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.

Grandpa and the Boys

There is something wonderful about the sparkle of love, and the joy that carries through a good wrestling match with grandpa.

Grandpa needs as many naps as the little fellow, but he comes out full of fun and vigor, the winner of the match undeclared. I think they all won this time.

“Grandpa and the Boys” – 22″x 28″ – Oil

Although it isn’t a Rembrandt, I really like the joy of a moment captured, that maybe will be appreciated by the boys after we are gone, a remembrance of their grandfather.

Meanwhile, we await the Lord’s return, and love what He has given us until He comes.

Family Life

We have a raven family, Jack and Jill are the parents. Each year they raise young, usually two – although last year they had three. They raise them, they teach them, they feed them even if they are a little bigger than themselves before they are able to feed themselves.

The quality of their family life is delightful. They sit close together, they nuzzle each others neck feathers, they have a system of feeding. They watch for other birds that want their goodies, or could hurt their babies.

The raven family sticks together, until death do us part.

Once several years back we had another raven family, whom I named Dipper and Squawker. Dipper hurt his wing and could not fly yet. I saw him and his mate together on the ground, he working his wings, she beside him. I am hoping he got well, because after awhile I didn’t see them any more.

This year’s babies have just “flown the nest”. I think it’s grasshopper time over the hill, a suitable time for new ones to make their own way.

“Daddy Jack Feeding His Young One” – 12″ x 10″ – Watercolor – ©2021 Bohlender

I love watching them, they love our strawberries and occasionally an apple, but for the most part they are pretty self sufficient. What a gift to watch.

What Was From the Beginning

Front and back covers for the latest in this unfolding, a private Bible study with illustrations, somewhat literally translated. The front cover is a link to amazon.

As always, there is room to disagree with me on dates, or thoughts, but… come into His Garden, and enjoy the Life.

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

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Flutterings, Shakings and Movings.

Having received a batch of homemade papers from a friend, and a topic – “Butterflies”, once again I was moved into a creative mode in mixed media.

In this particular piece, the theme of “butterflies” evolved, or fluttered into thoughts about how do butterflies – or what do butterflies – tell us about God.

Well, in Genesis 1:2, the New American Standard Bible says: “The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” Moving over the surface, or hovering over the face of the deep, or, in the Strong’s Greek Concordance you might find “fluttered” or “shook” or I can’t remember the others. The word might be in the Old Testament maybe five times.

“And the Spirit of God Fluttered Over the Surface of the Waters” -©Bohlender 2020

It seems that I have thought of that hovering as a birthing, or a resurrecting. Some say “brooding”, which leads me to sadness or pain, or death. Perhaps chaos. But in considering that the same word might be “fluttering”, there was a joy released into the creation and over the deep, more like a birthing or a working… a fluttering, and a working, digging deeply to extract all the goodness brought forth from the thoughts of God in the flowering of the universal creation.

“For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.”

Yes, of course this mixed media falls short of the grandness and beauty of our God, and all the beauty of the creation in Christ Jesus. But it is a nice thought to have flutter by.

In the mixed media, along with homemade papers, I used dried pansies and sunflower petals, copper wire, shiny things and sequins, acrylic paint, semi gloss mediums, shiny papers, glue, a box, pieces of other watercolor art works, and buried under gel mediums, tiny LED lights that I turn on, for fun.

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.

Studying Revelation

“And to the messenger of the out-called assembly in Philadelphia, write:

The True One, the Holy One, the One have the Key of David, and the One opening up and no one shall shut, and shutting and no one shall open, is saying:

“I have seen your works. Be perceiving, I have given in your sight an opened door which no one is able to shut, it being that you have a little power, and you keep My Word and do not deny My Name….”(Sorry for the off-square image and water mark)

Jesus is the Door, He is the Key, He is the Way, the Truth and the Life..

Montage in Hebrews

I was given some handmade papers and fragments as a base to create a mixed media from… a montage, adding my own bits. Not my normal patterns or colors, it is fun and challenging, as I’m already gathering in other textures and color. I’ve been studying in Hebrews for quite some time, I thought I may take my theme from that awesome book. I’ll post the final results when they arrive, Lord willing.

papers by J. Giammarco

Hebrews is an amazing sight into the Father’s heart into Christ and His out-called, the holy ones. Even while illustrating the book, there is so much more I want to see, this is a good opportunity to explore. Below the mixed media image, is a page from my study, the whole thing hand written several times over. I absorb better in hand-written and drawn studies.

“A Body You Have Prepared for Me” – Mixed Media

With this page, I was mostly fascinated with “Yet a body You have prepared for Me.”… and that Father was embracing Him all while He was doing the will of His Father. He offered Himself for the joy set before Him. He offered Himself for love of His Father and us. All things are created through Him. We, too, go outside the gate to Him, into the heavenly City, by His life and power.

©Copyright 2019 J.C.Bohlender

“A body You have prepared for Me.” Thank You, Lord. In Him, we are Your dwelling place.

©J.C. Bohlender 2019

“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.