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Tag Archives | acrylic

In the Beginning was the Garden

Today’s reading, John 1: 1-5, was much more comforting than yesterday’s. Yesterday was all trials and tribulations. Today is about the Light that outshines darkness. Thank God.

Today, my darkness was time. I ran out. I needed more time, but I don’t have it, so I’m going to post what I have. I see things I want to edit, but I’m not going to obsess.

Plant A Garden © Jen Norton

Plant A Garden

My daughter turned to me the other day in the car and started one of those “car conversations”. You know the ones…deep philosophical questions that hint at your kids trying to figure themselves out. She stated (in a somewhat condescending manner), “You seem like one of those people who’d be happy living in the country. Is that true?” Yes, it’s true. I notice geese flying, color shifts in the sky and leaf patterns on sidewalks. My 13-year-old just rolls her eyes. She’s all about pop culture, make-up and things that are shiny and pink. She’s always been that way. I’ve always been a nature girl. She loves to dress up. I love to stare at trees. It’s just the way we are.

I know that we both have our place in the world, as do the million different kinds of pink flowers. Or the other million kinds of yellow flowers. Creation is abundant and there is room for all. Each has its purpose. I have always found the presence of God in the patterns of repetition and variation in nature. I don’t know how the beginning began. I still can’t figure out how something could have always existed and I’ve been pondering that concept for 46 years. (I guess I’m a bit sheltered, having only lived on Earth.)

But I observe the passing of the seasons. I know that springtime, with its myriad of flowers, follows the dark winter. Simple science can explain the How. Not sure anyone can explain the Why. Except that God is an artist, and a fellow artist I know you cannot continue to create beauty unless you are loving the process of creation. He’s found a way to remind us yearly that life is a cycle. President Lincoln’s speech writer once penned a line for use in good times and bad: “This too shall pass”. Everything we know will pass away someday, but I take comfort in knowing that something that is alive in Christ will live forever. He has created a priceless work of Art and Love that will last through Eternity. Death and darkness will not overcome it. Sometimes I doubt. But then I go work in my garden and I find the truth again.

This painting turned into an abstraction, painted with a palette knife, which offers very little control. It features a quote by writer Robert Brault, used with permission. I see things I’d like to change in the composition, but hopefully the meaning will overcome its faults. I’m too close to judge, and I’m not going to obsess.

The quote reads, “Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden?” —Robert Brault. I like this quote and will probably paint it again differently. If you’d like to buy this piece, I’m offering it for a great price here.

Brown Bread for a Green Day

Irish Brown Bread Painting by Jen Norton

Arán Donn (Brown Bread), 30 x 30, Acrylic on canvas

 

We were treated to some warm, delicious home-baked Irish Brown Bread upon returning from a long, drizzly day of sight-seeing while visiting our good friends in Ireland a while ago. Topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon, or just plain butter, it’s quite a treat. I had to paint the recipe of “Arán Donn”, complete with locally-grown apples and the magpies you often see along the road. There’s an old superstition about the meanings behind the number of magpies you see together. Two is for Joy! Beannachtaí na féile Pádraig…Or, if you’re not up to speed on your Irish, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Want to try it for yourself…here’s the recipe:

6 oz / 175g  whole wheatl flour
2 oz / 50g plain white flour
2 oz / 50g   steel cut oatmeal
1 oz / 25g   wheatgerm
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large egg
10 fl oz / 275ml buttermilk

mix dry stuff in big bowl
whisk egg in the buttermilk
mix dry and wet stuff
put into buttered bread tin
make a deep cross on top and prick the four corners to let the fairies out! (very important, I hear)

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375F for 50-60mins

Let me know what you think!

PS: You can purchase prints of this piece here. Contact me directly to inquire about the original.