Friday, March 21, 2008

My Artwork

I thought you all might like to see some art work that I have done throughout the years, both as a teen and a young adult, and one recent piece. I'm hoping this might be an encouragement to you to nurture your own creativity, and to give your children that opportunity, too. Arts are not optional!

I painted this for my husband Thad in 1984, the year I met him. (I just knew I was going to marry him!) The grey water jug and the pink cloth were from my trip to Israel in 1980. I should note that I took oil painting classes at an art studio when I was about 15. I'm really thankful that my parents were always so willing to spend money on art classes, music lessons, and lots and lots of books! Thanks, Dad and Mom! You invested well!

This oil painting was a wedding gift for my sister Barb and her husband David in 1982. You can read about the symbolic significance of this painting at The Throne of Grace.

I made the "flying geese" quilted pillow for my late mother-in-law when I was pregnant with Mary. I did several quilted pillows of various designs for Christmas presents that year. Two of the ladies from church showed me how to do log cabin patchwork, too. I'll always be indebted to them for that kind of "Titus 2" mentoring since I was still a newlywed.

Within the next year, I designed (from scratch) a baby quilt for my daughter Mary, who was born in 1987. I colored and cut up pieces of index cards to figure out how I wanted to arrange the pieces of this quilt. It is entirely made of triangles, which are easy to sew together. I used six pastel colors, and each color is adjacent to its neighbors ones on the color wheel (yellow is next to orange and green, etc.) I used a sewing machine for the whole thing because I haven't ever had the patience for hand quilting. My friend Cheryl has made baby quilts for a few of my children, and they are hand tied, which is relatively quick and durable.

I made this pop-up Valentine card for Thad this year. My supplies (which my girls bought me for Christmas) were blue and red cardstock, thick water color paper, a metallic gold paint pen, ribbon, tacky glue, curvy scissors, a utility knife and a cutting mat. I used the translucent gold ribbon to connect the three hearts: God, Thad, and Virginia. The Bible verse is "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God. 1 John 4:7." There is a heart at the bottom for each of our children, including the wee little baby we lost to miscarriage twenty years ago.

This rest of this is some of my artwork from my teen years that I pulled out of a box in the closet. The kids enjoyed looking at it even though some of it wasn't in very good shape. At one point, my career goal was to be a professional artist, but my dad told me I would have to learn to drive a taxi to support myself... I also had an art teacher in my junior year who sort of squelched the fun of it for me. But I still enjoy creating when I can!

My art class portfolio cover from 10th grade (1978-1979) shows some of my interests -- Christianity, art (the crossing pencil and paintbrush), Scotland (the Bruce clan tartan), computers, and hang-gliding. It should be noted that our TRS-80 Model 1 computer had a cassette drive for storage... The "skywriting" shows my maiden name (Virginia Quarrier) in overlapping colors. I used a large piece of poster board for this project.

Here are two renditions of the same still life, one with pen and ink, and the other with multi-media, including fabric and tissue paper. I did these in my junior year at W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax, Virginia.

We did water colors in my sophomore year at Cockeysville High School in Maryland. I always found water colors to be more challenging than oils because once you lay the paint down on the paper, it stays there. With oils you can scrape it up or mix it differently if you didn't do it right in the first place. However, oils are more complicated to clean up. I haven't used oils since my early marriage because of all the chemicals involved, and how long it takes to dry.

A dulcimer is an American folk instrument from the Appalachian mountains. We used to see them at the Renaissance fairs when we lived near San Francisco. My brother John had already bought one, and I got mine in 8th grade. They are really easy to play, laying flat on your lap as you hold a little dowel across some of the strings with one hand and strum with the other. The self-portrait must have been after I went to Scotland on a Teen Missions trip in the summer of 1979, because that's where I got the hat.

If you don't have a lot of money to invest in fancy art supplies, you can still draw! Just check out some books from the library so you can learn basic skills like shading and perspective. Then buy a few decent pencils, a sketch pad, and a kneaded eraser, and you're set. Practice, practice, practice! (And you don't have to be perfect.)

Well, that's a bit of my old artwork! What do you have in your closet?

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