Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Y is for Yūgen

 As I was searching for a word to use as inspiration for my post this week, I came across the Chinese and Japanese word yūgen.  Being a fan of the Japanese arts, I was naturally drawn to it.  Yūgen is an important concept in Japanese aesthetics.  According to Chinese philosophical texts, it means dim, deep, or mysterious.  However, in Japanese culture, it is used to refer to a profound and mysterious sense of beauty in the universe or the sad beauty of human suffering.  Yūgen is beyond what can be articulated about a special experience or something beautiful in the world.  Therefore, in my mind, it would be like the first time I saw each of my girls after my wife gave birth to them.

Summer Angel Card
Tim Holtz Sewing Room Die, Layered Angel Wings Die/Embossing Folder, as well as Bottle Caps & Retro Cirque Embossing Folders; Various Tissue Tapes, Distress Ink Pads & Stickes; EK Success Balloon, Star & Heart Punches; K&Company Americana Paper; Mulberry Paper; Matte & Shimmer White Cardstock; Uniball Air Pen; Copic Fine Ink Brown Pens; Scrap Ribbon & Fibers; and Glass Beads.
Simon Says Stamp
Karen's Word Art Wednesday - Weeks #236-237
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday
The latter are two of my most memorable moments of yūgen, which I chose to represent here with a Summer Angel original design for my oldest daughter's birthday card.

My Wife's Garden
iPhone 6s, iPhoto & Pixelmator
Our Beautiful World #153 - Three
Denise & Roger's ABC Wednesday 18-Y is for Yūgen
Julia and Jan's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #369
Another moment of yūgen is the miraculous manner through which God produces food for our nourishment through the vines of a tomato plant.

My Playbook (Work In Progress)
Zutter's Bind-It-All V2.0 & Double Owire; Tim Holtz Elastic Loop & Mini Stapler; Martha Stewart Screw Punch; EK Success Door Knocker Dimensional Sticker; Dymo Labeler; Ephemera; Assorted Scraps of Hand painted & Gelli Prints; Pentel Sepia Brush Pen; Sharpie Micron Pen; Various Types of Adhesives; and Scrap Ribbon.
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Tic Tac Toe
Kristin & Eva's Paint Party Friday - Week 17 Year 6
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches 
Other moments of yūgen for me are the ones I experience when I work on my artwork to create something out of nothing, such as this "Playbook" to express my feelings through this summer.

There are a plethora of other moments of yūgen that I've been granted throughout my life for which I'm very thankful.  Just yesterday I experienced another one, when I received my passing scores to be certified as a school principal in the State of Texas.  As per James 1:17, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."  I pray that you find moments of yūgen in your lives.  Peace - Shalom - Paz!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

W is for Wondrous

Hello friends!  ¡Hola amigos!  Summer is here, and it's a wondrous feeling!  I have several important tasks to take care of this summer, such as home repairs to be made, a professional licensing test to take, and work on a school district strategic planning committee.  However, I will also have time to travel to visit family, time to visit museums, time to interact with nature, time to read, and time to work in my art studio.  It's such a marvelously freeing and inspiring feeling to have some control over my daily schedule.  Anyway, the following are a few of the art projects I've been working on since my last post with a short description of my inspiration.

Flowers of Peace
Strathmore Toned Tan Artist Tile; Mechanical Pencil, Sakura Micron Pens; Uni Ball Air Pen; Royal Talen's Opaque Watercolors; and Prismacolor Colored Pencils.
Moo-Mania *** Masculine
Creating and Sharing Mixed Media Art
Julia's (& Jan's) What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #367
Eva & Kristin's Paint Party Friday - Week 15 Year 6
Kim's Show Your Face
This tile was inspired by a quote by Tichh Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist Monk & Peace Activist, "In the garden of my heart the flowers of peace bloom beautifully."

