I was enjoying my morning cup of coffee on the patio the other day. It was the start of a beautiful day, the morning sun felt warm, the birds were chirping… a truly ideal setting. I love this time in the morning to pray and mediate and soak it all in. I ask for guidance through the day and for his will to be done through me as well as within me. That morning I was praying about blessings and thanking him for all the blessings in my life…great wife, three lovely daughters, great friends and the list goes on. I am truly a blessed man. As I have been struggling with a major change in our lives, I have been particularly tuned into daily blessings. Note my comment above; “and the list goes”….when you truly think about the actual blessings we each receive daily and in our lives, they are numerous. It seems to me that those times in our lives when we are in a life changing situation, we grow spiritually from it if we allow ourselves to seek guidance and keep the faith. On this articular morning, I was praying to have God help me recognize a blessing from that day….I wanted awareness so I would not overlook it. As the prayer processed in my head, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the spirit touching me and saying….this is the blessing you wanted to recognize today…it is your life today…it is your life in this moment…rejoice and celebrate. I knew the voice wasn’t just talking about the garden, birds and morning sun, but all of it and my life in each moment. We spend so much of our time dwelling on the past and stewing about the future. Intellectually I try and stay in the moment, but as a human…not always doing a great job. As I relate this simple story, I get moved all over again…enjoy the “now” whatever it is in your life…yesterday is gone and tomorrow will take care of itself.
These prints have just been added to my Sepia Gallery on my Main Art Gallery Website. As a follow up to my earlier blog Covered Bridges Oregon Style, these prints are the ones that I selected to do in sepia tones (I am still working on watercolor and oils from that shoot). I like the look it creates on certain subjects. Since by definition it creates that old rustic look, it applies better to those types of subject matters. Check out the gallery and let me know what you think.
We’ve been tasked with “Letting our Light Shine” in all that we do and are. To not hide that light, but to let it shine for all. In times of crisis we see that as strangers help strangers, from natural catastrophes to man made tragedies like Boston this week. We see it so often on the news when tragedy strikes, neighbors pitch in to help neighbor, strangers give what they have to those in need. People rush in to help. In our everyday lives, we see it with family and friends. The stranger you gave directions to, the smile and “good morning” an acquaintance gives you. Your children ask for guidance or an elderly neighbor needs help. There are many things where our light shines tall and proud. I’m personally challenged to make sure the light bulb is lit at all times. Did I let a bad day keep me from seeing the need of another individual, am I so wrapped up in myself? Shame on me…I know better and I believe faithfully that his love for me should shine through always. Ultimately we are human and not perfect, but it’s refreshing to see when push comes to shove that light shines like the sun.
As an artist, I look for beauty to create my pictures. As a visual thinker, I see so many things in simple scenes. The lighthouse to me represents a number of things, a guardian, a protector and a lonely existence to protect the innocent. I also see the symbolism of Matthew 14-16, “You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden. And people don’t hide a light under a bowl. They put it on a lamp-stand so the light shines for all the people in the house. In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in Heaven. ” (Bible: New Century Version)
If you are reading this, then it’s safe to say you are on a journey. If we are living and breathing, we are all on journeys. We are all walking our own path of life. We are often joined by family and friends as our paths intertwine, but ultimately we are on our own individual path. Are we alone on that path? No, we are never alone. He is with us always, hand in hand when we reach out or patiently waiting when we don’t acknowledge him. I liken it to a path we all take as we go through life. Like this picture there are times the path seems clear, beautiful and inviting. Other times, not as clear, not as beautiful. We really do not know where our journey will takes us as we live our lives, but again we are not alone. He walks with us on our individual journey never venturing off. It is we who venture and get off the path He has given us. Like a little kid looking into a candy store as we walk by. Oh…I want to go in…look at all of that candy as we run in the door. He waits patiently for us to rejoin him.
When the path looks like this picture, we feel in control and know where we are headed. When you walk through the arbor, do you see what’s ahead or what is next? Suddenly, we don’t feel so in control and begin to wonder and doubt. When the path takes you through unfamiliar territory, remember you have a walking buddy…you are not alone!
I wanted to share a series of pictures of the cherry blossoms on the University of Washington Campus in Seattle. These were taken a couple of weeks ago on the same trip where I did a photo shoot of covered bridges in Oregon (note prior post). We were just ahead of the peak, but thought these were worth sharing. I haven’t done any editing or cropping, so these are still raw, but spring is in the air! Enjoy!!
While I am starting to work on my “covered bridges shoot“, I thought I would share some updates I just uploaded to my gallery from my “barn shoot“. I have 5 prints that I did in a gothic oil style painting. Again, this photo shoot was done in mid-February around the Amana Colonies in Iowa. Using a gothic oil style technique creates an old world style in presentation and coloring. Of all of the photos I shot that day, I thought that only these worked in that venue. Logic was telling me that “old barns”…”old world look”…perfect fit, but in actuality not the case. Most of the scenes just didn’t look right and were better suited for watercolors. With all of that said, here are the five that I thought the subject matter presentation was heightened in gothic oil style painting.