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.

Liberty

A few years ago I had the opportunity to be on Liberty Island, and see our Lady Liberty.

She is beautiful, representing our American Spirit and the principle of Freedom that we are founded upon.

She stands, silently shouting the gift of America.

In these trying times, we pray to the One Who is the Author of Freedom, to Hope in Him for His continued Grace for our America’s existence.

Lately I have been feeling an immense gratitude and recognition of the gifts we have been blessed with in America. The gift of Freedom to live under our God, the abundance of so much, the air and freedom to govern ourselves. The opportunity to live free.

All were exiles, all wretched, all were poor, given a chance to live in Freedom. There stands this “mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning”… and even she who represents such strength, can only stand by the Grace of God alone.

“Liberty” – 13″ x 18″ – Watercolor ©2021

In God We Trust. We are a Nation who depends on God.

The Little Things

Some say that it’s the little things that count. I believe some big things do also, but those little things are quite vital.

At the time, I was walking in the morning, loving the quiet, the solitude, the abstract patterns of nature, when this little fellow crossed my path. One really cannot miss the brightness of the velvet ant or the velvet mites in a place where most things’ colors at the beginning of rainy season are so subtle. And, I pay close attention and look down often because of things like rattle snakes and rocky ground.

It’s fun to catch the smaller miracles.

“Velvet Ant” – 8″ x 7-1/2″ – Watercolor ©2021

Painting in watercolor begins as pastel color, and builds into the stronger color and form. This time I had a little fun flicking a toothbrush to get texture into the rocky ground.

Thinking of miracles, it is a good thing to acknowledge them. We do have an amazing God Who gives Life and Breath to all things, in Love.

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.

Watercolor Happiness

I’ve been working a little bit in watercolor again lately, getting used to the medium again. Some of my tubes dried out completely, so I cut off the tubes, placed the pigments in small jars in water, and like it well this way, seeing the color as it is, going from washes at the top to solids at the bottom of the jar.

What first inspired me was the poppies blooming this spring, that color of red was so wonderful. I was seeing that color in my thoughts, and on a Windsor and Newton color ad, and I had a tube of Daniel Smith organic vermillion that needed rejuvenation. And watching the Sennelier videos (Yves-Marie Salanson), got me going. Ouuu the poppies. I might do an oil next spring, when the poppies bloom again.

“Poppies” – Watercolor – ©2021

Poppies wilt quickly, and drop petals, I started from life, but took a photo to finish from.

Then after I was sent a photo taken at a carnival through the fences, with things covering the subject matter and all kinds of things going on, I loved the expressions on their faces. What daddy would not be so very proud and pleased with the earnest efforts of a brave, responsible young driver. I couldn’t see the front of the truck, so I made that part out of other images of antique cars, and wanted simplicity, so eventually, I only drew the people and the car, and added the balloons.

I think I shortened the car just a little, but proportionally it still works ok, maybe even added a little charm. Sometimes our shortcomings in art improve our work 🙂 .

“Joy Ride” – Watercolor – ©2021

I hope soon to be able to take a ride in this little fellow’s carnival truck. What a fine boy he is.

So, in my ongoing quest to use art supplies on hand, I have plenty of watercolor papers. I have always loved D’Arches 300# cold press (poppies), and the carnival ride is painted on a lighter weight, but I like it.