Painted Presents and the Art of Christmas

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Don’t ever be “too busy” to give your gift of ARTistry, BEaUty and CREATivITy…

The Secret Kingdom

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It’s hard to paint with a cat in your lap.

Many years ago I painted a portrait of my sister

for her Christmas present.

I am a slow painter.

If I remember correctly…

I started that painting

many months before Christmas

giving myself time

to linger over my work.

“Portrait of Sherry” by Michele Bledsoe

This Christmas

my sister asked for another portrait.

Not of herself,

but one of her beloved cat, Munchkin

who passed away this year..

leaving me 6 days to finish the painting.

6 days.

As of today, it is 5.

Did I decline her request?

Did I make excuses?

Did I explain that I simply had too many other things to do before Christmas?

No.

I just grabbed a blank canvas and started painting.

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Painting and Listening

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Colleen Briggs has dusted off her brushes and is back to canvas with this sweet reminder. I had the privilege of catching up with Colleen one day over lunch — that was almost two years ago. What a BEaUtiful time… kindred hearts…
Thanks Colleen for listening to that Inner Voice

Colleen Briggs

hesedIn the last few months I traveled halfway around the world. The trip was like a rock dropped in a lake, and I’m flowing out in the ripples. Opportunities to share the story of Sanctuary of Hope and Pamba Toto abound. I’m swimming hard to keep up.

Amidst it all, my children, home on summer break from school, moved in and out of my coming and going. Summer bustled with joy. Now, as they return to school, quiet settles over the house and over my soul.

I feel expectant and afraid.

Brushes and paint, gathering dust during my longest break from painting in the last four years, quietly whisper, “It’s time.”

I try to ignore it.

The same old taunts leak into my mind. Art is such a lonely journey with no clear markers, like wandering in a forest without a trail. Every tree looks the same and there are few guides…

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #250 — Infinite Windows

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Infinite Windows

I trust you had a blessed CHRISTmas holiday as you celebrated the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Did you know in traditional Christian church tradition, CHRISTmas lasts through Epiphany on January 6th? As we wind down from the CHRISTmas holiday weekend, let us remember that Jesus came both to LIVE as God among us (Incarnation) and to DIE as the final atoning sacrifice (Salvation). He is both Lion and Lamb, Alpha and Omega, Healer and Savior, Infant Babe and Victorious King!

Today let me refer you to an October post on Infinite Windows, a blog with meditations on faith and art. This post describes a powerful encounter the writer recently had with a piece of artwork at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. The painting was Caravaggio’s Christ Crowned with Thorns, and it depicts Roman soldiers forcing the crown of thorns upon Jesus’ head. I am often astonished by the power of art to bring us into life-changing encounters and memories of God’s redemptive power, grace and love. Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #225 — 52 Weeks of Prophetic Art with Grace Bailey

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G BaileyGrace Bailey is a prophetic artist on a mission! Ministering out of her home church in Ballarat, Victoria (Australia) and at a variety of conferences, she has set herself a goal of 52 Weeks of Prophetic Art. Yes! 52 weeks of live painting during worship! What an amazing goal and ministry. I have been following her since I first found her last Spring on her Facebook page and have been deeply blessed by the artwork she is painting. You can also follow her journey here on her website.

"Valley of Dry Bones" by Grace Bailey (C) 2015

“Valley of Dry Bones? Ha! piece of Cake!”
by Grace Bailey (C) 2015

The painting on your right is “Valley of Dry Bones? Ha! piece of Cake!”

Won’t you take a moment to consider? What are the dry bones in your life? Are they dreams and visions that seem to have died? Are they broken, wounded places in your spirit? Are they mistakes from your past that still fill you with shame? While you examine this painting, won’t you slowly and prayerfully read this prophetic prayer adapted from Ezekiel 37 with me and other fellow artists praying this prayer with us today? Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #218 — Prophetic Art International

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FBIt’s another Facebook Friday!!

Today’s group is Prophetic Art International and is administered by Victoria Robertson and Christopher W Bennett.

Here’s the group description:

A group available for us Artistic Christians to share what God is doing through Artists in the church! Previously Prophetic Art Canada, this group has grown far beyond the borders of just Canada, so the name of this group has been altered to reflect that!

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #192 — Photography as Prayer

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National Book MonthOctober has traditionally been National Book Month and to celebrate I’m posting books for Creative, Artists & Worshipers

I posted about Abbey of the Arts and the work of Dr. Christine Valters Paintner early on in the year, and today I want to guide you to a specific resource.

Eyes of the HeartEyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice by Dr. Paintner is the first book of its kind—exploring photography as a contemplative spiritual practice from a Christian perspective. I first found this book when I was searching for a book for my daughter who loves to take photographs, and I consider this book a treasure to Christian photographers! The ideas and concepts are applicable for moving film and cinematography, as well.

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #188 — The Impressionist

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National Book MonthContinuing our September/October focus on books for creatives, The Impressionist is a novella by Tim Clinton and Max Davis all about becoming the masterpiece you were created to be.

The jacket cover reads:

Middle aged, disappointed and self-loathing, Adam Camp is anything but the picture of a successful man. With his wife threatening to leave him and Impressionisttheir son addicted to drugs, Adam teeters on the verge of absolute despair—questioning his own existence and purpose for living.

After an explosive argument with his wife, Adam searches for an escape as he sets out on a journey that will dramatically recolor his world. While walking through the city park, Adam is approached by an old painter. The mysterious artist convinces Adam to let him paint his portrait and what happens next is nothing short of a masterpiece.

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