Friday, December 2, 2011

Where to Go

Found this one downtown the other day.  I guess we all know where to go now.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Breakfast

There are such a great number of things for which I am thankful this Thanksgiving.  Among the myriad of blessings, a lingering breakfast poolside of pumpkin pie and berries along with a nice black cup of Cuban coffee rates very high.  Add in my Bible and an art magazine along with that whipped cream and it made for a very special breakfast indeed.  Thank you, God, for all of your blessings!

That was yesterday.  I didn't mention that I wrapped up in a quilt and hugged my coffee - it was in the mid 50s.  Today it's headed toward 75 so we were out there in shorts.  Yesterday was a good day for cool weather - we went traipsing through the woods and brought home about 1/3 of a cord of wood for winter fires. I love it when we don't have to buy firewood - we spent only muscle power.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Studio Peek

 One of my favorite things to do besides looking at other peoples' artwork is looking at other peoples' studios.  With that in mind, I thought I'd let you peek into mine - well, a little corner of mine.
Here's the desk I paint on.  I gave up trying to keep it clean a long time ago, that was a battle simply not worth fighting.  Liquid acrylics dry really fast, so when I'm painting, it ain't over 'till it's over.  By then it's dried on all surfaces around me, too, i.e., wall, carpet, small children... you get the idea.
Because I carve woodblocks I need a place to create my prints where things are squared up.  I've laid the tape down so I can quickly align things when the paint is wet and I have to work fast.

Perhaps some of you have the same problem I have - lack of space.  My over-the-door shelves have helped a lot in that area for all my tiny bottles of liquid acrylics and inks.  Unlike my kitchen cupboard, I've got them all categorized into colors, neutrals, and type.
On the top shelf you can see a collection of my little purse sketchbooks.  They continue to be my idea-cookbooks and I pull them out now and then to spark creativity.
Now that I look closely, I see where that roll of 1" masking tape has been hiding.  Found ya!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Student Self Portrait

Last week I taught facial proportions and expressions to one of my youngest classes.  We also discussed putting things in with your self portrait that help express who you are, either in words or pictures. 
This is a self portrait one of my eleven year old students did.  Love, love it!
I particularly like the way she set herself apart from the background and worked with her negative space.  One talented girlie!
And who doesn't like ice cream, anyway?

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Here's a pretty big piece I did recently, which sold just today down at the gallery.  I think it was 20x24".  I call it Kaleidoscope, and wanted to demonstrate the wild, bright colors I can get using this medium.   Guess it's not too hard to see that I gravitate towards bright colors. You can also see a nice reflection of the sky in the upper right hand corner.  Hey, nobody said I had to be a great art photographer (although it would be very nice!)

The picture below is a cutaway to give an example of the detail.  This particular painting took me about eight separate settings to put together, mostly because I needed a 24 hour dry time between layering.  I'm glad it sold because I really love it and will like knowing that someone else will be enjoying it too.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Game of Life

Last night we pulled this good old classic.   Our 12 year old son smashed us with over a million dollars.  I pulled into the poor house with slightly less than $200,000 and a sketch of the game in pen and crayon.  Did it in my little Moleskin purse sketchpad; you can barely see the outline of the little sea turtle I did on the previous page. Nothing like those little plastic cars to make a person happy.  Anybody else remember these?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Proud (continued)

Okay, here's the entire picture.  It was important to me to have his face high up in the picture, with the hat going off the edges.  That helped give the feeling that he's  confidently looking down at you.


Here's a technical pen sketch I did of my son.  He popped on this hat I bought for the Renaissance Faire and looked so good that I took a pic of him.
When it comes to portraits, I am a basically impatient person.  What this means is that I'd rather dash it off quickly, capturing a mood or feeling rather than making an exact likeness.  This said, this sketch doesn't look a lot like my son; however, when I look at it, I feel as if I'm looking at him.  The reason for this is that I worked on catching the proud, self-assured look that my leader-son wears so easily.  I cropped it when I took the photo, but if you saw the entire picture, you'd see I jammed his head up into the upper righthand corner, and made it as if he was looking down at me.  At 6'4", he's ALWAYS looking down at me!  I'll take another picture of it to show you the entire page.
Yesterday I taught my youngest students about warm and cool colours.  While they were painting, I pulled this out of my purse and sloshed some paints down on this. As you can see, the pages are all wrinkled; that's because it's just a moleskin-type sketchpad that's really not made for liquid pigments.  No matter.  My purse sketchpads are the things dreams are made of.