Beach Garden Wedding Card
Brother Scan'N Cut; We R Memory Keepers Alphabet Punch; Paper Flowers; Glass Beads; Distressing Ink Pad; Kraft Card Base; Various Cardstock; Jute Cord; Various Types of Adhesive; and a UniBall Air Pen.
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Summer Garden
This greeting card was inspired by a fellow teacher and friend of mine who loves flamingos and is having a beach garden wedding in just a couple of weeks.

Deuteronomy 23:12-13
iPhone 6S Shot Edited on iPhoto
Our Beautiful World: OBW 151~Texture
Sue's Image-In-Ing
Karen's Word Art Wednesday: Challenge Week #234-235
I took a field trip with my students to a Christian camp, and was intrigued by the Scriptural reference on the outhouse.  It refers to Halakha, Jewish law, on the proper way to relieve oneself.

Father's Day Card
Tim Holtz (TH) Travel Ways, Warehouse District, and Odds and 100th Collection Stamps; TH Distress Inks; TH Gadget Gears, Mini Gears, and Mini Tickets Dies; Glossy Accents; Adirondack Gold Dabber; Various Brads; Various Adhesives; Manila Tag; Kraft Card Base; Silver Metallic Cardstock; Uni Ball Air Pen; and Scrap Ribbon.
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Father's Day
The Male Room Challenge #37 - Father's Day
Ramona' Inspire Me Monday - Week 232

This card is for my Father-in-law, whom I love dearly.  Although he is not known for working on his cars, he is an engineer.  Therefore, I thought the gears were appropriate.

In Memory of Muhammed Ali
Art Journal and Mechanical Pencil
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Try It On Tuesday: It's All About Him
Denise & Roger's ABC Wednesday - Letter W
This sketch, which is a work in progress, was inspired by the late Muhammed Ali.  Although I've never been into boxing, I always admired his personal strength and determination.

As you can see through my work, this Summer has been a wondrous journey thus far.  I hope yours is as wondrous as well.  Thank you for following my blog and taking the time to leave a gracious comment.  Godspeed!  ¡Vayan con Dios!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

U is for United

United is defined as, "involving people or groups working together to achieve something."  This is the concept the founders of the United States of America had in mind during the formation of our nation.  Yes, we are a country made of various cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds, as well as with a plethora of personal religious, political and other beliefs.  However, overall we respect and value each other's differences as fellow Americans.  This has been evident during tragedies such as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, when we all united in mourning and work to help the affected peoples in our nation.  Our military forces are one of the best examples of unity, as they fight around the world for freedom side by side, no matter what their personal difference may be (or even genders).  In remembrance of those whom have died for our country, I pulled some quotes to honor them.

USA/Americana Paper Banner Garland
We R Memory Keepers' Banner Punch Board & Alphabet Punch Board; Martha Stewart Fringe Cutter and border punch; EK Success Star Punch;K&Company Americana Cardstock; Two-tone Tissue Paper; Tim Holtz Tissue Tapes, Distress Stickes, and ink pad; Foam Pad & Glue Stick Adhesives; Ribbon & Jute Cord; Sakura Micon Pen
Karen's Word Art Wednesday #232-233
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Make A Wish
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
~Declaration of Independence~

Strathmore Artist Tile; Mars Mechanical Pencil & Stump; UniBall Air Pen & Sakura Micron Pens; Talens Opaque Watercolors; and Prismacolor Colored Pencils.
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday - Week 230
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #365
Kristin & Eva's Paint Party Friday - Week 13 Year 6
Kim's Show Your Face
"Freedom lies in being bold."
~Robert Frost~

Coffee Cups United Under The Blue Sky
Nikon D3300 Shot Edited on iPhoto and Pixelmator
Our Beautiful World #149 ~ Cup
Denise & Roger's ABC Wednesday - Letter U
Sue's Image-In-Ing
America!  America!  God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
~Katherine Lee Bates~

May we never forget our military forces' sacrifices, as well as those made by their families.  Thank you for following my blog, as well as taking the time to leave a comment.  Peace!  ¡Paz!  ¡Shalom!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

S is for Schedule

My current schedule is overflowing with all sorts of professional and personal responsibilities.  There's student testing to be done,   School functions to attend, Church commitments to complete, personal development tasks to work on, and the list goes on and on.  When my schedule is this full, I  can easily feel overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious.  Therefore, I need to make a conscious effort to relax and stay focused.  I know I'm not the only one in this situation, so I decided to share some thoughts I find helpful.

