In Which I Step Out of My Little Box

I love encouraging people to step out of their normal little boxes and try something new; expand horizons and discover skills they never knew they had. I myself haven’t tried something new for a little while in art.

So in the last several days, I tried out two things. Not new to me in particular, but things that I was always terrible at when I was younger. I can’t say they turned out stellar, but I was pleased with the outcome and definitely plan to work at them more in the future as time allows.

Continue reading “In Which I Step Out of My Little Box”

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“Pure Innocence” – Graphite Portrait

This is a rather special picture to me. No, I don’t know the girl, it was actually a stock photo I found.

The gleam in her eyes captured my heart; a look of absolute innocence resting across her round little face. But she is reaching out in pure delight for something… Continue reading ““Pure Innocence” – Graphite Portrait”

Lord Jesus, This is Our Prayer (My First Ever Choral Composition)

After a very long (although, yet surprisingly short) year, I have finally completed my first choral composition. Starting out as a four part hymn, it includes a men’s verse and finishes with eight parts.

I kind of stepped out by writing two descants. The reason for that originally was because I wanted the highest to reach up to a D6 (which, for those who are wondering, is the first D above the treble staff). Most sopranos can’t do that so I added a second descant. Somehow in the editing process, they both got lowered, it’s better that way (maybe 😉 ). Continue reading “Lord Jesus, This is Our Prayer (My First Ever Choral Composition)”

A Present For My Grandma

My Grandpa Yoder was a dwarf. When he was a child, he was an adorable little Amish boy, with a little grin that would warm any heart. I’m sure if I could have known him personally, I would have been so absolutely proud that he was my grandpa (and I am), but I didn’t; he passed on to be with Jesus after a battle with skin cancer before my parents had met.So this Christmas, I drew a picture of him as a little boy for my Grandma Yoder. It was lots of fun, although I was pushed for time.

And yes, this is the fifth little boy that I’ve drawn in the past year with no little girls… say it’s about time I draw a girl? It’s next in line!

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A little note: Don’t you dare tell me my grandpa was a “midget”, that feels like such a derogatory expression for the wonderful dwarfs that I’m privileged to be related to!

The Chance to Make an Amazing Masterpiece

We’re here folks! 2017 has finally rolled around, and the new year is laid before us like a blank canvas ready to be painted. Okay, yeah, so I’m artist… but I think it is a pretty good representation of the new year. Huh?

So what do you think your canvas will look like by the end of 2017? A smeared blob, an average level portrait, or a beautiful masterpiece?

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Actually, it’s a more important question to ask yourself than you might first think because the attitude with which we face this crazy thing called life makes a HUGE difference! Writing a list of goals is great, but how well has it worked for you? If you are a person like me, you make list and then proceed with a halfhearted attempt and fail only halfway through January. Why? Because you probably don’t have your heart in it.

Life is something we only go through once. When it’s over, we get no second chance. We can’t go back and change something, no matter how much we long to do so. So instead of allowing this to be another mediocre year, let’s all join force to make this year truly beautiful.

Starting small.

You don’t have to do huge things from the start. Remember that sometimes, a little goes a long way; in fact, sometimes farther than we could ever imagine ourselves. If the heart is in it, that is where great things start.

It’s not about you.

If you are living for your own benefit, your canvas will become more smeared and messy than ever before. Having an outward, heavenward focused mind and lifestyle, while sometimes crazy, is the most satisfying way you could ever live. Seriously. It is something I have been learning over the past while that has made such a huge difference on my life. Not only does this mean others before yourself, but an attitude of thankfulness, helpfulness, and really, when it comes down to the very core of it all, self-sacrifice. Ouch! A painful nerve I know! But this is what love towards others in its purest form looks like. It’s what Jesus demonstrated to us, when He came as a helpless babe, grew up, was tempted and outcast, and then literally bore all the grief, sorrows, and sins of the world on the cross so that we might be FREE. The biggest burden ever. And that is what a truly others-focused life looks like!

Ask God for help.

In the art world, you will never create a masterpiece without learning from a good teacher what the best tools and techniques are. Same way with life. We can’t make our canvas beautiful if we aren’t learning from the Greatest Teacher Himself. Learn from Him. Study the design of other pictures He has helped create (other godly people’s lives), and learn all you can from His Word. Talk to Him and listen to Him speak to you. I can’t stress these things enough, for they are the foundation on which a truly worthwhile life, is built.

So will you join the force?

I encourage you to focus your heart on the things that really matter the most. In the life of a Christian this means learning to live out and be the person that Christ wants you to be. Will you join me and hundreds of others in this crazy adventure? Strive for the best, and with God at your side, you won’t fall short of His plan!

Little James and the Model Doll

My sister and I were doing some much needed fall cleaning in our bedroom, when my sister found my favorite doll. She is life sized, and just about as realistic looking as you’ll get with a doll. When I was young, she was my baby! As I contemplated sending her up to the attic, a sudden thought hit me; Why not draw a picture of her?

In the end, I used her as a model and drew a little black boy. While I was drawing, the name James, appeared in my head out of nowhere and stuck. Funny, ’cause I don’t normally like the name James (no offense meant to anybody with that name!).

If you know me, you might know that I love drawing little kiddos! Out of all the pictures of family, friends, and other “random” people that I’ve drawn in the past year, four of them were little boys (with another next in line to draw!)! 🙂 Hmm, maybe it’s time I find some girls?!

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“James” 9″x12″ Bristol Board

Delaware Bay Digitals

I had never been to Delaware. Nor did I think I would ever want to. I don’t know why I felt this way, but I had a certain distaste for the state. But since I’m a person who loves new sights, I decided that it would be okay to travel down along the Delaware Bay on the way home from a recent trip (which you can also read about here and here).

We stopped at a pullover along a gravel road that ran alongside the water front close to the mouth of the bay. Several large piers extended out into the water, and would have provided an excellent place to take photos from, but due to my uneasiness of heights and the moving water below, I quickly decided I would do better with ground shots. So, I took shots of the piers themselves which, actually are an icon of waterfronts, and bring up nostalgic feelings for me.

So I ended up enjoying Delaware after all!! And though I still like Maryland better, I think it’s a beautiful state. 🙂

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