I’m….so….jealous!

“At my drawing board”, art markers on marker paper by Adele Bower

There! I’ve admitted it. I’m jealous of other artists who seem to have a steadfast devotion to just ONE medium. They seem to have selected to stake their art career on one medium only: oils, OR acrylics OR watercolors OR pencil OR charcoal…..and rarely, if ever, switch from one to the other. And of course, they demonstrate their steadfast devotion by producing gorgeous, professional work. I say “Good for them.” They are doing exactly what all the “experts” recommend.

Then there’s me. I get bored easily. I’ll decide to work in oils for the day…..the week…or maybe even sign up for an online workshop lasting 1 or 2 years. I jump into it full of enthusiasm and excitement, working fast and putting out the work.

“Garden Door” oil on panel by Adele Bower

Right while I’m happily painting away with the medium du jour, a small idea begins to creep into my (lack of) concentration. I begin to think about another medium and how wonderful it is, how easy it is (compared to what I’m currently using), and how much I miss it. I begin to question why I would be using the current medium in the first place. At times I’ll stop what I’m doing in order to check my records to see if I remember correctly which medium sells best. I’ve never gotten a straight answer from my records, nothing conclusive, so back to the easel.

“Vintage Beauty”, watercolor on paper by Adele Bower

Of course, if I have paid several hundred dollars to take a workshop I’ll stick with the medium being taught. That seems wise. But by the time I’m half way through the course I’m longing for a change but I press on….end up completing each and every course, and being very proud of my work. So confusing. I have stacks of completed watercolor paintings and a growing collection of watercolor journals.

Emily taking break from the tour. Charcoal pencil sketch on paper by Adele Bower

Then of course, I must not forget my commitment to fill my sketch book….my daily sketchbook. The charcoal pencil is a lot of fun to use and so easy to access and put away when finished. My first art instructor was my Father. He stressed (insisted) that I sketch a lot and only from life. Tough teacher, but I still love doing it. Rummaging through my art closet will disclose several old sketch books I take a look at every so often to see if I’ve learned anything at all.

“Old North Fence” in Colorado, acrylic painting by Adele Bower.

If I was keeping record of how many paintings I’ve done in my art career and which medium was used the most the winner would be acrylics. They require speed but that works for me because I get bored easily and want to hurry up to see the finished painting. Acrylics allow the artist to simply swish the brush in water and it’s clean and ready for the next color. Acrylics dry very fast which makes them easier to store than an oil painting. Oil paintings languish on the shelf for over a month, sometimes longer, before dry to the touch. Even then be careful.

So there you have it….the evidence of my indecisiveness, my confusion, my personality showing themselves in my art choices.

Oh my! It has just occurred to me about the OTHER element of my indecision; what subject should I do now? Portraits, landscapes, flowers, animals, beach scenes. Good grief!

And you thought the life of an artist was easy……all fun and games.

 

 

adelebower.com

 

 

 

On Good Friday

 

O Sacred Head

O sacred head, now wounded,
with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded
with thorns, your only crown.
O sacred head, what glory
and blessing you have known!
Yet, though despised and gory,
I claim you as my own.

My Lord, what you did suffer
was all for sinner’s gain;
mine, mine was the transgression,
but yours the deadly pain.
So here I kneel, my Savior,
for I deserve your place;
look on me with thy favor
and save me by your grace.

What language shall I borrow
to thank you, dearest Friend,
for this, your dying sorrow,
your pity without end?
Lord, make me yours forever,
a loyal servant true,
and let me never, never
outlive my love to you.

___________________________________

“Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” John 19:30

‘Til He Shouts!

 

 

The poem “O Sacred Head”, is attributed to Paul Gerhardt, 1656

 

Tears and Triumph

Tears and Triumph

“Tell the people of Jerusalem, ‘Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey-riding on a donkey’s colt.’ ”   

Matthew 21:5

Tears

On that day…..the day we call Palm Sunday…..the Lord Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem on a small donkey. As the ecstatic crowd welcomed Him thinking He was the one who would free them from  their suffering under a cruel and harsh rule, He wept.

“As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day

what would bring you peace-but now it is hidden from your eyes.’”    Luke 19:41-42

 

The Greek word for weep is  ἔκλαυσεν…meaning to weep aloud, expressing uncontainable, audible grief (“audible weeping”). He was sobbing; those around Him could have heard Him but the crowds were cheering.

Our Lord shed tears of grief and sorrow as He rode the small donkey into Jerusalem that day.

Triumph

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice He judges and makes war. ” Revelation 19:11

“On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written:

King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” Revelation 19: 16

 

Yes, Jesus Christ is coming again and in complete victory and triumph. He will not be shedding tears. As the King of Glory, He will be riding a white horse….not a small donkey. He will establish His everlasting kingdom.

Wishing you a blessed Palm Sunday with praise to Him.

‘Til He shouts!

 

 

 

I first wrote and published this blog in 2015. The message is the same; it will never change, and will never grow old.

I Love Christmas.

….and almost everything about Christmas. I’m blessed with a good memory, although my husband may not consider it a blessing all the time. I remember big and little things about my childhood.

