Category: art

Where We Are: December

Painted this a few minutes before Sabbath began Christmas eve--an excellent reminder of my own need for rest and peace.

*Please excuse the awkward wording–I have a cold and my brain is full of goo and my brain is transposing words left and right.)

First off, hoping you have had a blessed holiday season whether you celebrate or not– we kind of celebrated Hanukkah (we lit a small menorah made of playdough and birthday cake candles and played with the dreidel)  and celebrated Christmas on Christmas eve with our extended families Christmas day we had a small immediate family celebration then a short visit with my 82 yr old grandmother) while celebrating a much needed Sabbath.  It turned out that we all got sick which made me even more grateful that we did most of the celebrating the day before.

This month has seen much blessing from friends and family who have stepped in to cover our needs in various ways despite the paycheck we expected not showing up (please pray it comes in the next few weeks– things are going to start getting shut off otherwise).  From friends who sent us cash (which bought much needed groceries and paid the immediate bills) and gave me  small jobs that covered Christmas dinner and a few small gifts to family members who stepped in and paid for gas and our steer (which means that we have plenty of organic, grass-fed beef), to small gifts of much needed items, even Christmas gifts of clothes that are needed and FIT and grocery money (the kids are so excited about the Whole Foods gift card from my WONDERFUL sister-in-law) we have been amazingly blessed.  It is not comfortable, especially each day not knowing where, when and how the next need  will be met.

I am usually the “God will provide” person– every time we have a need I am the one who trusts and believes and watches for God to step in– and He always does because He is faithful, but I am struggling– every few days I get knocked over with a wave of fear and I am battling it with His help.  The thing is, because I am usually the one who just trusts it is affecting the rest of the family having me worried.  So I am praying diligently for patience, faith, and the ability to stand strong in faith.

So now I am praying for a miracle, and trusting we will have one soon.  He is faithful and He has provided thus far therefore I can trust Him and I am standing on His promises that He will take care of us.  That said just an update on other things:

Shamus is writing a brilliant book while working on all his other projects.  Brilliant I say.  He was working on an epic tale (which was well written, makes a perfect short story, and fizzled out because he didn’t have his arc figured out before he started) but this one is shorter, funnier, and just plain awesome and I can’t wait to share it with others.  He is also trying to finish up so loose ends so he can start applying various places who may be interested in his work– but those would all mean moving and him working in an office (which would mean not writing).  We are really praying that somehow the Lord would provide so that he can continue to work from home (and actually get paid what is promised to him) and that he would be able to keep writing which is really his passion.

The kids are growing like weeds (Rach is 5′ 5″ and a half! and the other two have rapidly shortening clothes).  They are also maturing at an alarming rate.  They all set out to buy gifts for everyone in the family with their own money and did a beautiful job.  Rachel has been saving up and purchasing her own lunch foods (her own choice–she wants to  learn about economy, the cost of food, and learn to do for herself so that when she is old enough to move out she knows how to live economically.)  Issac made rice packs as gifts for everyone and Esther not only purchased special gifts for individuals but she stepped in several times to help the family out using her birthday money.

All three kids are keeping very busy with various projects.  Rachel had to stop piano lessons until we get paid again but is occasionally babysitting for her teacher in exchange for a lesson and is also doing quite a bit of babysitting otherwise.  Esther is not going to be in the next show due to monetary restraints but is happily engaged in other projects (most including books either reading of or writing.)  Issac is building and creating and making constantly.

I am sure there is a lot more they are doing but right now my brain is shutting down so I will instead point you to a post that is where my heart is and is better able to express how I am feeling at the moment than I apparently am in my addle brained state:  My dear friend Holly shares it here.

New Art site, again

I have moved my art site again.  As fun as it was to be part of the community the inability to fix stupid issues within the theme was not.  However, this time it was a much simpler move and really no big deal.  I found a theme I am happy with (though there are some issues with double images due to some remnant code from the old site, I believe) I am pretty happy with it.  I do not, however, promise not to change the theme because I have a slew downloaded that I am tempted to try, this one was just the prettiest so far. 🙂

So, hop over to the new (if it takes you to the old site try instead.  It will eventually be just but it is there for now.  Also, I have a small new holiday greeting/painting waiting for you there.

