October 30, 2008

nishiki bikes and coffee presses

so i was laying in bed last night trying to figure out if i would have enough gas money to go down to tehachapi (6 hours away) for thanksgiving week and hang out with my friend mo and her huge, lovely family.  as you probably know, laying in bed thinking about money does not promote sleep, nor peace.

so i prayed and asked God to provide for exactly what he wanted and that i wasnt going to worry about the rest.

so, like, 5 minutes later it occurred to me that i might be able to sell my half functioning 70's road bike that was sitting in the garage that i got for free a year ago from one of my buddies.  i got up and posted an ad on craigslist in the middle of the night and asked God to sell the bike for me.  i woke up this morning with 4 emails from people who wanted to buy it, the first email i got being from one of the guys that i know from the calvary chapel here.  he responded to the ad 5 minutes after i posted it and ended up buying the bike for 40 dollars.  i think it was a fair price for a half functioning bike, and plus i can add the 40 to the 25 i have saved for my gas fund...

God is so, so lovely and faithful.

i know 3 people in this town and happened to sell my bike to one of them in record time.

the bad news is that i broke my big 2 person coffee press this morning that i got for real cheap at ross a couple years ago and spilled coffee sludge everywhere.  so now i have a stained carpet and a 1 cup coffee press that i bought at target shortly after the incident.  sigh.  you just cant get ahead sometimes (i didnt use my bike money for the coffee press, i'll have you know :)

October 29, 2008

trees in the mist painting

another one for class:
(click on it to make it bigger)

October 26, 2008

the simpson angel

these are the four right angles of a grave marker angel named simpson.  the drawings are shown in the order i did them (my fav is the 3rd).

she is a life size marble statue at chico cemetery.  i was riding my bike through the cemetery last week and when i saw her i just stared at her for a few minutes in awe, and decided to come back later to sketch her.  these pics are from drawing her this morning and i plan to do more of her.

(her hand was broken off, thats why it looks funny.)

October 25, 2008

no second causes

i dont know what happened...maybe some one has been praying for me...but the cloud over my head is gently, slowly lifting.

its more than one thing that has positively altered my perspective on being here, but the climax realization came quietly from the pages of "The Horse and His Boy."

there's a part where the "Boy" of the title, Shasta, is walking along on a trail alone because he couldnt make his non-talking horse do what he wanted (he wasnt used to the whole "reigns" business because talking horses from narnia naturally dont need brute force).  he is separated in the thick fog from the group he is riding with and starts to think about the misfortunes and misplacements of his life...

"i do think," said Shasta, "that i must be the most unfortunate boy that ever lived in the whole world.  everything goes right for everyone except me."  ...and being very tired and having nothing inside him, he felt so sorry for himself that the tears rolled down his cheeks.

then Aslan appears in the mist and starts walking next to him and talking to him, but shasta only knows him as a Voice at first-

"I do not call you unfortunate," said the Large Voice.
"Don't you think it was bad luck to meet so many lions?" said shasta
"there was only one lion," said the Voice..."I was the lion."
"I was the lion who forced you to join with aravis.  I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead.  i was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept..."

and he goes on.  
aslan's point was that all the instances that seemed like bad luck or misplacement or survival were just Him.  there is a point in the story when aslan (though shasta didnt know it was aslan) attacks his friend aravis but doesnt harm her too badly, only scratches up her back.  he brings this up to aslan and says,

"then it was you who wounded aravis"
"it was i."
"but what for?"
"child," said the Voice, "i am telling you your story, not hers.  i tell no one any story but his own."

i know all of this seems choppy, but you cant imagine how perfect it was for me to read that when i did.

because i WANT to believe that EVERYTHING that has and will happen to me is His doing, whether it feels good or not (and intellectually i ascribe to that) ...but sometimes its so hard to see things like that, especially when they sting the most.  
especially when they cost the most.  
especially when all around you is fog and you're separated from the group.
especially when the only pattern in your life that you can see is the one that feeds that displaced sense you get when you look around you.

i love that the lion gives shasta no sympathy: only truth.
and the truth is he's not so bad off as he thinks, and that he's not as alone as he thinks...in fact, its the times when he was most afraid that the lion himself was the one working and pushing him to where he needed to be.

may the Lord give us vagabonds mercy for our oft poor perspective.

October 22, 2008


i have known 
these days
just with different faces and 
that worn out look on mine
(which always was the dead give away)
that i didnt know what was happening.

and i couldnt tell if it was ok
not to know
or hope
or laugh
without thinking of something else
being somewhere else

faith must be the permission
not to know 
or hope
or laugh
without some type of 
(how do you call it)
sense of misplacement

i just hope 
these days 
grow feathers

i just hope 
these days 
learn to sing
(or dance...i cant tell which is more lithe)

i just hope
these days.

