Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lilies and Sparrows

This is my most recent mixed-media piece. The picture does not show the texture of it, but it is composed of acrylic paint, paper, wood, gel medium, molding paste, pastels, and a resist of petroleum jelly. There are cut-outs of birds printed with verses from Matthew and Luke, as well as handwritten texts.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. ...Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? "Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. (Luke 12: 6-7, 25-31)

Every generation has its troubling times. Insecurity and fear are common to all humanity. Whether it is economies or wars or social unrest--or some combination of the three--life is tenuous. No one can predict the future, and it is easy to be afraid of the unknown.

There is, however, a difference between a healthy respect/preparation for the future and worrying about things outside of one's control. God does not want His children to consume themselves with things that only HE can control. The future belongs to Him, and He is faithful to meet the needs of those who trust Him.

Nature is resplendent in its glory, but its beauty is short. God created all the colors and textures for His pleasure and our enjoyment, but his joy in that creation is nothing compared to his love for us. If He derives joy from lilies and if He meets the needs of sparrows, how much more will He derive joy from and meet the needs of us, His children?

Rejoice! For He holds the future, and we are secure in His care.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

From One Extreme to the Other

I try to capture all the important events in my children's lives in photographs. Usually I take enough to get one or two good pictures, but sometimes it just doesn't happen. Corinne's All-State Honor Band experience in Savannah was one of those times where I just didn't get a single good shot. I have lots of great Savannah/Tybee Island pictures from that weekend, but not a single good one of the reason we were there to begin with. Part of it was the limitations of the facility---the stage was a LONG way from the part of the room where I was and it was dark (and I would never dream of using a flash even for a dress rehearsal without explicit permission.) The other part of the issue was the subject who, at 15, was horrified that her mother was there taking pictures. Hence, no smiling at the camera, instrument in hand. What to do?

Along came the free class from Jessica Sprague where I learned a ton of great Photoshop techniques. Most of the time, I think I'll use the techniques for digital artwork, but today I made it work for taking a bad picture and making it one I can put in the family album.

Before:


I used several techniques, but the one that brought it all together was a layer of "Through the Viewfinder" (TTV.) I wasn't aware that there is a whole artform dedicated to recreating the look of photos taken with old box cameras. There are dozens of downloadable "fake-ttv" images for personal use, so I downloaded a free one and WOW--it gave the picture a dreamy, introspective feel that works well with the blurriness of the image and the Emerson quote.

After:

Now I have something to commemorate Corinne's participation in Georgia All-State Honor Band 2009, AND I learned that I just never know where an art technique may come in handy taking a photograph from one extreme to the other.


(TTV frame from "Nasos3" on Flickr.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Meditation


Caty Mae has a heart for God far deeper than her 13 years would suggest. I love this picture (taken by some adult at middle school camp in June 2009)because it captures a moment where the angels dance around her unaware.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

1922

This week I'm taking an on-line class from Jessica Sprague where I'm learning all kinds of cool tricks with Photoshop. This is my project from week one:


I desaturated the photo and then added three different texture images and a cool frame (nesser-flickr_2811398017), along with some "hand" tinting and blending layers. This is really fun to learn, and Jessica is an exceptionally good teacher!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

He is JEALOUS God


The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
(New International Version)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Independence Day 2009

How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of and which no other people on earth enjoy ~~~ Thomas Jefferson