I have just started my second quarter at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. In my first quarter I encountered many thoughts and ideas. The most readily applicable to the majority of people is the Rule of Life. This phrase is frequently used to describe the guidelines used as as the construction blocks for your time, actions, interactions, and resources. Encompassed in the Rule of Life are concepts of rest, simplicity, lament, honoring the body, listening, stewardship, solitude, silence, guidance, and discernment. I have been creating a Rule of Life for myself for years without calling it that. I venture to say that with some reflection you have too, consciously or subconsciously. I crafted my first overt Rule of Life in 2012 and called it Rules for Healthy Living. It was followed by a revised list in 2014. My current list is very much streamlined as evidenced by the image about, but no less comprehensive in scope as each word is an inclusive umbrella term encompassing many regulatory elements common to the Rule of Life ideology:
Read: Guidance, Discernment, Lectio
Pray: Listening, Guidance, Lament, Discernment, Examen, Stillness
Rest: Honoring the Body, Stewardship, Stillness
I encourage you to consider what rules are governing your life. Are they taking you in directions that are helpful and constructive? Do you want to be going in another direction? Prayerfully ruminate on what your Rule of Life is. Write it out and place it somewhere as a reminder of the direction you want to be moving in. I made a little sticky note on my computer desktop since as a student I am looking at that screen for hours every day.
Apropos sentiment for my year
I stopped 5 day a week blogging last March for health reasons. When I paused I did not know that it would be such an extended hiatus. I happened to be in the middle of #40daysofprintmaking when I made the decision, but preserved with that project on Instagram. By December of 2015 I was feeling much better & inspired by the beauty of the LowCountry winter flowers I embarked on a #12daysofflowermas project on Instagram. I am now on day 63; well over 5x's the goal I set. Yay! Georgia O'Keeffe say's it best regarding flowers, & recuperative time: "When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not."
I have been documenting the winter flowers that bloom, mostly in my backyard, during the LowCountry winter. I recommend checking out the images on Instagram, as they are sure to be the cure for what ails you. Originally I thought I would just post for the 12 days of Christmas, but the blooms have been just too lovely, so the project will continue as long as I find flowers.
"When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not. -Georgia O'Keeffe
There are some weeks where no matter how much or how little you paint you get solid results. There are weeks where the opposite is true; this is one of those weeks. However patterns just flowed from pens this week. In light of these events a pattern will be featured today & tomorrow. Today's pattern is very broadly inspired by solar systems & stars. I recently learned about Dark Sky Parks & am particularly intrigued by the concept. It clearly had an impact. I am even considering adding in some more neon pastel shades to make this pattern more emulative. Let me know what you think in the comments.
These items & more are available in my society6 shop.
It seems that after a hiatus I like to tackle something bigger than before. This is my largest painting yet! Measuring 33"x40" If I continue this trend I will soon need to find some trees further apart. Below are some detail shots. I will need to go back & fuss over some spots in this one now that I have been able to step back from it. Because my working method is so wet it necessitates a flat surface, but even when standing on a chair above it there was not enough perspective. If you would like to see a little, 15 second, video of me working on this painting click here. Happy Thursday Y'all!
Unlike the flowers which I prefer white, the moths were so colorful & diverse that I could not help, but be intrigued. Mostly the freak me out. I am not a fan of LARGE flying carnivorous insects (the moth picture below is the size of a piece of bread?!) But their colors & forms are so gorgeous & have adapted to fit their survival needs. When you think about the moths, in those terms, they become design objects. In that category they would receive high marks all around. So I overcame my fear/squeamishness long enough to document a few of the remarkable moths. I can get lost in the ribbon tail of the green Luna moth, the pink lemonade colors of the Rosy Maple moth, & the mimicry of the leaf-like Blinded Sphinx. They really are remarkable. Happy Wednesday Y'all!
White flowers are certainly a favorite of mine. My post-bac roommate, the wonderful Lydia Makepeace, remembers that even 10 years ago my preference was always for white flowers. I think it is because of their nuance. You can observe their form & delicacy clearly without the assault of riotous pink or purple. That being said my computer wallpaper is this gem by Molly Jacques Illustration. I will leave you with this quote from Abraham Lincoln, "All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle & plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought & mind." Happy Tuesday Y'all!
Anytime I return from camp I go thru culture shock. When you have spent close to a month living in a lean-to, yes there are showers & lights, but no air-con or internet, your perspective shifts. Daily seeing the mountains & lake, spending a lot of the day outside, is distinctly different then my life at home which includes a lot of time with a computer screen. In the past week I have seen planes shot from the sky, children deported to third world countries full of strife, wars continuing on & friends going thru lots of hard things. The world outside of #lakelife is hard. So why talk about all of the hard and then show us photos of beautiful sunsets. Because the world is both: sadness & beauty, strife & glory. And it is important to remember that. Happy Monday Y'all!
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