Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Merry Follows Gratitude

Have you ever noticed that the season when we focus on gratitude is always followed by the season when we talk about being merry?  And then there is the joy - that elusive thing we equate with this season. You see it everywhere on cards and signs and ornaments.  But where does it come from?  Or more properly, from whence does it come?  :-)

 I think it is difficult to be merry without being grateful.  When I am finding my thoughts running toward complaints rather than what I have for which to be thankful, I do not have much of a merry heart.  On the other hand, when joy is found in even the most simple of pleasures, then gratitude and merriment is the result.

So, is joy at the beginning of the equation or at the end?  Does joy produce a grateful attitude that results in a merry heart?  Or does gratitude produce merriment which results in joy?

I propose that it is a circle.  Sometimes we are grateful out of our joy.  And sometimes, we are grateful out of shear determination to be so.  But, in the end, there is joy. 

And then there is the question of what joy really is.  Is it happiness or a sense of peace that is deeper than just being happy.  I vote for the later.  I find that I can have joy even when I don't have the merry. This is because of the One whose Spirit lives deep in my heart - even when I don't act grateful.
 Eph 3: 16-19

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Thursday, December 4, 2014

On My Worktable

This week I am enjoying the process of bringing these small canvases to life. They have been sitting in my closet for a very long time.  I have too many supplies sitting in that closet.  I've decided  it is time to stop waiting and time to start using those supplies.

It is funny how the creative process goes. I envisioned one thing and they are turning out very different that I imagined.  Sometimes you just have to go with the whirl of creativity as it comes through the room.   I like the new ideas better. I bet that's how it works for you too.

These are a combination of paint, artist's pencils of various kinds, ink, vintage paper, and more.   The lion is all original on the canvas.  But the sleepy tabby is a print of one of my graphite drawings.  Then he has been embellished further with paint, pencils, and ink.  I am thinking about doing more canvases that utilize my pencil drawings.  What do you think?

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Weekend Sale

Portrait Drawing Workshop http://windandhoney.comIn an attempt to do my part to help you avoid the crowds this Black Friday weekend, I am offering my Cat and Dog Portrait Workshops at a one time amazing price.  You can enroll in the Cat Portrait Workshop or you can enroll in the Dog Portrait Workshop.  And if you are really enthusiastic about both, you can enroll in Both of Them! for an even better bundled price.  
Portrait Drawing Workshop

Portrait Drawing Workshop http://windandhoney.comThese workshops are cram packed with information about how I draw portraits with a simple graphite pencil. 

I include all my special techniques. I will walk you through each and every step from a plain white piece of paper to a splendid portrait created only in graphite. I will teach you the tricks to create a portrait that will come off the page with depth and with personality.
And the icing on the cake is that you can email me with your questions and with pictures of your work so I can help you along the way. These workshops are so much fun and students that have preceded you have had wonderful success. You can see some of the portraits accomplished by my students here in this video.

These workshops are open "forever".  So, if you are a beginner, you can purchase the workshops at this one time amazing price and save them for when you have completed my Pencils Series.  The Pencils Series 101, 201, & 301 will prepare you thoroughly for these Portrait Workshops.

So, hurry over to Creative Workshops for more information and to sign up.

Sign yourself up, sign your friends and family up.

Just think, you could be finished with your shopping with one click. And then you can spend this hectic weekend reading a good book.


Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Monday, November 24, 2014

Grace That Is Sufficient - The Story of a Table

In this month, in this week, in the US, we focus particularly on our tables and what happens around them.  With that in mind, I'd like to share a post I wrote previously for The Graceful Artist.  

We have a round oak dining table. It is larger than average at 52" in diameter. And it has 6 legs held together in a circle. I've only seen one other table with legs like this. But this table isn't special because it is large or has unique legs. Our dining table once belonged to my husband's grandmother. But when we received it 30 years ago, the previous years had taken their toll. 

 Many years of cold Winters and hot Oklahoma Summers the table stood alone, abandoned in an empty house. Gone were the times with family dinners and laughter. Or the moments of anticipation of yummy desserts as pie crust was rolled out carefully onto its surface. The table had been forgotten. Twenty long years later, the table was rescued. Not by the one who had left but by the grandson. He lovingly used antique restoration skills to bring new life to the old table.

The old finish and glue were removed and replaced. And beauty was restored to the table. But the effects of being in extreme temperatures for so many years left scars on the table. There was some warping in the 2 leaves. And there was some cracking. And the joints of those unique legs were not as sturdy as they had originally been. But the table is beautiful none the less and we love it. 

