FRESH GARLIC

I love garlic, but this is the first time I’ve painted it. It seems still life is my newest favorite. I love food. My husband brought this in fresh after cleaning it. I had to paint it. It makes sense to paint what we know well, and love heartily.

A favorite way to eat garlic is to line a pan with bacon and put your meatloaf into it. Surround the meatloaf with peeled (or unpeeled) garlic cloves, baking til the meatloaf is done. I also use raw garlic in ear oils or for fighting colds. Medicinal herb books are fun to read.

And garlic is also very beautiful as a plant, especially when the scapes curl and make ready to seed. This garlic is beautiful the way my husband brought it for us,

“Fresh Garlic” – 16″ x 8″ – Oil

This was pretty easily sketched in and begun. I had a little trouble in the middle, but most paintings do. Here are a few stages. I forgot to do more until finished.

Beginning a painting is always fun.

I have been working on a study of Acts. Acts is one of the larger books in the Bible, with longer chapters. It takes a long time to “do my version”, illustrate it and handwrite the whole thing. It is time I love to spend.

Also, the 4th Mr. Floppysocks book is underway. You never know for sure where a story will take you, but this one is not for little children. They might like the pictures and be held on your lap and you can read it to them, but mostly what they’d like is being close to their moms and dads. The Floppysocks books are difficult (for me) to describe or to designate an age group.

Mostly, I’m grateful to think about things other than world events, when I paint. Other times I have to pray to remember that our God has things well in His hands, no matter what it looks like out there. My husband reminds me to “give thanks in all things” because all is given by our Lord Jesus.

Sometimes I get excited to see what He is working out through all of this, when I have an extra dose of Faith…

STAND.

“In times like these” we can do what we can, some can do more, some less, but we can pray, to and with the One Who rules the universes. My husband told me of his verse this morning, “and the God of Peace will swiftly crush satan under your feet… the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you…” Rom. 16:20. He said when He crushes satan, it will be swiftly done, not necessarily soon.

I had at some time wondered “why do we pray” if God already has everything predestined according to His plan and will. Prayer brings us into His Person, His mind and sharing in His working, and administration … the joy of His presence… We may also be aligned in warfare, in His arms wrapping around us, relationship, reality, salvation, and much more, at various times and occasions. We, as His children, serve Him in His Spirit, just as the angels.

I know His angels are here, and they come according to His bidding. Angels assist us, whether we know it or not … sometimes we see, sometimes in hindsight. Our Shepherd takes care of us.

“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to minister for them who shall receive the inheritance of salvation? ” Heb. 1:14

“And He says to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, from now on you will see Heaven opened, and the messengers (angels) of God going up and coming down on the Son of Man.” John 1:51

“He who went down is the same who also went up far above all the heavens, that He may fill all things—” Eph. 4:10

He is full-filling all things, He is the Ladder, His will is being fulfilled, His angels are His servants… His warriors (hosts), His messengers, He is their Course… their King.

I wanted to paint the angels, what I saw, but didn’t quite know quite how to position the angels, their attitude, their arms. I had photographed a wonderfully clouded day, part of which reminded me of a stairway or ladder. I began by painting that cloud scene, and it was the beginning, the base layer. Everything else is coming a step at a time. It looks some different now from the image shown here.

It seemed interesting to me that a previous time I had painted angels, they were pressing against the curve of our atmosphere, watching, protecting, but not entering. (This is a portion of a large painting done a couple of years ago).

After that, another painting with angels, and our prayers, shows our praying pushing back, entrapping the darkness from our side, the angels working from heaven, and all the power and directives and power coming from the Throne. The angels are in the heavenlies, more interactive.

“Finally, brethren, be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power….Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect.  Stand therefore….” Eph. 6

STAND.

We are to stand as well. Pray. Be ready…

In the new painting, the angels are entering. They are standing.

I will show more of the new painting when I progress… in the “opening” of the portals from heaven to earth in praying, in the Lord’s timing. The angels ascend and descend on that ladder, and they are awaiting their appointed time. They are watching, waiting, ready, standing. How marvelous. The Son of Man in the Heaven and in His Body on earth, and He filling all things…preparing for us to go to Him.

