05
Aug
11

(sigh)

(sigh)

Yeah- I know.  It’s been a while.  But hey, at least I’ve been painting a little.  I do have some adventures to share from this past year, and honestly- I do hope to get this thing kickin again.  More to come…

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14
May
10

The Parables Show

There was a clear prompting to me (yes.  From God) that all the proceeds to come in from the show would go to Haiti to benefit the rebuilding effort after the terrible earthquake that happened there on January 12th.  I had no clarity as to which organization I would be giving through, but I knew it would happen somehow- through some group.  Going into the night of the show- that’s all the direction I had.

So the show starts and people start coming.  I was so happy with the turnout- it was a very special moment for me.  Friends and family came from neighboring cities to show their support (special thanks to my wife Mandy, my Mom and friends David and Angie Dougherty for the copious amounts of food they brought for the many mouths at the show).  People were bidding on the pieces- and I was happy.  It’s a wonderful feeling- knowing that you could have been sitting on your couch watching TV all those nights you stayed up painting until 2 and 3 o’clock in the morning.  But you didn’t. 

It was hard sometimes- for me, for my wife and kids, my poor co-workers (that’s were I was grumpiest).  But it was all worth it.  I’ve said this before- “Nothing worth anything is cheap.”  I think I heard it from a movie or something- anyway it’s true.  I learned how true it was.  Everyone in my house did.

I shared some small talk with my friends about the artwork, but towards the end of the night, I ran across an older couple that I didn’t recognize.  I introduced myself and we spoke a little about the show, when the woman inquired about which organization I was going to be giving the Haiti donation through.  I was a little embarrassed that I had no answer for her, but I was honest about it.  I told her I wasn’t sure, maybe the Red Cross… I know my church does a lot globally.  Maybe I’d talk to the pastor over that area…

She introduced me to her husband, Dick, who happened to be a representative of a non-profit called Food for the Hungry.  Dick told me that the government had partnered with Food for the Hungry with an amazing matching gift.  For every dollar that came in through their organization that was specifically designated for the Haiti Relief Effort, the government would give twenty dollars.  Yup.  $1.00 = $20.00.  After grabbing his card, I smiled because God is faithful.  He told me to paint His stories, He told me to stay up late and wake up early, He told me to deal with it- all because He had a plan.  A plan that wasn’t fully realized until the final minutes of the show.  Because of the paintings, because of the bidders at the show, because of the government grant, because of Dick and his wife’s presence at the show- and because we shared a conversation, The people of Haiti will receive over $12,000.00 in their effort to rebuild their broken reality.  Praise God.

A final thanks to my supportive family and friends- for the last minute set up and food.  Mom- next time we won’t go to the Golden Corral before getting everything set up- I promise.  Thanks to The Atlas Community for allowing me to transform their gallery space- I felt very supported by all of you. 

Mandy.  I love you.  I love you.  I love you.

Here are some pics from that night courtesy of David Dougherty of Epic Images.

14
Mar
10

Show Time update

Here’s the final info: Note the time change- 5pm-7pm.  The reception will be followed by a Good Friday Service.  Please Come!

The Atlas Theater
709 16th Street, Greeley, CO 80631
Good Friday, April 2nd 5pm- 7pm.

All proceeds from the show go to Haiti.

The Atlas Theater:
www.whatisatlas.com

If you have a Facebook profile, you can RSVP at the event link here:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=366718077231&ref=nf

Hope to see you soon.

10
Mar
10

Solo Art Show 4.2.10

If you are able, please do come by.  I’ve put a lot of work into these pieces, and I think that you’ll enjoy them.  There will be some work for sale- small sketches starting at $10.00, but also some larger pieces $300.00 +.  I’m not yet sure if it’ll be a silent auction or a first come first serve deal- so you might want to come early just to be safe.  The Poster currently says 6pm, but that is subject to change- it may start as early as 5 or 5:30. Check my blog for the latest.  Also, all proceeds will go to Haiti.

 If you are unable to visit during the reception, the gallery will only be open for viewing Sunday mornings at 9am or Sunday evenings at 6pm through the month of April.  The show following the Parables Show will be a Mosaic Art Show called “Invisible”.  I’ll have a piece or two in there as well. Here’s the link for info on the Invisible Show:

http://www.facebook.com/?sk=messages&tid=339660709299#!/event.php?eid=313373603391

05
Jan
10

Passing By

       December 24th, after the Christmas Eve Services at the church, I put up some artwork in the lobby.  Some of it was from previous posts on this blog- some of it was my newest stuff.  I wanted it to look nice in hopes of inspiring fellow painters to produce a show.  Lately, we’ve had some pretty cool photography, but less in the painting area.  As I finished hanging the last of it, I reflected at how much I’ve grown as an artist over the past 2 years.  I mentally added the hours spent on each piece and smiled with satisfaction as I realized that I was staring at over a full day’s worth.  I was inspired- knowing that if I was a better steward of my time, I could produce a greater volume and quality of artwork to share with others.  I wondered what the viewers would say.  Would they understand the symbolism?  I wondered who would come to talk to me about it.

       My thoughts were divided that night as I was bothered with a mild inconvenience – I had misplaced my cell phone.  As I hung the paintings, I was mentally backtracking- racking my brain trying to figure out where it could have possibly ended up.  And after checking the church, I hopped in the van to stop by a neighbor’s house where I had visited earlier that day.  In the meantime, my wife had given me her cell phone to use for whatever, so I pulled it out, dialed my number and listened for my ring as I approached my neighbor’s house on foot.  Immediately I heard it- it was faint, but after just a moment of digging through some snow, my phone was in my hand.  I think I even raised it into the air- seriously.  I must have looked sort of stupid, but I was happy, and if some weird spying neighbor happened to be peeping at me, I wanted them to know that I found what I was digging for in my neighbor’s driveway.

