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! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bas Relief Liles, Part Two

This is part two of my metal lilies.  I neglected to say that this is a 9"x12" piece of pewter.  Very satisfying to engrave into, although no mistakes are allowed.  I'd hate to do something man made and technical on something like this... oh yeah... I pretty much never like doing man made, technical things!

Now the lilies are gessoed onto a nice, stiff canvas board, and it has been drying for a few days.  You may note that there's gesso also directly on top of the pewter.  This is because the pewter has no tooth, of course, and won't accept paint; however, the gesso adds tooth and the paint will stick to those places.  Also you can see that I rubbed the gesso off more in some places than others.  Makes life interesting and adds to the mystery, and also helps me manipulate the viewer.

It actually is square, it's just that my photography is lacking (hey, we can't be great at everything!)  I'll be painting it in a few days, and will show you IF I like it!  ha, ha!

Today I went down to the Woodlands Art League Gallery.  We're moving across the street.  There's still a lot to do in our new facility before we move.  Today was sanding and carrying stuff.  Sanding and carrying stuff.  SOON it's going to look GREAT! Hey, a new coat of paint makes everything look better... hmmm... maybe THAT'S what I need!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bas Relief Lilies

Last week I purchased some Oriental lilies; they always inspire me - the fragrance alone is inspiring!  Tonight I finally finished the first stage of lilies on metal.  For this piece I chose a really heavy gauge of metal to get some good relief going.  Next, I'll gesso the metal to a support, and once that's dry, I'll be painting it.  As I'm almost out of gesso and my hand is exhausted, the next step will hopefully be Saturday.  Stay tuned...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Flowers in Turkey

The flowers in Turkey were beautiful.  We discovered that tulips are native to Turkey, and traveled to the Netherlands from there!  Who 'd a thunk!

And of course, I would have to stop and smell the peonies - my FAVORITE flowers!

Friday, June 17, 2011


I've been working in metals this week; here are some acanthus leaves that I worked up.

This pic shows the metal gessoed to a board.  I like getting the metal partially gessoed as well because it adds to the texture, makes it one with the board, and accepts staining, which will be my next step.

 Here's the plate after I stained it.  As I prefer the colors laid down loosely, I quickly paint them in, then rub most of it off with a cloth, making sure the metal shines through more in some places than in others.

It turned out that with this art-noveau style piece, the rosey colors really glowed through when laid on top of the copper.  I did a lot of scrubbing to get the textures really showing up on the gessoed places.

Here's my last one.  I'm taking these all down to the gallery tomorrow, so I guess you'll have to come and see me and buy them!

Photography isn't my strong suit, so I took two photos of this fun abstract.  The real colors are somewhere between the two. :)

Remember to come and see me in the gallery tomorrow!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

She Dances Away from Me

I wrote this poem for my daughter.  She's now 19 and still living with us while she's going to school.  All these years we've been very close, sharing everything.  Although still with us, she's moving away from me.  I know this is God's plan to prepare both parents and kids for the kids to fly, but it hurts nonetheless. 
My poem, 'She Dances Away from Me.'
Click on the image, and you'll be able to read the card I made for her.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Missions Part Eleven

After our treacherous and LONG trip winding through unrepaired mountain roads, we got to our destination quite late.  Da bus wouldn't make it up the steep, winding trail up to the hotel on top of the hill, so we loaded onto a small, open truck and trundled up in the dark.
In the morning, I awoke and peeked out the window - this was my first view of the town - stunning!

This is the truck that took us up and down the hill as the bus couldn't make it.  I'm waiting until last because I happened to wear a dress that day.  The other option to get down to the town was to walk down the stairs.  I don't like down, but we did walk UP, many, MANY steps!
Wherever we went, the churches that we worked at fed us.  It was a great sacrifice for them, and the food was always wonderful.  Here are some native musicians - friends - that traveled with us.

