Art, Union Hill and back home

28 08 2009

I never grew up thinking about art as a way of making a living. At the same time, I cannot and never could, separate my artistic abilities from who I am as a person. Art was breathing. Simple, natural, and essential, but not something I would have thought of as profitable. 

Then I sold a painting. (Thank you God and Chad-in that order). Then I got to go on tour with a bunch of really amazing people because they wanted me to paint during their worship sets. Then I sold 8 more paintings. Then I met Mr McDevitt. (Actually RE-met Mr McDevitt). 

I’d known his kids for years- we were all involved with Village Theatre’s Kidstage program. Only recently did I discover that McDevitt Sr is actually a “real” artist. He went to school for it and made his living at it. At least, he worked for a marketing and advertising company for years and recently “retired” to become a full time painter. His work ranges from watercolour miniatures of ballerinas on the beach to acrylic cows and oil nudes. His studio is large and full of reference material and books and easels and paintings in progress. We sat and talked and looked through his work and through my sketch books. It was one of the most encouraging mornings I have ever experienced art-wise. 

The best part is that Mr McDevitt (Michael McDevitt is his Christian name) is a believer. His family sincerely loves the Lord and we had a good pow-wow about the ramifications of being a Christian who is a fine artist. Of course many people have difficulty with the idea of a Christian painting and drawing the nude figure. Though I have never done true figure drawing myself I have no problem with it and we talked about what the Bible says on the subject and how to walk in purity etc. 

He suggested that I work more on my children’s book idea and gave me a few tips on how to go about it. We discovered a mutual love of whimsy too- his ballerinas on the beach and my tree-men for example. 

I was vastly encouraged and look forward to picking his brain some more in the weeks before I leave. We even kicked around the idea of him doing a commissioned ballerina painting for me which I would actually be the model for! We’ll see how it all turns out. 

In other news I’ve left my oh-so-comfy Union Hill home and have now returned to the Green House. Glad to have my cat back, though I wish she’d stop standing on me while I’M TRYING TO TYPE!!!

It’s almost September. I suppose that means I should pack or something…

Extra love to Jenny and Clayton tonight. You two have been much on my brain.



11 07 2009

I’ve discovered something since Thursday- my happy place is when I am painting. 

And no, I’m not a total idiot for not figuring that out sooner. I’ve always enjoyed my art but I’ve only now reached the skill level to be able to rise above the ever-present frustration. Imagine how much of a release art is for even the beginner- now take away most of the fumbling and almost all of the frustration… that’s what it’s been like lately. 

The past couple days have been a combination of really difficult and really lovely. As always in my life, God drops little Moments into my lap to remind me that I’m loved, yet it has still been taxing. The weather was gray, my life is in transition, relationships are a strange balancing act and I’ve been mostly alone. 

Anyway, whenever things get really emotionally strange I either pray or paint. The two things are becoming more and more similar as the days pass. I can’t always get the words that would fit my prayer, but I can always get a picture that expresses what is going on. 

Since Thursday I have begun four paintings and finished four paintings. (One project from the past three weeks is finally done. Four new paintings were started and three of those are done.) I have quite a queue of work lined up and today found me painting on three separate occasions. On Thursday I discovered Jazz and so have had new music to help inspire the work. (We can credit the presets on my dad’s car for my discovery of Jazz…)

The last painting of today (yesterday?) was begun at 11:15 and finished just after midnight.  Both of my hands are covered in gold paint. Its created a really great pattern on a couple of my fingernails….

Point being, of the seven commissioned pieces I’m working on right now, four of them are done, the fifth is planned out, the sixth is a prophetic portrait and the seventh will tax all my abilities. 

God takes such good care of me! And I get to have fun through even the toughest days.

Writing Prompt 2

16 06 2009

“Use this phrase anywhere in your story: burn the midnight oil”


My name is Jack. I would have started out with something more interesting, but Tara tells me that one traditionally begins by introducing oneself. If she is fibbing me I have no way to know- you are the first people I have ever had to introduce myself to.

