Stations of the cross art created by Jenny Gallo of Carrot Top Studio for the Kirk in the Hills Stations of the Cross art exhibit. The focus of the 2019 Holy Week exhibit was seeing the scripture through the lens of criminal Jesus.Read More
We're getting closer! The season we long await will be upon us shortly. How do you mark the twelve joyful days of the Christmas season?
For me, I'm thinking of apples this year. We live in Michigan where the apple crop is an important part of the economy and extra delicous. When I was a school teacher I often received apple ornaments to hang on our family tree. Today I think an apple is lovely hung on a tree or present in Christmas decorations to remind us of Adam and Eve. It is a visual reminder of the connection between the tree of knowledge and the tree of the cross.
But there are twelve days! What else? We've been blogging for ten years so we dug into our past posts to find ...
A Christmas craft here.
Tidbits about nativities we display here.
A reason for Christmas bells here.
A recipe here.
Additionally how about sharing scripture readings, stories or poetry. We so rarely take the time outside of worship to read aloud to each other. Here is a prayer/poem that I am drawn to right now:
Welcome, welcome, Jesus Christ our infant savior,
baby who makes every birth holy.
May we, who like the shepherds
have witnessed in the stable a new kind of love,
return to our work with joy.
May we, for whom the heavens have opened
to proclaim that God is with us,
we who have fed on living bread
and drunk the wine of heaven,
go out to be instruments of your peace, day by day.
A New Zealand Prayer Book
May your Christmas celebration be joyful!
We recently completed a stole for a seminarian preparing for Ordination. She sought a piece that would reflect where she lived and served in Peurto Rico.It was fun to start with her own sketch and photos. When I work on a stole like this it makes me appreciate the many years as a young woman that I studied watercolor painting. As a general rule when you use watercolors you start with what is furthest in the background and work your way forward. This is because once the paint is down it can't be removed and it is not easily gone over. The commissioned stoles that we do that are like "story stoles" with a lot of appliqued pieces need to be figured out in this logical type of sequencing. It's a bit of a puzzle in the beginning but with careful planning it comes together nicely. Interesting how one opportunity from your past prepares you for the future! We've just completed the sketch for another story stole. You'll hear more about that this summer. #PCUSA #GA222 (spoiler alert :))
*Note 1-we love learning new things (especially about plants and food) and were pleased to be introduced to the seagrapes that are the large leaf plant with the interesting, clustered fruit.
*Note 2-we had special permission to use the PCUSA seal, this one time
When did your creative awakening occur?
My parents recognized my artistic gift and fostered it first with Crayola's then later with more sophisticated art supplies and lessons. Trips to art museums were always part of my life and I still feel energized the minute I walk into a museum or gallery. So, the creativity has always been there but as I have aged I have been more receptive to this being part of me. I was in my 30's before I really felt like I gave myself permission to create from the depths of my soul.
What talents do you have?
Artistically I can paint, sew, quilt, and create through collage (I love handmade papers from around the world). Teaching is another gift. I have enjoyed guiding many from the uninhibited preschool age child to the ever wise senior citizen. Baking is favorite pastime. I used to spend time at the pottery wheel forming clay into vessels. Now I knead bread dough instead of clay! This is also probably why a day doesn't feel complete unless I've done a little digging in the garden dirt.
What elements draw you toward them?
I am drawn to texture and combinations of textures. This is probably one reason why I love collage. Color is also inspirational, mood altering and stimulating for me. When I taught elementary art I loved exposing the children to the depth and breadth of color. Even construction paper comes in luscious colors and chartreuse, pumpkin, magenta, salmon, spring green and slate grey were always included in my yearly order!
When and why do you create?
As a small business owner I appreciate the flexibility to my schedule but I create best when there is a rhythm and routine to my week days. I create because I feel I am called by God to do so.
What activates your creative energy?
I love reading. Often a walk through a book store or library will find me stumbling upon a text on a period of art or design history, symbolism or a technique that will spark the creative energy to flow. I often set out to make one thing and it transforms as the process of using the materials and the spirit of creativity take over. When it works it is a joyful journey.
Any creative rituals?
Turning the music on pouring a cup of coffee and indulging in a bit of chocolate are almost guaranteed to get things going!