And this is a pic of the four mothers!  As an Americana, I have four kids.  The momma next to me has three, the one next to her, one, and the one sitting by her, two.  Their national average is only two kids.  Kids are expensive.  Thank you, Lord, for my kids!
 Me and Tania.  We both have three boys and can really enjoy each other.  She was a dentist, her husband a doctor.  They both gave up their professions and moved themselves and their three BIG boys into a very small place to take care of an old man.  Why?  Because they were called to lead a church.  They have made huge, HUGE sacrifices that would fill a book to follow our Lord.  How much less can I do?  Very humbling.
 Ah, the ever-present Spanish/English problem!  I'm continuing to work on my Spanish and getting better with each passing week.  We actually communicated pretty well, and this was a posed shot - a joke between us because sometimes our Spanglish discussions were pretty hilarious.  By the way, this country has one thing right - their musicians and artists are paid higher than other workers!  We've got two professional musicians here.

Goofing around.  There's always time for that in my book. :)  It's all about working on relationships and building friendships.  I consider these three sillies my children.
This is the front of the church, as you can see, a Baptist (Bautista) church.  It's incredible to me how small it looks here - it was really quite huge inside, and the evening we held our service 1,300 people came.  It was an incredible evening, and once again, a good number of people became Christians.  Praise GOD!!
While we were preparing for our concert, I peeked outside the church window, and this is what I saw.

 And this.  Everywhere I looked I saw beauty.  The first time I went to this country, I was struck at the people's poverty and lack of not only wants but real needs.  They have a serious problem with their physical needs not being met.  It was very difficult for me to see past that.
This time my eyes took in something entirely different.  First, I must stress two distinct groups of people; non-believers and believers.  I'm pretty good at making people smile, but failed big time with people on the street that are not Christians.  Their eyes are vacuous, empty, and reflect no hope whatsoever.  It's very sad.  But it's true.  They have no hope.
However, the second group, the Christians, are what I really saw this time.  I couldn't seem to even find their poverty or lack of anything, because they are so filled with hope, so ready to sacrificially give anything they have, so satisfied with what they do have, and so very rich in their knowledge and standing with the Lord.  They are also unbelievably rich in deep, close ties with family and friends.  I envy them this.  No, I think perhaps it is we who are lacking.  Lord, I pray for OUR country!  Draw us close as you have drawn these people close to YOU!

 There was BARELY enough room to contain us on this stage, but of course, the Lord paved the way, and that didn't matter.
 This was the view in the other direction out the church window.  They simply sat in their doorway for their evening's listening pleasure.  We were witness not only to those who filled the church to overflowing, but also to those around the church.
 These are several views of the inside of the church.  I told you it was deceptively small-looking outside!
 Rapt attention.  God was working in their hearts.
Services could go on for two or three hours.  And they were so wonderful, I never wanted them to end!

 I love this picture.  They really are such beautiful people.  I love THEM!
 It was really nice to have singers helping us lead.  The Americana in white taught singing in each place we gave our musical expos while we were teaching instruments.

 This young native, Junior, traveled with us and helped with all the technical stuff all week.  As you can see in the middle ground, there's a young man signing.  I was impressed that they had quite a nice sized group of hearing challenged people.  One woman was in charge of signing during testimonies and the sermon, and she did such a beautiful job!  I would love to be able to tell you how it looked different from American signing, but I really can't.  Her hands just did a gorgeous dance, quite different from our signing.  She also let others take turns and she would sit back and help them if needed.
 Our fearless leader and conductor.  Testimonies and a sermon would be interspersed throughout the musical selections we played.
 Our row of flautistas.
The reason I have ANY pictures from this concert is that one of the pastors took my camera and walked around with it while we were playing!
 A typical scene in the countryside.
 When serving food, presentation is everything.  They know this too, and really laid out some beautiful stuff.  Much tastier than ours, too - I expect their soil isn't depleted like ours, and 'organic' is, well, everything they grow!
 Goofing off at lunch...
 This is the kitchen that produced all our lovely food.  Be thankful for your stoves and dishwashers, ladies!  I am!
 Well, we all know what this is...
 We had a few hours one afternoon to walk around town (or go to the hotel and rest).  It's not in my nature to take a nap, so... walking around town!  This particular town is famous for its quaint, pastel-colored buildings, and the walk was delicious.

 By the way, the days were always hot, and the clouds were always pretty.  We drove through a light rain at one time, but they are pretty desperate for rain, too, and the drought has hurt them.  Just this week a friend I correspond with told me that they're finally getting much needed rain now.  Praise God!  Now, we'll have to continue in prayers for rain in TEXAS!
 Down at the water with friends.
 The ocean is wild at this place.  Definately not a swimming place!

Wild and free, unpolluted and dangerous.