No, no, I know what you are thinking but they do NOT treat me badly. There is no reason why I should need to meet anyone. 

The Doctor raised me, with a little help from Tara. He taught me about the stars and forests and cultures from across the wide world. She made sure I ate and had new tunics when my weed-like growth demanded them. Sometimes from my cot blaze-side I would hear her pleading with the Doctor to let me out of the under-city where he chose to live. He always said no and sometimes he struck her when her weeping became loud. I was glad of the “no”- the Upper scared me- though I cringed and whimpered when I heard the blows he dealt. 

I’d been dealt my own share over the years. The scar over my eye and my slight limp both came from the backside of his hand. 

He never told me why he saved me in the first place. Most orphans are killed by the guard as a matter of course, at least the ones under-city. But the Doctor had interfered and kept me. 

So I grew in the lamp-lit halls of the Doctor’s home. I served him as best I could, mainly keeping the Time Mechanism running. My job was the most important one in the Doctor’s home, though Tara and I were not the only members of the household. We were the only ones who didn’t have to sleep in the Cages. 

Sometimes when the Doctor was working on a particularly difficult experiment, he would have me bring the Time Mechanism into his lab so that he would know exactly how much time had passed. The only instances that he ever spoke during these experiments was to remind me to be extra careful about the mechanism. “Burn the midnight oil, Jack”, he would say, and I complied gladly. The different oils have different scents and allow him to notice the hours passing without having to consciously mark it. 

Someday he might decide to take me Up. I might get to see the stars and trees that I’ve learned so much about. I might have to meet new people. If that day ever comes I will be glad to know that one begins a conversation by introducing oneself.

I am Jack, and I keep the time.

Oh My! It’s Thai!

11 05 2009

I know I promised you all a short story, and I really did want to write one. In fact, the request for inspiration that I sent out came back in spades. 

I am now writing a children’s book. Illustrations and all. I would tell you all about it but I’m afraid that some kind of internet-surfing-inspiration-parasite will steal my idea and get it published first. And I’m headed to the other side of the country with a very limited amount of money in my pocket and anything that might help support me is to be protected. Read the rest of this entry »

The Painting

29 03 2009


I was only able to get up one of the pictures at this time. This is from the Mall in DC. I don’t have time for much right now, as I’m staring down an early departure time tomorrow and have things to get done. I dunno when next I’ll have internet…

That’ll give you all time to ask the Holy Spirit about the painting. I can tell you that it has to do with the Trinity and the Holy Spirit specifically, the Bride having one heart and the heavenly host.

Chew on that for a while.


25 02 2009

I’ve updated my “Quotes” page with quotes from one of my favorite plays, Cyrano de Bergerac.

The first is a quote about noses which I, a lover of noses, think is just about the funnest quote ever.

The second is one which strikes my heart as beautiful.

I keep trying to post

18 02 2009

I’ve sat down and written two posts tonight- or at least tried to. One was a dream vacation in the South of France and the other was a quote that perfectly defines what I want to grow up to be.

You will notice that neither of them are posted here. Apparently, lack of posting is contagious. I caught it from my sister, Michael and Kristi Walsh collectively. It’s a disease that makes someone unable or not desirous of posting new things to their blog.

I wish I was witty and clever and had something wonderful to share….

Oh hey! I’ll share my toothbrushing revelation. (It’s better than it sounds.)

It started by me thinking about my singing voice- it’s fair but not fabulous and I tend to be rather pitchy. From there it went to how some people paint ugly things and some people can’t seem to find enough rhythm to dance.


When we get to heaven it’s not that we’re going to be suddenly good at everything, it’s that we will be able to percieve the beauty in what we were doing all along. 

 God’s ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts- therefore how can we possibly understand what self-expressions are or are not beautiful in His eyes? Heaven’s choirs will be made of the off-key ones who sing as a joyous expression of their love of the Father.

I won’t be painting or dancing or writing in heaven… I’m gonna play the piano and SING!