Sunday, July 26, 2009

"The Arrangement"

Watercolor on paper...9 1/2 x 15

This is another one for the 'wine window' my framer is doing in August. I attended a wedding some time ago where the wine for each table was incorporated into the center piece. It was really quite well done.

Each table had two bottles of wine and a cork screw was included in the grouping along with the grapevines you see and an assortment of grapes. I took lots of photos and combined them for this painting. I wanted kind of a misty illusive background and am pleased with that...but as usual the subtle colors are not showing up well.

Hope to get one more done in time for framing.

The weather is beautiful here today. Should be painting but think I'm going to take my camera and go for a bike ride.

See you later and thanks for stopping by.

John 2:9
They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside
John 2:8-10 (in Context)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

2009 Literary Contest...First Place Winner

Lillie Story
Wins First Place

Learn more about past "Literary Contests."

Lillie is a Freshman at Lincoln Community High School. She in involved with Swim Team, Speech Team, Soccer Team and the winter Guard Flag Squad. Lilly enjoys spending time with friends and family and loves to read and write stories.

Lillie says she chose the drawing "Major League Dreams" to write about because, "To me the person standing on the base of the baseball field was a girl. It reminded me of the time I went out for the boys wrestling team. It was a boys sport and they didn't accept me joining at first. Gut I proved to them that I could do it. As as soon as I thought of that story of mine I just had to write my story on that picture."

Congratulations Lillie
Marsha Robinett


Here is Lillie's descriptive essay...Enjoy!

"Sam" by Lilly B. Story

Her name was Samantha, a bit of a "tomboy" if you might ask. She was short, with really long hair, and had just turned 8 1/2.

Samantha was good in school. She loved it. She called school her second love. Her first being quite unusual for an 8 1/2 year old little girl. While she should be playing with Barbie's, Samantha was playing ball, baseball that is.

Samanatha LOVED baseball, and she was good at it. She was better than the boys of her neighborhood, who ment on Saturdays, to play baseball at a nearby field. She could run those bases blindfolded and still make it home without being tagged out. And the way she swung that bat to the ball was like an instince to her.

She wished she could play with the boys, just once, and show them how good she was. So there came another Saturday, and Samantha was watching the boys pick who's on whose team, and who the captains are.

The game began and not long after Samantha shouted "Hey!" Nobody could hear her over the "hey batta' batta' hey's" that were being shouted. She yelled again as she ran out to the field. "What!?" one of the boys yelled, "can't you see we're in the middle of the game?" "Well..."she mumbled "why can't I play?" Laughter starts. 'Um...because you're a girl!!!"

It was at that moment Samantha thought of something she's never thought of before. She ran back to her house as fast as she could. She went up to her room and put on the baseball shoes and outfit she had gotten for her birthday. Then she went in her brother's room and grabbed a pair of scissors and his ball cap.

Samantha went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror, she smiled as she began to chop off all her hair. She put on her ball cap and her game face and snuck out of the house without anybody catching her.

Samantha returned to the field: the boys were still in the game. "Who are you ?" one of the boys shouted. "I'm Sam. mind if I join?' "Go ahead, you're up to bat"

Samantha's team won because of her amazing skills. All the boys were so amazed, they even invited "Sam" to come play next Saturday. Samantha smiled and said, "I thought you didn't let girls play!"

The recipients are excited about their awards...anxious to see them published and anticipating your comments.

Zechariah 8:5
The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there."
Zechariah 8:4-6 (in Context)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Latest Painting..."After the Wine"

After the Wine
Watercolor on paper...8x10

Here's another for the wine display coming up in August at Serendipity Framing. This one I REALLY like:) Please excuse me if I sound overjoyed with my last two pieces. I have struggled with watercolor for so long. Much longer than any of you realize.

I have walked away from the easel, beaten up, battered and 'emotionally' bruised so many times....swearing NEVER to paint again. Then my eye would catch a painting, sure enough it would be a watercolor. I just couldn't get past the desire to take control of this illusive medium.

