I don't think I have ever been more excited to paint a wedding! This special wedding took place on the family's 100 year old working cattle ranch, and included a "live branding" before the ceremony. After working cows, the bride and groom quite literally hopped off their horses and walked down to the ceremony to say, "I do." It was so refreshingly authentic and simple. The "ranch life" reminded me so much of home in Texas, and my heart melted a little meeting real cowboys and watching them do their thing. Congratulations, Lauren and Will!
This painting was a sweet surprise from the groom for his bride this last weekend! They did not want the painting to be focused on them, but wanted a more "impressionistic painting" during twilight. Can you find them mingling in the crowd? Thank you and congratulations, George and Jess!
Josh Garrels and I could not be more different – he's a total Portlander, a skateboarder, musician and mellow personality; on the other hand, I am a devote Texan at heart, ranch girl, painter, and bubbly personality. But, we have one thing in common – we both attempt to draw others into the beautiful Truth that inspires our art, a deep belief in Jesus Christ.
I learned about Josh Garrels years ago, in college, after a friend recommended a song to me. I heard his music and immediately something profound happened, it moved me; I can't exactly explain it, but this song was more than just music – it touched my heart and made me crave more.
The pathos and beauty of Garrels’ music is a function of his artistry – good music is good music, and he knows how to make it – but he is, without a doubt, a man on fire with faith.
An unwavering belief in sin, sacrifice, and redemption are the beating heart of his every song, not as the shrink-wrapped transmission of an explicit message, but as the genuine expression of a lived reality, of a man finding God incarnate in all things – even pain. - Josh Garrels
Have you ever been affected by something or someone, and then had a desire to understand what makes them so different? Sparked by one song, I had this fascination with Josh and his story, and needed to understand what drives him as a person, and as an artist.
The way he approaches business is unusual and inspiring – he gives away his music for free. The beautiful rhythm of his voice, and his poetic lyrics draw listeners into a quiet meditation on the deeper meaning and purpose of life. His quiet personality, and contagious humility just make listeners more intrigued – humility in the sense of someone who does not crave attention for himself, but continues to use his platform to point to beauty beneath his music.
I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.
After that I liked jazz music.
Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.
- Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller
I think Josh Garrels helped me truly begin to understand what makes real art. If it is authentic, it comes from a place deep within your heart. Any viewer, or listener can tell when an artist is creating from a place of vulnerable authenticity, or drawing from some outside source. Josh helped me understand that. Here's to you, Josh Garrels! Keep doing what you love and creating beautiful music, it changes people... I know from experience.
"Ultimately, if I have any influence at all, I want to help people look up, and see that the Lord’s alive and well, and His love can change everything." - Josh Garrels
For those of you who knew Sloan Everett, I envy you.
I've personally only known Sloan through people who knew him, stories I've read, and pictures I've seen. But, his story has affected my life. It's a funny thing how you can never have met someone, yet their life can deeply impact the way you live.
From what I can tell, every aspect of this man's life reflected a deep love and devotion to eternity above all things. He had his eyes fixed on what is above, and it is clear everyone around him knew that.
When Sloan's wife, Liesl, posted a photograph recently of Sloan working on a ranch in Wyoming she wrote, "I like to think that heaven will look like Wyoming, so I like to think Sloan is doing this very thing this morning...". I decided I needed to paint "Sloan's Heaven", not only for Liesl, but for their precious children to see in their home and always remember their Father who loved them.
May we always remember Sloan Everett and aspire to live like him – in a way that echoes in eternity and leaves a legacy for the world to emulate. Rest in peace, Sloan Everett. You will always be remembered!
But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10: 37-40, 43-45
Daring to stay open to whatever will come to me today, tomorrow, two months from now or a year from now – that is hope. To go fearlessly into things without knowing how they’ll turn out, to keep on going, even when something doesn’t work the first time, to have trust in whatever you’re doing – that is living with hope. –Henri Nouwen
You do not understand now what I am doing, but later you will understand... Jn. 13:7
Read more about Sloan's story here: http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2017-03-09/he-saddled-anyway-first-texas-panhandle-wildfire-victims-buried
Despite Galveston weather being quite the opposite of Denver, Colorado, I really enjoyed making a quick trip to do a live wedding painting on the Texas Island! The family could not have been more warm and welcoming. I always enjoy running into random Texas connections – My old Spanish teacher at Baylor happened to be the bride's sister, and my distant relative was a groomsman in the wedding! Thank you and a big congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Boyd!
Although painting two weddings in a row is quite a lot of creativity, I absolutely loved doing both of these last weekend! Meredith and Josh were married at The Ashton Depot in Ft. Worth, Texas and Karlie and Danny were married at The Farmhouse near Montgomery, Texas. It was a dream to work with both of these lovely families, and their friends! I always love my time in Texas. Looking forward to going back in a week! Galveston, Texas here I come!
"Man for all his genius is but an echo of the original Voice, a reflection of the uncreated Light. As a sunbeam perishes when cut off from the sun, so man apart from God would pass back into the void of nothingness from which he first leaped at the creative call."
Interesting fact: My sweet boyfriend, Ashton, and I sail sailboats in the summertime! Last weekend, we went to a black tie fundraiser to support Community Sailing of Colorado. I did a live event painting in a fancy dress and had so much fun doing it!
It was such a privilege to not only paint, but also witness Tyler and Abbey walk down the isle as one! As they saw each other for the first time, the moment seemed to stand still, held captive by a glimmer of eternity. The love they have for one another was clear from just seeing their faces, and the tears streaming. This painting was a reflection of the joy they shared in abundance and I was so lucky to capture it for them! Congratulations, you two!