A Little Watercolor

It was nice to slip into a little watercolor of a simple pear on a plate.  I was looking at  reflected light and color temperature changes, relaxing and enjoying the friendliness of the subject.

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Stemless Pear – Watermedia

After “retiring” from the gallery experience, I went into a non-productive mode for a time, but I loved painting this for no other reason than that I enjoy it. And I love that my arm and fingers found their “itch” to work again.

A few ideas have been floating through my mind, maybe embroidering on a watercolor, or gold leaf. Who knows where the wind blows?

There is a wonderful lady on fb from New Zealand who makes books by hand. She makes adorable and fun videos about books or people involved in the making of them, including herself. She had the idea to use old oil paintings as book covers. Although she painted over existing things, I liked that idea using paintings I have done here as they are…another idea to see where it may lead.

Recently I witnessed preying mantises hatching out of their casing, managing to get some reasonable photos of it happening, and thought I might try a watercolor of something of that experience as well.

Have a lovely day.

 

“For This is Grace…”

Learning that our suffering is often not of our own,  but through the indwelling Christ, can help us see what grace is.

Paul said he rejoiced in his sufferings for the sake of the body.

And Peter said:

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It is definitely out of Him, through Him and to Him, for Him. It can definitely be His sufferings that may become part of our experience.

It is more easily remembered in the daylight than in the dark… yet, by grace, we can sometimes recognize it after, sometimes long after.

Christ cried out on the cross to His Father, “Why have you forsaken Me?” It was dark. “Doing good and suffering” He endured the cross, despising the shame –  yet recognizing the joy set before Him…. Still, He forgot the Father’s loving attentiveness to Him. Pain sometimes does that, I think.

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It is Finished – 24″x 48″ – Oil

“Into this you were called… follow in His footsteps.” Only He can follow in His footsteps, in us. At least in my case, when I “try”, I fail. He is our Life. We live by His grace.

We have “been turned” to the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls, through His grace.

I would personally qualify in the category of, “For of what credit is it if sinning and being buffeted (for it), you endure it?” But God was merciful. Christ died for me.

I saw a footnote, regarding “In His welts we were healed.” I wanted to share it: “The healing of death. We were dead (Eph. 2:1), but Christ’s suffering of death healed our death that we may live in His resurrection.” Amen. Praise the Lord Jesus. His grace is sufficient.

The top photo is part of my Bible study in 1 Peter. It is a very rich study, in which I am now entering 1 Peter chapter 3. I read in a book called, “Revolutionary Bible Study” by G. Edwards, that Peter wrote this letter to the believers in cities in which Paul had taught, during the dispersion of Jewish believers from Jerusalem, during Roman rule, while Paul was in prison in Rome, awaiting execution under Nero. I thought about the circumstances regarding Jews coming into Gentile churches, as well as the societal conditions under Nero, and his persecution of the Christians.

Plenty of Time

Somewhere in me was a constant drive, a spurring to do more, to accomplish as much as I could because time was running out. After mid-life, comes the acceptance of the loss of youth and the real-ization of coming toward death… getting older, finishing rather than beginning… the fear of maybe not having done what we have been put here for. Maybe touching something, but not quite holding it.

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“Beholding Yet Not Yet Becoming” – Mixed Media

It was a breath-taking struggle, a hard thing to accept until one day… one evening laying in bed talking to my husband, I was telling him I needed to do * anything *  or * everything * or * something * quickly because I was running out of time.

He reminded me that we had plenty of time. At that moment, Grace gifted me with the remembrance of where we come from and where we are going.

There is this certain Hope…. Expectation… an Inheritance of Life, everlasting Life in the heavens reserved for us in Jesus.

It occurred to me, I saw, that we have plenty of time… it will never run out. My priorities shifted to another Realm.

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Retreat – 48″x 36″ – Oil Painted after being with sisters for a week in a Florida retreat. I cannot remember the name of the place.

 

On this earth, we do not have endless time, yet there is peace in knowing that we were chosen before the world began… our lives, thoughts, activities. We are known, and planned.  I think we are and do what God has intended. We will die, or sleep. Yet our God has everything in hand toward His purpose. And we will awaken to this Life. We do not end.

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Sunset – 18″ x 14″ – Oil – This painting is in a private collection in Denmark.

Here we are planted, and we rise to the Son. We might have a lot coming up, and it will be under our King. Of His Kingdom, there will be no end.

 

Leapin’ & Hoppin’

While studying in 1 Peter this morning, I spent some time in the phrase “you are exulting in joy unspeakable and glorified”. The entire verse is wonderful, and I was captured with the Greek words translated into “exult”.

I love this. The word “exulting” is derived from “VERY-MUCH-LEAPING”. Haa, such joy one cannot contain oneself, and begins leaping, hopping, and like the lame man made well, praising God.

I’ve seen some people exulting, very few with “VERY-MUCH-LEAPING”, although I have seen some children, and lots of animals doing so. Dogs get very happy when their owners  come home. Squirrels, rabbits, goats and others play happily, leaping and hopping. So do calves.

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“Leapin’ & Hoppin’ ” – 30″x 15″ – Oil

These calves had been separated into a pen apart from their mothers, and being released to go their way, were filled with happiness and leaped and joyed in their freedom.

