I didn't realize how long it has been since I wrote a blog. Most of my painting blogs have been recorded at my updated website:jeremysams.com
Monday, February 25, 2013
Jeremy with "Morning At Cloudland"
Humbled...overwhelmed...Shocked! These are a few of the words to describe my emotions I felt this past weekend at the North Ridge Country Club Art Gala, Raleigh, NC. As I walked into the ball room after we first arrived, I remember thinking, "Oh my! There's some great art here...am I supposed to be here?" Honestly, I was hoping to see some mediocre art displays, since this was a juried event. Of course, every artist wants to have the nicest looking art at a show. So, needless to say, I was a bit nervous.
There were 25 pieces to be juried which were selected out of a host of other submitted artwork throughout the state, of which my "Morning At Cloudland" was picked. At the beginning of the event, Jennifer Dasal, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the North Carolina Museum of Art, (the juror of the show) announced her 1st, 2nd, and 3rd picks. My name wasn't called..."Oh well...at least I got in the show", I thought to myself. Just being chosen to be in the show was a huge honor to begin with, so even though I was a bit saddened, I was grateful just to be there among such talented artists.
Toward the end of the night, George Wallace, one of the masterminds behind the event called everyone's attention back to main stage. It was time to announce the "People's Choice Award". Elevated on the stage was a painting hidden behind a draped cloth. My wife, Crystal, nervously informs me to stop chatting with the other artists and look. "I think that's your painting!" she exclaimed. The dimensions of the painting looked like mine, but, "maybe there were other paintings the same size", I thought. I became tense, I think I felt a bead of sweat form on my brow. The drum roll seemed to last for minutes...the anticipation was killing me. Finally, the cloth was removed and there stood my painting. There I stood, humbled, overwhelmed and shocked!
We met so many talented artists and wonderful art collectors that night. It was truly a joyous experience. Below are a few pieces of art from the artists that I had the privilege to meet:
There were many more artists that we met but I failed to get pics of their work...sorry about that.
I'd like to say thank you to the North Ridge Country Club in Raleigh, NC for allowing us to come, to all those who voted for my painting, and a special thank you to God for His wonderful blessings and provision. He is faithful.
Soli Deo Gloria.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
12x9 acrylic on panel
Sorrow...it's inevitable. Job 14:1 tells us, "Man [that is] born of a woman [is] of few days, and full of trouble." Last week, we lost a dear friend. She was the piano player at our church and a real spark plug...always smiling with her own unique little giggle, and never one to back down from a friendly match in sarcasm. Carol was a real jewel of a lady, and a jewel of a Christian. She will be greatly missed.
Her passing was unexpected and a shock to our whole church family and I can only imagine what her immediate family is going through right now. No doubt, their world has been engulfed with sorrow.
The disciples of Jesus also knew full well this feeling of sorrow. In John 16:16, Jesus tells them, "A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father."
They, of course, didn't comprehend this proverb and begin to question amongst themselves what He meant. Jesus then answers their questioning hearts with a proclamation explained by an object lesson of child-birth. He said,
There is much to be said about these few verses, but the main idea that catches my attention is the fact that the object which brings so much sorrow to the mother is the same object that brings much joy. What is it that causes this mother excruciating pain and brings her to a place nearest to death? The culprit of the pain is the baby. Yet, when the baby is delivered, it is this same baby that becomes the source of joy. It's not some phase-like process as if the object of pain evolves into a totally different object of pure bliss. No, it's the same object."Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you."
To the disciples, the death, or the "not seeing me" of Christ was the cause of this extreme sorrow that was felt by them. However, this same crucifixion would be the reconciling of everyone who believes to God. Jesus Christ would drink the cup of God's wrath for all who are willing to come to Christ. Three days later, He would be raised in vindication of His own righteousness and holiness. Through this resurrection, their sorrow would be turned into, or become joy!
We can say like Paul, "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!" This object of death has now become our banner of life!
Another interesting detail is the "who's seeing who" in this passage. Notice in verse 16, twice He mentions "ye" seeing. He says, "ye shall not see me" and, "ye shall see me". However, in verse 22, there's no mention of "ye seeing" but of Jesus seeing you. Notice also the shift from sorrow to joy is after the reference of Jesus seeing you.
How can we apply this and why is it relevant? I can speak personally here...there are times when I've been consumed in sorrow...times of holding a limp lifeless child...times of financial ruin...times of abandonment...times of betrayal...times of sickness, physical ailments, etc...In all these times, it has been so difficult to be able, with eyes of faith, to see Jesus. It's as if the circumstance that is causing my sorrow and my own unbelief builds this massive solid wall between Him and me. "Lord, where are you?" I cry out. In my darkest of hours, it's as if He's hidden.
Luckily, my joy does not have to be hinged upon whether or not I can see Him. I see through a glass darkly, and my lack of faith makes my spiritual vision cloudy. No, my joy is not founded upon whether or not I can see Him, but it is foundational upon the fact that He sees me! What a glorious truth to know that the supreme Joy giver has set His eyes upon me. When I can't see Him, He sees me...when I can't hold onto Him, He's holding me! In this passage, Jesus redirects our perspective. Do we look to Him? Yes, but it is only because He has first set His eyes upon us. Do we love Him? Yes, but only because He first loved us.
Finally, we see that Jesus, Himself, is the object of the joy that no man can take from you. If we're searching for joy in anything else, it will be short-lived. If we're searching for joy in money, a simple turn of events can wipe it out. If you're searching for joy in relationships, you'll never be satisfied in fleeting emotions and fairy tale dreams. If you're searching for joy in your self-worth, you'll never measure up. If you're searching for joy in family or friends, they'll die. True joy...irrevocable joy, can only be found in that which can never again die. It is found in Solus Christus, Jesus Christ alone.
In order for this joy to be irrevocable, it can not be an object that is temporary; it must be everlasting. Only one Man fits this requirement: the resurrected Christ. Carol is now experiencing this reality face to face.. Because of the resurrection, she is now in the presence of Joy that will never die. Because of the resurrection, her joy is now eternal.
I pray that sorrow will be turned to joy for the Shackelford family in this season.
Monday, January 7, 2013
Is it ever too cold to plein air paint? If you're using acrylic paints, I suppose so...one of my last trips painting in cold weather resulted in me having to pack it up early because my brushes wouldn't move the paint due to being frozen solid with ice. This day, however, was a bit warmer. Cold, nonetheless...but not cold enough to freeze my brushes!
I had the privilege of painting with a fairly new painting group called "Triad Outdoor Painters". They meet regularly in the Germanton, NC area. Artists from Winston Salem, Mount Airy, High Point, Greensboro, and other surrounding areas are a part of this group.
Here's my final painting...9x12 acrylic on panel en plein air.