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Art Reflection for Advent: Week 3 (Crap-freaky angels and migraines)

(if you’re new–I had created a series of digital art for my church’s Advent series. I figured I’d repurpose them here as I love art so much. You can find Week 1 and Week 2 here 🙂

My junior or senior year in high school I was running late to school thanks to another migraine. I dragged my drugged-up rear into the car and focused through the remaining pain. I feared going to school after migraines because it always meant nausea and pain, and it always meant I took the risk of an accident during the 45 min drive each way with my drugged-up vision and took the risk of being stuck with a second or third migraine either on the road or at school.

I tucked that slightly freaked-out part of me inside and pulled out of the driveway. I reached the crest of the hill my family lived on when I slammed on the brakes, right in the middle of the street.

And gaped.

In the sky was the most stunning sunrise I’d ever seen. Dramatic orange and gold egg-carton clouds billowed over foothills and mountains, a silhouetted house rose in the distance.

This is the one benefit of pollution–breathtaking colors.

I’ve never seen another sunset or sunrise like it, and I’ve never been able to capture it in paint, even if I use straight cad orange.

The shepherds feared and trembled When lo! above the earth Rang out the angel chorus That hailed our Saviour’s birth: Go, Tell It On The Mountain, Over the hills and everywhere; Go, Tell It On The Mountain That Jesus Christ is born.

While I would officially never never EVER recommend driving to school on a migraine OR driving while on migraine meds in general, I will say that if I hadn’t ignored my fear I would never have seen that sunrise. I still treasure the memory of it today.

What caught my attention in this stanza as I sat to write this was how scared the shepherds must have felt. Angels are freaky things. They aren’t the cute naked-butt smiling babies so often painted throughout history. They scare people until the recipients of their amaze-balls-ness fall over in stunned terror.

And yet something so crap-freaky is supposed to be the bringer of goodness and hope.

I doubt those shepherds were buying it.

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Art Reflection for Advent: Week 2

(Sorry this post is a day late!)

As I mentioned last week, my church is going through the hymn Go Tell it On the Mountain. I wanted to share the digital art I created for the series and a short reflection:
Go_Tell_it_Mountain_Week1Yesterday, I watched two of my siblings perform in their high school Christmas program. It wasn’t your traditional Mary-shepherds-creepy wise men performance. Using a mixed media of video, dance, and music, they told the story of a WWI Christmas. Exactly 100 years ago–1914.

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Patience and Paintings

I’ve talked about patience before, but it’s blindsided me again this week and I thought I’d talk about it again.

I so badly want to be finished editing RBRP, I can taste the finish line, especially with twitter contests and PitchWars and WriteonCon and conferences and more more more fabulous books being published. I so badly want to be there.

But I am not finished line editing yet.

It’s so hard to be patient. SO hard to be patient to make RBRP the quality I know it can be.
Eagle for pre Animal ModuleAnd it reminds me so much of painting.

Again, I’ve mentioned this before, but with watercolor–ESPECIALLY with watercolor–you need a tremendous amount of patience.

When you lay down a layer of paint (called a wash), it has to completely dry before the next layer. Otherwise you end up with ugly squiggly marks called blossoms. You also have to plan out the painting, because removing mistakes is really hard to do. You have to incorporate them or scrub them out, which is not guaranteed to work.

Patience guarantees a higher quality of art.

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Guest Post by Author Kate Lansing: What Makes an Artist? @lansingkm

I went to the Chihuly exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens recently and it was absolutely breathtaking! I loved the way the gorgeous glass pieces melted into the natural surroundings, mimicking stalks of grass, tropical birds, gathering bubbles, or (much to my chagrin) snakes. There seemed to be a symbiotic relationship between the garden and the glass, each enhancing the beauty of the other.I wondered about the artist, Dale Chihuly. How did he come up with his art? What was his process? Did his work, his vision, receive criticism for being expensive to produce? But it turns out there’s an even more interesting debate at the center of Chihuly’s art.

You see, in 1976 Chihuly was in a car accident that left him blind in one eye (hence his trademark eye-patch) and due to a separate accident, he lost the use of one arm. He doesn’t actually create his pieces anymore, he physically can’t. Instead, he has a team of glass blowers that he directs. Since he’s not actually producing his own creations, is Chihuly an artist?

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