For instance,

…….I loved to sit under our tree and laugh at how big my nose got when I looked into a shiny silver ornament.

……I remember my favorite Christmas gift of all time; a maroon and white Aggie Tee shirt and a Sarge pendant on a gold chain. It was a gift from my brother who was a Texas A & M Aggie.

…..I remember participating in our annual Christmas “pageant”, created and directed by our big brother when I was about six years old. Our parents were instructed to sit on the sofa in the living room. When ready, my brother led the procession of three…each of us carrying a lighted candle and singing “Silent Night”. We processed from a back bedroom, down the hall and into the living room and paused in front of our parents. My sister and I, dressed in our little floor length nightgowns stood beside him as our brother gave the evening message. He grew up to become a Pastor serving over 50 years.

…..I remember early one Christmas morning Daddy showing us the “damage” the reindeer had done to our front lawn. I was captivated.

…..I remember learning all four verses (5 sometimes) of every Christmas carol at our church. I can still sing them all from memory.

…..I remember Christmas shopping for a gift for my Mother but don’t remember where I got the money. We did not get allowances. We shopped at Kaplans-Ben Hur, a very popular store in the Houston Heights area at the time.  I remember liking the sound I made walking across the old wooden floors at that store. I even remember what I chose to give Mama; a tiny plastic lapel pin shaped like a telephone. I was so proud.

……I remember getting up very early one Christmas morning and driving to Schulenburg, Texas to visit my Father’s family there. We had to take blankets to cover ourselves for the long, cold trip from Houston. At least, I thought it was long and cold.

…..I remember my paternal Grandfather singing “O Tannenbaum” in German, the only language he ever used. We didn’t chat much.

…I remember the little cardboard village my Father designed, crafted and placed under our tree every year. It had a little cabin, a tiny church, and even an iced over pond (a mirror surrounded by cotton snow) and a ceramic skater enjoying his day.

….I remember the fragrance of the real tree, the aroma of food cooking, and the taste of the cookies on the buffet.

Memories can be blessings beyond measure and I’m grateful. Maybe I’ll write another “I Love Christmas’ blog about Christmas with my husband and three children…..or Christmas with our Grandchildren, and now Christmas with our Great-granddaughter. It’s all so wonderful….and I remember.

I wish for each of you and your families a Christmas filled with memories worth writing about. May it be a Christmas filled with the joy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s His birthday!

Oh come let us adore Him!

‘Til He Shouts!

 

Adele’s Excellent Christmas Shopping Advice

….Just stay home!

Yeah, actually those three words are my best advice about Christmas shopping. Trust me, I know these things! After sixty-six years of marriage and the age that implies, I have tested all methods of Christmas shopping. Of course, that was before online shopping, which I love. Back to the subject. I published this blog a few times before but this morning I realized I was beginning to have the same thoughts about Christmas shopping and suddenly remembered my own Excellent Advice. So here it is again.

I love numbers. After my husband served 6 years in military service; after 5 years of his undergraduate studies; after many years of his graduate studies; after 3 children, (all this time with zero discretionary funds), I finally began to notice a singular truth about my shopping: If I went out of the house I would spend money! That’s it! It was as simple as that! To resist the urge to shop, I would make a cup of coffee, grab a cookie, and wait for the urge to pass….and it would pass. Yay! Just think how much money I saved today, I would think. Perhaps the thought of taking three little children along with my shopping trip had something to do with deciding to “…just stay home.” Maybe.

Fast forward to today with the convenience of online shopping at my fingertips. Remember I said that I love it. Well, I’ve learned something about that, too; If I fill out all the necessary information in the Shopping Cart…i.e. the mailing address, credit card number, on and on, I’ll probably make a mistake and have to delete the whole thing. I’m usually so aggravated and bored by that time, I go find something else more fun to do. Yay! Just think how much money I saved today.

Recently while shopping online at a fancy store website, I came to the final bottom line stating the cost, it was really low….yes LOW! I thought how can that be? I just ordered some expensive items, jackets, sweaters, etc. I pondered this for a while and decided to start over by going back to the homepage of the store. Oh! I see it now….in big bold letters it read “EVERYTHING 70% OFF TODAY.” That answered my question and confirmed my growing suspicion that I am the world’s worst shopper. Yes, I started over and bought all the same things I wanted as before. Oops! I didn’t save any money that day.

You might also find it helpful to know that if you are traveling with all your children and you are on a tight budget……don’t stop the car……ever! It will cost you money if you do. I’ve tested that theory before, in fact, we’ve lived it. However, I’ll admit it is a little difficult if you are trying to get to Lubbock, Texas from Houston, Texas in one day. At last count it is almost 600 miles.

Friends, that is the extent of my shopping advice gleaned through hard-earned experience and a lot of fun. Get a cup of coffee and a cookie….and wait.

Merry Christmas, one and all. With praises to Our Lord Jesus Christ as we celebrate His birthday.

‘Til He Shouts!

 

 

Note: I first published this a couple of years back; but truth is truth and never really changes and good advice is always valuable.

