Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sweet Saturdays and Community

Mixed Media Collage by Crystal Neubauer

Saturdays have become my favorite day of the week, and yesterday was no exception. The workshop was soul satisfying, connecting with extraordinary talented women over art and soaking up the unique flavor of what each one brings to the table. I learn as much as I teach. The exchange of ideas, giftedness, openness and generosity that happens around the work table when art is the focus feels like community.

Coming home afterwards and watching the house fill up with our church community was icing on the cake. Sitting around the dining room table breaking bread together, worshipping, praying and sharing from the heart and from the Word while our hearts begin to be knit together by our mutual love of Christ and sense of purpose, I couldn't help feeling full to the over flowing.

This is the love of God in action. That He could take somebody as broken as me and put the pieces back together in such a way that I could never have even thought to ask for or imagine is nothing short of a miracle. It isn't a destination that I've arrived at. It is a journey that I must choose to get up and continue every day. And trust me when I tell you, I have been tempted to quit. Scared some days to take another step. So tempted to believe certain things could never change.

Jesus said to the paralyzed man "take up your mat and walk!". After 38 years of being lame he believed he could be healed and his life was changed. Essentially he was saying to the man, it doesn't have to be this way. The belief that you can never change is a lie. We all have our mats. What have you been lying in, accepting as your lot in life, that Jesus wants to heal you of today?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Collage with Encaustic Workshop January 26th!

Encaustic Wax and Collage Workshop

In this class we will be exploring from the heart of collage in combination with encaustic wax. Techniques in the class will cover building a traditional collage utilizing encaustic wax as a top layer to protect and enhance your work, building a collage with encaustic wax as the adhesive between layers, and taking your collage off the "board" with embellishments and 3D effects.

Additional techniques will include stencils, incising and mark-making, adding color with a variety of methods, basic image transfers and will enable the student to express themselves whether their style is whimsical and light or takes a more serious tone.

Workshop Detail
When -  Saturday, January 26
Time -   10:00 - 4:00
Where - PerficalSense Studio

              1209 Hinman Ave., Evanston, IL
      Just south of Dempster, look for the red house with the blue door
Cost - $110 includes everything your need to leave with a big smile on your face.
Please feel free to bring a snack and lunch, the studio will be offering coffee, tea and water.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

HOPE ~ A New Years Promise

Studio on New Years Day 2013

This year I make no new resolutions, but I have set many personal goalsI suppose they would sound like resolutions if I were to list them all out, but somehow the very word "resolution" convinces me of the likelihood that I might fail - the way going on a diet becomes a battle of the inner will and I know I eventually give in to the temptation and, somewhere along the line, forget about my resolve altogether.

I am putzing around the studio reflecting today, New Years Day 2013, enjoying the rare unstructured time, still in my pjs and fuzzy socks. Apron on, paintbrush in one hand, gluten free salted caramel cupcake in the other (thanks to my daughter's very thoughtful boyfriend!), dabbing a little paint here and a little gesso there on formerly unfinished and rejected collage works, happy I saw the value in not throwing them away and pleased at how these flawed pieces often turn into my most treasured work.

My word for this year is HOPE. Hope for a future. Hope for my own life's purpose and a plan to help get me there. Hope that I have redeemed value and worth, that I have a voice and can be used by and for a cause much greater then myself. Hope in promises given to me years ago and the desire to instill and pass on this hope to others. Hope that brings freedom, and new life and purpose, that strengthens identities, binds up and heals old wounds, restores, redeems, and brings about long lasting change. 

This kind of hope has nothing to do with empty wishing, or white knuckled determination or resolve. It is the kind of hope that knows it is not all up to me, and that there is a God who sees me and is taking my flaws and turning them into one of His treasured works.

No this year I don't want the shaky ground of resolutions, I want to stand on the promises of hope.

"He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners."