Egg Decorating In An Artists’ Home

Easter Eggs

Happy Resurrection Day from Loveland! I’m going to put up this quick little post on behalf of my hubby, Scott Freeman, because he wanted to share our egg decorating tradition with the world this year. Decorating Easter eggs is something we have done since we were both in art school, way back in the 1980s. We blow out the insides of the eggs, through tiny holes, and decorate the shells. We’ve been saving them for all these years, though plenty have broken by now.

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Easter Eggs

Rooster egg by Scott

It seems Easter eggs are somewhat out of favor with some branches of Christian believers these days. There are notions about eggs and rabbits linked with false “gods” and such. Scott and I have made a careful study of these topics in past years. We did this partly out of curiosity, and because we just like to know stuff. We also did it because we both have a deep interest in being close to God, and living in a way that pleases Him, as much as we can. We feel that the main way to do this is to love Him and people. However, as artists, we sincerely wish to use our gifts to honor the God for whom we profess to live. Would you like to know what we found out?

Easter Eggs

A couple of eggs I painted

"Jonah" egg, by Scott

“Jonah” egg, by Scott

Easter Eggs

Humpty Dumpty and Cat eggs, by Scott

The most important conclusions we discovered are elaborated in this post (click here) from Scott’s blog, “Art And Life Notes,” which is also a WordPress blog. Suffice it to say that there is ample evidence to conclude that eggs are a part of the holiday not because of any link to any “god” at all, really. It is likely that there were simply an abundance of them to be eaten on Easter, for reasons which I do not fully recall. Some theorize that folks were not eating eggs during the season of Lent, so the eggs piled up. In any case, there is really not a shred of evidence that the traditional use of eggs was about pagan fertility, unless you count a lot of Christians saying that it’s “obvious.”

pug egg, by Scott

pug egg, by Scott

In the meantime, we continue to decorate eggs, and to enjoy doing so. I have posted several photos Scott used in his Facebook post, so you can take a look. If you are into egg decorating, Scott and I would love to see what you’ve been up to, too!

Abiding In The Vine

It’s Independence Day in America, and I’m wondering how it got to be this late in the year. July 4th is kind of a big deal here. We are celebrating the “birthday” of our country, the day upon which our famous document, The Declaration of Independence, was signed. I grew up watching community fireworks celebrations, and I never missed a single year until recently. It was pouring rain in our town, so the festivities were postponed for a day or two a couple of years ago.

 

"Grapes" by Mollie Walker Freeman

“Grapes” by Mollie Walker Freeman

So, how did it get to be July already? The thing is, I seem to always be sideswiped by the month of May. Do the dozens of concerts, plays, induction ceremonies, awards ceremonies, graduation parties, bridal showers, birthdays, etc. in May make you feel your are on a carnival ride and cannot get off? That is how it can feel to me.

This May, we had a crisis thrown into the traditional mix. My husband, Scott had his appendix burst, and spent about a week in the hospital. The day of his surgery was the day of my kids’ dress rehearsal for a concert, as well as my daughter’s receipt of a “letter,” neither of which she was allowed to miss for any reason.

"True Vine" by Mollie Walker Freeman

“True Vine” by Mollie Walker Freeman

I managed to keep myself together, with the support of my family and friends, during this time. But, all the stress and insanity of schedule eventually took its toll. I was stressed out!

In times of intense stress, it’s good to be reminded that I am not alone. We are not alone. I had the opportunity to paint in a couple of church services during May and June. Both times, I felt inspired to paint grape vines. In the book of John, we are told that branches which bear fruit will be pruned, and this is a good thing. Come to think of it, it did sort of feel like someone was whacking away at me! Jesus also tells us that remaining (abiding) in the vine (God and His love) is the only way to bear fruit. He also calls us “friends.”

my grapevine

This is the grapevine in my garden, laden with small, still-green grapes.

Sometimes it’s not so easy to remember just how close God actually is. That He actually invites me to live “in” Him. Thinking about these verses and what they mean has helped me through this difficult time. Now, my grape vine is producing grapes. Every day as I walk through my garden, I can be reminded of the True Vine, my source of life.

 

 

Art Mission Trip Sale

"Waiting" by Mollie Walker Freeman, 20" x 26" on board

“Waiting” by Mollie Walker Freeman, 20″ x 26″ on board

Art sitting in my studio is not usually seen by many people, and so, I like to get it into the hands of someone who will enjoy it. When I know that one of my paintings is hanging in the home of a friend, even if I’ve only just met this person (a new friend, then) I am satisfied that it is fulfilling its intended purpose.

This spring, I have the opportunity to help make some art that has the potential to be seen by many people and to have a positive impact on an entire community. In fact, it is possible that this piece of artwork could influence multiple communities that could use some encouragement.

"Grace and Truth" worship painting by Mollie Walker Freeman. 17" x 25" on board

“Grace and Truth” worship painting by Mollie Walker Freeman. 17″ x 25″ on board

My husband and I plan to participate in a mission trip to a small town in the South where poverty and racial tensions have cast an oppressive shadow for generations. We will be working with citizens of the town to create a mural that features images from the positive and uplifting aspects of the community, along with a series of words like “Hope,” “Courage” and “Impact.” We will be working with a church from our hometown, as well as churches from the town which is hosting us.