Art Class

Once upon a time (nearly 2 years ago to the day) I posted 9 figure drawing lessons for kids (and adults if they want to join in) and people still come looking for them.  You can find them all here.  Please keep in mind that originally I was doing these real time and life was rather hectic.  If you decide to work through them feel free to leave a comment or email me if you ahve any questions or just want to share:

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Lesson 4

Lesson 5

Lesson 6

Lesson 7

Lesson 8

Lesson 9

New Elasah Art site

So I gave up on incorporating my art site into this one. And am tired of my art floating around the internet so now I bring you a one stop spot for all my art:

It is not self-hosted, for simplicities sake it is over on  This also means I can’t mess with the theme so even though there are some things I am not thrilled with I am in general very happy with it.  I still have more art to upload but there are already 73 paintings there to peruse.  And if you use a feed reader you can access the feed here or you can stop over and subscribe via email. Also, all the buying info is linked at the top.

Getting Back to Normal

The question is what is normal?

Ice Skating

We have had crazy busy stuff since October 12 (Issac’s birthday and the beginning of our holiday season). With Rachel’s birthday over we finally can settle down. The problem is with the ice melted, the snow melting (we will have more, believe me), and no big upcoming events the kids are at a loss for what to do. I haven’t pointed out to them that our wedding anniversary is this weekend (and that they are all going off to visit family so that Shamus and I could have alone time to celebrate 13 years) deliberately. I want a little peace and quiet and boredom. Boredom is good for them, it gets their brains moving, it gets them thinking outside the box (unless we have boxes, then they think inside and all around them.)
At the Science Center

Today is a normal day. Today the kids have spent 5 minutes each working upstairs in their rooms doing some sort of cleaning up, and 5 minutes downstairs, again doing some sort of cleaning project– whatever floats their boat as long as it makes a difference. I am finding that 5 minutes makes all the difference.
Ice Skating

Rach spent 15 minutes doing Wii Fit and the other two have also been asked to do at least 15 minutes of some sort of physical activity (what and when is completely up to them– I only ask because Esther will spend all day reading without moving and then can’t sleep, and Issac will spend most of the day doing quiet sedentary activities only to be bouncing off the walls come bedtime– again, 15 minutes makes all the difference).
A Very birthday tea.

The kids decided that they would like to have boredom buster boxes, just in case they can’t think of something to do or need drawing ideas or book ideas, so they helped me put those together. They are free to fill them with their own ideas (because some days we have too many ideas about what we want to do and others not enough.) In the meantime I put some of their favorite (and forgotten) activities in the boxes in case they need something to do, knowing that they will likely not touch the boxes– just knowing they are there is enough.
At the Science Center

And what are they doing?

Esther reading

Esther is on the 4th Gregor the Underlander book, nearly ready to start the 5th. She is curled up on the couch in the living room, cuddled under a blanket, enjoying the story (and grateful to Penny who suggested the books). She has already spent some time drawing and reading, and will likely spend some time in conversation with her siblings or us (her parents) about what she has read and the thinky thoughts she has developed because of the books. She will also likely spend some more time listening to audio books (she listened during breakfast and lunch and will likely do more later). Earlier she watched the rest of the Bionicles movie her brother rented (for some reason he doesn’t want her to watch with him.) She is also attempting to start an idea journal so she can remember ideas for stories, poems, drawings when she needs them as she constantly has ideas when she is otherwise occupied.
At the Science Center

Issac is in his room building and listening to audio books. The trip to the library yesterday scored some new audio books (boy am I tired of Geronimo Stilton. He is great and all but too much is enough.) Earlier he spent some time cuddling me while Rach and I watched a movie he didn’t want to watch and whining because his sister was in his room. He likes to be in there alone, building and thinking and designing, then later emerging with whatever project that he has been working on for the world to see. He has also been spending time reading Calvin and Hobbes and Francis.
Ice Skating

Rachel is feeling a bit off today (partly just down after such a busy birthday weekend) so she and I have been watching “Tin Man” which we just discovered today and are enjoying thoroughly. She is also coming up with ideas for her brother’s busy box– she loves coming up with activity ideas and this way he doesn’t feel bossed by her. She is also helping me find things to put in the bowls in the living room– because if it is in the bowls Issac will get it out and research it. Right now she is up in her room designing saris though earlier she was blogging on her site. She is reading the American Girl’s Smart Girl’s Guide to Internet Safety which I am thrilled with since she wants to spend more time online and make some internet friends. She made breakfast for her siblings and spent quite a bit of time drawing with the new pastel pencils I picked up. She also spent a lot of time talking– today mostly to her dad about random stuff, asking lots of questions about everything.
Rachel's 12 birthday

You can see the painting in the background.