Someone Else's Gourds

I love gourds.  I grow them, dry them, paint them, have my STUDENTS paint them.  Most people are like, 'What is THAT?'  They're gourds!  With delighted frisson I discovered these gourds in an Anthropology display window.  Guess I'm not the only one.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Greatest Generation - My Dad

My parents just celebrated their 68th anniversary!  Wow!  I've had some good talks with my Dad lately.  Like many WW2 vets, he almost never talks about the war, but I think he wanted to talk this time for two reasons.  One, they've walked through this with us through our sadness at losing two friends in THIS war; and two, because he's getting older, and really, finally, wants me to understand.  My parents are continually preparing us for their death in small ways.

My dad met my mother by tripping her in a roller rink.  A hot skater, he went all the way around before he came back to pick her up.  In more ways than one.  They dated for a couple weeks and he went straight into the army.  Continually writing letters back and forth, he came back on leave and they were married.  He'd sent her an engagement ring in the mail!  Back to the war.

He was in t 463rd AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion under General Patton.  His unit was shipped over the Atlantic in February in terrible weather.  He said just about everyone on the ship got sick, including the shipmen!  He admitted that he was fine, until he was in a lunch line and the guy in front of him turned around and threw up on his food tray!  Then he joined the rest.  Later they found that February is the absolute worst time of the year to cross the Atlantic.  Good start.  These were the beginning stages of the D-Day events.

He described places, times and operations.  He saw lots of carnage and killed many.  At one point their engineers set up a bridge and my dad, along with other men, were on it, holding it against the enemy.  He told me it was a pretty naked feeling to be standing on that bridge when the Luftwaffe came over in waves, strafing the bridge.  I guess he was in EXACTLY the right place, because he's alive!

They saw 144 days of continual combat in enemy territory.  My parents' first anniversary found him in heavy fighting.  I mentioned that, and he replied, "We didn't even THINK of those things - we just fought." You don't want to hear it all, just think Saving Private Ryan, he tells me.  He did have a special moment when General Patton himself spoke directly to him - he was driving a truck across a bridge, and, coming from the other direction in his usual position, STANDING in a truck, General Patton yelled at him, "BACK THAT TRUCK OFF THAT BRIDGE!!!"  He backed up.  Fast.  Dad waited as Patton and his entourage of trucks and tanks crossed the bridge for 15 minutes or more.

He participated in The Battle of the Bulge.  Fighting was never-ending.  Finally, after 144 days, they were told they could have two weeks' leave at a nearby resort in France.  They spent about three days there, then were all called back into action.  Again, they continued fighting in enemy territory for months, until the War ended.

He told me that the stone walls erected all over the countryside were the death of them.  Germans, who were already holding that ground, were behind them waiting, and there was no way to know who or what was behind them.  The stone walls, 100s of years old, were overgrown with trees and bushes, impossible to get through.  He said they finally just bombed them and made big holes through which to pass – still, they didn’t know what was behind them.  He told me they were issued “clickers” – you know – those little metal children’s toys shaped like a cricket that you would press to make a loud, irritating click.  This was one way they could identify friend or foe.

No wonder they call them "The Greatest Generation."  I do not in any way mean to make light of the war we're in right now - we've participated in that pain - but many more men were killed in WW2 each day than have been killed in this war, we heard 2,500 so far.  My parents knew unending amounts of people that died, and gave a LOT, as did many, many others from this generation.  When I think of their stories, I realize I don't even know what the word sacrifice means.

Dad, I salute you. 

If you are privileged to still have someone around that was in World War 2, show some interest in that time, hear a story, and thank him.
Here are my parents on their anniversary.  Oh, my goodness, I love these people!