Jealousy At The Art Show…and Beyond

(NOTE: Me and a few of my art friends are currently participating in a long Facebook thread about how we handle criticism of our art. It has been both fun and informative. It made me think about a blog I wrote and published a few years back about jealousy in the art world. Yes, Friends, it exists!)

I’m sad to say that I heard jealously in the extreme at the art show I entered this weekend. That is so wrong! It has continued over the past few days right here in my little studio. Oh, no, not from other artists or friends….no, no, no….but from my three other paintings I entered in the show. You see, only one of my four paintings won a ribbon; the other three did not. The complaints of the three losers have been aggravated by the ongoing, smug attitude of the painting that won a ribbon, “Southwestern Kitsch”.

First Honorable Mention, Professional Division (Acrylic or Oil Category)

Sibling rivalry is never pretty and often unreasonable. I’ve tried to explain to the other three paintings that there will always be another show to enter; art is subjective; judges are only human; “Southwestern Kitsch” was smaller and thereby garnered sympathy; but no….the whining continues. I’m going to put the “winner” in my art closet, turn off the light, and shut the door. Maybe that will help. We’ll see. If the “losers” continue to whine they will go into the other art closet, lights out, door shut.

As for me, the artist, I appreciate the ribbon…..and don’t play favorites; I liked all my entries. There was a lot of very beautiful art at the show and I’m grateful for the recognition. Now the painting qualifies to compete in the Lone Star Art Guild annual convention at the Woodlands Waterway Hotel and Convention Center in the summer in The Woodlands, Texas. PLEASE keep that quiet or the whining and bragging will start all over again.

On a happier note, before the art show started my husband, daughter and I enjoyed a picnic outside the venue, under the trees and next to the tennis courts there at Kingwood Country club . Tennis was my obsession for over twenty-five years at that club. Ladies were playing right on the other side of a very high fence. I had just commented to David and Karen, that “Good tennis players rarely hit a ball over the fence”, when a ball came flying over the fence and bounced off my head. No kidding! (Not to worry…it had bounced once….and didn’t hurt at all.) I had fun teasing the worried ladies.

“Art is a jealous mistress”_____Ralph Waldo Emerson
(I’ve always wondered what that means!)

Back to work. Wish me peace and quiet. The closets are close-by. By the way, my website is adelebower.com

A Scary Story

“David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand extended over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell face down.”  1 Chronicles 21:16

This verse from 1 Chronicles 21 may seem like a strange memory verse for April. Where is the sweetness and light? Where is the applicable motivation? What am I to make of this story? I want easy words to live by…..don’t I?

I chose it for its powerful message and lessons.

All the questions above are valid, but when I read this chapter of 1 Chronicles I was very, very impressed….even after having read it many times before. Read this Old Testament chapter again, just to refresh your memory.

To summarize the story:

David was incited by Satan to sin against the Lord by counting the people of Israel. He knew it was wrong but did it anyway. This was evil in the sight of the Lord. The Lord gave David three options for his punishment. He chose “…three days of the sword of the Lord-days of plague on the land, with the angel of the Lord ravaging every part of Israel”. Seventy thousand fell dead in Israel. Then God sent the angel to destroy Jerusalem.

Lesson #1: Satan is real. The Lord God is totally holy. He is sovereign and does all things according to His will. Sin has consequences.

The story continues: The Lord saw all that was happening and was grieved because of the calamity and said to the angel who was destroying the people…..“Enough! Withdraw your hand”. (vv.14-15) After David confessed his sin, the Lord told him to build an altar of burnt offerings on the threshing floor of a man named Araunah.

Lesson #2: Our Lord is compassionate. He provides a way of repentance.

At this time, Araunah, the Jebusite, was quietly at work threshing wheat with his four sons. He turned and saw the angel; in fear and terror his four sons hid themselves……then, to add to the drama of the moment, David, the King walked onto the scene. Can you imagine Araunah’s shock? I can’t. Araunah bowed down in front of David with his face to the ground. What a scene; the angel of the Lord with a drawn sword and the King of Israel….all right there together.

Then the angel of the Lord was standing at the threshing floor of Araunah, the Jebusite. “David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand extended over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell face down.”  1 Chronicles 21:16. David pleaded with the Lord to bring the punishment on him alone, not the innocent people.

Lesson #3: Never underestimate the angel of the Lord; never think he is a sweet, little, chubby, blond baby..flying around ready to encourage you every now and then. No. Most people in the Old Testament fell to the ground, some lost consciousness at the sight of an angel of the Lord.

To conclude the story, David purchased the threshing floor and built the altar the Lord had instructed him to do. And oh, how I love this verse:  “Then the Lord spoke to the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath.” (v. 27)

Lesson #4: Our Lord God is all powerful, all mighty, and fully in charge of everything. He is to be obeyed.

“But David could not go before it [the altar] to inquire of God, because he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the Lord.” (v.30)

Lesson #5: Fear of the Lord is wisdom; fear of the Lord increases the more you learn of Him; fear of the Lord applies to us today. Be wise. Fear the Lord.

‘Til He shouts!