 

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Front Cover of “Everybunny Praise the Lord!” available at amazon.com

While watching rabbits interact with each other and with their surroundings, I was inspired in this book to portray, for smaller children, the joy of creation and praise of the Creator of all. Leapin’ and Hoppin’ indeed. Exulting in the Highest. Bunnies, birds, bees and even trees, praise God, exulting in His goodness.

And, according to God’s Word through Peter, the out-called chosen ones –  we exult in Jesus, in trials and testings, even when we cannot see or perceive Him through our sufferings. We believe, we exult in Him, in His unspeakable and glorified joy, in us, receiving the consummation of our belief – the salvation of our souls. I, personally, have not found myself leapin’ and hoppin’ over much during times of sufferings, but I do, by grace, believe Him.

It was fun to think about today.

Bring On the Cowboys

I have truly been inspired by “Cowboys for Trump”, their value of human life, their respect for the office of the presidency, their love for our America and their willingness to spend time and resources to support the cause they believe in. And the open declaration that God is the reason for all things…

But then, they are of an inspiring kind of folk, living a ways from town, working in the wide open without the “noise”. They care for the land and animals out of the same pool of respect that brings them to tears at the American flag passing by, and place their hats over their hearts during prayer.

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“Bring On the Boys” – 28″x 22″ – Oil

The cowboys I have met, call women, “Ma’am”, dress up to go to town or over to dinner, and come help each other out when needed for branding time or trouble.

I love painting cowboys. They were an iconic figure to me, an outstanding part of America’s heritage and history. I had wanted to know what they are about, having never been around too many cowboys before this time.

They taught me not to walk behind the horses (I was that green, having only ridden rental horses twice, and both horses knew how to get me off their saddles!); and how not to spook the cattle. I learned how they work together every way they could to get the job done. It was amazing to see only a few men move hundreds of cattle across vast spaces of land, herding them to the desired waterhole and corrals.

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“The Cow Whisperer” – 30″x 20″ – Oil

I saw them try to limit the separation time of the mama cows from their calves, make the necessary treatment as pain-free as possible to meet legal standards, employ masterful skills with ropes, horses and other “tools of the trade”. I am honored to have been invited several times to witness the different times of the year of working – rounding up the calves, branding, vaccinating, and marketing and other work that makes the ranch run smoothly.

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Branding On the Moon – 60″x 48″ – Oil

So, when you see these cowboys leaving their ranches, their work, their homes and families to support their cause, you know it is a valuable and just, necessary cause.

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Cowboys in Tandem – 60″x 48″ – Oil

 

For the Love of Ravens

Yesterday I found a facebook page group who love ravens. I like seeing everyone’s posts and photos, stories and art depicting the birds.  It is a lot of fun to post photos, especially when Jack is willing to be photographed.

Over the years, I have painted only a few works of ravens, but recently published a little book through amazon.com called “The Bunny Circle and the Raven Tree.” In the story, the raven watches the valley from the top of his tree, witnessing the bunnies and other wildlife of the southwest United States. It’s a cute little story, yet educational and interesting.

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A page from “The Bunny Circle and The Raven Tree”. ©Bohlender

Around our place, a raven couple has established their territory, much to our delight. I love watching them. Some of the images combined into this illustration are of the young bird, being trained. He knew little fear, liking to be near our house and windows. I must have several thousand photos of the ravens, with several being good.

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Then there was my lino block experience, I loved block printing for a short time in my life. I liked this raven a lot, using the prints both for sale, and thank you cards to purchasers of my paintings.

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Morning Conversation – 20″x 20″ – Oil

Morning Conversation is a friendly depiction. All the birds loved the pecan orchard, the moist soil and shade. This painting is in a private collection in Texas.

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Untitled – 12″x 14″ – Oil

Untitled used to have a title, but I cannot remember it. The painting has more of a jewel-toned violet, but this is the only photo of this painting I have. It is in a collection in Tucson.

Pelicans

Art is so extremely subjective, that bringing someone you don’t know much about a painting sight-unseen can be “risky business”.  Choosing one out of my collection that is of that person’s local environment seemed to be a safer course, as this would be a gift.

A family lost everything they had in a house fire, and I really wanted to help in any small way to restore their abode. In my life, books and art are at the forefront of activities and interest, so that is what I brought for them to sort through and choose from.

I was really blessed when the woman looked at the painting of pelicans and declared that would be perfect for her husband, because he loves the birds.

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“Morning Throw Bill” – 20″ x 30″ – Oil ©Bohlender

I enjoyed the pelicans along the gulf coast, their communal living and primeval appearance. Their fishing was exciting to watch, as they dive and catch.

Other pelican pieces painted include these two:

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“Lovely To See You Again” – 22″ x 28″ – Oil ©Bohlender

“Lovely to See You Again” was donated to an Air Force fund raising effort. I do not know who owns this piece, but I loved the “comedy” in their communion.

 

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“Friendly Gossip” – 16″x 16″ – Oil ©Bohlender

The comfortable fold of their webbed feet, the apparent interest of the one who is listening to the one joyfully divulging its treasured bit of juicy news.

This piece is a permanent part of my own collection.