PEN and PAINTBRUSH

This was a VERY fun picture to paint. It’s my granddaughter, can you tell? She loves music, her guitar, and definitely her coffee. She’s not a baby any more but she’ll always be my sweet Sara. This painting makes me smile and I hope it makes her smile as well.

As much as this is a watercolor “portrait,” it certainly doesn’t define all that makes her who she is any more than any photograph captures the reality of what the camera captures. Most of the time we crop out the bad parts, photoshop the good, and discard the rest. A painting as with a photo, gives us a lasting view of a memory or emotion we can treasure, and sometimes it will make us smile. That is always my hope. Love Song and Latté captures just some of what makes her so precious to me.

We ALL have something we can do to bless someone else: a phone call, an email, a text, a card (and I WILL paint custom cards should you wish~) a lunch date, a glass of wine – or a latté!

I never thought I would paint watercolors and certainly not for such a long stretch of time! I have done over 350 paintings. Every painting has challenged me and will, I hope, bless someone.

Here are more of my Pen and Paintbrush paintings.

Seek to be a blessing to someone today.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Cheryl

Power in Weakness

I felt vulnerable and discouraged a couple of times this past week. I’s not as if anything threatening was happening. But life sideswiped me. Maybe you can relate.

I read something Sunday morning that I’d seen before, but this day it just jumped off the page at me. Think about a personal message to you from God Himself! Wouldn’t that just get your attention and make you perk up your ears?! The Apostle Paul in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians tells us that at one time many years prior, God spoke to him and said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9 NIV Think about the Creator God, our Lord and Savior, telling you that His incredible, unimaginable power works best or is perfected in and through us in our weakness. And here we are trying so hard to fix things, to strive, to earn His love (and maybe the favor of others~) And all the while, He says – No. It’s not in your power but in mine. Oh! What freedom that brings. Let go of your problems, let God help you solve them. I took comfort in those words and share them with you this morning. It made me feel safe to accept what I can’t change, realizing He can, in His time. Maybe His power is most visible as we just let go of what holds us back. Lord, help us to rest in and trust You more. Blue Moon

Praying these paintings make you smile for those moments you might feel “sideswiped” by life.

Cool water views for our hot weather! These watercolor views speak peace to me. Beaches, bays, waterfalls, rivers. For the moment I can dream. Do you have a favorite? What sound is comfort to your mind – waves crashing on the shore, the steady splashing of a waterfall, the bubbling of a creek? Paintbrushes don’t come complete with sound, but they manage to take me away for a little while.

Praying you find His strength where you might feel weakness this day.

Cheryl

Hot, it’s HOT! Summer’s Here, Already?!

Arizona is beautiful! We have at least one of the wonders of the world with the Grand Canyon, but also have countless lakes, mountains, incredible rock formations, beautiful winter and spring weather, and, when summer shows up, we have heat like you can’t believe unless you’ve lived here! This week the heat showed up and 110 degrees in the shade is pretty HOT, thank you very much! I am thankful for air conditioning and a keyless car. I remember when I’d need a potholder in order to start my car without burning my fingers. Of course I still have to cover my steering wheel or I’ll burn my hands on that!

But I didn’t want to write this to complain. I love Arizona and thought it would be fun to share some of my Arizona paintings. I have shared a few of them with my recent trip to Sedona, but I have painted others as well. For those of you who love the desert, I hope you will enjoy these views of my home state. I’m about to start painting a few new ones from my trip. Maybe these will inspire me.🎨

Today I had a dear friend over who is finding some joy and respite doing watercolors with me. I hardly feel qualified to teach as I am still learning myself! I imagine this is a lifelong learning process. But what a joy to show some of the tricks I’ve learned and how to look at a grey sky and instead see purple and blue. I’m a long way from even thinking of starting a YouTube channel, LOL! But painting over 300 watercolors, illustrating 4 children’s books, being written up in a national magazine, and writing a blog was never on my radar at ALL! I can absolutely assure you of that.

I write and share to ENCOURAGE ANYONE who feels the best of life is behind them. That is not true at all. Keep on keeping on. PRAY! Seek the wisdom and direction of God Himself to help you find what might be a totally new direction. Turn off the nightly news and find hope and direction in the Good News of the Bible. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

Find your passion, be blessed to be a blessing, TURN from the darkness, shine LIGHT✨and His light will shine on you.

Cheryl

Searching for Beautiful

Looking for Beautiful

I painted this from a photo I took while in Bisbee, Arizona about five years ago. What a charming little mining town it is! We were walking down the old streets near the Copper Queen Hotel and I saw the most beautiful garden. It just screamed Paint Me! You can’t tell anything about the location by looking at this painting. My camera captured a tiny sliver of a moment in time. I found the beautiful because I was looking for it and I chose to ignore everything else around it when I painted it.

This is a reminder to me to focus on what is positive and good. The Apostle Paul, brilliant man that he was, said, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things.Phil. 4:8

There is a lot of opportunity to be frustrated or anxious by events happening in our world. We have to sift through a lot of noise and despairing views to find beautiful lately. The not so beautiful seems to get way more attention. But we have been called to think about what we think about. Maybe we have the opportunity to bring joy with acts of kindness and compassion. We can also seek to acknowledge kindness in the actions of someone else by speaking a blessing over them.

There is opportunity in every direction to be in opposition. Sometimes we must take a stand. But it is more important to be loving and grace-filled than to be “right.” We can be right and be hateful. But Jesus said “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35 We are to love. It is hard in these days where right is now considered wrong, truth is now hidden, and dark calls itself light. But Truth will win out. And shining the light of Christ’s love is our primary mission statement.

Heavenly Father, help us to watch for Your hand at work in our world. Please help us to reflect Your love in our lives as a beacon of hope to others. And help us to spend more time searching for beauty and truth than despairing about ashes and chaos. “…provide for those who grieve a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61:3

Help us to love one another as You first loved us, Lord, and help us to focus on the beautiful.

Bisbee, Arizona
Cheryl