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Piggy Partner

This is my new driving partner.  I'm thinking that I can drive in the HOV lane now...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Student Lydia's Artwork

One of my young students happily presented a picture she did and reported that she spent 20 hours on it.  My first thought was, 'sure, 20 hours,' but when I looked at it, I knew she was right!  Here it is in all its gorgeousness.  I put it in vertically even though it's a horizontal piece so you can get a bigger pic to see the details closely.  She's making color copies and selling each one for a buck a piece.  If you want one to contribute to your own personal happiness and purchase one, let me know and I'll get it for you. :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Trunk

Well, not too long ago I went to a smaller vehicle.  This is the first time in many years that I haven't driven a van! However, I'm still packing it in.  Here's my hatchback opened... the pumpkins aren't normal carting-around faire, but the rest is.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wayne Thiebaud, continued

Since I put that delightful video of Wayne Thiebaud below, here's one of his ice cream cone pics that I love.  He accidentally developed the bright outlines, went with it, and it turned out to be a very good thing.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Woodcut - Lake Woodlands Dragon

Hola Amigos,
Here's a picture of the new woodcut I'm working on.  A few weeks ago I was casting around for an idea and just happened to drive by the dragon fountains on the east side of Lake Woodlands.  I fired off ten or so pictures and went home and did some sketching.  After transferring my sketch to the wood, I - oh, I have to say it - dug in.  Here's how it looks so far...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Wayne Thiebaud, Painter of...Cakes

Love this guy.  I told my kids about him in my art classes this week, and for the rest of you - enjoy! Thiebaud was born in 1920 and is still alive. 

A few of his quotes below:
 Art is one of the dirtiest words in our language; it’s mucked up with all kinds of meanings.  There’s the art of plumbing, there’s the art of almost anything that you can say.  My own sense of it is that it means something very rare, an extraordinary achievement.  It’s not delivered like the morning paper, it has to be stolen from Mount Olympus.

The more I drew, the more I improved.

Painting is life for me.  It is a kind of miracle.

Find something you want to paint.  Something you really love.

Almost everything I’ve done I’ll go back to and do again.

You have to take some chances.

Wanting to rise above the ordinary, Wayne Thiebaud said: ‘I tried to steal every kind of idea – Western, Eastern – and the use of everything I could think of.  Size differences, color differences… exaggeration.’

I try to find things to paint which I feel have been overlooked.

What I couldn’t get over was that all the illustrators and commercial artists I admired most were crazy about the old masters.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Deep Woods Painting Sold

This weekend we had the Market Street Art Fair.  The Woodlands Art League set up in the center of the square and exhibited many of our pieces.  I took this one, which I named 'Deep Woods.'   Pretty early on in the day, we sold it.  Hooray!  Turned out that it ended up being the only piece anyone in our gallery sold that day.

Deep Woods is another of my liquid acrylics on YUPO.  I layered the background with lots of blues, greens, turquoises and iridescents, giving it a feeling of depth.  On top of that I painted in the tree, and added the final layer, some subtle gold texturing.  For this I used a root beer leaf from my garden, painting the gold onto the leaf and transfering it that way. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Another Painting Sold

Sold another painting yesterday; this was one of my woodblock series.  With these, I paint a multi-layered background, and then paint my woodblock and lay down a print on top.  Just got back from the gallery, where I replaced the sold one.  This particular woodblock took me about 40 hours to carve.  Note the places where you can see some of the wood grain showing through for interest.  It's a good day!

By the way, carvers usually use 'basswood.'  Much of the wood sold to woodcarvers is this basswood, which is known for its nice smooth grain and not a lot of knot holes.  What basswood actually is is linden wood from linden trees!  I was delighted to learn this as linden trees are one of my favorites.  Growing in colder climes, they are beautifully-shaped hardwood trees that have many pendant white flowers dangling down from one spot.  If you are so lucky as to stand under a linden when it's in bloom, you can look up and see millions of flowers reaching down toward you and experience the heady, intoxicating fragrance they put off.   You'll get a show as well, because bees are attracted too the flowers and you'll likely see as many bees as blooms!  Ahhh... I can almost smell them now.
I was lucky enough at one point in my life to be able to purchase linden perfume, which is now no longer made.  I carefully used my cherished bottle to extend it as long as possible.  One day I went upstairs to find that my young son had sprayed out the entire bottle, which, until that point, was about 70% full!  Oh, well.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Don't touch the Paint!

Today, a picture of my poor thumb.  For some reason unbeknownst to me, all my fingertips developed razor-like cuts and peeling skin.  Ouch!  Just try living with open wounds on all your fingertips!

Went to the dermatologist and she gave me the unwelcome news: contact dermatitis to paint.  Any other artists develop this?

So, this artist is trying to figure out how to continually paint without touching... paint!  I am currently using a barrier cream, which helps considerably; I just have to continually reapply it.  Gloves are absolutely for the birds.

