Showing posts from 2006

Thursday Break

I didn't forget you, my youngest is sick. You don't want details... trust me.

I'm finding it harder to write what I want to about Faith and Art when I'm not really creating any art! Other than painting my house, that is. Yesterday, while my son was laying on the couch and watched movies I was browsing some creative sites online. I figured until this blog gets back into deeper aspects of art and how it relates to our faith that I can try to post what I can and today that includes links to different things that may inspire you to take a look at yourself and your life and faith and create!

I'll be the first to say I truly believe in the premise of Madeleine L'Engle's book Walking on Water in which she says any art is Christian art if it brings to mind aspects of God's creation - whether that be visual or mental or emotional or whatever. One of my other favorite writers is C.S. Lewis (I debated trying to convince Rusty that we should name our second ch…

Jodi's Cosmos

Hey, people! Jodi found her "cosmos." She sent me an email saying,

"You may post them, or a link...that was a ton of fun. It made me find the stuff that makes me happy now matter how messy my house is."

She sent me pictures for your viewing pleasure (and to reiterate the point of this whole thing):

Bulletin board in Computer room, originally uploaded by Yoda0419.

Click here to view all of Jodi's "Cosmos" photos!

P.S. if the link to the "Cosmos" set wasn't working for you on that last post when I first posted it? It's been corrected.

Cosmos in Chaos (Part II)

Ok, so I didn't see many comments from the last post and I wondered if maybe I ended that last post the wrong way? I totally didn't mean to go all Martha on you and say that your homes should be "art" or that you need to work on them or make them into Better Homes and Gardens or anything.

Disclaimer: I told you when this started that I'm bad at verbalizing things... I'm apparently all about the visuals, remember?

Anyway, I don't want anyone to think I'm asking for photos of a "beautiful" house. I mean, you can certainly email me photos of your beautiful house if you want. I love pictures! But what I was really trying to go for was the idea of finding beauty in the common, you know? It goes back to the "Cosmos in Chaos" that Madeleine L'Engle talked about in Walking on Water and the idea that if you can find any aspect of beauty or good or peace or "cosmos" (I love that term) then that art is "good" in t…

Art on Hold

Yeah. So, um... Hi. I'm not sure what to say because it's been so long. I started this blog with really high hopes and lots of ideas. The reality of our move set in and things happened and now it's October. I just typed out an explanation of what things have been like and why I've been absent. But it felt really wrong for this space. Over the last two months, since we've moved into our new place in Cincinnati (we moved from Maryland to Ohio in August) I have had zero creative time. My work room is a mess of bags and boxes. I haven't had my hands in the ink and glue for literally months. And apparently I've really missed it, though I didn't realize it until today. Or I guess I already knew I missed it, but didn't realize why until today.

Today, we found our new church. To be honest, we haven't been to church since we've been here. We knew we didn't want to go back to Vineyard* but we didn't know where to go otherwise. Th…

Derailed train of thought.

Sorry. It's not that I haven't been thinking about the blog. It's just that we put our house on the market last week and have been dealing with all of the psychotic decluttering and cleaning and touching up that goes along with having to have your house ready to show at any random time. Woo hoo. Anyway, this next part of chapter two is something I really do struggle with quite a bit.

The writer does want to be published; the painter urgently hopes that someone will see the finished canvas (van Gogh was denied the satisfaction of having his work bought and appreciated during his life time; no wonder the pain was more than he could bear); the composer needs his music to be heard. Art is communication, and if there is no communication it is as though the work has been still-born.

Sweet fancy Moses! Seriously? Because every time I secretly long for someone, besides myself, to find meaning and joy in my artwork? I feel like admitting that would make me a sell-out. A bunch of my …

Heather's glimpse of beauty.

I love this picture because it says so many things about the relationship not only between sisters but also between children in general (they're nuts you know) and the idea that a hug and smoochie (thanks, Sean) can make anything and everything alright again.

Heather wrote:

Here's my latest pic of beauty -- It's my girls ... and it just sums up sisterhood so BEAUTIFULLY! Are they fighting? Are they comforting? Are they in love with each other? Do they want to hurt each other? Yes. They are sisters!!

Photos. From you guys.

I received two great photos, one from Heather and one from Jodi. They have to do with that last post. I forgot to ask Heather if I could post hers (it's a wonderful photo of so many things all at once. Expect an email from me asking permission to post it!) Jodi gave me her permission to post her photo along with an email that came with it. The following is Jodi's email:

Your blog entry had me all misty there at the end. I tried to comment but it wouldn't let me. I've been meaning to take a picture of 2 rings I wear all the time that are symbols to me. One is just silver band that was given to me by my friends who are missionaries, in Indonesia. It was given to me by Jen just before they left, she was getting rid of stuff she wasn't taking with her, I got this ring and a cool necklace. The ring helps me remember to pray for them since I never take it off, it's also a reminder of the call that God has on my life for mission work to a far off country someday. The …


Ok, so I posted that last one and hoped someone would send me some photos to post for an easy update to the blog. Why? Because I need easy right now. We are moving. Halfway across country. We're leaving the Washington D.C. area and heading to the Cincinnati, OH, area. There are many reasons and we've prayed about this move since the beginning of the year. We had very specific prayers that received very specific answers.