In the meantime I have been working on painting with acrylics and learning a lot, mostly learning how much I don’t know about working with acrylics but it is getting there and I am learning. Also have been spending time trying to get one of the sites back online, and finally, a week later managed to get in touch with someone who knew what was wrong and fixed it. And now back to the kids– Rach wants to watch the next episode of Tin Man and is being very patient.

Appreciate a Dragon Day

Being that I adore dragons (always have, well since I gave up on unicorns in the 4th grade) and thoroughly enjoyed Donita K. Paul’s Dragons series I thought I would share some of my favorite dragons for Appreciate a Dragon Day.  (My two very favorites are in the bedroom where my hubby is asleep so…. they are sleeping dragons and we let sleeping dragons lie.)

First is the one I did when Cat mentioned feeling like a dragon the other day (and which you have already seen):

Dragon doodle

Then there is the wonderful antique dragon coffee set my in-laws bought us last January for our anniversary (which is next weekend).

Dragon tea set

Also in our home is the Guardian of the Futon: the dragon I bought for Issac for his birthday last year at IKEA and which migrated downstairs so often that he eventually became our futon guardian.
IKEA dragon
Another favorite who often gets overlooked (because he sits like a gargoyle atop the shelf in the office is the Guardian of the Video Games.
Dragon guradian of the video game shelf
Below you will find my Bibliophile Dragon Horde painting (still unframed) above the awesome paper Chinese dragon Rachel made me.
Dragon horde + Rach's Chinese Dragon
And finally, because my favorite dragon shirt is in the summer clothes and because all my favorite dragon books (including The Enchanted Forest series, Here There Be Dragons, and “Max’s Dragon Shirt”, as well as the books mentioned above) are elsewhere, are two small dragons that keep me company at my desk:

Purple dragon

Rock dragon

And our favorite household dragon quote?  “Dragon shirt” said Max.

Valerie Comer also has a post up for Appreciate a Dragon Day.

Artsy Fartsy

Due to eye issues (long story short I can’t see to read or work at the computer but can see for everything else–  Hoping it clears up soon) I have been spending my time away from the computer.  Lots of snow outside (constantly snowing for the last week and the next week to come) means lots of snow shoveling, which helps my eyes feel better so I am doing lots of snow shoveling.

Also have picked up the paints again, this time trying out acrylics which I have a natural aversion to.  They are made of plastic and despite my love of computers I can’t stand anything plastic.  I prefer materials I could make myself and I can make oils and watercolors no problem.  However due to the RA oils are out of the question–oils are surprisingly hard ont he hands.  So, I am giving acrylics a go–  which is interesting as I am completely and totally out of all reds beyond bright orange.  In case you haven’t notice I LIKE red and use a lot of it in my paintings and attempting to work without red until I decide if I can even bear to work with acrylics is an interesting challenge on top of not having touched acrylics since I was in high school (at least 20 years since I touched them).  And in that time I have spent most of my time working in oils and more recently watercolors.  Watercolors are very different from acrylics, you work them differently, the support is different, everything is different (even the palatte of colors I have available to me).  And I refuse to go out and buy any acrylics until I am sure I am going to use them.

So I have a work in progress and have also joined several weekly painting inspiration groups (attempting to get back into doing Illustration Friday as well as the other art groups I am a part of.  And likely will do so if my eyes continue to be a problem (can’t do too much database work when I can’t bear to look at the screen for more than 5-10 min at a stretch–typoing this while looking at my keyboard. :))

I do have a new-to-me computer to work on which has plenty of space fo photos of my work plus a dual boot which will allow me to work in Ubuntu AND use the Windows programs I need to use.  Now if I could just get a new camera to replace my “dust in the lens making it impossible to take decent art photos” camera  I will be doing good.  God provided the computer box (my brother-in-law’s cast off) and so I will have to trust Him to provide a decent camera, and maybe even a printer/scanner so I can get prints of my work done.  I have a feeling I will be doing less website work in the future (hoping– health issues make it too hard to be diligent) and I much prefer doing painting and photography anyway.

We’ll see where it all ends up, every year I think I will do this or do that and then find myself doing the thing I thought I was done with.  And yes, when I get some work done, or at least further along, I will post it.  Right now my husband is loving what I have done with acrylics but I am finding it pretty creepy looking.  If I just had some Payne’s grey and some crimson I would be much happier– why yes I am a color snob, why do you ask?