creating an image that means something different to each viewer is fascinating. Think about how fascinating we are to God, who created each one of us uniquely individual, yet with a broader "big picture" design in mind for our purpose in community. "For You formed my inward parts:..." Psalm 139:13 This art image is actually a zoomed in/close up of a "part" of a much larger painting. Looking at just a glimpse of the whole you see textures, layer upon layer of color, and different brushstrokes that are very abstract (which by the way is a fun exercise to try when looking at art anytime-seeking art inside of art!). God's creation is no different. If you teach yourself to see creatively, you'll find art inside of art everywhere. Even in yourself. You'll discover layers("like an onion"-thank you Shrek!) if you look close enough. He is a God of detailed parts and expansive wholes.
"I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well." Psalm 139:14
Daily Glory Glimpses Blog www.janefnewman.com
In a few days I am heading out on an adventure. Being accepted to the Bayou City Arts Festival in Houston, Texas is humbling for me since I will be among 299 other artists, as well as vendors, who participate in similar venues regularly. Usually an attender to similar environments, I am a "newby" to the vendor side of arts festivals. I really have no idea what to expect, but I am excited and feel God led to go there. I feel honored to be able to share the "Glimpses of Glory" that the Original Creator and Master Painter inspires me to capture with brush and paint. My cup overflows with gratitude for this opportunity.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
Daily Glory Glimpses www.janefnewman.com