There is another one, an Angel, or Messenger, in Revelation 10, in the future, when Jesus is in the process of claiming His earthly kingdom, one foot on land, one foot in the ocean.

Stand. He is doing all the rest.

It is nice to share in thought and deed, progress or lack of it… my work space I am fortunate to have, an easel that my husband made for me… some time ago, and the beginning of my present work. Hope I don’t screw it up. I’ve also been working in the book of Acts, now on chapter 10.

The “featured image” is from a book I did, from a series in a personal Bible study, from 1 Peter. I love doing the studies.

HORSES ON THE MESA

Sometimes we take drives to beautiful places.. We don’t go often, and generally when we do, it’s for peace and beauty, not seeking much company.

However, one day these very friendly horses were on the roadside, not at all frightened by people, they were the nice kind of company to have.

So we stopped to see them. One even came to say hello, putting his face into the truck window. I thought he’s accustomed to getting goodies from his owners, and they most likely deliver the hay from a pick up truck.

I know better than to feed other peoples livestock or to go onto their ranch land, but on the road, I could take photos. I decided to paint from them, and just finished this painting.

“Horses on the Mesa” – 28″x 22″ – Oil – ©2022

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Another helpful tip: if you want to take a ride in the country, if there is a closed gate, make sure you close it again after driving through.

I really appreciate the care ranchers give to the land and animals.

Remembering the Cowboys

I had a good friend named Junior. He is passed on now, but a few years back he taught me a lot about cowboys and their work. I didn’t know much before these times, but I came to respect them, their care for the animals and the land, their working together when round-up times came.

Junior took me back into the places where they did the work, where they brought the cattle in from vast spaces into small holding pens or near watering holes, usually a ways from the highways, sometimes over rough terrain.

It was enjoyable then to paint the horses, the men and the cattle. It was a time of transition for me and an adventure, good painting times. I was showing at a couple galleries and had a few one-artist shows. It was a lot of work, but I got it done.

I didn’t romanticize any of it, and painted the men as they are today, and the work as they do it. They each have their own ways, but all were skillful and work together.

“Cowboys in Tandem” – ©2022 – 60″ x 48″ – Oil

I don’t know where these fellows are today, two are passed on. But I will remember their hands and their ropes, the way their horses respond to the cattle and the man on their back. It’s like poetry at times. It was an experience I treasure. I didn’t know before this that some horses can talk to you if you listen.

I don’t remember how many paintings all together I did of the cowboys, but it was many.

There were four different ranches I went to. Each was unique and well managed. I am forever grateful for them letting me be there, taking hundreds and hundreds of photos to work from.

I was reminiscing about my friend Junior today, remembering him. He was a fine man, his wife equally as wonderful. But I miss him. He was one of the good men on the earth.

God is good. It’s amazing the places we go and people we get to know in a lifetime.

I have added a new tab on the home page menu, “Western Art”.

Loving Mario

There is no greater Gift from God than being given a child. We are entrusted by God to raise them to Him. It is the most important job in the world, and we are never more tired, even exhausted, yet it is a treasured and joy-filled time of life.

Nursing our children provides a time of closeness and mutual nurturing, nothing is sweeter. The time is peaceful and calm, a love-bubble for the two of you. Not to mention the mother’s milk is full of healthy things for the baby, guaranteeing immunities and lots of good things.

And there is nothing sweeter still than seeing your daughter’s joy as she loves beyond the deepest exhaustion, fulfilled in motherhood. Her child is happy and beautiful. She gives her life to her children fully and without reservation. I love seeing her with her boys.

“Loving Mario” – 20″x 20″ – Oil ©2022 Bohlender

I suppose this is the last of works from our last visit. This is the fifth piece, extending my time with them some. Mario has already grown, and is doing amazing things. He’s a happy boy, gregarious and jolly. I look forward to when I may see them all again. God is good, He knows all things in our hearts.

My next painting is already forming, my husband feeding the raven out front when it snowed the other day. Our raven friend Jack is rather spoiled at times.

