August 02, 2014

Paint the Pillows, Please.

I'm still very much in love with my Sketchbookery class.

These pillows were happily resting on my friend Joan's patio bench on her deck in Topanga Canyon. I believe she made them. A week or so ago, I spent a day there, soaking in the quiet. It was a little bit startling and fully wonderful.


Since we met 18 years ago, I've being at her home, but often wondered how working in LA balanced with the extra commuting time. This visit it all clicked. It was just she and her beautiful girlie and me, no party crowd. Quiet. At one point in the day, I actually sat in a chair with my head back and fell asleep in the canyon silence. Oh sure, there was the sound of a breeze off and on, but nothing like the sound of cars and people I get floating into my suburban quiet. It was so peaceful.
The pillow picture is a little remembrance of the day and the deck.

What I find myself loving about this sketchbookery way of coming at watercolor, is that I seem to be gaining some facility with the paints without the formality. I'll be so glad to go back later and get the ground-up detail of applying watercolor technique. But right now, Mary Ann Moss has encouraged me to just try to copy all I see. It's a brilliant way to become fearless! It seems that some of the detail is coming on its own.

I love the pillows, the friend who made them and the paint that got them onto the page.

What's making your summer special?

July 29, 2014

Susan, in Christ, remembered

It's time to share a bit about the struggle of losing my friend Susan a year ago. For a long while that struggle was at rest. Was. This past week though, was the anniversary of both her passing on and her memorial service. This past Sunday, her husband, Mike, spoke at five services at church. He shared the truth of God's faithfulness and the long, obedient, eternal view.

All the words, concepts, thoughts and feelings I hold around her struggle with a brain tumor and ultimately her passing, seemed to find their way into a rather long, trickling tear. For the twenty minutes or so that Mike spoke Sunday, and for these days following, that tear wells and rests in the corner of my eye.

I miss Susan. I long to finish the conversations we had going. There was so much more to say and to learn. Before the discovery of her brain tumor, we were planning a long, deep conversation, alone. Susan had some things she wanted to talk through. I'll always wish we'd had that dinner. It didn't happen because of timing. We were both busy moms and she just didn't like being away from her family at night so much. As I think about it, loving her husband and kiddos that way; with her presence, and taking the responsibility to be there for her then, young teens, just makes me love her all the more. She didn't want to compromise.

Susan was beautiful, especially in the ways she approached God and gave in - completely - to the truth of His grace-filled love for her (and for us). I'll say again, I miss her. She reminds me today that seeking after God and finding time alone with Him in His truth is sustenance for this journey. The struggle moves me forward. With great gratitude.

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