For years now, I would pull out my pallet periodically, mess around a little....sometimes with a project in mind sometimes just playing with the colors. I would read books, watch DVD's. (Oops...watercolor started beating me up before DVD's existed.) THAT'S HOW LONG IT'S BEEN.

It's just great to finish a painting and actually still enjoy looking at it the next day!

So, here it is. I welcome your opinions and thank you for your continued encouragement.

Isaiah 55:1
[ Invitation to the Thirsty ] "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Isaiah 55:1-3 (in Context)

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Watercolor..."Hidden Perfection"

Hidden Perfection
7x9 1/2 watercolor on paper

This is my latest watercolor painting and this time I am pleased. I just wish the colors were a little more accurate in the photo...going to have to work on that some (in my free time).

My framer and dear friend...has these wonderful huge display windows and is doing a 'Wine' themed window for August-September. I hope to get a couple more pieces done before the end of the month. After the 'Sea Shell' fiasco...I considered putting away my paints! Soooooo glad I didn't.

I promise, when the window is done I will post pictures. As always...I'm open to critique. I know it is difficult from the photo. The original has stronger burgundy tones on the leaves and grapes. There is even some in the background that seemed to 'take' more purple in the photo.

My camera will do a 'custom white balance'. If I have time I'll try to set that up next time. Love my camera...the lens is great at capturing detail. I think it's the lighting that's throwing off the color.

John 15:5
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:4-6 (in Context)

Friday, July 17, 2009

2009 Literary Contest...Second Place Winner

Shelby Kotteman
Wins second place for her essay..."Girls Trip"

Learn more about past "Literary Contests."

Shelby is a Junior at Lincoln Community High School and an active participant in National Honor Society, Future Educators of America, Spanish Club, library Club, and has been a Peer Leader both her freshman and sophomore years. She had perfect attendance both her freshman and sophomore years and included in the Who's Who Among American High School Students in 2006 and 2007.

Shelby received the Lincoln Jaycees Outstanding Young Citizen Award in 2004. She was nominated for and attended the Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington D.C. in 2005, 2007, and 2008. and the state

Active also in her community, Shelby has participated in the Big Brother and Big Sister Program...tutoring and mentoring others...volunteered at our County Health fair and at Illinois State Fair Governors Day with her 4-H club.

Congratulations Shelby
Marsha Robinett


Shelby says she chose the drawing, Butterfly and Flower as her subject because..."The butterfly and flower in this picture remind me of the butterflies and wildflowers I see on our trips to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The trips I take there with my family and our mother/daughter girls' trips to Naubinway are very special to me, and I decided to write about some of my cherished memories and experiences there.

Here is Shelby's descriptive essay. I realize for a blog entry it is quite long...I hope you will enjoy the cherished memories of this young writer.

Girls' Shelby Kottemann

Last summer, my mom and I went on a girls' trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This is something we have done together each summer for the past three years. We Stay in a small, rustic cabin in the Hiawatha Sportsman's Club near a small village, called Naubinway for about a week. The weather there is almost always nice, the people are so friendly and welcoming, and there's so much to see and do.

We always leave early to start our eleven; hour drive. We listen to music and talk along the way. We always stop at the rest area at the state border. Here we eat our packed lunch; a salad with crackers. My favorite road we drive on is Highway 26 in Wisconsin. It's a really pretty drive. We pass by country homes with cows and red barns. The lilacs are in full bloom in the first week of June. They add to the beauty of the places we go through. We always stop in Menominee and stay the night in Econo Lodge. Right next door is a restaurant Mom and I love to go to, called Schlogels. Their food is so good! The next morning, we get up early and drive the rest of the way, we stop in Escanaba to get the things we may need for the week. It is the last Wal-Mart we'll see for the next 164 miles on U.S.2.

When we get to the cabin, we unpack and head to Naubinway. There is a marina and two stores there" Valiers, which is a small grocery store and King's, which is a little shop for tourists to buy souvenirs or smoked fish. It has been there for as long as my family has been coming to Michigan, and so has some of the merchandise. Naubinway is a small fisherman's village. It is the home to the largest commercial fishing port on the Great Lakes. We bought fresh whitefish from the port to take home in coolers, so we can have it throughout the year. A lot of days we went to the beach. Since it's not peak tourist season in June, we sometimes have the beach to ourselves. I like walking around the waves, feeling the ripples of sand beneath my toes. Sometimes I'll run across a school of minnows, and chase them through the water.

When I was little, I used to take home Monarch Caterpillars. They are my favorite butterflies and the U.P. is one of their main habitats. I collected milkweed for them to eat and kept them in a jar with netting at the top. They built their cocoons at the top, and after we returned home I would watch their cocoons change from green to clear, making it where you could see the butterfly inside. Then one morning, they would hatch, and once their wings had dried, I let them go outside. Every once in a while, I still see a Monarch flying through our yard and wonder if it is one of the babies of my butterflies.

At the end of our day, Mom and I sometimes went to Pizza Pronto for supper. They have the best pizza in the world! After supper, we went back to the cabin to relax. Some nights we'd watch one of our favorite movies and have popcorn. Other nights we'd read our books or do a puzzle.

Our cabin is very small. There is a kitchen/sitting room with a wooden table to sit at. Then, there's a small bedroom, in which the twin bed takes up most of the room and a bathroom that's so small, you can use the toilet and wash your hands at the same time! The shower is just as small. We have just enough hot water for the two of us to take quick showers. Even though we have small living quarters, it's a great experience.

In the mornings, Mom and I sometimes like to get up early. I drink hot chocolate, and she drinks her coffee. We watch the deer and her fawns play together near the edge of the forest as the sun rises. The fawns chase each other and kick up their heels and the doe even got in on the fun too. We'd go for walks in the afternoon along the club road some days. Our cabin is across the street from Lake Millecoquin.

During our girls' trip we always go to Mackinac Island for at least one or tow days. Mackinac Island is my favorite place in the worked. We take the Star Line Ferry from St. Ignace, which is about an hour away from Naubinway. The ferry ride is exciting with the waves crashing into the boat and a big "tail" of water shooting up from the back of the boat, making a little rainbow beside it.

Once we get to the island, we go shopping in the unique little shops that make up Main Street. We always have to get a Mackinac Island Fudge ice cream cone, and since the island is famous for it's fudge, we bring fudge home to the rest of our family. We walk along the streets and look at the beautiful old Victorian homes whose yards are filled with pretty spring flowers. No cars are allowed on the island, so you see many horses and carriages. Once, Mom and I went on a carriage ride with an old couple. It was really interesting to learn about the island and its history from our guide. We walked along the boardwalk in the cool breeze and the warm sunshine, seeing the pretty flowers with the lake and the Mackinac Bridge in the distance. Being on Mackinac Island is like stepping into another world.

The morning we left was very bittersweet. It was really hard to leave, but we were ready to get home to our family. As we drove down the club road, we saw the fog rising from Millecoquin Lake against the pine trees. It was as if the lake was giving us one last pretty view before we had to go. I watched Naubinway until it disappeared into the distance as we drove down U.S. 2, and we both dreamed of the trip we would take next year. when we would make more memories together that we would both treasure forever.


The recipients are excited about their awards...anxious to see them published and anticipating your comments.

1 Peter 1:24
For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall,
1 Peter 1:23-25 (in Context)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

2009 Literary Contest...Third Place Winner

David Fulton
Wins Third Place

Learn more about past "Literary Contests."

David is a Junior at Lincoln Community High School and participates in concert, marching hands, FFA, school drama department plays, book review committee, and National Honor Society.

David also supports his community through his church choir, youth group band, local bluegrass band, and other community services.

As a 4-H member he has won various awards through the years.

David says he chose this drawing because it depicted agriculture. According to David..."Agriculture is my background and it is how I connect to home life. The title of this drawing is Checking the Yield. I think this drawing stands for much more. It is not just about corn, but rather agriculture itself. This drawing made me feel like I was getting ready for harvest in the country. It was inspiring to my agricultural background.

Congratulations David,
Marsha Robinett

Here is David's descriptive essay...enjoy.

Checking the David Fulton

Checking the yield is mostly associated with crops. Crops, to our family, symbolize faith in God. The crops that are planted every year are a gamble. You never know if the good Lord will produce enough rain to even grow your crop. Sometimes we receive too much rain, often resulting in flooding. Even great wind damage can ruin a farmer's income.

Watching corn grow is also an amusement for a farmer. The smooth, silky-green husk forming from a sprout is very significant. This is a good sign for a farmer. There is still worry a drought does not settle in and dry up the land. Farmers always hope for a good spring and summer. After they plant the seed, it is in God's hands.

A farmer puts forth much effort and hope that money will be made off of his or her bumper crop. There is only one thing a farmer can do during the progress of his or her crop growing. That is get ready for the harvest. Harvest is a very important time for the farmer. The work must be efficient and steady to get all the grain possible.

If God has truly blessed the farmer, they will receive a good price from the elevator for their grain. The grain is then used to feed people, livestock, and make fuel. This is all accompanied by God's watchful eye when checking the yield.

The recipients are excited about their awards...anxious to see them published and anticipating your comments.

Leviticus 26:4
I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit.
Leviticus 26:3-5 (in context)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Extraordinary Pencil...2009 literary contest winners

Art always tells us a story. In fact I believe there are two stories to be told...the one that inspires the artist and the one that inspires the viewer.

My hope each year is that through the writing process students will develop a greater appreciation for fine art of all types, and learn to view an original drawing, a painting, or even a piece of sculpture with a questioning mind.

This years contest has had several hurdles. The teacher who usually handles the contest had some medical issues and as you know I've had mine as well. The contest usually takes place during the first semester but this year, winners were not announced until the last week of school.

There has also been some difficulty with the students not complying with the rules. One of the requirements is that they send me an email copy of their entry. This makes posting here much easier and is just part of the learning process of 'following instructions'. Needless to say I'm disappointed in some of them and haven't yet decided whether to go ahead and take the time to post their entire essays or not.

This is the third year that I have sponsored this Literary Contest at Lincoln High School and it continues to grow. There more entries this year, and the quality of the writings submitted by the students just keeps getting better and better. The students entries are individually judged by a select group of teachers and the winners are announced in assembly.

As mentioned above, I usually publish them here on my blog. So far only one of the winners has complied with sending me an email copy of their winning essay. In the next couple of weeks I will post an exurb from each and a little about the author.

The drawings shown below are the ones the winners chose to write about.

Announcing the winners for 2009

First Place...Lilly Story with a short essay about "Sam"
Second Place...Shelby Kottemann with a short essay about "Girls Trip"
Third Place...David Fulton with a short essay about "Checking the Yield"

Be sure to check back next week. I will start by posting the third place winner David Fulton's thus far his is the only one I've received by email. It is a very well written essay about "Checking the Yield". A
most enjoyable read.

Again...a Huge the winners and a special thank you to all who took the time to enter.

1 Chronicles 28:19

"All this," David said, "I have in writing from the hand of the LORD upon me, and he gave me understanding in all the details of the plan."
1 Chronicles 28:18-20 (in Context)

Saturday, July 4, 2009've seen the good, here's the bad

"Just a Shell...of what he used to be"

This is my painting from last weekend. I'm not happy at all and wasn't going to post it but figured failure is part of the process. Someday perhaps when I look back...this one photo will show me how far I came. How's that for a positive start to the day.

Drawing is easy and natural for me and was from the start. Watercolor just beats me up. I think I try to control it too much instead of letting it do it's thing.

Anyway, here it is. Off to a new painting for this weekend. Hopefully it will turn out better.

Have a great July 4th and many blessings.

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