Mario & Grandma

He’s the star of the show, and the sparkle in my eye. Mario is full of zesty life and I was honored that he felt comfortable with me. I would love to see him more, but that isn’t always doable these days. We were in a park, but the trees did not seem as significant as the feeling of shade nearby and we in the sunshine together.

“Mario & Grandma” – 28″ x 22″ – Oil ©Bohlender 2022

It wasn’t hard to make him the focus, the subject. He is that in real life also. Over flowing joy.

I take comfort in knowing that God has raised up children for this time in history, that He will take care of them, and all things work out according to His Purpose and Timing. No one is a mistake, our times are in His hand.

Autumn Afternoon

Every day I walk for health, for prayer, for enjoyment. I get to see the seasons change, the insects, the Creation and Power of our God. As an artist, I get to see abstract form, and color variations within the days and times of days. I have to admit that my lot has been cast in pleasant places. I am grateful.

The warmth of the afternoon light, the longer shadows and the sense of a day closing it’s eyes is restful, and I am pleased to retire with the setting sun. Somedays we know, in spite of the battles in the world, that all is well in the world, in my soul.

“Autumn Afternoon” – 36″ x 18″ – Oil ©2021

Usually the colors are not so warm, but this day, with the sun and sky as they were, the weeds and grasses at the stage they were – and some had red red stems, and maybe warmth in my attitude, there were few subtle grey-yellows, and still enough green in mesquites, and trees that must have a water supply. A small building is handily placed and distant enough that I didn’t worry what kind of building it might be.

There are more mesquite present, but unnecessary to the work and almost distracting, unimportant to what the scene was speaking.

Once again, I painted over a used canvas, and there are strokes that vary with the landscape strokes, yet add a pleasant sense of motion… air.

Pier Joy

While visiting Mississippi, I was very blessed to spend some time observing the brown pelicans. I found them to be very communal and happy sort of folks.

They were having so much fun, that a heron wanted to come visit.

Along with the fun times, I found them classically beautiful, and hope to do more of these amazing creatures of the sky and sea.

Using old canvases leaves slight imperfections in texture, but I don’t mind that. Here is the process, where you can see the slightly washed over painting of orchids, the sketching, and painting.

“Pier Joy” – 30″x15″ – Oil ©2021

P

A True Love

Monkey is getting very old. All his life he is faithful to his family pack, and very tolerant of his “puppy”. He lets the little guy crawl, lay, and hug on him with utmost appreciation, and even in older age, forbearance. He loves the one who adopted him years ago without faltering or blinking. He is a loving “person”.

He is also very loved in return, wonderfully loved by his family pack.

“Monkey and Nio” – 14″ x 18″ – Oil ©2020 Bohlender

I painted this in love for both the subjects, and the family pack. I pray it will be a symbol of the shared times, a memorial of a beloved dog-friend, a remembrance of a precious childhood.

A Very Present Help

While praying for our country in this time of turmoil and darkness, I was feeling tired, a little frightened by what is happening in this present world and in this present darkness that is in the world…. until He comes, our King of kings.

While praying, I began to see the “Wind of prayer”, the effects of prayer according to His Spirit in accord with His will and purpose. This “Wind” that pushes back darkness, this “Wind” that comes from the One Who is the Warrior through us… in us… Oh Lord.

His Life in us and to us as we are in this world, and the aid of His ever-present messengers (angels)… we are never alone. Praying, this connection to God, in Him, listening, reacting, doing, according to His Spirit… You help us, O God… an ever present Help in the time of trouble.

I began this painting not knowing where it would go, just the “physical” motion of Wind pushing back the darkness, trapping it in the air, not on the earth or in the heaven. The last part of the painting to come was the figure praying and “getting help” through one of the messengers, some of whom are in the battle… a transfer of Divine Strength and Power and Life… like Jesus had in the wilderness and in the garden, He was strengthened.

“A Present Help” – 20″ x 24″ – Oil – ©2020 Bohlender

A Happy Day With My Grandson

Getting to spend a little time with someone far away and somewhat older by painting and remembering him. How I love getting to see my grandchildren. Here is a record of some of the process from beginning to end.

