Tuesday, February 14, 2017

F is for Family & Friends

I love my friends and family, and value the time I spend with them.  As an introvert, I don't have a lot of friends.  However, I fully trust the few I have, so I don't only enjoy the conversations and laughter we share, but the ability to talk and/or listen to each other during our times of hardship.  Family is most important to me, although I have to admit there are some that I'm most closed to than others.  However, we all love and care for each other, as well as respect each others personal points of view in all areas.  I consider my wife not only family, but my best friend.  We know each others intimate secrets and desires, and we support each other in every decision we make.  We also cherish our daughters, and will go without, to ensure that they are well taken care of.  Anyway, in honor of St. Valentine's Day, I decided to share some quotes and scripture about love.

Paintbrush Fashion Illustration and Calligraphy Journal Page
Watercolors, Uniball Pens, and Pastels
Art Journal Journey - Fifty Shades of Red
The opposite of Love is not hate, it's indifference. - Ellie Wiesel

Paintbrush Doodling and Marker Calligraphy Journal Page
Watercolors, Uniball Pens, Zig Calligraphy Marker, and Pastels
Try It On Tuesday - Let's Get Messy
Kristin & Eva's Paint Party Friday - Week 50 Year 6
Karen's Word Art Wednesday - Weeks #270-271
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday #268
If you judge people, you have no time to Love them. - Mother Theresa

Ed Emberley Faces Inspired Doodles and Hand Lettering
Sharpie Markers and Uniball Pen
Roger & Denise's ABC Wednesday - Letter F
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 402
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
All Differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret to everything. - Swami Vivekananda

Valentine's Day Card and Envelope
We R Memory Keepers 123 Punch Board & Frame Punch Board; EK Success heart punch; Martha Stewart Heart Punch; K&Company Embellishments; and Wax Seal
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Use Your Favorite Tool (123 Punch Board)
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Cute
Mrs. Dash Letter To My Best Friend - Week 1
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. - Ephesians 5:25

She Loves Me
iPhone 6s Shot Edited on Instagram
Our Beautiful World: OBW 186~Love
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you: love her, and she will watch over you. - Proverbs 4:6

May you all cherish your friends, and especially your family, if you are blessed with one.  I also want to thank all my followers, as well as everyone that takes the time to leave a comment.  Blessings!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

E is for Eccentric

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary on-line, eccentric refers to "deviating from an established or usual pattern or style," as well as, "deviating from conventional or accepted usage or conduct especially in odd or whimsical ways."  Although most would consider me a moderate conservative due to my values and views, I am an eccentric when it comes to my artwork, style and faith.

Mixed Media Art journal Page
Kristin & Eva's Paint Party Friday Week 49 Year 6
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday - Week #267
Just like Noah, I let the Lord guide my work - artwork to be exact.  (Think about it, Noah's contemporaries probably thought he was an eccentric when he was working on the ark for the "flood" to come.)  The Lord's guidance may come to me through a piece of scripture or virtuous quote; a nature walk or time spent with loved ones; or simply through a serendipitous moment.  If I just let go and believe, God will lead me to produce work that is pleasing to Him.

Love You Forever
Tim Holtz Skull & Mini Antlers Dies, Distress Ink; EK Success Heart Punch; Martha Stewart Heart Punch & White Ink Pad; Baker's Twine; Uniball Air Pen; Cardstock; and Rhinestone.
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Young At Heart
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - The Color of Love
Try It On Tuesday: Hearts and Flowers
As to my style, I take my lead from John the Baptist, who was known for wearing clothes "made of camel's hair, and... a leather belt around his waist."  A very eccentric outfit for his time.  I'm not that wild, but people never know what to expect from me.  I have a variety of shoes from Sperry Top-siders, to Doc Marten boots, to ostrich cowboy boots; a collection of hats that includes caps, fedoras and more; and love polos, Hawaiian shirts, and bow ties.

Serendipitous Smiling Burger
iPhone 7 Shot Edited on Instagram
Our Beautiful World: OBW 183~Yummy
Last, but not least, I relate to the Disciple Peter when it comes to my faith.  Just like him trying to be different from the other disciples by walking on water towards Jesus, I've taken eccentric leaps of faith.  These leaps led me to marry my wife, be a successful educator, as well as grow in my knowledge and love of the Lord.  (Unfortunately, just like Peter, I have sometimes found myself denying Him through my thoughts, words and actions.)

Sketches Pro App Digital Artwork
Karen's Word Art Wednesday - Challenge Weeks 268-269
Denise & Roger's ABC Wednesday - Letter E
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #401
Therefore, I don't think being eccentric is a bad thing.  As composer Franz Schubert once said, "There are two contrary impulses which govern this man's brain - the one sane, and the other eccentric.  They alternate at regular intervals."  That's me!  Anyway, have a blessed week.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

B is for Believe

Yesterday, here in the United States of America, we remembered Martin Luther King Jr., the American Baptist minister who lead the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950's and 60's.  Influenced by Mohandas Gandhi's non-violent manner, his involvement in the civil protests began in 1955, with the Bus Boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, and continued until the day he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968.  Other than helping the end of segregation in buses, King pursued the end of segregation in public schools, the protection from police abuse, the acquisition of laws to prevent discrimination in employment, and the protection of voting rights for minorities.  The Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, which led to him receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.  The following is a quote from his acceptance speech:
Blessings and Happiness - Year of the Rooster Tag
Original Hand Carved Stamp Over A Mixed Media Tag & Chinese Calligraphy
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday #264
Simon Says Wednesday Challenge - Winter Birthday
Try It On Tuesday - Anything But Square

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word."

Creative Ideas Inspire
Hard Pastel Sketch, Doodling & Hand Calligraphy
Denise & Roger's ABC Wednesday - B
Kristin & Eva's Paint Party Friday: Week 46 Year 6
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
His words are as relevant today as they were back then.  Although we have come a long way in this country, lately I believe we may be regressing.  There is just so much division, misunderstanding, and senseless violence going on by all factions in our country.

Thinking Of You Card
Tim Holtz Mini Tattered Flowers Die, Tiny Things Stamp, & Simple Sayings Stamp With Various Card Stock Scraps
Karen's Word Art Wednesday - Challenge Weeks #266-267
There's a plethora of reasons for our problems, but one of them is our deteriorating communication. With all the forms of communication available, we should be doing better. However, news outlets and social media are actually aggravating the situation.

Here You Go, This, That & The Other
Smash Book Page With Various Embellishments & Tapes
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: Chill Out
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 398
Art Journal Journey - Tell Me A Story
I value freedom of speech, but we need to be responsible when exercising this freedom.  This is of utmost importance to the news media, from liberal to conservative, who are sometimes responsible for the spread of propaganda.  Social Media aggravates the situation, because some people on both sides spread it, along with hateful commentaries.

If I Would Only Use My Old Bike I'd Be In Better Shape
iPhone 6s Shot Edited On iPhoto
Our Beautiful World: OBW 180~Bicycle
In my humble opinion I believe we need to scrutinize everything we read, as well as consider multiple sources of information.  We need to consider multiple perspectives, and be aware that we can't believe everything that's out there.  I also believe that we need to be careful with our words and practice the Golden Rule, as found in Matthew 7:12, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  If you don't agree with a political or other point of view, discuss it if appropriate, but don't use derogatory terms.  The latter is hurtful to others and propagates further division.  So yes, I believe in Martin Luther King's words, but it's going to take a conscious effort on our part to make it happen.  Peace!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A is for Agape

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, "agape" is a word of late Latin and Greek origin, meaning literally "love."  To be exact, it refers specifically to brotherly love.  In that vein, I found several verses about agape love that I though are worth sharing:

Virgen de Guadalupe on a Stained Glass Window at the Mo Ranch Chapel
Sennelier Soft Pastels and Acrylic Paint on Strathmore Pastel Paper
Denise & Roger's ABC Wednesday
Eva & Kristin's Paint Party Friday: Week 45 Year 6
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." - 1 John 4:8.

Wedding Anniversary Card
My New Tim Holtz Window/Window Box & Tiny Tattered Floral Dies, Pediment Die, embossing folder, arrow, & game piece; We R'Memory Keepers Alphabet Punch boards; and various other materials
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: Be Square
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: New Something
Karen's Word Art Wednesday: Anything Goes Weeks 264-265
"I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more." - Chief Joseph

The Woodlands' Fountain Lake in Tyler, Texas
Nikon D3300 Shot Edited On Instagram
Our Beautiful World OBW 179 ~ Light
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 397
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday 263
Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule. - Buddha

In closing, I want to thank all my blogging friends and followers, as well as everyone who takes the time to leave a comment.  You motivate and inspire me.  May agape love be the driving force in all your thoughts, words, and deeds.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A "Z" Post

Happy New Year!  In case you hadn't noticed, I have had ZERO posts since November 22, 2016, making me absent from blogland for 6 weeks.  This doesn't mean that my art production was ZILT, it's just that I've had a ZILLION other things going on.  First of all, I had the a couple of extracurricular commitments at school that consumed a great deal of my time.  In addition, the ZIZZLING Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations with family, friends and coworkers kept me extra busy as well.  Although I enjoyed all the ZEZTY foods, it was emotionally draining for an extrovert like myself to be around so many people on a continuous basis.  To make matters worst, I ended up with a cold which led to a sinus infection that left me feeling like a ZOMBIE.  Anyway, below are a few of the artsy things I worked on during the last 6 weeks.  Hope you have a ZINGY new year!

Birds Inspired By A Bird Photographic Session
Etegami Using a New Set of Watercolors I got at Simon Says
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: Start Afresh
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #396
Eva & Kristin's Paint Party Friday: Week 44, Year 6
The Male Room - Anything Goes
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday - Week 262
George Michael Memorial & Positive Thinking Response
Pen Sketch & Sharpie Marker Doodling
Art Journal Journey - Tell Me A Story
Cards Using Prints Of An Original Christmas Illustration
Original Done in Pen and Watercolors
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Dia de los Reyes (Magi Day) Cards
We R Memory Keepers Alphabet Punchboard and Holiday Font Punch; Tim Holtz Crown Die & Distress Sickles; Assorted Cardstock; Pearl; and More
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: Anything Goes
Advent Calendar
Kraft Drawer Chest; Assorted Christmas Papers; Assorted Tim Holtz Dies & Numbers; Assorted Martha Stewart Punches; and More
Karen's Word Art Wednesday
Christmas Tree Morning Coffee Moment
Formal Living Room
Denise & Roger's ABC Wednesday - Letter Z
Home Holiday Vignettes
Original Advent Calendar; Christmas Tree; and Gift Wrapping
Our Beautiful World: OBW 178 ~ Sparkle