Jody’s Blog

Image Of A Mother

Image of A Mother, 10 x 14, framed charcoal on Canson paper, $295

It’s been exactly 2 years since I visited South Africa with my husband and other believers from our church on a mission trip to minister to children and teens who were orphans due to the AIDS epidemic there. This was a place I said I would never go, my feet were fine in Ohio but when you hear the call, you go. We prepared VBS activities in advance for children and held the day long events at different orphan centers each day, reaching out to hundreds of kids who were eager to participate.

At the end of the trip as I boarded the plane, I thought about the kids we met and wondered how many had known their mothers before passing away from that horrible disease. The reason I mention mothers is the fact that very few of the kids have fathers at home. They either never knew them or many of the fathers leave home in shame due to not being able to provide for their family. Most of these kids live with grandmothers or other caregivers in the area and they attend orphan centers for schooling, food and other opportunities through an organization that we worked with called Horizon International based in Indiana.

We sponsor a teen age boy that attends one of the orphan centers there and had the privilege of meeting him! I wondered if he had known his mother, how old was he when she passed away and what did she look like? I imagined her and drew a pencil sketch in my journal on the trip home. “Image Of A Mother” was what I thought she would look like, or she could be any of the other mothers that these children had lost.

After that, I had a little bit of culture shock coming back to the USA and wanted to retreat into my studio alone and draw for awhile. In order to create a little record, I used charcoal on a medium toned paper and drew a larger “Image Of A Mother” from the small sketch in my book. I also drew some of the other children in their happy raw form the same way from photographs that I had taken, all are framed and in my studio. The other drawings can be located in my gallery here: Drawings-African Inspired

It humbles me to think about the privilege it was to meet these people who were contented with so little. The pictures from other side of the world became reality for me during that time in South Africa.

 

 

 

 

Through My Garden Gate

Through My Garden Gate, framed oil on panel, 9 x 14, $295

Through My Garden Gate was the gift of time to myself on my birthday in August, 2017. I put everything aside for a couple of hours that day to paint outside (plein-air) in oils for the gift.  Stepping outside my back door, I grabbed my palette, brushes, a palette knife and paints, set up my easel and began to paint, looking through my garden gate where an old Hydrangea bush grows. The bugs were atrocious, I believe there could be some embedded in the painting. I did not finish it that day.

A few years ago, my daughter had a stack of things to take to Goodwill and a book called “The Voice Of Creation” by Thomas Kincade was part of the stack. I have a little bookshelf in my studio and this book was to become part the collection for my library. Interestingly, this book does not contain the usual pretty “light in the window” paintings that Kincade is known for, but it contains beautiful natural landscapes he had painted “plein-air”. They were painted very loosely with much paint texture and you could also see the grid like texture of the canvas from underneath. This is what caught my eye and I wanted to paint my garden gate like that. Waiting for the perfect day to paint, I had previously prepared a Masonite panel for this purpose by flipping it on the wrong side and painting gesso over the rough grid like wrong side. This would be what I painted on and that roughness was the challenge I was looking for.

I finished the painting in my studio this past February, 2018 using a photo I had taken on my birthday. The reflection of light and texture shines on the photo of my painting but you get the idea. It is framed and hangs in my studio…and as you can see, it is for sale.

In Her Father’s Hands

Emily, 1975

This pencil sketch of Emily was a labor of love and emotion and became one of my early morning drawings in the handmade sketchbook that I use. Her old 1970s picture album with about 7-1/2 months of photos sat by my chair and I thought I would draw her for the first time in well over 40 years. The photo I chose is small and a little blurry and her little face measures about 1″ which is what I had to work with. I managed to draw her portrait in pencil and it came out to be about 10″ tall in the sketchbook. The thought “In Her Father’s Hands” came to mind as I drew and looked at the picture. As you can see, she was then, and is even more so now, “In Her Father’s Hands”.

My Girls

 

My Girls, 15 x 20, pastel on paper, NFS

The story for this painting began long ago and not so far away in a little house on Holly Lane. The little house on Holly Lane provided enough space for two children to have their own tiny bedroom where each fell fast asleep every evening. One particular evening in April of 1980, both little girls had that angelic quality about them as sleeping children often do. So much that I got out my camera and captured a photograph of each, as I mentioned, in their own bed.

This portrait of “My Girls” is very near and dear to my heart. It was the very first portrait I ever painted back in 1998 when I had the time to think about a more serious art career. I scoured a box of old photos for the pictures and thought it would be sweet to put the girls together as they slept. I rendered the portrait in pastels thinking what a gift it was to be able to recreate my children almost 2 decades later in the softness that pastels allows. To feel their chubby cheeks again, the color and texture of their hair as I worked, it was nice to be able to remember their little faces that way.

Some mornings even now, I give myself the gift of an early morning sketch time and use simple everyday objects in my living room as subjects, sketching with a simple everyday pencil. My children’s little 2″ x  3″ baby pictures sit in tiny frames on the table by my chair. My pencil allows me to remember their chubby round cheeks, the softness and texture of their hair, the sweet baby smells and the simple little life we had in that little house on Holly Lane.