Light in a Butterfly World

My grandson loves to pretend he is a butterfly, or a dinosaur, or whatever new creature he is learning about. The uninhibited sense of wonder and joy springs from his heart, and I like entering that “Place” with him. Sometimes in his “Place” he goes on great boundary-less adventures, a wonder-filled place of vast Dimension, Light and Awe.

We were walking through a forested park with gentle trails where children could freely and safely adventure and learn. Their eyes lit up with expectation and each experienced their own realms… one in dancing and joy, one with a sense of mission, and one taking it all in and keeping up with the big kids as quickly as her little person willing could.

The dogs were not there that day, but I added his doggies so he could have a remembrance of them in later days. His doggies always watch out for him as their own puppy, and love him sincerely. Here they had his front side and back side well covered and protected, while running with their pack.

I might have subdued their clothing colors more  in keeping with a softer feelings of a dream world, but I more wanted to depict them as they were, recognizable at this stage in their lives.

What a gift to have friendships as little ones, growing up together with mamas who are good friends as well.

“Chasing Light in a Butterfly World” – 16″x 20″ – Oil – ©2020 Bohlender

I think I’m finished. But one never knows where adventures may lead.

Happy Jack and The Sound of Music

When the mountains are snow-peaked in the early spring and the yellow bladderpods bloom, this spot on a hilltop reminds me of the high-meadow in the Alps where, in the film,  the family was escaping Austria. I can hear Julie Andrews singing when I am approaching the place from below. After the mountain snowmelt, the yellow wildflowers remain for a time, then fade away.

Happy Jack and the Sound of Music – 20″x 20″ – Oil – May 2020 – ©Bohlender

Sometimes I give Jack a snack, and he is encouraged by that small kindness to, on occasion, anticipate my pathway as I walk. He fluffs his feathers, croaking sweet love sounds. He perches in familiar spots, this weathered mesquite stump being a favored perch. Jack is a smart bird, willingly giving us space enough to make sure we are not overly frightened by his closeness. Yet he allows enough nearness when he poses and flexes his muscles for his next photoshoot, but most of the time he taps his large bill on his perch as an indication that he really is ready to get his treat.

Jack has a noble heart, loyal to his mate, “Honker”, and perfectly raven in all of his ways. We are a member of Jack’s murder, we love that he shares his territory with us.

Finding the Man

I’ve done a few portraits, the beginning stages of observing and drawing the lines help identify who that person is. There is front of you are some of the details of the heart and experience of who a person is… a very precious thing.

Then I block in light and color, a little bit, rounding out form and establishing a little more physical substance. At this point, I can begin painting.

The likeness is almost there, of course no one really looks like half their paint is missing, but it will flesh out in the working.

This is my first formal military portrait. I find intelligence, strength, a little humor, and along with all of life’s experience, a trace of the boy in the man. I found a certain curve to one of his eyes that I dearly hope to hold in the work, …a loving… a hoping.

I pray to honor the heart of this man in my work, holding it carefully while painting, and honoring him in the final work.

Here below is the finished work… I like it. There is a strength of character and awareness that I like very much.

24″x 36″ – Oil

I pray for our Military Men and Women. I pray for our America. I pray the Lord’s Will be Done. And I pray that we are one Nation Under God.

And thank you very much for your service to our America.

A Walk by the River

It was a perfect day, the warm air and sunshine, a child so eager to explore… the tadpoles did not disappoint, nor the sparkles and rocks.

“A Walk By the River” – 18″ x 14″ – Oil ©2022

God is good to give us such special days. He is good to bless us as mothers, a potent force in the universe raising His children to Him… and watching them be awed by His reflections in nature.

“Fresh Pick”

“Fresh Pick” – 16″x 20″ – Oil ©2019 Jean Bohlender

After a good garden year, it was nice to finish this painting of some of our produce. Beginning right away, it took a month and a half to paint. The last picking of the year was just 2 days ago, after a good cold night.

There is a certain kind of melon, that most of the time has a very smooth, yellow rind, that tastes so sweet it transports one to the realization of what the heavenlies must be like. That is why the cantaloupe is “the star” of the painting. The sweetness, oh! the sweetness.

After a time of not painting, it is nice to start anew, this time just for the love of it.