Monday, April 29, 2013

The joy of using our gifts to serve Him!

Last November, our family served one Saturday with RAP Ministries at the Dorcas House. The Dorcas House reaches out to women and children of Central Arkansas with the compassion of Christ. By providing housing, counseling, daily chapel services, they meet the physical and emotional needs of women who are struggling with chemical dependency and other addictions, or domestic violence.

During our time there, I met some amazingly brave women, and somehow our conversation went to art (shocker)! Not knowing I was an artist, they began to tell me how they got to paint one time at an event, and how much they would love it if they could do more creative things on a regular basis. Hmmm-well, that got me thinking, and praying. After months of prayer, and encouragement from a couple of friends, we decided to start a montly Art Nite for the Dorcas women. All I can say is that it has been a total God thing because a) I don't have time, nor am I organized b) I don't have the funds for monthly projects, c) we started off with three volunteers, and d) we needed childcare for some of the women. We are on our fourth month, and God has solved all four of the obstacles that almost kept me from not following through on this opportunity. 


Our mission is to build relationships, and encourage while providing a positive, fun and creative outlet for expression, and sharing of God's word through art. Our volunteer group has grown each month, and last month we even had some girls from Simone's Home provide childcare for the women while they participated-huge answer to prayer. We have had donors pay for our projects each month, which is also allowing us to start building a storage tote full of craft supplies to leave there for the residents to use on a daily basis. 

We started off with a Visual Art Journal project, and the women have loved every minute of it. Thanks to our donors, each woman received their own spiral bound mixed media visual journal and a sharpie pen. They have been taught simple art journaling techniques, journaling page ideas, and even lettering. Cary Collins, from Cary Collins Designs, even came and taught a lettering class! She generously gifted each woman with one of her scripture calendars. This last month, we wrapped up our journaling session by Mod Podging the covers of the journals. 

We have had an average of 20 women participate each month, and they are so excited each time. It makes my heart so happy to see them get lost in their own creativity and have fun talking, sharing and building friendships with our volunteers. We have a devotion before each session, and God has provided some amazing women to share their hearts and God's truth. It's truly been amazing to see God pull it all together.

If you are in Central Arkansas, and would like to be a guest art teacher, share a devotion, or donate our monthly supplies, I'd love to hear from you. Just inbox me. I'd love to have your prayers. I still get anxious every month about how I'm going to make it happen again. I need prayers for organization, volunteers, funds and mostly that God will be the focus of what we are doing and that lives will be changed. The pictures in between are some of the beautiful journal covers the Dorcas women created last month. We used Mod Podge to seal them and some had not dried all the way yet so the glue makes them look a little milky :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Painting and emotions

Not much going on in my studio lately. I haven't had much time to paint, and when I've had a few extra hours, I just don't feel like painting. I've never really experienced this before and it makes me sad. Between trying to manage a family of five (three kids and their activities, laundry, groceries, etc) a full time job, church and ministry, there's not much energy left over for creativity. I guess stress does that to a person. I painted this Friday night and to me it reflects how I feel right now-FLAT and dreary! I guess as an artist what you are feeling is really translated to the canvas without even trying.

I did rework this piece a couple weeks ago and was pretty pleased about how it turned out. It's currently at Scallions if you'd like to see in person (30 x 40 Mixed Media).

I donating this piece to the Baker Bronco's on Broadway Auction the end of April.

This is one of my favorites-it's going to the Camp Aldergate's Carousel After Dark April 20.

And this piece is being donated to The Arkansas Art's Center Tabriz Fundraiser.

I do have this piece (Urn of Flowers-16 x 20 oil) displayed at the Searcy Art Gallery. They are having a reception April 13, from 1-3 pm, featuring a wonderful exhibit of art from the Arkansas League of Artists.

I've decided since I'm working full time now, I'm taking the summer off from teaching Summer Art Workshops, and focus on my kids and my personal painting business. It will be the first time in 6 summers I have not taught summer art :( I know I need a break though. Anja Dewitt, who taught with me all last summer, will be teaching classes so let me know if you are local and need her information-she's an amazing artist and great with the kids. Say a prayer for me for clarity in the direction that God is taking me, and that I can be inspired to paint again soon. Blessings! 

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