Posts Tagged ‘painting’

So last night I was painting. I had create the piece for my next paint party at church. I got something I’m really happy with, by the way. I also did an experimental sketch portrait of Jesus. I got this sort of out there idea for a series of paintings and a big presentation, but first, I needed to do this sketch. I also saw some art that inspired me to try some new techniques and color ideas, so I was experimenting. I decided while I was painting I would listen to some movies on my Kindle fire. The first was Walt Before Mickey, the story of Walt Disney’s early years, and no surprises here, I loved it. I’ve long been an admirer of Mr. Disney’s work and this was a great story. Really inspirational. I wish I’d watched it last.

Instead I watched Founder, which is the story of Ray A Kroc, “founder” of McDonald’s. I’m trying to lost some weight and abstain from fast food, and this movie will help. If even a tenth of what this movie said was true, it could keep me out of McDonald’s for a very long time. The guy basically stole everything from two guys he met in California who were the true founders of McDonald’s. Every innovation, every idea, everything right down to their name. I mean the McDonald brothers basically invented fast food, and he took it all from them basically with no qualms at all. Again I have to keep in mind, Hollywood never lets the facts get in the way of a good story, and I should probably give Kroc the benefit of the doubt, but this thing really hit me and it led me to a pretty obvious conclusion. The way we live matters. The story our lives tell matters. Oh, Kroc became a very wealthy man, and his company has done some real good in the world, but at what cost. Someone very wise said something about winning the world and long your soul. I won’t speak the condition of Kroc’s actual soul, that’s up to his Maker, but he (at least as this movie portrays him) surely lost touch with his moral soul.

And that brings me to the other thing I’ve been dealing with lately. I saw this video of a young “comedian” (to be a comedian, you should actually be funny, hence the quotes) that’s making it’s way around the “inter-webs.” She was speaking at the White House Correspondent’s dinner. Now I know that thing is a roast, and I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, but it was just an awful, profanity laced diatribe, crude and vulgar and oh yes, not at all funny. Today I saw one of these hysterical memes saying the Republicans want her to be punished. I’ve learned a long time ago that if you want to gin up controversy where there is none, all you have to do is make a preposterous meme and post it to Facebook. About three quarters of the world will fall for it hook line and sinker. I for the record do not agree that she should be punished. The First Amendment is a two edged sword, step on someone else’s free speech and sooner or later they’ll come for yours. I don’t think she should be punished, or censored or anything of the kind. Instead, I will simply remember, public figures live and die on attention, and so I will do the one thing that always works. I will turn her off.

See the thing is, if I don’t like your story, there are a million other stories I can plug into and if enough people take that tactic, you have a choice, change your story or fade into oblivion. The story we live, for better or worse, matters. Live a better story.

12039195_10153066538027190_1968538345458741944_nI did something on Thursday that I haven’t done in a long time. It’s called En Plein Air painting. Very simply put En Plain Air means making art outdoors. There idea is to work quickly to capture a fleeting moment, with the existing light. I did this as part of a sample lesson from and it was quite interesting. What I love about this type of painting, is so often I find myself painting ad drawing what I think something should be like and look like. En Plain Air painting forces me to work from my observation skills. There are a multitude of ways to do En Plain Air. In my case I set my easel by the stream in a public park, I laid a wash for the sky then very quickly roughed in the basic shapes. From there I got out the small brushes and began to work the details. My goal was to come up with an impressionistic piece, and I think I was somewhat successful. I call it He Leadeth Me Beside Still Waters. It’s 8″x10″ acrylic on canvas.

I really enjoyed the exercise, the challenge of reflections, and of capturing a moment. I encourage you to go out somewhere you might enjoy and give it a try.

On my most recent ministry trip, my hosts (and friends) had a request for me. They had found a nice table at a yard sale and asked if I could paint something on it for them. I love to do things like that, and there is a fair amount of downtime in a four day ministry trip, so, of course I obliged. Then comes the usual question:

What should I paint?

She replied, “Pray and paint what you feel led to paint…”

It made me a little nervous, and I don’t really know why. After all that is basically what my ministry presentations are. Every single one of them was born out of praying and painting what I felt led to paint. That’s how they all start. I’m not sure what was so different about this one. Perhaps it was the fact that it is on a table they want to keep. In the beginning stages of my presentation paintings, I have the basic idea and I begin to work, but it usually goes through an awkward stage, and often gets quite bit of work before I can speed paint it. This would be one shot and done.

Nonetheless, I went to bed about midnight and before I went to sleep, I prayed. I awoke 4:00 a.m. with not just a clear image, but also how to set up the image, the idea of using templates, and exactly how to paint it. I saw three things, a butterfly, representing new life and new creation, flame representing the Spirit of God and a broken chain representing freedom. I moved forward with the painting and this is what came out.

tablepaintinglrWhen I showed my friends the final piece, it related to all sorts of things they were seeing in their prayers. God is amazing like that. He really does speak into our lives and if we will ask Him, He will give us things to do, pictures to paint, stories to write, etc. Things that will not just edify you as a creative, but also speak into the lives of others. If you find yourself in the midst of some sort of creative block, start with prayer. God is listening.

He’s good like that.

I have two reasons for posting this video. First because this artist’s technique is amazing. I love his use of color and the way the video demonstrates so much about his way of working. Secondly it shows VOKA working on several other piece. My third reason is curiousity. You see, week in and week out, the last VOKA piece I posted is consistently at the very top of my hit statistics. It gets more hits than most of my 1530 posts and I am trying to analyze why.

Your thoughts?

I am still painting my series for church. This is the last piece for the series and I have to admit I had a great time doing it. Yes I know it’s a little unusual to do a picture of Santa for church, but the series is about the origins of things that have been attached to our celebration of Christmas. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all comes together. I have had a great time working on these pieces. They have really stretched me artistically. Thanks to my on Chris for the photo.


A couple days ago, my friend John and I painted a piece on the sevend days of creation for an album release concert. I’ve posted a lot about this already, but he just posted two really good shots of the finished piece and I wanted to share.

We did the piece in two steps. During the warm up acts, we did the piece in black and white…
and then we added the color during the main act. This piece took right around two hours and it was a great time.
The red line represents Christ’s hand in all creation it passes through the heart of the man and extends beyong the boundaries of the piece, just as Christ is beyond time yet has his hands in all of creation.

We’re on vacation so I thought I would share a few fun things I found. This looks like a really fun method to make some really great looking art. Artist Debbie Arnold demonstrates how to make Acrylic pourings and collage them into some gorgeous collages. Hope you like it and if you do try it!

This is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. I’ve done animated painting videos before but this is a “whole nutha’ level.”

The song is great, the video is brilliant, this is the total package!

The vimeo page for the video had this to say…
“Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise” by the Avett Brothers. Animation by Jason Mitcham. The video was created by thousands of slight alterations on a single painting.

Sometimes I just like to share these things to inspire you.
Jason Mitcham, you are a genius!

I did this video some time ago but I think it bears repeating. There are a lot of times in the church where we butt heads. Now I’m not talking about heresy and some of the negative, idolatry things that are out there, I’m talking about the stuff that needlessly divides us. We can find a lot of things that we could part ways over, but there is something, someOne who is bigger than all of that and if we are truly seeking Him He can unite us.

We need to unite in Christ if we want to he the body He created us to be.

Consider these words from artist Erik Samuel Timm…