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Yep!  I'm all laid back and relaxed as I take a break from moving this blog.  There's still a lot to do, but nothing says "relax" like putting your feet up and enjoying a good stogie!  You can visit my new blog here...that is IF Live Journal decides it wants to cooperate with inserting hyperlinks!!  And, of curse course, it didn't!  Here's the link.  Copy & paste it if you're interested: http://henleythegreatdane.blogspot.com/

Remember the Cost

I just read a couple of things I want to share with you.  If you're like me, there are times when you find your relationship with the Lord so "normal" or "right" that you tend to forget the cost until an event, a song, or in this case something you read, jars your whole being.  We should never be so at rest in our walk that we forget for one moment what it cost.

From Desiring God:
I was studying Psalm 43 with a friend in Urdu the other day. We came to where it says in English, "I will go to the altar of God."

As I read along in Urdu, I did not know the word for "altar," so I asked my friend what it was. He didn't know how to translate the word into English, but he gave the following English description: "It is God's bloody place, where the throats of the animals are slit for sacrifice."

Of course. It's an altar.

Sometimes I think of an altar as the carpeted stairs and dais at the front of the church meetinghouse. But it's not. It is a bloody place—a place of sacrifice and death.

I need to remember that.

And from UPI:

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Didn't get a chance to draw my EDM sketch today because I just had too much going on.  I did buy a very cool box of Derwent watercolor, uh, excuse me, watercolour pencils (UK) today using my 40% off coupon at AC Moore.  I love a bargain!  I've never used this particular medium before and played around a bit with it tonight.  The colors are vibrant, much more so than regular watercolors.  I have a larger drawing I did months ago of a mosaic found in the earliest known Christian church that I've been afraid to paint.  I may dig in with these since they seem to be easier to control.

Sleepy-time Henley

When we first got Henley he was much much smaller.  I remember coming in the back door from the Great Dane rescue folks in Tampa and Sean seeing him for the first time said, "He looks like a miniature Dane!"  Yep - he was just a cutie pie of a puppy.

He was so little and so sweet that he'd sleep on the bed with us.  It wasn't so bad at first, but as time passed, Henley grew....and grew until now he stands at 42" and weighs 160 lbs.  When we moved into this house I was determined to break him of sleeping on our bed.  I had great success with it, thanks to a baby gate put up high enough on the doorway that he couldn't jump over it without a running start.  Anyway, we've been meaning to buy him a bed but just haven't done it. 

Today my dear friend Pam (primo seamstress/decorator) made him his own bed.  I thought we might have to actually coax him onto it the first time or two.  I was wrong:

I'd say he was one sleepy but happy Dane.  Sweet dreams, Henley!

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Fire goes out for lack of fuel, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops. 
A quarrelsome person starts fights as easily as hot embers light charcoal or fire lights wood. 
What dainty morsels rumors are - but they sink deep into one's heart.
Proverbs 6: 20-22

Okay, now that I've got that out of my system, on to nicer subjects:

You know, I've got to stop comparing my drawings with other people's.  I've never done "neat" artwork.  There's something wonderfully freeing about a brush filled with color that makes me want to spread it on the canvas in a big way.  When I draw, it's with the same abandon.  I looked online to see what other people's EDM drawing of a wallet looked like and just had to stop because all their drawings were perfect.  I know if I looked long enough I'd find someone really terrible, but then, that wouldn't be very nice, would it?  :o)  I draw like I draw.  And, you know what?  It will get better, but I'm not even as dissatisfied with my work as I was at the beginning because confidence is easing in.  Ah!  That's what I remember loving about the art classes I took!  That moment when satisfaction slipped in and the work looked exactly as I wanted it to. 

Today's EDM sketch:  draw a wallet



While trying to decide what to draw today I decided to actually go to Danny Gregory's EDM Flickr site and take a look at the list of suggested items.  Once there I found a whopping 178 suggestions!  I may have trouble coming up with stuff, but apparently others don't.  I've already drawn numbers 2, 4, 25, and 154 (what a scamp I am - drawing out of order!  tee-hee!).  I was tickled to find that number one on the list says, "Draw a shoe." 

I love shoes.  I can't afford to spend a lot on them, but have discovered that our local Ross in Destin has fabulous girly shoes at incredibly low prices.  This week I picked up a very cute pair of feminine heels complete with flowers & bows.  They probably weren't the smartest shoe to draw but I'm trying to stretch myself with each sketch.  Whereas my usual flip-flops (required Floridian shoe that I also love) would have been much easier, I decided to go with the adorable $17 find.  There's a major flaw in the drawing because I still have trouble discerning what I'm actually seeing.  Had it been in pencil this is one mistake that would have definitely been erased.  But, here it is:

Today I'm going to pick up that second moleskine, pencils, & kneaded eraser.  This new pencil sketch journal will be for fun!

"...the unlit lamp and the ungirt loin."

I had a grand afternoon having lunch with good friends.  I have to admit, though, that my favorite part of the outing was going with Pam while she took measurements for a client's window treatments.  Some of the older homes in the area situated along the bays & bayous are very beautiful.  Today I went inside not one but two of them.  Pam didn't have the house number with her so we first went to the wrong home.  As Pam was talking to the woman getting directions I noticed this incredible large oil painting hanging in her foyer.  I commented on it and this lovely lady invited us in to view several other pieces.  Ahhh!  Heaven!  I don't know that I would have invited two strangers inside my home, but I'm so glad she did.  The client's home was just as cool with very modern touches.  She had original artwork done by local (mostly Pensacola) artists hanging everywhere.  Much of it was whimsical, with some almost primitive and yet contemporary.  

I taught two students this afternoon and both did really well.  There are times when my piano students don't even try and that can be discouraging, not for me, but for them.  The two today are far enough along that when I take the time to work through a piece with them, they "get it" to the point that you can almost see the light turn on in their heads.

And, speaking of lights... I sketched out my small desk lamp for my daily drawing.  I'm seeing no improvement, but I did head straightway into it instead of going through the moments of agony beforehand.  If time permits tomorrow, I'm going for the second moleskine for pencil sketching.  I'll take it along with me in my bag so I can sketch while out.

I've always loved quotes and it seems that finding quirky ones to go along with the daily sketches brings me more joy than the actual drawing! 

Day 3

I had lots to do today so didn't get around to sketching until just now.  You know the old "if life hands you lemons, make lemonade" saying?  If someone handed me these lemons, they'd go in the trash.  If I'm to be positive about the drawing (as instructed by Danny Gregory) then I guess I can say that I did the assignment.  I have no firm grasp on it right now, but practice will make it better.  I think I'll get another moleskine and use pencil instead of pen with it.  I learned to draw using pencil where shading is much easier and more realistic. And then, of course, there's that incredible little item called an eraser.   I also wonder about color.  Black ink on this cream colored paper doesn't inspire.  I'm going to trudge forward using the black pen because I get distracted way too easily and end up getting nothing done at all.  Anyway, here it is:

"...except they wear waders"

Chris Kattan used to play this monkey-boy character named Mr Peepers on Saturday Night Live.  He'd crawl all up and down people while wolfing down apples and screaming, "BAAH!  BAAH!"  I figured since I'm not allowed to curse...okay, I'm not supposed to curse, that I'd adopt Mr Peeper's word whenever I got frustrated or angry.  So, in respect to my Day 2 sketch:  BAAH!!!  BAAH!!!

Poorly drawn, but at least it's done.  I hate embarrassing myself (again!), but here it is: