The choices we make

May 3, 2014

My granddaughter, Eve, watched me work on this painting.

“Where is the alpaca,” she asked.

I had decided to “delete” Coco, one of our alpacas, which was in the photograph I used as an inspiration for my most recent painting, “Spring in Summer.”

Spring in Summer

As I was explaining to Eve that an artist could choose what to include and what to omit from a work, it occurred to me that it’s a bit like forgiveness. Coco was in the “wrong” place and the composition would have suffered from her inclusion. We have choices to make in life. We can leave things out of the picture. I’ll always know Coco was there, I may remember wrongs committed, but I can eave them out of the picture altogether.

I wondered if it’s (whole, complete, harmonious) what our forgiven lives look like to God, the true artist.

Picking Plums

March 29, 2014


On my way to Paris

March 29, 2014

You can find out how and why at that link.

An adventure!

From a few years ago.

August 10, 2013

Christina Sonnemann Baehr portrait

Not the best photo, but here’s one I never posted.

This one of my daughter is from my first “go” at painting, before Christina was married. It’s the 3rd portrait I attempted.

Did I mention this? I only started painting a few years ago then had a several year break;  I’ve now come back to it.

Apparently, It’s never too late to start, then start again.

IMG_4712  I’m nearly finished this one (I hope).

It was meant to go in the Rotary Exhibition (see post, below) but I realised that I had grossly under-priced it and the organisers were unable to change the price, so “withdrawing” it was the only option.

The tricky part is that it does other artists a disservice to under charge as it lowers the general value of art locally.

I found this out the hard way. Not wanting to be greedy, I’ve put what I thought were reasonable prices on works, but which, if you do the math, turned out to be something like $10 an hour. Without replacing my materials. After a stiff lecture from artist friends, I could see how underpricing devalued the work of everyone else in the artistic community.

It’s a big painting, 900 x 600. I expect you will see her at the Calvin “Art and Soul”  or Hobart City Mission Fundraiser, Long Gallery, Salamanca..

“Pouring Light” 2013. Based on time spent with the Amish and Plain People in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I wanted to portray the dignity, beauty and love which imbue ordinary duties when we value our vocations.

God is full of surprises.

August 10, 2013

Return of Noir Canard Growing Things  The two paintings I entered sold last night at the Opening of the Rotary Charity Exhibition at Wrest Point. There are over 400 pieces on display there, making it by far the biggest – and certainly most “posh” – exhibition I have entered so far.

It was fun taking my grand-daughter, Eve, along.  I think she was especially gratified when the painting “of her” received its little red “sold” sticker.

I am always astounded when one of my works sell. There were so many there so much better. So many artists more experienced. Their art is so “confident” and mine still rather hesitating. When viewing one of my paintings in such a setting, I long for a few more moments to touch up areas that still don’t satisfy me.  For both to sell at the actual Opening Party, only a few minutes after it was opened for purchases, was thoroughly astonishing.

My only explanation is: “God wanted them to sell”. For which I am humbled and grateful.  I guess it means I will keep painting!

Any suggestions for the next Noir Canard?

“Growing Things” 2013.  My granddaughter during her first summer living in the Huon Valley, discovering the joy of harvesting growing things, and of having plenty of room to grow.

“The Return of Noir Canard” 2013.   This is one of an ongoing series informed by my love of classic films

August 9, 2013


I painted this a few months ago and it’s taken me a little while to post it here because it isn’t quite finished. And, it never will be.

It was another one of  those working-to-a deadline paintings for an Exhibition.  In the end, it had to be delivered to the venue “as is”. I was confident that it would not sell and that I’d be able to complete it later. You may have guessed…I went back to get it after the closing and…it. was. gone.

On the one hand, I’m happy someone liked it.  I want people’s lives to be enriched in some way by my art. But there is this feeling, one I can’t shake:  I didn’t give the person/people who bought it my best.

I’m reminded of Colossians 3:23-24  (NIV)

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” [or for myself] “since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”  Rewards aside, I really do want to put my whole heart into my work. In some small way the joy I feel in creation mirrors that of the Creator in us.