       Life was back to normal, and after a short “thank you God!” prayer, my thoughts went back to the artwork.  It would be the weekend before anyone saw it- so my anticipation grew.  It was a smaller crowd- being the weekend after Christmas, but a crowd nonetheless.  I stole a moment from my responsibilities to watch responses to my artwork.  There is a perfect view of the art wall from a balcony on the second floor- so that’s where I camped out. 

       I sat there with my friend Marshall, who lent a listening ear.  I shared with him my anticipation and excitement about the people who would see my artwork.   We both watched and waited for someone to stop and look at what had been painted.  There were a couple of families that rushed by on their way someplace…and then a slow moving older couple who meandered by.  That’s pretty understandable- families are in town, people need to get places, heck- I’m in a hurry sometimes.  This went on with very little engagement from those passing by.  Then Marshall said, “Oh, here comes someone!”  It was pretty comical because he said it in a way a group of hunters would use a forced whisper to point out some deer. 

       The man casually strolled up to the paintings with his hands clasped behind his back, and after a thorough look over of a few of them, he received a nod from one of the other security team members to move along to another post within the church.  He continued on, hands still clasped behind his back, through the lobby. 

“People look at the artwork after the service.”  Marshall said.

“They do?” I replied

“Yeah.  That’s when my family looks at the artwork.”

“Oh.”

“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.”  Proverbs 2: 1-5

       I thought about the hours I spent on those pieces, I thought about how I painted them for people to see, I thought about how God wanted to use those paintings to…do something to those people…say something to them…inspire something from them.  Then I thought about God’s creations…

       I thought about all the details he has made to awe us.  To make us smile.  To capture our senses- and our hearts.  To stir our wonder.  To give us mystery.  To remind us that we are so beautifully small.

       More people walked by, and then I thought about how much time of my day was consumed with worry over the location of my cell phone.  How my mind was there while I walked under a brilliant night’s sky.  While I kicked through the snow- Billions of different snowflakes.  I thought about how proud and victorious I felt when I held it high into the air. 

       Then, I thought about how foolish I must have looked to my God (who was watching), as I celebrated the find of my phone, my buried treasure.

27
Dec
09

Church.

I struggle to allow myself to do this freely.  When I sketch these things, I can hear the noise I make.  I question my motives sometimes as I draw these images frantically during the lesson.  I guess deep down, I want to share this stuff with people- as with all my artwork- it’s supposed to be seen by others, but my insecurities kick in and I wonder how much of a distraction I’m being to my neighbors.

In Wild at Heart, John Eldredge talks about letting the world experience the full brunt of who you are.  I like that.  There’s a lot of freedom in letting other people deal with you.  Perhaps at times, I have gotten too comfortable with this…

 

…perhaps not.

11
Sep
09

Old Clothes

Old Clothes 1 (smaller)

I’ve always struggled to reconcile the whole “dead to sin” thing.  How is it that a man could have the Spirit of life within him and still poison himself with death?  The Bible talks about righteousness like it’s a set of clothes.  It says that we should wear it and shed the rags that once clothed us.

 

I know that’s good.  I know that’s true.  The trouble is this-

What if you had an unrighteous jacket- it had holes and worn elbows and stunk a little, but it kept you warm (for the most part), and you decided it was time to retire this way of living.  Then, you went to your local Christian clothing store outlet and found a righteous jacket- 30% off (what a steal!)…  So you bring your new jacket home and you put it in the closet next to the old one, and the next time it snows, you open your closet and you choose the new jacket.  As you put it on and walk out the door, you smile because you remember the great deal you got on it, but on your way to the car, you notice something.

 

It’s a little cold.

You get to the car quickly saying to yourself- “Heck! It’s snowing- of course it’s cold!”  You laugh it off as you shut the car door and blast your heater.

 

The next day it snows again.  And it’s not just snow- it’s the teeny snow/ ice flurry pebble things that blow all over the damn place.  And on the way to the car the wind carries them up the bottom of your made-in-America-30% off- semi-new righteous jacket.  That’s when you really feel the cold…and you don’t like the cold.

 

You get into the car and blast the heat, but there’s no lying to yourself.  This jacket isn’t like the old one.  You remind yourself again that you’ve retired the old jacket, but the air from the vent is somehow pulling the old jacket’s smell from the new jacket… “I’ll have to start hanging them in different closets or something…”

 

It’s hard sometimes.

 Old Clothes (detail)

It’s like this sculpture I made.  These wasps, while living, wreaked havoc.  They had residence here- in this place the light now dwells, but their imprisonment could end by removing the cork.  Those dead things, they can still wreak havoc- can’t they?

 

My wife wanted me to glue the bottle shut, but I told her I couldn’t do that, because that’s not the way things are.  Sometimes you don’t even notice them, but others… you can feel the wings rattling in your chest, and when they crawl all over each other in that bottle, they’re close to impossible to ignore.

 

This is when the temperature drops, and you think the new coat isn’t cutting it, so you pop the cork and put on the old jacket…and it feels good, but only until the stinging starts.  The venom of death returns and the burn of our own nature shakes us from the delusion.  After the wasps are loose and swarming, you pick up the new coat and look to the hem of it.

 Old Clothes (detail) 2

 

That’s when you see the fine print on your new jacket’s tag- and in the smallest of letters, it says very clearly.

 

Sometimes you’re supposed to be cold.