Tag Archives: faith

a moment to breathe


Christmas eve crazy – I was in the middle of all the good stuff; the kids and the music, the cooking and the cleaning, lights and movies, Noel, oh well, and fa-la-la…

but I could feel the days and weeks of balancing sickness and celebration catching up with me…my own colours were fading as I poured out in different directions what was necessary and needed. Then I caught a glimpse of the sky from my kitchen window. And just like that, I grabbed my camera and flip-flopped out into a gale to follow the light and colour I saw swirling behind our tree line.P1250692 I kept chasing that ever-changing scene, crossing our flooded stream and holding on to the ground so that I could reach some breath-taking beauty, so that I could breathe in the wild wonder of it for just a few precious minutes…P1250701 I didn’t care about the cold or the mud or the possibility of burning cookies, I needed to be there in that place…P1250715-001to wonder as I wander once again…P1250702

A new year comes in a few short hours…most of us have no idea what it will bring. But just in case it’s crazy and busy and full of things we’ve not planned for, let us not forget to look out our window, to run to beauty – however fleeting – to get our toes in the dirt and feel this life as we live it.

be encouraged

and blessed

in 2016.








colouring someone’s story


I find it difficult to focus on my studio when wildchilds are about on summer holidays. I tend to get caught up in the sand and ice lollies, sibling spats and late nights of Kids Off School. But the month of July held two precious jewels for me, commissioned work that was very personal and challenging in a good way. Interpreting someone’s story, a chapter in their life – past or upcoming – is an honour. It comes with a “hold your breath” moment while waiting to see if you got it right, if the work connects with the person’s heart…P1250102

I made a small drawing for a woman who recently lost her mother.  The friend who commissioned the work told me this story: “…Before her mum passed away (the mother) accepted the Lord and my friend began to find butterflies all over her mum’s house. The day her mum passed away my friend found a lilac butterfly in her belongings and felt like the Lord was reassuring her of her mum’s salvation…for the first few days after the funeral people were either wearing butterflies or she saw them wherever she went…”P1250106-001

In the midst of the summer swirl, taking time to be still and focus on something so small and tender and poignant became a gift to me. Maybe you are in that same swirl of busy, noisy life?  That can be a really good thing. There is also good in the studied, focussed quiet. In the days ahead may we find time for both.

Be encouraged.




take the risk


Encouragement can come from the most unexpected places.

Art can be one of those addresses. so can a teenager. honest.

The past few weeks have been hard. I won’t lie about it. Hospitals and children should only mix at the joy of birth. No more visits after that. Ever. In the midst of our own situation, another, more urgent, child’s battle came to our doorstep. His story can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/CadenBeggan

Weary from the difficult parts of the day, I came home to the usual suspects: laundry, dishes and a dinner to cook. My 13-year-old son was elbow deep in art supplies at our kitchen table. He gave me this picture for the little one. It is his prayer, his expression of hope in a hard place, his heart for a boy fighting for life and limbs.

My head was lifted by his courage to express in a drawing what could not be fully said in words.

You may well be holding encouragement for someone right now.

Your writing, art, cooking, words, hug, song could be exactly what a heavy heart needs to soar again.

Be encouraged. Take the risk. Share what you have.

art for the warrior child


Sometimes, extraordinary things happen to ordinary things…in this case, to ordinary paint sketches. Sometimes they get the chance to speak about extraordinary truth.

I’ve posted this work before, but I have had cause to put it here again. In terribly difficult circumstances, I gave one of these prints to a mother in a hospital ward. Her beautiful 6-year-old son is fighting for his life and limbs after being attacked by meningococcal septicaemia. They need hope in a desperate situation and I just wanted to give them a tiny reminder that hope is alive for their child.

What has happened over the past several days has been nothing short of a miracle. Five days on, this child is alive when they thought he would not make it through the night. Changes have happened hour by hour. It has been a roller coaster of extremes, and there are no easy answers. But he has slowly, slowly turned in the right direction.  So I’ve made another version of the ordinary paint sketch. Because I believe it to be so…

One of the most important things is for Caden’s muscles and tissues to return to the pink, healthy colour they are meant to be. So, yesterday was deemed “pink day” for Caden. I’ve never seen so much pink in the hospital or posted onto a facebook community page. Even the nurses on the ward joined in with pink aprons as men walked around with pink lipstick on, pink flowers were put in the waiting room, and a pink dinosaur made its way in, too. Fire departments and walmart staff posted pictures of their pink day. School children and Grandmas put on pink all around the world in support of this child. The change in Caden can be SEEN, as his once black facial features are turning purple and pink again. He needs that in all his limbs to the very tips. So I wanted to express that change by altering the piece one more time:

Tomorrow is a new day – a new hour – for this beautiful, artistic, pirate-loving, warrior child

to hold steady, to move forward, to surprise the doctors, to keep on pink’n.

Whatever is going on in your life right now, my hope is that you are encouraged by this little one. And if you feel like joining in, wear something PINK! for Caden Beggan.

Please click the link below in comments to read Caden’s father’s poignant updates about his son and give your support.

these boots were made for…


Maybe up-cycling a pair of boots isn’t a high form of art, but I found the process creative and fun. This little project inspired me more than I had expected. So here’s the story:

I own an old pair of “leatherette” boots that had seen better days.

After taking them into town for new soles, I began working on giving them a new life to match.

I ordered a specialized dye kit off ebay. This company has many striking colours to choose from and it’s not expensive.

Not wanting a solid coloured boot, I chose areas to pick out first so I could go over them several times before drying.

I then swept a thin wash of dye over the entire boot, leaving several voids on purpose. The drying time was about 5 hours, which I used to blacken the heels, edge the soles and drink cinnamon coffee. When dry, I coated the boots with a soft shine waterproofing.

Now these boots speak a little bit about my life…

See, at one point I thought I’d lost my art, my colours. But then I was found again,

and I discovered that my journey was just getting started.

So I’m walking – running – crawling – dancing this season a day at a time. The pace is ever-changing but I know more now of where I’m heading, even when it is just because of what’s been left behind.

Some rain and tears have fallen and will fall again, but there is so much more to walk towards,

and I choose to walk this way well, for myself  and for those that follow after.

It is never too late to start…or even to start again…

goodbye butterfly


Just last week, it all looked so different…

The sun shone for days and the sky was drenched in blue. Butterflies flocked to our privet’s fragrant blooms the same way we would run to the beach for one last drink of summer. The colours and movement were a sight to behold, but days later wild, rainy winds shifted the landscape into a new season. Just like that, summer turned to autumn.

Our views are no less beautiful or striking, but there has been a significant change.

Maybe you are facing a change of season and everything looks a bit wild and unsure. Whether this is in your work, your creativity or circumstance, be encouraged. With new seasons come new colours – even some adventures – and wisdom for the next season…