 

Hindquarters

Hindquarters, 11 x 15, framed pastel on board, $375

 

Hello!  My name is Hindquarters. I live in rural Northern Indiana in a barn at a pioneer farm homestead, greeting and endearing visitors. I’ve been around for about 16 years and have been recreated in pastels, simply hanging out in my barn inside of a frame which hangs on the wall at Jody’s studio for anyone that visits to see.

Do I offend you?

The big question is…”Do I offend you?” I have had a tendency to offend some. I was hanging out at the Grand Finale restaurant in Glendale Ohio where my portrait painter, Jody had the privilege to show her paintings several years ago. She placed me on the wall above a table where people sit to enjoy a lovely dinner. The couple dining below didn’t like me, they said that my “hindquarters” offended them. They asked the server to have me removed from their sight! I had no intentions of offending anyone and didn’t even consider my hindquarters offensive at the time. I think people may be a little over sensitive, don’t you? The ironic thing about this whole story is that this show was the best art show Jody ever had. She sold several paintings at the Grand Finale Restaurant, even one oil painting for well above the asking price if the purchaser could remove it from the wall and take it with them that night! Obviously, it wasn’t me that was purchased. I still reside at Jody’s studio and I am still for sale.

A note from Jody…I was intrigued by this horse in a barn, mainly because I love anything old, antique and pioneer and sometimes wonder if I was born about 100 years too late. I loved the way the sunlight shone through the window in the dusty barn. I thought this horse photograph would be perfect for a soft pastel painting and never imagined anyone would be offended!  My husband Ray sometimes helps me name my paintings and Hindquarters was his idea for a title. The image is approximately 11 x 15 and it is double matted and framed in a 16 x 20 frame and is for sale.

Announcing the winner of my “Posies and Pears”painting! Congratulations to Denise Barrett who lives in Lebanon Ohio! I will be delivering it to her very soon. Thank you so much to all who have signed up to receive my blog posts via email! Be on the lookout for more occasional art give aways.

 

 

Peace! Be Still

Peace! Be Still, 16 x 20, pastel on paper, NFS

It’s amazing, as I get older I am learning to be content with simple things. A little bit of ground to grow my own food, a few critters running around in their creature world simply being who they were created to be, I want to be that. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to figure that out, not to go back to the “what ifs”, but to accept each day as it has been given. To be content and know that it is all in God’s providence. To know that He is the giver of this gift of life, we have not asked for it, it has been freely given. I am grateful to have been thought of in the heart of God before the beginning of time and am overwhelmed. My hope is that some of my paintings will bring you the same joy and peace, an extension of the love of God.

I am bringing back an oldie here and think it appropriate for the days we are living in. This pastel painting titled “Peace! Be Still” was done in 2001, the year my dad died. A Peace Lily was given to us for the occasion. I loved the fact that a lily could represent peace and it truly did for me during that time. This plant gave me comfort through the grieving process. I wanted to extend that comfort and apply it on paper using the gift I have been given, maybe someone else could benefit. The softness of the flowers connected to each other in a mystical way representing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The red drops falling off the leaves which represent the Blood of the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. That was, and still is my message.

 

One Foggy Morning

One Foggy Morning

One Foggy Morning, 9.5 x 11, framed pastel on board, $285

It was a morning late last summer when fog had wrapped itself around my world in mysterious silence . I had to take my camera this special morning, there wouldn’t be too many more like this for awhile.  So I saddled up the dog (I tell her that when we are going on a walk) with her halter and there we went, down to the dip in the road. I stopped, snapped this picture and then continued in the morning silence beyond.

Notice the softness of the picture. I knew this painting would be perfect for pastels. I worked my very soft pastels on a toned blue/gray board with very little texture. You have to be careful about the layering of pastels when there is no texture, but I wanted the viewer to get a grasp of the atmosphere that I experienced that morning.

And then there are the cows, peaceful cows that have a tendency to walk into my pictures. I couldn’t be more blessed.

 

Jody’s First Blog

It’s sort of like that blank canvas or piece of drawing paper and you tell yourself “Ok, let’s go, you can do this…just do it!” That’s what I felt like several days ago when I set out to write a blog in order to share my collection of paintings and drawings with anyone willing to stop, look and listen. Do you know how many times I have trashed blog startups due brain freeze and being downright frightened to put this out there? I’m sure you can relate. Also, trying to maneuver around and edit a website is another joy, I’d rather be painting!

But I’ll keep these posts simple, just the way we all like it…

Here goes:
Late Summer Sunrise, 8.5 x 10 image, framed pastel on textured paper, $285

It began at 7 a.m. on clear Sunday morning, late summer 2017, a few days after my art friend Lorri Davis had visited. (She always inspires me. We sit for hours usually outside, have lunch and talk art.) Inspired, I decided to set out on a short trek from home with my easel, drawing board, pastels and paper in hand. I walked down to a little dip in the road where a beautiful little valley lies with all kinds of brush, a few trees and wild things growing all about. Occasionally the cows come roaming through which they did that morning! But cows are for another painting on another day. Anyway, it was a perfect morning to be outside. I spent about an hour there, the sun was waking up the day and all of the shadows and light had changed, it was time to go home. I finished “Late Summer Sunrise” in the studio a couple of weeks later. It was so much fun to create that I decided to frame it and enter it into the Middletown Arts Center Area Artist juried art competition last fall. It won 3rd place in the drawing division!