October 18, 2008

morning projects

had a nice morning doing these, sitting on the floor with the door open.

click on them to make them bigger i think.
sorry, the quality is kinda crappy.

the one at the top, the little boy has a hymn page for a face...it looks weird in the picture, thought i'd explain :)

October 16, 2008

class drawings

the pot is just a still life we did in class a while ago

we are mainly drawing live people now since this is an intro to figure drawing class.

i really like the one of the guy- very pensive...

and refreshingly pg-13

October 15, 2008

the splice

on the way back up to chico from slo i realized something 

i was talking to jonathan dow, answering one of his typical english major questions thus named for their "how" and "why" nature (its ok if he asks those questions though, because jonathan dow is a good listener).

i was talking about art...

telling him how sometimes the desire to DO art pounces on me like a tiger and i feel compelled so much to "create," but often dont really know what to do with my impulse. 

jacob wrestling with the angel...asking for a blessing and not really knowing why...continuing to fight and not really knowing why.

 its funny to have the desire to create while having absolutely no idea how one should go about creating.  "not being inspired," is what artsy people say often...

i then said something about how art for me (for you, it could be anything, no?) is how i experience God sometimes.  through the whole process i feel him near in such a special way, that once i get done with a project or idea, i almost dont care about the finished product because the quality time was what i really needed/enjoyed/wanted in the first place

but as i talked it out (jonathan dow patiently being a good listener all the while), those two aforesaid thoughts spliced themselves together.

"maybe," i said, "those times when i just want to create but i dont know why or how...

maybe i'm just missing God."

and i think that's really what happens..."art" is my code word for "God, can we hang out."  i knew that about myself and God, but i hadnt put it together about those times when i sit there on my couch, mysteriously drawn to my pencils and drawing board across the room- staring at them like an imbecile while God has strung red christmas lights and orange construction detour signs pointing towards them...i sit there wondering what has come over me, while the Lord and my heart are trying to contact each other through the noise proof glass of my slow mind between them...

the times when i DONT act on that impulse are times when i dont think i have anything to give- no idea for a finished product...but thats not what its ever been about.

i realized i live my life under that fear.  what if i spend all this time on something and i dont like what i end up with?  

"it never mattered to you before," 
He would say, 
"not if it was right."

October 9, 2008

my God isnt in there

this is my project for color theory class this week.

yep, its a box.

the point of the picture is that i painted it w/o the use of black out of the tube.

the picture is lame b/c all i have is photo booth on my computer, so thats where that blue spot comes from at the top.  it looks better in real life, but whatever.

i like this painting b/c i think it has potential...like i could write something on it to make it really funny, b/c after all, this is a painting of a cardboard box.

October 3, 2008

hello, my name is cheddar

one of my roomates is, like, half dating this guy named colby (apparently its really popular in chico to half date someone...weird.)

i care very little for my roomates' love lives, except for this gentleman's name.

when i met him, i wondered, "why would you name your kid after a cheese..."

but then i thought of the cheese "gruyere..."

they may be on to something.

it would take a lot of guts to name your kid, "gruyere."  it would only be awkward if he went to switzerland, it would be like being named, "mozzarella" here or something...hopefully by the time i have kids i'll have the kinks worked out :)  

October 1, 2008

how i gave my entire drawing class mosquito bites

so my drawing class is being taught by a grad student...a photography grad student who "hasnt drawn in 6 years," apparently.

shes a real nice lady...i feel bad for her because she really doesnt have a choice and its not her fault that she's into photography and not drawing (poor soul), but i have to say its a less than desirable situation.  drawing and photography share about 2 1/2 things in common- other than it is very different in my opinion.

so in the spirit of just wanting to make the class better for everyone, i asked her last week if we could go outside and draw.  chico state is lovely- all brick and trees and lawn, and our class is at 5 when the light is best.  she agreed and made everyone go outside for the class period today...

i was in heaven.

but i forgot about the creek next to the school that spawns mosquitos and gnats.
i forgot so much that i wore a tank top to class (ya, its still 90 here).
i think everyone sustained at least one mosquito bite...

i bless anonymity for saving me from a good lynching.

(ps- the art at the top is from another project for that class- a still life.  thats me behind it holding it up to give you an idea of its size.  i tied 3 coffee cups to yellow fabric and hung it over my door.)