We make adjustments for its challenges and choose to keep this table as a very special part of our home. When the leaves are not in place there is no warping. And when we use the leaves to allow 8 to dine together, we simply use a table cloth and none is the wiser about a bit of warping. To protect the legs, we use this table as our special table and not the one in the kitchen where dough rolling might take place. We sit here for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or birthday dinners. We sit here to work on family photo albums. And I sit at this table to record my workshops. Laughter and love has returned to the well worn table.
When I look at this table, I am reminded that in my spirit, I have some cracks, some warping, and some places that aren't as strong as they once were. Life takes its toll on us all. And yet, like the table, God continues to find purposes for me, to bring beauty into my life. Isaiah says that He makes beauty from ashes. I am reminded that we need not be perfect. We need not have always been in the right place. We might even have felt abandoned. God still chooses to bring intentional direction into our days. Second Corinthians 12:9 says, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." What is the purpose for which you have been made? Has life created some challenges for you? God's grace is sufficient for you still. No matter what, this day holds a purpose for you and God can bring the beauty into your life for the task at hand.  

May you have a very blessed day of Thanks wherever you find yourself. 

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What Is Your Perspective?

This post from November 2010 has been a favorite.  I'd like to share it with you here again.  I've come to the conclusion that our outlook on life can be determined by how we look at a tree - or maybe how we don't look.  Have you stopped to look around at the trees and the changing colors?  Have you taken a moment to notice them?  Because they will only be there for just about that moment.  Soon all the leaves will be on the ground and the beauty will have changed. 

The tree above is outside of my studio, and this is how most people would see it.  But if you look more closely you will see it something like this.

But I am convinced that the only way to truly appreciate a tree, the only way to truly experience it is to see it like a child.  So first one has to lie down under the trees in the grass.  One has to experience the crunch of the already fallen leaves on the grass.  

And then the magical moment is when you turn your face up and look straight up into the tree thus getting the perspective of a child.  I'm convinced that trees truly love children and children love trees. There is a love affair that goes on between them that gets lost somewhere in those teen years.  So I dare you today to go outside and find one tree to look at with the perspective of a child.  It just might change your day.

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Review of Mungyo Gallery Handmade Soft Pastels

The Mungyo Gallery Handmade Soft Pastels are a joy with which to paint.  They are very soft lending themselves to a very free creative approach.   And yet as I used them on the UART Sanded Pastel Paper, I found that I also had as much control of the placement of the colors as I could have wished.

The colors are vivid and scrumptious.  There is a wide range of beautiful colors to choose from - 96 colors in all..  The pigments are light fast and fade resistant.  And they blend very nicely.  These pigments lay down clearly and beautifully on the paper.  You will be tempted to try all the colors, as am I.  So it is helpful that the Mungyo Soft Pastels are an affordable price.

These very soft pastels may be blended with a blending stump or if you prefer to be more tactile with your art, your fingers.   Even though the colors blend well, they are also strong enough to layer boldly on top of a previously drawn portion of your painting.   For my example I have created a painting with lots of blending and layering of color.  As you can see the Mungyo Handmade Soft Pastels handled the task well.  I enjoyed working with them and will use them again.  I have already recommended them to some of my pastel loving students.

Here are the supplies I used from Jerry's Artarama for this example:
Mungyo Gallery Handmade Soft Pastels
Creative Mark Paper Blending Stumps 
UART Premium Sanded Pastel Paper 
SpectraFix Non Toxic Pastel Fixative

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Thursday, October 30, 2014

And Autumn Rushes On

It is amazing to me that November 1 is almost upon us. The last 3 months have flown by. Our daughter was married in September.  She was married in the forest of Beaver's Bend State Park.  It was quite beautiful as the tall reaching pine trees created a cathedral for the ceremony.   Kate and I made the decorations.  Our son Micah is a chef so he and I did the catering.  It seemed simple enough in the beginning.  Now, simple is not a word I would use to describe it.  But I have no regrets.  I am happy to have done it for her.

Here she is with her dad, the Poet who was both dad and pastor for the ceremony.  They have a very tender relationship and I love that for them both.

October brings about the completion of the year long run for The Graceful Artist.  It has been an act of faith and growth for all of us involved.  The purpose was to bring together our faith and our creativity.  I think it has served that purpose as well as many others.  And now life marches on.

My focus for the next year, and maybe much longer than that, will be on completing more art.  On being more the artist than the businesswoman in the field of art.  I will still offer workshops where you can learn.  And I will be offering art that you can purchase.  I am truly looking forward to it.

As my life becomes more streamlined and focused in one direction, you will find me here more often than I have been of late.  I look forward to that also.  I've always enjoyed blogs more than hit and run social media. 

It just seems more cozy.  

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons
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