Let this be a warning to you people.  There are a lot of pigments that simply are not good for your skin.  Remember, your skin is porous and soaks up whatever it contacts.  Oh, boy.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Maurice Sendak and Life without Hope

 Wonderful People,
This morning I am touched to the core.  As a believer who lives a beautiful life full of hope - hope in this life and hope in my future life with Christ, I forget what it is like to not have that hope.  No question that life can be tough, but there is always the hope we have in Jesus.  Today I listened to the most poignant reminder of that which I have perhaps ever heard.
The interview was on Fresh Air.  An aging Maurice Sendak (of Where the Wild things Are fame) was interviewed.  In this touching conversation, we learn about his choice to not have children.  He selfishly wanted that time to read and write books, listen to music and travel.  He addresses his lifelong dream of having adult children and being lonely.  He has visited a psychiatrist for years and talks about his being gay.  Now that he is aging, he is tender and lonely.  His friends are dying and he clings to life, crying all the time.
Because he is an athiest, he doesn't believe that there is anything after death.  Contrary to this belief, he still clings to the unfounded hope that he will see his brother again someday.  It is really one of the very saddest interviews I have ever heard.  In the end, he gives a most beautiful statement to Terry Gross, which brought fresh tears to me, and most certainly to Terry.
I listened to it twice.  Once myself and once with my son.  We had quite a few things to talk about afterwards, ended in a prayer, and I consider it the most worthy thing I've done with him all week.
The interview is about 20 minutes long.  Please, PLEASE listen to it.

It renews the fire in me to share the hope that I have in Christ.  If you are living a life without hope, please talk to me.  I would love to share a rich, new life with you.
Check out this link for the interview.
You can also go to Fresh Air on your iPhones.  She interviewed him  because he put a new book out, "This Pig Wants to Party."
Most sincerely, and full of hope,
Cindy Johnson

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Book Recommendation - Brilliant Beginnings

The past few days I've been reading this seriously engrossing book.  I dare you to open it for just a minute.  One artist leads to another until you are SUCKED IN!
It gives nice spreads showing early, childhood works of great artists, composers and writers. For example, Claude Monet's early caricatures are shown, along with this quote:
"I was undisciplined from birth, no one, even when I was very young, could make me follow rules... School always seemed like prison to me and I could never resolve to spend even four hours a day there."
It says he drew unendingly in the margins of his books, depicting, in the most irreverent way, his teachers.
You can find it on Amazon, among other places.  I think I'm going to have to pick it up myself, sometimes the library just isn't enough; ownership is necessary!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Back to School and A. A. Milne

Wow!  School is off to a great and busy start!  I've barely had time to make any posts, let alone breathe!  My son, Noah and I got home this afternoon at 4:50 and before five minutes had passed we were both laying flat out on the carpet.  My art classes are brimming this year - seems that this economy has made people realize that they really need art to enrich their lives.  Noah had a good day, too, and when asked what his favorite class was, he quickly said, 'Theater!'

Perhaps because we all feel a little frayed this time of year, I'm going to give you one of my favorite A. A. Milne quotes.  Remember, Milne wrote Winnie the Pooh.  He said,
"One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries."
As for me and my house, life is pretty exciting over here right now.  Hope yours is, too.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Seriously?  "...but it's a dry heat..."

Monday, August 15, 2011

TRUE CONFESSION; addendum to previous post about Leaf Abstract

Okay, okay, I have to admit it.  I might as well tell you now, or my sins will find me out.

I had help with Leaf Abstract.  I generally like to keep this type of information well hidden, but I can't stand it.

My cat helped me.  In the top righthand corner, in the blue-meets-red flow I've got going, my cat jumped up onto the table and made it just a little more, ah, flowing.

Perhaps that's what makes the painting - who knows?

(oh, I feel better now... :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Painting Sold Today

We came home from church today to find that the gallery sold one of my paintings today.  It's a good day.

Before you read on, this is a perfectly awful photograph of a really pretty painting!  The colors flow together and are layered one on top of another to create new colors.  The overall effect is NOT the hots and the red colors you see here, but a nice balance of warm and cool colors.  The prominent leaf is gold pigment which sits on top of the other paints in relief.

This piece is about 20" x 30".  What you can't see is the amount of depth that shows up when you view it in person.  I use a combination of different types of inks, some recede and others step forward, so you have visual interest and can see through the top layers down to the bottom layers.