"Unity - A Prayer" by Mollie Walker Freeman, 30" x 30" on canvas

“Unity – A Prayer” by Mollie Walker Freeman, 30″ x 30″ on canvas

Of course, this mural alone cannot be expected to effect the change that folks are wanting. This project is part of an on-going relationship between our 2 towns, and between numerous churches and individuals. We are all learning from and encouraging each other, because in these days of inter-connectedness, we are able to be a help to each other in greater ways than ever.

"Throne Room" by Mollie Walker Freeman, 20 1/2" x 26 1/2" on board

“Throne Room” by Mollie Walker Freeman, 20 1/2″ x 26 1/2″ on board

Over the past couple of years, there have been town soft ball games, picnics, camps for kids, and all sorts activities with a focus on building relationships and making the town a place where people can feel welcome. There have also been plenty of practical projects, like getting hundreds of kids outfitted with school supplies. And I have the feeling God’s just getting warmed up.

"Hiding Place" by Mollie Walker Freeman, 22" x 28" on canvas

“Hiding Place” by Mollie Walker Freeman, 22″ x 28″ on canvas

In order to pay my travel expenses, I am selling the paintings I have created during worship services. I’d like to say that I’m offering them at a special price, but that’s not exactly the case. I always sell these paintings at a “special” price, because if a person believes that God has reached him or her through the painting, and wants to own the painting for that reason, I want this person to have the painting. So, my prices for these pieces are “suggested.” I have taken as little as $50, and as much as twice my asking price. I tell people that what they pay for the piece is between them and God.

"Gardener" by Mollie Walker Freeman, 24" x 30" on canvas, gallery wrapped (does not need frame)

“Gardener” by Mollie Walker Freeman, 24″ x 30″ on canvas, gallery wrapped (does not need frame)

What makes this opportunity a bit different is that I am extending this offer to you, my readers, as well. I will sell any of the paintings posted here for any price between $50 and $400, provided that you ask God what you should pay. He has always provided my needs, and I trust He will continue to do so. This is my way of funding a trip to help others, so if you purchase a painting, that is what you will be contributing to. Do keep in mind that I will also need you to cover shipping costs if you do not live within driving distance of northern Colorado. (I should mention that these prices are far below my studio work, because it is painted much more quickly.)

All of the paintings in this post are unframed. Some are painted on composite board,  some are on canvas. All are done with re-purposed house paint. Sizes are noted.

If you would like to participate in this fundraiser, please send me a message by commenting, and I will answer you. Thanks!

Together- Why The Church Needs Art

Let me first be clear- this is my opinion. Because my husband is also an artist, he and I have had this discussion on more than one occasion. “People don’t need art,” he will say. “People need plumbers and teachers, food and cars, but not art.” My opinion is that people need art, or rather, any people group cannot sustain itself without art. It’s an interesting topic to which there may be no definitive answer; but this post is actually about a slightly narrower topic.

"Together- the Prayers of the Churches" worship painting by Mollie Walker Freeman. The different colors represent different churches, and the smoke is the Biblical idea of incense representing prayer.

“Together- the Prayers of the Churches” worship painting by Mollie Walker Freeman. The different colors represent different churches, and the smoke is the Biblical idea of incense representing prayer.

I think that the church needs art, perhaps now more than ever, if we really want to reach the spirits of the people who set foot in our buildings, as well as those we touch in the community at large. We could debate the word “need.” However, if you are familiar with the Biblical idea of “the body” (the church universal), you will remember that each part is considered essential- eyes, hands, head- you get the idea. Along with this idea is the recognition that each person is given certain “gifts” by God, and that each gift can be used for the benefit of other people. Each is important.

What may be less obvious is that the first spiritual gift actually mentioned in the Bible is during the construction of the first tabernacle, when God enables Bezalel to make all sorts of things from bronze and other materials. He was the first mentioned artist, which I think is really cool!

Now, we have music and art in churches, and this is certainly not new. What is new is that we humans are overwhelmed with input via media and technology. One result of this is that when you take the average person, especially one who is not particularly inclined to sit and listen to someone stand on a platform and talk about anything for any length of time, and expect him to engage with a long church sermon, his eyes are apt to glaze over.

I know this first hand because, although I am interested, indeed, in nearly every potential sermon topic, my eyes are also apt to glaze over. I’m tired, sleepy even, and I’ve already been inundated with media, no matter what the time of day.

"Grace and Truth" worship painting by Mollie Walker Freeman. Done at Resurrection Fellowship during a service with a teaching about grace and truth, from the book of Revelation, by Pastor Jonathan Wiggins

“Grace and Truth” worship painting by Mollie Walker Freeman. Done at Resurrection Fellowship during a service with a teaching about grace and truth, from the book of Revelation, by Pastor Jonathan Wiggins

Art has the ability to reach past the language (intellectual) part of the brain and go straight to the soul. And it is truly amazing what people tell me and other artists who serve in churches about what they “see” in the pieces of artwork. (This happens with music and dance, as well.) Sometimes, the artwork can set off a whole chain of thought that can bring about forgiveness or healing of some kind or peace about a situation. My firm belief is that it is God who is directing this phenomenon.

The 2 paintings I’m posting today are very recent (one from this weekend). Numerous conversations resulted from these works, valuable interactions. Ultimately, church is all about relationships. I think art makes possible communication and relationship on a deeper level.

Do you have experience with art that is spiritual in nature? I’d love to hear your thoughts.