An Artsy Hop Around the World

Good morning, friends!

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Image by Minerva Levinston

Today, I have a special post for you. I’ve spent the summer getting to know other artists around the world as part of an online art challenge. One of the things we artist-types like to do is share, and one way we do this is through a “blog-hop”.

What is a blog-hop?

It is just want the name implies – a hop to different artist websites to learn more about them and their art. Susanne invited me to join the hop.  She is a mixed media artist living in Germany. Follow those links to read more about her and her art.

Today, it’s my turn to share. Here’s how it works. I will answer four questions about my art process, and then introduce you to some of my artsy friends who will post their answers to these same questions on their blogs next Monday (August 18th). Then they will hop on to even more artist friends, and on it goes. It’s a fun way to share our art and take you with us on a little artistic jaunt around the world.

The questions:

  • How does my creative process work?
  • How does my work differ from others of its genre?
  • What am I working on now?
  • Why do you do what you do?

How does my creative process work?
Good question. I have no idea. I might call it more like creative chaos. You should see the mess I make! I am an idea person. I usually have way more ideas than I can actually carry out. The worst times for me are when I am carrying around an idea about something I want to write or paint, but have no time to do it. It’s like being pregnant..and overdue. It is the most depressing thing ever to surpass your due date. You are miserable and start to wonder if the “baby” will ever come. Well, that’s what my creative life is like: pregnant with long-overdue ideas. The art challenge has helped me get more focused this summer. I finally published my story and created a  Move Mountains page on my website (been carrying these babies for 10 years!!).

I teach my kids at home, so time is limited. Summer break has been AWESOME….and is (sadly) almost over. I work primarily on my kitchen counter because it is a central location. I can see my kids playing nearby. I converted the dining room into our multi-purpose art room. I am slowly creating a functional yet realistic space for my busy family.

Part of the problem with me is I am a “get-er-done” type of a girl. The idea hits me so strongly that I work non-stop to get it done. This is problematic to my season of life. I usually stay up into the wee hours working on a painting and then regret it the next day (or two) when I am too tired to function with grace (a bad start to a long day). I’ve limited myself to one late night per week, and it will have to be a weekend once school starts! I’ve been experimenting with techniques in a new, awesome book: Acrylic Solutions . The book is helping me relax more; working slowly, layer by layer. I am learning It is ok to have unfinished pieces for days, even weeks. Art is a process, not a race. I say that mostly for my own benefit for times when I forget and start stressing out about having too many unfinished pieces. I am learning to embrace my intensity and make it work for me, rather than beat myself up for being so intense. I have a strong desire to realize my God-inspired vision for Faith Miner’s Daughter. This is a GOOD thing, it is how I am wired. I think part of realizing our creative dreams is recognizing and embracing how our Creator has made us. Each with a unique personality and gifting, for a much greater God-given purpose. I am slowly becoming the person God has made me to be. And that is exciting! That is the ultimate creative pursuit for each of us.

How does my work differ from others?
All of my life and work is centered on my faith in Jesus Christ. I hope to glorify God through the ministry of Faith Miner’s Daughter. I want to create beautiful, inspiring pieces to encourage women to take Christ to heart and grow in their faith-life journey. Even more, I hope to instruct women in the Word of God in ways that are practical to real life struggles. I am vulnerable in my writing. I often share real pain and suffering to help women see themselves in my story and point them to God. I hope women who read my posts will seek God for themselves – to know and be known by Him, to experience the healing and hope found in His Redeeming Love. I offer my writing and art to Him as a spiritual act of worship.

What am I working on now?
I recently became aware of an important book, Half the Sky, written by a husband and wife journalist team about the worldwide oppression of women. I rented the documentary based on the book. It is appalling to learn how poorly women are viewed and treated. We proudly talk about women’s rights in this country and all the progress we’ve made. But really have we come all that far if we live in a world where women are so systematically being destroyed?

This documentary inspired a painting for the girls I saw in Cambodia.  One of the girls told her powerful story. She has only one eye because a brothel owner brutally stabbed out her other one. He did so because she wouldn’t cooperatively take clients. The girls were required to take 10-15 clients per day, and not complain or fight. They were supposed to look pleasant and act like they liked it. This young girl couldn’t do it, so the owner stabbed out her eyeball.  The most gruesome fact is that she was forced to continue taking clients that day, profusely bleeding from her eye, without help or hope. She showed tremendous courage in sharing her story on camera. She did not break down one time in recounting any of the horror she survived at the brothel. Her voice broke as she described the rejection she received in her homecoming. Her own parents no longer wanted her because she had “brought shame” to her family. My heart broke for her. And there were many other girls just like her: unwanted, unloved, rejected.

This is more than tragic, it is a LIE from the pit of hell. The same Creator and God made these girls – just like He made you and me. They have value inherent in their created life. They matter! Hence, my painting, entitled, “She matters”. It is based on a Scriptural verse from the book of Isaiah 61:1, “proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners”.

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This painting is a cry for justice, and I still felt I had more. So, I worked on a second piece last week too. This girl represents the women of Sierra Leone who live with frequent, routine sexual violence against them. The police have little investigative skill. This combined with the cultural devaluation results in systemized injustice for women who have been victimized. It is rare to prosecute or convict a perpetrator of sexual violence in Sierra Leone.

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“Remember Me” has the words, “Release from darkness the prisoners”. There could be more in this series. I’m not sure yet. I am not sure how to use these yet either. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have an art auction or something to benefit this cause for justice for women? I would love to make a tangible difference for them. Anyone with ideas about how to do that, contact me!!

Why do you do what do you?
I think I’ve pretty much covered it in the first three questions. I am on a faith-life journey, just like the people I hope to inspire. I hope, whatever I do, it makes a positive difference for others, and to the glory of God!

Hop Till You Drop

It’s time to hop on! Hope you’ve enjoyed this look into my creative life. I am so happy to introduce you to a couple of my artist friends. Hop on over to meet them and be inspired! :)

Katie LaClair is a mixed media artist working out of Syracuse, New York. She makes small works of art and use primarily papers, paint, stamps, and thread (and sometimes glitter!). I first noticed Katie’s simple, yet beautiful note cards in her Etsy shop . I reached out to ask her a couple questions about her materials, process, etc. Katie generously shared the details, allowing me to move forward in creating note cards from my artwork too. She is an example of the kind, supportive community of artists we are becoming. I find her designs playful, fun, and filled with child-like wonder. Her prints would look great in any creative space!

Jenny Moed-Korpela is an artist from the beautiful country of Finland, and nature and wildlife has always been a huge inspiration. She describes her ongoing passion for birds as starting from time spent at her grandmother’s kitchen table drinking tea and watching the birds at the bird feeder just outside the window. She shares her love and fascination with nature and its creatures with you through her artwork. She works mostly in mixed media – combining collage, acrylic and oil. She experiments with abstract backgrounds and realistic painted birds, keeping it playful at the same time. In her own words, ‘As I try to create an atmosphere that would touch peoples heart.’ Her birds are beautiful! Jenny has studied her subject well. Her work shows the mark of an experienced birder watcher. She gives us plenty of inspiration to “look at the birds”, each showing the exquisite beauty of God’s creation.

 

 

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