Summer Self Portrait = Meanderings While Sweating

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I sit in the heat of summer with my familiar perspiration making my face glow. (If only the models would realize that sexy shine comes from SWEAT.) The windows are open this evening, fans pushing air through the house. I have come to love the heat of summer permeating the air of my home. I choose open windows over air conditioning. What began as stubbornness a few years ago has become my preference. I was tired of giving my money to the electric company as their rates continued to rise. Now I am thankful.

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Each day this summer I awaken and run a load of laundry through the washer. Then I retreat to my art studio with espresso in hand. My Bible opens and I soak in God’s amazing and living Word. I feel it penetrate to that inner chamber, that same chamber that was once sealed shut. Now the doors are flung open hungry for more truth, more love, more life. And I am ready for this day ~ whether gladness or suffering comes my way, my foundation is beneath my feet.

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The temperature rises, the laundry flaps and snaps on the line. Through the open windows I can hear the birds, the loud song of the cicada, the poetry of the cottonwood. When I step outside I am not struck by a wave of heat. The warmth of summer has already permeated my home and my bones. The out of doors beckons me. I no longer dread what summer has to offer, but embrace it. As I wash dishes the sweat runs off my head dripping as the steam rises from water. As I pull weeds, the sweat rolls down my chest. Dirt is in my fingernails. Ice cream is prepared, mosquitoes slapped. It is hot. It is summer.

amanda ∞



Artfest caused yet another shift within me. Surrounded by such beauty and so many others who think in ways similar to me, I felt that if I did have a place I fit on this earth, I had found it. I have never felt more comfortable around so many people I’d just met. Just being around so many other creative minds gave me such confidence in my own path. I envisioned and set goals, became more firmly established, found more of my self.

Now I am back to my “normal” life. Taxes and traveling over the weekend have caused me to push into high gear to get several much needed projects done while still maintaining the balance with homeschooling and my husband’s business. I feel a mellowness setting in where there once would have been stress. My dreams and goals are pushing me past this time of “catch up” to that of grand plans in my art studio.

I will share more fully over the months about specifics, the classes I took, the exciting things I learned. Until then enjoy some of my Artfest Art Journal filled with treasures from other artists and the outpouring of my thoughts.

amanda ∞


ArtFest 2009
ArtFest 2009

I did it. I sent in my registration for Artfest 2009 early Tuesday morning. I feel so brave.

And now, anticipation.

amanda ∞


This is the first page of my Moleskine. The concept for this page is from Sarah Whitmire at Caspiana and her Soul Journaling prompts. Written in sparkly gold gel pen over the green paint are the words:

This book contains TRUTH! If you are not ready to receive, this book is not for your eyes. No Judgment Allowed. Remove your lens and look through mine.

The Bible text is Ephesians 6:10-20. I glued the knight over the gesso and painted it red (washed in Christ’s blood), then glued the Bible text down, painted green over the red except over the knight (new life in Christ), and then used white gel pen to detail the red knight (Christ’s holiness and purity covering me).

It has been a week since our last meal served at VERONICA’s Voice. While I was really busy throughout the week catching up on Latin and life, the reality of this loss seems to just be hitting me. I feel as though there has been a death. My heart is grieving. I feel I am going through the stages of grief in a minor way, been through detachment and anger, and now depression. Although not truly depressed, I am feeling quite reflective and lonely. Right now I just need a shoulder to cry on, just one long good cry, so I can release this grief. I need to share all the details of what is hanging in my mind. I completely trust that God has all the details worked out, and everything will work for His glory. Right now I’m just dealing with my own tender state.

You’re probably thinking, “Oh my gosh, lady. You were just serving lunch. What is the big deal? Get over it and enjoy your free time.”

So here’s a struggle of mine on occasion, like right now: I would love to pour my heart out and let you all know all the details of why this is so difficult for me, but that might put others in a negative light. Where do I draw the line? Even if I were to tell one friend privately, where would I draw the line? How much is okay to share? Nothing, probably. If that is true, do I just absorb these emotions? If I absorb them now, how will they reveal themselves later?

Tender. Reflective. Aching.

amanda ∞

If I were a cat…


amanda ∞

Demons transformed

Yes, I read a stack of books at a time. I just got done with One Hundred Demons by Lynda Barry. What an excellent book. I was inspired.
One Hundred Demons
At the end of the book Lynda challenges the reader to draw their own demons. Although it was not intentional, while I was working on my art journal, the demons came out of a doodle. I listened to what they were telling me. They were anger demons. After telling me where they came from, they transformed into something beautiful, something nurturing.


The nests were mouths, and if you look carefully, an eye and nose can be distinguished on the right side.

I’m really enjoying the results from the Artistic Alchemy Workshop. It has been so fun, but I have been getting little sleep. I don’t want to stop the flow.

amanda ∞