A MOMENT OF PERTURBATION

I don’t have a title for this painting yet, but the headline might be a good one if there weren’t angels swirling about behind him.

Sometimes I am overzealous in my “capturing a moment”, and don’t even consider that one may not want their photo taken at that time.

However, in my zeal I couldn’t resist the dramatic lighting and a 5′ high painting making a background that had been set there days before ready to deliver elsewhere. I loved how the angels surrounded his face. It was cool.

He was using a toothpick after eating, and I liked that.

He was not as zealous as I was. In fact, I was unconsciously intruding. Hence, the “slightly” perturbed look… which made the painting wonderful.

He has a very serious expression facing forward, contrasted by the angels swirling about his head. It felt almost paradoxical if you didn’t consider the story of how it came to be.

“UNTITLED” – 14″x 18″ – Oil – ©2023

I was what he was facing, I must confess, I might occasionally be annoying. I do take a lot of photos, taking paintings from some of them.

The painting behind him was of 1 Thess. 4:16-17. The angels were swirling around Jesus as He was coming in the sky to receive His believers to Himself. A moment we hope for, a moment that is referred to as “the rapture”. That painting can be viewed when you select the “Christian Art” tab on the home page.

So there’s the story, and the painting. I like it a lot. I think he likes it, too. A good alternative title might be “Grandpa Needs a Nap”. Hehe.

Yet it is a more serious work, and I feel it could use a better title.

If you have an idea, let me know.

“PECAN HARVEST”

I used to live where my kitchen window looked out onto a small grove of pecan trees. A metal shed was the backdrop to the grove.

I loved watching the birds through the seasons and times of wild fires or migrations. They’d flock to the trees and irrigation water. But the ravens would come exactly when the pecans were perfectly ripe. They are smart and diligent, able harvesters.

This painting is taken from a photo I took through my kitchen window during their happy harvest time. I have wanted to paint it for years, but I just now couldn’t resist the verticals supporting the swirl of the birds.

“Pecan Harvest” – 16″x 8″ – Oil – ©2023 Bohlender

Being a small piece, it went quickly, and using linseed makes it dry slower, but I loved the flowing of the paints.

I am hoping to do a series of verticals with a spattering of things like people, or other birds, or cows? Images must be consistent with those two elements.

Then again, landscapes are tempting as well. More relaxing work than portraits.

THE GUIDING HAND

Grandpa tried throughout the summer to start a new little grapevine for Nio from his Concord grape vine. He thought about the sweet purple taste of the grape and how Nio would like it. He thought about sharing some things that he enjoyed very much with his grandson – gardening, sunshine, eating grapes off the vine.

All of his efforts failed, all his little cuttings died – except this one.

It was time to go visit and his grapevine was still very small and vulnerable. Well, he promised a grapevine to Nio (and you never break your promise to a child). He had to bring it.

Those fellows dug and dug out there in the backyard dirt, in a space where dad’s lawnmower would not be impeded. In fact, they had so much fun digging, they first dug a big hole – knee deep on Nio, and filled it with water. There is much fun playing in mud and holes.

Grandpa loves his grandboys.

Then they got down to business just a little ways from the hole they filled back in, so little brother wouldn’t fall in head first. Little brother also likes to tap a little bit firmly or pull things out of holes, and Nio was quite careful to protect his grapevine.

“The Guiding Hand” – 28″ x 22″ – Oil ©2023

One may plant, one may water, but it is God who gives the increase… and miracles.

NOT GONE, JUST AWAY

Today I was remembering my friend Junior. Friends are rare, and good. Junior was a cowboy, I was empty nesting and mid-lifeing and everything that comes during that time. Junior and his wife blessed me so much then.

Everything I learned about cowboys, I learned from Junior. He took me out where the cowboys work, explaining what they do and how. He kept me from causing catastrophes while I was out there, and was responsible for allowing me the chance to paint the entire cowboy series from my experience there.

These are two images of paintings with Junior. He is wearing the black hat. The first one is entitled “Tellin’ A Windy”, and the second I can’t remember the title, but I consider it to be one of my apex pieces.

Some of what I learned about ranchers is that they are excellent stewards of both land and animals. And they love both.

Junior has been away now for 2 years. It seems awhile longer than that.

“Tellin’ A Windy” – 24″x20″ – Oil

And then,

Someone else who less personally had great influence in my life was Gene. Gene has recently gone “from breath to air”….

His books have contributed much to my life in the adventure of being in Jesus, of He in us, of His Presence and Livingness now. Church Life as being in Christ, experiencing Him, and sharing Him.

Church Life expressed practically through us, or “putting wheels on it”, Gene had much more to say about that than I could know. That, too, is arranged and fulfilled by Jesus’ Life in His people.

Some brothers must have enjoyed “Star Wars” along with Gene, as for a special event for his 60th birthday, one brother asked me to paint this for them. Captain and First Mate. So also I found it fun to place an altered version of the intro to the original Star Wars program, as Captain Gene may have told it:

Outside of time and space, the final Frontier
These are the voyages of the Ecclesia Enterprise
Her forever mission
To explore New Realms
To seek out His Life
And rest in His Love
To boldly go where Christ in you has gone before…

Well, maybe he would have said that a better way.

And below an image of some saints, sharing in the Love of our Jesus together, singing in a brotherly embrace… Gene was not a fan of pews.

Memories of people we love… remembering times with them. God is good. Whatever our lives are, it is given by God from His Love…

As far as new work goes, I am about half way through another episode of Grandpa and the Boys, this time, planting a baby grapevine together, in the dirt. Young boys and old boys love playing in dirt. If I don’t screw it up, it will be a good one. It is an oil, 28″x22″. And also, I am now working in chapter 20 of Acts. Lord give grace in all the work. Amen.

“NEW IN TOWN” AND OLD DREAMS

Rudy Giuliani posted a short video of NYC today. I once stood, like many, in the same vantage point. It excited me to see, and reminded me of a painting I did in 2015. I visited my daughter, and she was the best of tour guides. It was one of the few times I was able to visit a city as a tourist, to see the sights… The Statue of Liberty, the 9-11 Memorial and Museum, Times Square, the Met…. wonderful experience. “New In Town” – Watercolor – ©2015

"New In Town" - Watercolor - ©2015Bohlender

I titled it “New In Town” partly because of my newness, but there is a woman pushing a baby buggy, a traveler bringing his suitcases, a very pregnant woman. There was so much going on, so much to take in at one time. It was exhilarating to remember the city, and doing the art.

There has remained a slight yearning in my heart to open a tiny gallery. I am the worst of business people, but would have a coffee pot there in my dreams. The gallery I was in closed several years back, and I refrained from finding another at the time. Also I live in a place with very limited traffic, and I drink my coffee while I paint or with my husband. Sometimes we consider moving, but it is something to long consider. So my dreams are safely tucked away, and they are not practical… a perhaps just a little in the realm of unreality. 🙂

Yet I was stirred by Mr. Giuliani’s video, and grateful I had a chance to see “the city”. It was a happy memory with someone I love in NYC, at Time’s Square.

I pray for peace in America, where we can walk as a free people, with hustle and bustle or in quiet and serenity… we have the freedom now to choose where we will be. There is freedom in Christ, to follow Him wherever He goes. Amen.