Surf Shop Mural

Surfing, beach painting, murals, latex house paint
Detail of Surf Shop Mural, left end

I have been updating my website over at Martindale Artworks lately and decided to add a category of my mural paintings.  This mural was done at our church, Grace Chapel in Leipers Fork, Tennessee.  They have one of the most outstanding youth programs I have ever seen in a church.

Surfing, latex house paint, beach mural, murals
Detail of Surf Shop Mural, right end

When construction began on the second phase of the building, Donna from the church staff contacted me about the Junior High room.  They were thinking about a  surf theme, and wondered what we could do with the enormous wall that would hold the projection screen.  I will put the exact length in later, but to give you an idea on size, in order to paint the top section I was nearing the top of the largest step ladder we could find.  There are thatched hut roofs on either end, and she asked what we could do to expand on that idea.  We came up with surf shops along the beach and the theme was ‘Glide’, which is projected on the screen in the bottom photo.

Surfing, latex house paint, murals, beach mural
Surf board detail on Surf Shop Mural

I had not done anything like this before, and thoroughly enjoyed the process.  One of the main issues was the projection screen:  it was already mounted and was in a fixed position.  How do we incorporate that into the mural?  We decided to make it appear as a large sign on the front of one of the shops.  I painted this while the building was still under construction, and the crews are always a pleasure to work with.  It must have turned out alright as the children in the class absolutely love to come to church to learn how to ‘glide’ with Jesus!

surfing, beach mural, murals, latex house paint
Finished Surf Shop Mural (ends are cropped off as I could only go back so far)
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What have I been doing?

Some days I get so busy I wonder what have I been doing?  I have been creating more greeting cards, working on a portrait, having prints made of two of my wildlife paintings, plus keeping up the house a bit and working my day job.  Not to mention family and friends as well as trying to serve the Lord, or, at least obey Him. 

Someone asked me not long ago what I do in my “free time”?  What is free time?  I am not really sure.  I understood it as a kid, but as an adult, we get caught up in that whole thought process that time is money, etc.  To a point it is, but there also has to be some sort of balance of it all.  I think writing down what it is you do, and reassessing what is important to you is healthy and will help to balance things out. 

Now, to get back to my calendar, go to my meeting at work, and, finish my portrait  maybe tomorrow.  I am also going to post the prints in a day or two, so be watching for them!  Happy painting!

Faith and Perseverance

Over the past few years, I have seen my ability as an artist grow, as well as my portrait business itself.  Then, 2008/2009 happened.  Most of the artists I know saw a dramatic tumble in their business.  Commissions dropped to very low levels, so I took my second job, as a server in a restaurant.  I do enjoy it, although not as much as painting for hours at a time.  I am forced to watch the clock more now when I do paint, as I have a tendency to get lost and forget time even exists.  I have had a problem over the past year, questioning whether I should remain serious about my art, will business pick back up, and, at times, is my art any good?  (this would fall under the “beauty is in the eye of the beholder department, I ‘m sure)

    Our talents are gifts from our Creator, and the enemy is constantly trying to control us, especially with our thoughts.  If he can make us think we are not good at our craft, that it is not worth anything, that we will never succeed, then he feels he has won.  However, if we look at what we can accomplish, through painting a portrait for a mother of her daughter who has passed away unexpectedly,  or the pet that really was man’s best friend, we can see that there is more to it than “business”, and it may be a huge blessing to the recipient.   These moments make creating art most enjoyable.

      We must overcome these times of doubt, and the best way is to have faith and perseverance.  Faith that business will pick up, faith that our work is good, and faith that the Lord gave us this talent to use for His glory, whether it is obvious to us or not.  perseverance that we can overcome these hurdles, perseverance when someone makes a snide or hurtful remark in regards to our talent, and perseverance when it feels like everything is against us to succeed in just performing the talent we have been blessed with. 

     I have had to work over the past year on both faith and perseverence in many aspects of life.  I am also beginning to see the fruits of it all.  Commissions are starting to come in again.  I am able to put the poor thoughts out in the compost pile.  I have been able to enjoy painting, instead of feeling rushed or behind, even though I am not.  Plus, if someone does not care for my art, that is alright too.

      Thank the Lord for His mercy and grace, and for giving us the ability to create art and to have a passion for the creative process!

God’s Little Miracle

     The Lord loves to show us miracles.  Last Sunday morning was just that.  We received a phone call from a neighbor about 6 am.  His wife and daughter were at a horse show, so caretaker of the 5 or so horses at the farm.  One of their boarders had a Quarter Horse mare in foal in the back pasture.  She wasn’t due for another month.  He awoke to their dog frantically wanting outside, so he let her out and went to get the morning chores in motion.  He noticed the mare down the fence at the back of the pasture, where it meets the woods then drops down into a ravine.  He walked out as she was pacing and calling out, as if there was another horse in the woods.  He arrived to find she had given birth right at the fence, which happens to seven strands of high tensile wire, not barbed or electric.  Suddenly, the foal cried out.  It was out there someplace in the woods!

      He phoned us to see if we could help find the foal.  We drove over and he called out from behind the house in the woods.  We met him and he had a beautiful brown filly in his arms.  Apparrently, after she was born she rolled under the fence.  When she stood up, she was on the wrong side, which also slopes heavily to the bottom of the ravine.  The ligh was probably not good at the time, and in her struggle to get out she crawled up the other side and ended up behind the house.  We started to carry her, but it was going to be quite a distance to get around the ravine, down the drive to the barn.  We decided to guide her, so the neighbor guided her back while I gently held and rubbed her neck.  My husband worked gates and moved branches.  Finally, we were back in the pasture.  She called to Mom, who came running full speed.  Miraculously, she did not have a scratch on her!  Thank you Lord!  The vet came out and did all the checks and there is now a new, healthy subject to paint.  Some photos have already been taken, more on the way, I’m sure.  Drawing, pastels, or should I try acrylics?