I named this one 'Leaf Abstract,' because it's built up of layers of bright colors upon which I printed leaves from my root beer plant, which I grow in our back yard.  The plant grows to about six feet, yields leaves which are about 15" long, and they actually do smell like root beer when you crush them!  Like!  The leaves are stiff with really prominent veins which lend themselves nicely to prints.

As I like bright, unsullied colors, I've got a lot of colors laid down in this painting.  During the process, I'm layering, lifting, spattering, moving and texturing, among other things.  Once I've got the under layers of the painting finished and completely dry, I brush the inks directly onto the leaf and print onto the YUPO.  Generally speaking, I'll make a print on a pretty thirsty paper first, THEN on the YUPO.  Doing a second printing with one inking is called making a ghost. As YUPO, which is polyeurethene, is absolutely non-absorbant, I almost always do a ghost.

Once I've got my leaf ink pattern laid down, I'll often use powdered gold pigment over specific areas.  I fill a fan brush with the powder and dust it quickly over the wet ink by tapping on my brush while I hold it above the painting.  It's pretty tricky getting it to obey me and land exactly where I want it, and I won't even know if the painting turned out until it's dry and I can brush off the extra gold pigment.  All this to say, I end up doing a lot of paintings before I come up with one I like.  I like this one a lot, and I'm glad someone else did, too! :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Three Woodblock Acanthus Prints

I'm continuing to work with the print block I carved.  Here are three paintings I've done with it.  First I worked up the backgrounds, which often contain a number of layers of ink.  Each time I add a layer, I have to wait for some time between applications to add another layer.  Because of the nature of YUPO, when I do add paint, it needs to be done quickly and with NO mistake.  There's no going back with this stuff.  Any error will smudge off all underlying layers, down to the white.  Trust me on this one, I toss a bunch because the process is so tricky.  That old adage about artists producing 20 paintings to come up with one they like is pretty close to the mark.
I like this one because it's really bright and cheery.  The photo doesn't really show that the blue of the acanthus is a really stand-out color.  Of course, because blue and orange are complimentaries, that doesn't hurt, but the blue looks quite bright in person.
I added iridescents and bronzes to the paint for this one.  When you view it in person, it has the effect of floating on top of the background, for which I chose colors loosely representing a night sky.  I painted in some minimal shading to further the effect.

This one particularly shows the qualities I'm searching for in the details of the print.  There are spots without paint and spots that show the grain of the wood, which gives it an antiquey (is that a word? ... it is now!) flavour.  If I'm going to take the 40 hours to carve a woodblock, I want people to know when they view the prints!

This last one is called Acanthus Rising, and is my youngest son's favorite.  Once again, I built up many layers to give it a three-dimensional effect which, desunfortunadamente, does not show up online.  You can get a feel of some of the reflective qualities, though, and the bright spot on the top left is where the bronzes were reflecting light.  Because of the wildness of the background, I handpainted in more of the details of the flower to bring attention back to it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fall Art Classes

Hello, Wonderful People,

For those of you living in my area, I'm offering four art classes this year.  School starts in a couple weeks, so you need to sign up right away if you're interested.  I've already got one class full, but still have some room in the others. :)  You can contact me for details here, or at

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Stained Woodblock

Here's the woodblock after I made a number of prints.  Not all that pretty, but beautiful to its mother.

First Woodblock Print

Here's the first print I made from the first-ever woodblock carving I made.  You can look back a couple postings to see the woodblock itself.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Woodworking - Close to Done

This summer we've been taking wood carving classes, and my son and I found we both really enjoy it.  I finally finished the first-ever woodblock I attempted!  Hooray!  Here it is.  This particular photo shows it when it's not quite done, but you can get the gist of the thing.  Personally, I like it, except that it's shown upside-down here.  I am the world's worst at manipulating pictures on computers.  Much rather spend my time painting or carving wood than learning how to do THAT!

You can see a much earlier version of this piece before I did a lot of major carving under the heading 'Woodworking, First Big Project.'

Tomorrow when I get some good light in the house, I'll take a pic of my first ever print that I made with this.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New York's Guggenheim

These are some shots we took of the Guggenheim in New York when we were there.  The building itself, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is a masterpiece.

 Outside the museum, just before we went in.
 Looking up at the dome was inspiring.  And we had many chances at it as the entire museum centers around it.

