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Monday, December 26, 2016

Looking Back - Thinking Ahead

What a busy year it has been!  
From tattoo designs to packaging designs to developing my landscape repertoire... my year has been varied and interesting and actually quite productive. 

You can see from the images above that I've concentrated almost entirely on landscape painting this year. 
I've wondered what it is about painting the landscape that is so inviting to me.  And I think it is where I so easily see the handiwork of God - I see much about His character - I see the intricacies and the care with which He has created and sustains His creation.... and this is where my spirit feels such a deep connection.  Perhaps that is inborn - I'm certain it has much to do with being raised in the rural and beautiful southwest - or perhaps that is just where I sense His presence very easily.   Whatever the reasons, my heart is stirred by a beautiful sunset, or the quiet flow of water, or a field in bloom and these are the things that find their way onto my canvases. 

What else has been notable this year? 
It was a completely unexpected surprise to be contacted by a design firm in San Francisco this past summer - they were interested in using one of my colored pencil drawings for a "coffee company" on the west coast.   While we were in discussion I only knew that it was not a start-up company, but well established.  They were interested in using my design for packaging, and perhaps other uses such as on menus, etc.   It was pretty exciting when I found out that the company who bought my work was Peet's Coffee.  At this time, all I know is that my work will be used on their People and Planet product - and that production has begun.  I'm looking forward to seeing it in use soon - the art they purchased is seen above ~ the green leaf in the center of the collection. 
I also worked larger again this year.  The largest painting that came from my studio measures 2 ft x 3 ft.  It's a different kind of challenge than working small.  Another milestone was putting together an individual exhibit of 11 landscape works, which I called Prayers from the Field.  Along with the paintings, I included personal reflections in the form of short prayers.  I have long hoped to be able to use my visual work as a means of worship and this was a great opportunity to realize that goal.  

.... and....I continue to teach high school full time.  This year, I have taught a variety of  Drawing classes (both entry level and second level), Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design (also entry level and advanced levels) and Interior Design.  This year I began my 15th year at Wheaton North High School.  I have also thought quite a lot about how to bring my teaching experience out of the classroom and make it available to people near and far.  I'm still developing that idea, but I think there's great possibilities with that idea!  

I hope that 2016 has been a year of great milestones and interesting adventures for you.   I'm reminded of the blessings this time of year brings: the wonder of Christmas with a small Savior coming into this world on my behalf, the beauty of artistic expressions of that wonder,  the delight of being with family and friends  to celebrate and reflect, and a short time of rest from the regular schedule. 
Wishing you peace and joy now and a blessed 2017 ahead. 

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