You Cannot Control The Results
Pencil, Micron Pens, Opaque Water Colors, and Colored Pencils
Anything But Cute Challenge #13 - Celebrate Your Style
Julia's (& Jan's) What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #363
Kristine & Eva's Paint Party Friday Week 11 Year 6
Kim's Show Your Face - Head Positions
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
First, although I always strive to do my best, I need to be aware that perfection is not always plausible.  I need to remember Allan Lokos quote, "You cannot control the results, only your actions."

Summer in Mustang Island, Texas
Casio Exilim Shot By My Daughter Edited by Me on iPhoto & Pixelmator
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday #228
ABC Wednesday - Letter S
Sue's Image-In-Ing
Our Beautiful World #147 ~ By the Sea
Moo- Mania - Water
I need to make time to relax, even if it's just to reminisce on special moments.  The words in Psalm 46:l0, are a good reminder."Be still, and know that I am God."

Thank You, Jesus!
Colored Pencils and Metallic Pen
Art Journal Journey- Journeys
Try It On Tuesday - Spots, Dots and Splashes
Karen's Word Art Wednesday #230-31
Finally, I need to remember Tecumseh's words, "When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength.  Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.  If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself."

I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on dealing with hectic schedules, and would love to hear what you do.  Anyway, I also want to thank all my followers, as well as everyone who took the time to leave a comment on my blog post last week.  Peace!  Paz!  Shalom!

Monday, May 9, 2016

R Is For Relationships

Rather an introvert or an extrovert, everyone needs to have relationships in their lives, hence the "basketball friend" in the movie Cast Away, starting Tom Hanks.  Relationships can be made with family members, friends, colleagues, and even bloggers.  However,  what makes a solid relationship?

Sacrificial Love Mandala
Prismacolor Colored Pencils; Silver Gel Pen; & Stencils
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Stencil It
Denise & Roger's ABC Wednesday - R is for Relationships
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 362
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
In my opinion, Paul describes one of the best definitions of what a solid relationship should be like in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, "Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

D. F. Wallace Doodle Portrait
Mechanical Pencil; Sakura Micron Pens; Windsor-Newton Watercolors
Moo-Mania - Quotes
Karen's Word Art Wednesday - Challenge #228-#229
Eva & Kristin's Paint Party Friday - Week 10 Year 6
Kim's Show Your Face - Head Positions
I found an article by Alex Lickerman MD, in Psychology Today, that correlates with Paul's teachings.  Lickerman says that a good friend commits to your happiness.  A good friend will be honest, even when it's uncomfortable, when he/she knows it's in your best interest.  He also said that good friends will not compromise your principles in the name of your friendship.  Finally, Lickerman said that good friends will inspire you to strive for excellence.

Ceramic Doll Parts
Nikon D3300 Shot Edited on iPhoto
Our Beautiful World - OBW 146 Ceramics
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday #227
Sue's Image-In-Ing
Rebecca's Haiku My Heart
Therefore, you need a plethora of relationships to be happy - Not!  I'm an introvert, but always try to find a way to connect with people I meet.  Everyone has gifts and talents that I value and can learn from.  However, I only have a handful of people with whom I have solid relationships, such as my mother, my wife, my two girls, my church Rector, a few Church members, a couple of work colleagues, and above all my God.

What do you look for in relationships?  I would love to hear what you think.  Anyway, I want to thank all my followers, as well as everyone who takes the time to leave a comment.  I am blessed by your kind words.  Peace - Paz - Shalom!