Frank Lloyd Wright built the museum to be used in a certain way.  He wanted museum-goers to take the elevator up to the top and walk down the spiral, taking in the galleries while walking down.  We did it backwards and walked up.  I don't know if my memory serves me well in this point, but I think I remember docents encouraging everyone to walk UP in a certain direction. 
Guess we'll have to go back to see!

 These are shots of the Wright Restaurant inside the Guggenheim.  This restaurant and its architect have won many awards for its design.  The food was awesome, and expensive.  Definitely not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy!
 These are powder-coated aluminum slats which the artist, Liam Gillick, named The horizon produced by a factory once it had stopped producing views.  They are mounted on two complete walls inside the restaurant.

Had to toss in a couple pictures of Central Park as well.  The Guggenheim is across the street from Central Park, so it just begs for a stroll after you exit the museum.

There's my boy walking down the path!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Woodworking - First Big Project

This summer Noah and I are taking, of all things, woodcarving!  And to my surprise, we're really enjoying it!  Each week, Noah asks me when woodcarving is; he looks forward to it that much.  The Homeschool House on Robinson Road holds classes and that's where we go.  This is my second project - we all did a simple keychain project at first to learn all the different types of cuts.  And of course, I would have to come up with a really complex design for my second project.  Here it is in all of its, uh... glory.  We'll see how it turns out.  I'm hoping that I do a good enough job with enough relief to turn this into a useful woodblock for printing...  as one of my friends said, I'm going to work to make Albrecht Durer proud!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Johnson Illustrated Bible

There are many ways to study the Bible, many books and guides to lead you through, ask questions, fill in the blanks... I prefer another way - JUST READING THE BIBLE!

We've kind of come around to a unique way to study - each day get out a clean sheet of paper.  We usually do a chapter or two, sometimes adding a Psalm or some verses we're memorizing.  Whatever it is we study, we put down on paper.  What makes it unique is that we often illustrate it.  Whatever we write down may be verses, a synopsis of what we learned, or drawings depicting scenes we read about.  I've done this with all my kids now.  Each day when finished, we put our hole-punched paper into a binder.  We've got books of these pages.

Let me see now, Noah's 12, and with him I've gone through... thinking... Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus (yes, we read all the names and numbers) Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I and II Samuel, I and II Kings, I and II Chronicles... Psalms and Proverbs, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, (the first three chapters of Romans so far, gotta do that one bit by bit), portions of Paul's letters, all of Revelation and the prophecy books in the Old Testament (Isaiah, Daniel and portions of the minor prophets).

We're currently working on Ezra, and also skipping around in Paul's letters doing a little study on grace and peace.  I'm not saying this to brag, but want you to know that you, too, can do this.  We use many different mediums to hold kids' interest (pen, pencil, watercolors, crayons, markers, metals, etc.)  When their hands are busy, their minds have a chance to listen.

Here are a few pages of both mine and Noah's.  Each day we have our own sheet and add it to the book.  Now and then we look back at what we've done, and the pictures and notes bring everything we learned back to us.  Ready?  Here goes!  Just remember as you look that we're not going for great art here.  We're going for learning and documenting what we've learned.

And yes, the one you noted above with red drips all over it is indeed candle wax.  Smells good, too.

I hope you also saw his very big sacrificial fire with the little dude standing at the base.  Just makes you happy, doesn't it?  And the people in the picture with Samson?  As you can see, they're getting ready to die.  That's one thing about the Bible, it provides lots of chances for boys to illustrate BLOOD!  I remember one of our pastors saying that the Bible is R rated, which leads me to this comment - yes - I do skip things now and then.  I can think of probably three chapters I've skipped.  He can study them when he's more mature.

Look at the little corner on this page, down on the right.  That's what I often do when we pray.  I'll write down whomever I'm praying for and doodle and color around them.  This is the only one I've included here because most have too many names and too much information on them.  When I am doing this, it keeps my attention focused on my prayers.  Some of them get very complex!

One more comment: you likely noticed that on many of the sheets there are typed verses.  When I want us to memorize a particular verse, I type it up, print out a dozen sheets, and put them in the back of our binder.  I'll use one verse until we have it memorized, then keep the extra sheets in to pull out in the future to remind us of what we've memorized.  Some days we use plain, blank sheets, depending on what we're going to be studying.

It took me years to figure out that I'm simply too artistic to do study guides and fill in blanks.  They drive me crazy! Anyway, depending on your bent, this type of study may also be for YOU!