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Thursday, March 29, 2012


Last week tulips bravely shot up despite the snow and weather. I had a feeling they might be growing right under the snow and I was right as it rapidly melted back with the sudden onslaught of warm days. Spring is always my favorite time of year, like new beginnings of so many things. It is a time to feel refreshed and encouraged after a long winter of cold, snow and ice. So often I feel trapped in the house as it is so severe outside, but the one advantage is there is no garden distraction from my art. In summer I feel the pull of both and I enjoy both. What is included in my art is what I do with children and ladies in creating things. I enjoy it all and feel blessed that I've been given this ministry.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


On Saturdays I'm doing a small class. Most time my classes are much larger, but because it is an intimate group we are having such fun. I can work more with each individually. Though we met today, these are their pieces from last week. This first piece is done by Andre (Andrew), age 14. He was listening as I spoke of various techniques and made an extension off the small board I had given them to work on. In addition, the upper right corner green patch is some tissue he wadded up and painted to give it a 3D affect. Then, without anything I said, he grabbed some of the sugar (we always drink tea while we work) and sprinkled it into his wet paint for another cool textural touch. I was very please with his overall composition.
Pavel (Paul), also 14, really likes cats so this piece very much represents that. He had fun doing extensions and even included some Styrofoam stamping techniques he learned in our first week on his lower extension.
Liza (Elizabeth), who is teaching them English right before my class is 23 years old. She teaches English in the younger grades as her career, but she is also very artistic. In this piece she started with a landscape picture that ended up all obscured, but some of the flower. So fun to see through all her layers of work for a great final outcome. Such a privilege and pleasure to work with them. Let us know what you think of their work. I know they'd be thrilled to hear your remarks. Blessings, Coleen

Friday, March 23, 2012


"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." "Do what you love, love what you do." No truer words said for me. God has given me the desires of my heart. I am doing what I love. That includes creating art and teaching others about the joy of creating. God made us in his image so we are naturals when it comes to creating. Trouble is we grow up and so much of that is forgotten or stifled. I try to bring that back out in people. It is my great joy when a child gushes with pride over having made something. Or when the light bulb comes on with a lady as she makes something pleasing, realizing she can do it. I love bringing that out in others. I have the satisfaction of having contributed, of having "given back." And my hope and prayer always is that the participants might have come to know God a little better in the process. Be creative today, knowing you were made to do so.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


You don't suppose this is any indication I'm ready for spring? There's still a bit of snow in the shady areas, but it's melting fast. Which means, lots to clean up in the yard. A couple days ago we watched sparrows raising a fuss and flitting around our roof peak. There's an open spot there where they make nests every year. Later after the babies hatch out we hear them chattering. In winter we have chickadees. Now they are all gone so I guess that is an indication that spring is on it's way. Hope it's nice where you are and you are enjoying some of the beauty of nature. It's God's gift for you.

Monday, March 19, 2012


I love using materials I have around the house. Not having a Micheal's or Hobby Lobby down the road makes me more apt to figure other ways of doing things. So, with that in mind I think you'll like this vid.

Friday, March 16, 2012


As a missionary art teacher living in Ukraine I wear several hats. Once in a while I do get time to do some of my own arting. This is one of my pages along with details. Don't miss the ink drawing of the lady reclining on the couch. She rather blends in. We all know that life is full of choices that we make for our better or our ill, nonetheless, we must not forget....the fact that we live and breath is testament to a God that "has done great things for us." Take joy today in the fact that you breath, you can walk around and you can see what a wonderful world this is. "Open your heart" to his love for you. Coleen


For a number of years now our church has engaged in the western tradition of baby showers. Several years back when I was first invited to these showers I saw that each lady would write out their congratulations on a piece of paper. Then they would go around the room speaking these and eventually give the pieces of paper to the expectant mom as a keepsake. It didn't take me long to realize those little flimsy pieces of paper would end up in the back of a drawer and eventually be thrown out. So, what you see below is an example of the little keepsake I make for each one now. Mind you I am not a "scrapbooker," but I am preserving a memory for these ladies. Just another one of the fun ministry things I do.

Monday, March 12, 2012


This is just the coolest little book someone posted on Yahoo Mini-Books site to show us all and I just had to pass it on. I can already think of lots of fun ideas from this, even in an art journal. So easy you'll want to make one right away.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


These are some journal pages I have prepared for having some fun. I enjoyed varying the sizes of the pages and even making a fold-out as seen on the first one. The vining flowers all match from page to page so they look like one continuous vine. The pages are from the last to the first page in descending order. Wasn't supposed to go in that way, but this computer sometimes has a mind of it's own. I know some of you can relate.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


THIS WILL BLESS YOU IF YOU'LL TAKE THE TIME TO READ IT: One precious day November 22, 2011 Dear coleen, It seems as if most of the world's artists, at one time or another, have passed through my studio. They come in all shapes and sizes, old and young, rich and poor, from all manner of crafts and disciplines. Some are what we like to call "successful," others are not so. In listening to these folks, I'm always looking for some essential kernel of the creative being, a kernel that might be useful knowledge for others. Sometimes I see what I call "The Gratitude Factor." It's an attitude ripe with observation, enthusiasm and appreciation--a daily configuring of life that includes a sense of wonder. These folks don't miss the moving clouds, the sunsets and sunrises, the tiny flowers of the field. Their days are studded with the bright stars of surprise. While it might be easy to call them "blessed," I've figured their attitudes are mainly of their own making. They've taught themselves how to better love the world. You'll catch my drift if you look at a ten-minute TED talk posted at the top of the current clickback. It includes a video work-in-progress of California photographer Louis Schwartzberg. Louis is a master of time-lapse photography, a branch of art that plays with the mystery of time. "I've been filming time lapse flowers continuously," says Louis, "24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 35 years. To watch them move is a dance I'll never get tired of. Their sensual beauty immerses us with color, smell, taste and touch." Schwartzberg gives a microcosmic example of falling in love--just the thing we need to fill our days with meaning and purpose. "Carpe Diem," said the Latin poet Horace. "Seize the day." We who walk on this particular planet are dealt one 24-hour day at a time. It is an arbitrary span, like the opening and closing of a flower, a time-lapse bloom of its own. Creative people understand this temporary blossoming and learn to take advantage of it. Every precious day is yet another opportunity to serve--to carry further wonder to the world. Best regards, Robert

Friday, March 2, 2012


"The Sketchbook Project is a traveling library that archives thousands of artists' sketchbooks from across the globe and shares them with the public." This is sponsored by The Brooklyn Art Library of Brooklyn, New York. You can find out more here: http://blog.sketchbookproject.com/ I really enjoyed doing this little book and my wish is that others would find it encouraging as it travels the many places it will go. This is front and back cover painted with with metallic acrylic paints, followed by a vintage doilie and then Glimmer Misted. The words on the right, the cover, say "HOPE," my chosen theme and on the lower left, back cover, is the digital code, along with my name for cataloging the many books they will receive. This allows people to look for specific books by name when they visit the tour sites across American, London, England and Sydney, Australia.
First pages. Brushed on paint and stamps.
"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him." Psalm 62:5. "Faith, Hope and Love, but the greatest of these is Love.
Tree of Hope. Done with Glitter Mist sprays, paint dabber and tea tags. There are many verses and quotes on each page, but you have to enlarge to read them.
"Now FAITH is being SURE of what we HOPE for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews: 11:1
This page is tea stained. The paper was thin so it wrinkled easily, but I rather like that effect.
Last page. It was fun to do.
So that's it. Hope you liked it. Let me know what you think. Would love some critic.
This is the envy my book went off in. It was fun to do too.
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