Just above the water, swallows chase each other under the bridge. A Baltimore Oriole makes a quick appearance, then disappears into a sea of green. The wind is strong, but the temperature is warm and a rush sounds in between the leaves.
I sit and make a quick sketch. Simple color and simple shapes. I let my mind float away on the next breeze.
I started a new MeetUp group called, Through Christ Who Strengthens. Not only do we visit multiple forest preserves to paint nature, but we discuss a topic of struggle in life and how to overcome them. Running to scripture and renewing our minds is a key strategy in overcoming life’s difficulties. When we are done with our watercolor sketches, we add a scripture verse pertaining to the struggle.
The group painting.
Our beautiful artwork.
Everyone chose a different scripture verse pertaining to worry. Now, the next time we worry, we can look at our sketches and read our verses. Someday the group will make some encouraging artwork for others too.
So, if you live in the Chicago area and would like to sketch with us and learn how to defeat life’s struggles with scripture, find us here.
Posted in art, Artwork, Chicago, nature, sketch book, sketchbook, watercolor painting, watercolor sketching
Tagged art, Artwork, churchill woods, nature, river, summer, Through Christ Who Strengthens, trees
This is Mr. Bad Raccoon. Mr. Bad Raccoon liked to visit my bird feeder at Christ in the Wilderness promptly at 8pm every night. He was very hungry.
He was also very smart. His large body conquered the raccoon baffle on the feeder itself by standing on his hind feet, hugging the baffle, and inching his way to the top where he would lift the lid right off. Once on top, he would either cup his hands grabbing seed and bring it up to his face or he would place his whole head inside the feeder.
His determination created a soft spot in my heart and I stopped shewing him away. I reasoned with myself that if he went through all of that hard work, he must be rewarded. So I just watched in amazement. His is kinda cute.
Posted in art, Artwork, nature, sketch book, sketchbook, watercolor painting, watercolor sketching, wildlife
Tagged art, Artwork, bad raccoon, birdfeeder, Christ in the Wilderness, journal, nature, raccoon, sketchbook, watercolor
There’s something about an empty bench underneath a gorgeous, shade providing tree… I couldn’t resist.
Here you find rest. The birds sing for you. The leaves cover you from the scorch of the sun. Time slows down a tad. And your mind unclouds. Life goes on around you without your help as it should. It’s healthy to take a time out.
That’s exactly what I did a few weekends ago at Christ in the Wilderness, a solitude retreat in Stockton, IL.
The tiny little chapel on the property is open all day and night and perfect for solitude meditation. Every retreatant is given a bandana. If you wish to be alone in the chapel, you tie the bandana to the outside door knob and everyone respects your wishes to be alone.
When I start to feel like my wheels are coming undone and life starts to get hectic, I know it’s time for a retreat.
Posted in art, Artwork, nature, sketch book, sketchbook, watercolor painting, watercolor sketching
Tagged art, Artwork, bench, chapel, Christ in the Wilderness, nature, retreat, sketchbook, tree, watercolor