All of that isn't to say that we're happy to leave behind the life we've built here. We're leaving a lot of very good friends, a great school, and some of Rusty's family. I've been alternating between relief that the job offer came and we're moving and then bouts of sniffling because I hate the idea of saying goodbye to Ashley and Deedie and Sherri and Betsy... which is funny in a way because I haven't seen Betsy and Sherri in a long long time. And yet when I do see them, it's like no time was lost in between visits. Betsy i…

Welcome back!

Hey, guys! Did you have a nice weekend? We traveled, I took a lot of great photos and spent time with my family. Doesn't get a whole lot better than that, eh?

So. Who decided to create an icon and give it away? I don't want to just jump back into things in case anyone wanted to show off their icon projects. If you did something? Send photos to post -- I love photos! (my hints aren't so subtle, are they?)

I'm going to write more on chapter 2 in a bit. There are some interesting quotes that have made me want to think on them a little more before putting them out there...

(p.s. post some pictures!)

Memorial Day Weekend

Hi, everyone! I want to give everyone a heads up before I disappear on you for the weekend. Don't worry, the blog isn't going inactive. We're going out of town for the long weekend and will be gone from Thursday until Monday night. I will be back online with somethingoh-so-interesting to say (uh huh...) on Tuesday.

I have an assignment for you but it's not artistic. If you've been meaning to get the book and haven't gotten around to it? Pick it up sometime over the weekend. I'd love for you to be reading it too, so you can keep me in line and let me know when you think maybe I've missed the mark. Accountability is a good thing.

Second thing. Any of you who are reading but feeling like you don't really count as a "real" artist, or writer, or creator of things such as gardens and baby blankets and such? Try to get over it this weekend! I whole-heartedly call you an artist. If you are interested in this topic and this blog at all, you very li…

Icons of the True

Ok, if you didn't read the revised version of the last post, please go and read it first. It's ok, we'll wait up for you...

Great. Alright, so I think this section of the chapter is really really good for clearing up some of yesterday's questions in regard to "Is it good is it bad or does it matter?" Remember, I did say that the narrative of this chapter flows so smoothly from one topic to the next that I was afraid I would chop it up and it wouldn't make as much sense. The very next paragraph after where I left off? says this:

It is impossible for an artist to attempt a graphic reproduction of Jesus in any way that is meant to be literal. I sympathize with the Hassidic teaching that it is wrong to try in any way to make pictures of God or his prophets... But in a way, both miss the point which the Eastern Orthodox artists are taught when they study the painting of icons...

The icon of Jesus may not look like the man Jesus two thousand years ago, but it re…

The one where Madeleine tackles "Bad Art"

**Edited, please read!**

I spent quite a lot of time worrying if this post would offend anyone. You know why? Because I don't want my post to be "bad art" and turn anyone off to reading more of this book or more of this blog. I'm leaving the intro and the passages from the book but taking out most of my wondering if this or that is bad art. My opinion in still the same, which is pretty much in line with the book. But, with one exception. I do think that what's bad art for some can be good art for others. I originally said I didn't think so, so let me explain why I changed my mind. The first reason is because I realize that not all of us are in the same place spiritually. We all come from different traditions and denominations. We can't possibly know what speaks to whom. And I'm so sorry if I came off sounding like I think I do. The other reason I changed my mind on that point? I started thinking about the book The Secret Life of Bees. In it, the siste…

Note to Heather

Hmm. Maybe your artwork for the challenge doesn't want to stay inside the lines :-) I say go where it wants to go!


Ok, so back to finding cosmos in chaos. What does it take? How do we do it? I don't think we do anything. And at the same time? We have to be doing something all the time. I know it sounds like I'm contradicting myself and I'm hoping I can explain this so it makes sense.

In terms of doing as in the "correct action to take"? I don't think there is one. This is art and creativity. There are a million actions you can take that are all just as good as the next. But when I said we have to be doing something all the time? I mean we have to be aware. We have to retain that imagination and creativity that can only exist if we are open to our feelings and our impulse to create instead of trying to make something because it's the latest style or to get something sold or because it'll be "good Christian art."

I think that takes faith. And though we, as Believers, throw around the word faith quite a bit I think we pretend to know more about it tha…

Challenge piece by Jodi Sexton

Jodi is a great artist and a friend of mine from Cincinnati (I live in the Washington D.C. area.) She has been such a good friend for me to have spiritually because her faith is tremedous and she tells it like it is.

This art journal entry is awesome. Thank you, Jodi!

