I feel a sense of peace and happiness looking at wildflowers in the field. They look simply beautiful. The most amazing part is that they naturally grow and thrive anywhere in the open field.
They remind me of my childhood and the verse in the bible that teaches us not to worry because the Lord provides even to the flowers in the fields. The book of Matthew 6:28 says “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. (NIV)
I got to visit Steve Shwartzman’s blog last week. He takes professional photos and posts them in his blog. Looking at his wildflower photos is a feast for people like me who appreciates wildflowers.
I particularly like this photo of his sunflowers collective and asked if I could make it an inspiration for my watercolour painting. I would like to say thank you to Steve for sharing his passion to people like me.
I could spend an hour in the morning just observing and listening to the noisy lorikeets that come visit our place. We live in the top most unit and across our place is a large Australian Native Tree that has been a fortress to a lot of birds.
I have been planning on painting these cuties for a while but I haven’t picked up my watercolour brush as I have been catching up on some errands. This week has been really great! Got a good long break from work and managed to finish my first project on painting birds. Kris has been encouraging me to do one as they are a good subject since their colours are vibrant.
Since we are moving in a few weeks, I am so glad of the result and I am proud to put this in the photo frame and immortalised my memories with them in our balcony.
I will miss early mornings with them since our new flat does not have a balcony. I thank them for showing me how to appreciate the wonderful creations of God and that they remind me of the verse in the bible that assures everyone of us that God cares and provides for us more than the birds in the skies.
Matthew 6:26-34New King James Version
26 (A)Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one [a]cubit to his [b]stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not [c]arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But (B)seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
A lot of people still get surprised when they learn that I am working as a registered nurse when I am not painting. I would be lying if I say I never thought of giving up my nursing career and do my art full time. However, I believe that one of the essential components of my creative work is being a witness of real life stories of our own vulnerability as human beings. As a nurse I have grieved with my patients and their families in the midst of unthinkable tragedies and celebrated with them as they overcome health issues and recover from illness. Those beautiful stories become part of me. And then I pour my heart and soul in creating each layer of paint on my canvas – where I weave serenity and joy with a gentle touch of humanity.
We hope that this art video and Joshua 1:9 will remind us to stay strong and courageous no matter what we are going through during this time.
Joshua 1 New International Version (NIV)
Joshua Installed as Leader
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips;meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
I grew up in a community where becoming an artist is almost synonymous to economic suicide. I was always bombarded with unexamined opinions regarding artists being lazy, eccentric, and having no ‘direction in life’. The lives of the artists I knew that time somehow became the evidence of such a misconception so I can’t really blame why the opinions relating to the impracticality of creative pursuit of was quite pervasive. One of the first challenges I have to overcome when I decided to be an artist was shaking off all these negative perceptions which I unknowingly accepted as ‘truth’ for many years. I needed to change my perspective and replace the unhelpful ones with positivity balanced with maturity and humility. What I mean by this is believing that my art career has great potential but also being ready to do the hard work and sacrifices whilst always striving for excellence.
Kris and I love gardening. Last summer of 2018 we wanted to take it to a different level by experimenting on making a fairy house garden. It was a trial and error that turned out very well.
We got our materials from Bunnings and Warehouse (our favourite shops). I swear Kris and I go to that place every other week to have a window shopping date. We can stay there for half a day or even a whole day. They have got amazing coffee and food too.
We were so excited to start the project when we got home. I must confess it was me who was the most enthusiastic about this project. LOL! As evidenced by the photos.
When I was a kid I believed in fairies as tiny as Thumbelina from a children’s classic fairytale book. I must have kept the unconscious drive to build a house for the fairies since I was young.
It’s not easy to purposely break a perfect and new terracotta pot and I was hesitating to smash it with the hammer. I felt bad doing it but eventually reassured to know that I am making a beautiful fairy house project.
I started to fill the broken pot with the soil and used the broken pieces to hold the soil in place. Then I planted the flowers at the top and succulents at the bottom. Lastly, I placed the fairy house and decorated the walk path with the white pebbles. It’s that easy! Trust me.
Surprisingly, I did not realise that the fairy house light up in the dark!!What a delight to see it glowing in the garden at night. I could imagine small fairies flying around it, making their dinner then getting ready for bed.
You too could enjoy this simple project at home. For sure kids and adults would love to get involved with this great idea. It’s like gardening with a twist of art and fairytale. It’s also a reminder of something broken which may not be made whole again but can be turned into something beautiful. Gosh! it gave me a life lesson too.
Thinking of making one as well? Here’s a list of the things that you need.
My creative journey isn’t a walk in the park. And it took me years before I was even able to take part in art shows and run exhibitions. I had a lot of those moments when the only thing that made sense was the raw and pure joy every time I pick up my brush. . In her heartwarming TED talk, Elizabeth Gilbert said “Don’t be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be. If your job is to dance, do your dance. If the divine, cockeyedgenius assigned to your case decides to let some sort of wonderment be glimpsed, for just one moment through your efforts, then ‘Ole!’ And if not, do your dance anyhow. And ‘Ole!’ to you, nonetheless. I believe this and I feel that we must teach it. ‘Ole!’ to you, nonetheless, just for having the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up.” . I’m so glad I did not give up. And as long as life goes on I will keep showing up.
I read the book “Rework” a few years ago and I still remember the words that inspired me and got me through the tough times when I tend to find excuses not to do my paintings. Whilst I believe that balancing work and rest is important, procrastination (if we learn to identify it) is not helpful and led me to many situations of unnecessary stress. So here’s my mantra when I notice that I am making a pattern of excuses and unproductive rationalisation: make time and just pick up your brush. And once I get into the flow the magic happens (most of the time).