Challenge posts

Hi! I am so excited to post this! "HeyAnne" posted this scrapbook layout on the Two Peas in a Bucket website as her answer to the challenge I posted earlier:

HeyAnne's artwork on Two Peas

In case you missed it, the challenge was at the end of the Cosmos in Chaos post. But I've copied and pasted it here so you don't have to wade through the old post if you've already read it:

Ok, so here's a challenge (this is especially because Jodi asked for one. And I heart Jodi.) Take time today to think of a "Non-Christian" movie or song or poem or book or whatever that speaks truth to you. That makes you think about something that brings you closer to God or to understanding more about our role as His followers. Something that encourages you, even if it doesn't encourage you to be more "Christian." If it encourages you? It serves a purpose for good. And if you want to take it a step farther? Take that thing that you're thinking about and u…


Ok. I wrote last night's post in a hurry. And to be honest, I had this huge idea in my head but couldn't quite get it out like I wanted to. Which is why I am an artist who makes stuff and not a writer (like you couldn't tell? Puh-leeze.) I'll let Stephen King explain:

The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them - words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than a living size when they're brought out. (from The Body - which, when he's not being completely disgusting? King can write a beautiful sentence or two.)

Anyway, back to last night's post. I'm so fascinated by the idea that we, as artists, may have a different type of "sight." Or maybe a deeper version of what some others have? I don't know.

I didn't mean for that last post to sound like "Because we are teachers, if you're a good little Christian artist you wil…

Art as remembering.

In chapter one, Madeleine L'Engle bring up the idea of artists being charged with helping the human race "remember." She says,

In art, either as creators or participators, we are helped to remember some of the the glorious things we have forgotten, and some of the terrible things we are asked to endure, we who are children of God by adoption and grace.

In one of his dialogues, Plato talks of all learning as remembering. The chief job of the teacher is to help us to remember all that we have forgotten... One of the great sorrows which came to human beings when Adam and Eve left the Garden was the loss of memory, memory of all that God's children are meant to be.
We? Are the teachers. Those of us who create are teachers. Our specific work of art isn't the glorious thing iteself. But the feeling it invokes - joy, peace, comfort, whatever the emotion - for the briefest moment reminds the world of that which we forgot and will someday find again when we go to be with Ch…

Cosmos from Chaos.

Preface: I'm so excited to see that there are people reading this! Not to be popular, but to have other people to bounce this stuff off of (just because I write it doesn't mean I'm right.) I hope if you are reading this, and you want to say something? That you'll say it. Feel free. Less lurking, more throwing yourself into the fray.
My older son, Liam, is seven. He is a huge fan of a line of computer games called Backyard Sports. In these games you have the opportunity to get to know each player by clicking on their biography. There is background music, animation and all that fun stuff that keeps Liam from paying attention when I talk to him. One morning I heard Liam listening to some of the players bios and when he called me into the room, I figured he had found yet one more that made him laugh so he wanted to show me. Instead? He said, "Listen to this music, Mom." The player was talking so at first I didn't even realize there was anything to the backgro…

In which I tell it like it is. For me at least.

I guess when I started this thing I figured I'd pretty much post to the site what I was reading and thinking about earlier each day. Right now, I happen to be re-reading Walking on Water. The first time I read it I was so into it that I pretty much read it straight through. I remember thinking over and over that "I have to remember this quote" or "I never thought of it that way before." I went ahead and let myself tear through it knowing that since it was my book I could go through again and make notes and highlight and think more about the parts that really spoke to me.

This book is a starting point. It's just that this is what's moved me lately and this whole thing is pretty much a big experiment to see if there are more of you out there feeling like I do. After I work my way through it? I'm open to whatever comes up.

Ok, so. Chapter 1 - Cosmos from Chaos. Madeleine L'Engle pretty much summed up my deep down darkest feelings when she wrote…


If you check out the blog today and things are a little wonky? It's due to the fact that I'm adjusting the template and playing with settings to get the most out of this site. I promise the sidebar won't always show up at the bottom and other nonsense.

Hi, there.

Ok. So. Is anyone out there? If you are, and if you're wondering what's the deal? Well, this is. The deal, I mean.

This site was born out of my geeked out excitement about my faith and my creativity finally being allowed to live together without me feeling like I had to be one or the other other - an artist or a Christian. If I make no sense whatsoever? Go read the post below entitled Art (It's ok. I'll wait.)

Great. Like I said, this is kind of my spazzy version of having a bunch of artistic friends (fine arts, writers, musicians, teachers, or... gasp... even people who don't think they're artistic at all) around to bounce ideas off of and give me insight into how their brains and creative processes work.

If you've read the book I talked about below, give me your opinion. If you haven't read the book but you're somewhat intrigued? Feel free to just comment and say "Hi", leave a note, leave your favorite cookie recipe, I don't care. …


Why is it that I, who have spent my life writing, struggling to be a better artist, and struggling also to be a better Christian, should feel rebellious when I am called 'a Christian Artist'? Why should I feel reluctant to think or write about Christian creativity? - Madeleine L'Engle

Have you ever read a book that made you feel like the author knew something about you? Something that was so much an answer to questions or doubts you'd had that it made you want to cry with relief to find out someone understands? For me, this is that book.

It may sound over-dramatic, but some of the things Madeleine L'Engle talks about in this book are things I've wrestled with since starting my hardcore art classes back in college. In those classes? I felt like a part of me woke up. My choice to major in studio art went from feeling like a default to having a purpose. I know it may sound over the top, but it became my passion (we don't really talk in terms of "passion&quo…