Gorilla House LIVE ART: February 13, 2013

Peter: The Man God Uses

David Go writes more eloquently about this issue than I do, so I hope that you will be led to click the link above titled: Peter: The Man God Uses.

I consciously decided to offer up my painting over the Lenten season as lessons/offerings/praise experiences to our Lord.  It began last night on Ash Wednesday at the Gorilla House.  As a part of the under painting that I whipped up at home, I included a few collage items…one, a vintage image of Superman, the Gospel reading from Luke.

Luke 5:1-11

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

5 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,[a] the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

…and finally, the face of a noble king.  I threw my stuff into the van and off I headed to the Gorilla House.

I was so happy to see Cheryl; friends, Gillian, Kelly, Lauraine, Wendy and several first-time artists at ‘the house’.  It was also really special to have hammered dulcimer music played live throughout the evening by Tomko Lamb!  Wowsah!  The sound on this youtube video does not, in any way,  capture the sound that we enjoyed in ‘the house’ last night, but it may give you some idea.  If anyone has something better, I’d love to post it.

The three themes of the night were,

1. “Somehow we became friends” from Solipsist by Henry Rollins
2. Sun shower
3. Plow from the Book of Symbols

I had already decided to paint from the heart and not from the head.  So…

In my nautical piece, the waters of the sea become agitated and then, crazy-wild…that’s what life is like…and then, like the upper left quadrant of the painting, the calm and beautiful sky is gradually exposed, offering hope to the sailor, hope of respite and peace.  I’m hoping that during this Lenten journey, I can show kindness…and patience.

Since the announcement of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, there have been reactions worldwide…some sensitive and others inappropriate and in poor taste.  I am going to simply pray for that peace that I write about when I write of the waters.  Global unity and peace will only be possible when we grow in respect of our neighbours.  I hope to be an exemplar of that.

P1090533 P1090534 P1090536P1090545

Some other goings-on at the Gorilla House.


Harold’s work on exhibit at the Gorilla House.


Harold, refurbishing fandango art.


Cheryl and Kells with all the other WOMEN!


Broad strokes for a start…

Lane Shordee, Installation Artist, hard at it!

Lane Shordee, Installation Artist, hard at it!

Jess puts her 'heart' into embroidery here.

Jess puts her ‘heart’ into embroidery here.

My dear friend in art.

My dear friend in art.

Precious friend...painter...singer...all round amazing lady!

Precious friend…painter…singer…all round amazing lady!


The Escape to Egypt

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Escape to Egypt

13After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, 15and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.”e

P1080984 Art Work by Grade Two Students

Lectio Divina: John 15:5

I am the vine; you are the branches

Looking Around, Believing    
by Gary Soto 

How strange that we can begin at any time.
With two feet we get down the street.
With a hand we undo the rose.
With an eye we lift up the peach tree
And hold it up to the wind —  white blossoms
At our feet. Like today. I started
In the yard with my daughter,
With my wife poking at a potted geranium,
And now I am walking down the street,
Amazed that the sun is only so high,
Just over the roof, and a child
Is singing through a rolled newspaper
And a terrier is leaping like a flea
And at the bakery I pass, a palm,
Like a suctioning starfish, is pressed
To the window. We’re keeping busy —
This way, that way, we’re making shadows
Where sunlight was, making words
Where there was only noise in the trees.

Psalm 139: 1-18: Lenten Lectio

Years ago, while studying to become a Catholic, someone gave me the book, Psalms Now.  It was a terrific prayer experience at the time and quite honestly, the Psalms have provided me with tremendous support during difficult times, over the years.  The Psalms provide a story for us all, our story…one of jubilant celebration and one of struggle and pain.   I experience empathy, the empathy of Jesus Christ when I connect with the Psalms and sometimes this isn’t typically available from the world.  In this case, Psalm 139 causes me to reflect on myself as a vessel…a sacred vessel.

 My days, all of them were written in Your book; the days, they were formed when there was not one of them (Psalm 139:16).

Lenten Lectio Divina: Psalm 139

John 17: Underwriting

It has been a very restful Easter break and I’m grateful for the time I’ve had to enjoy the landscape…the water’s edge…the hills of Calgary…the vast endless Alberta skies.  I’ve also been more in touch with the inner landscapes that are me…just as profound in a spiritual sense as the outer landscape is profound in the physical sense.  It’s been a marvelous exploration of both landscapes.

Lectio Divina sketching/praying…sitting on the red couch…heaps of collage materials and pens, joyfully responding to biblical text.  The first layer to the sketch is here.

John 17 Sketch

This is a detail of the script.
26 And I have made known thy name to them, and will make it known: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me, may be in them, and I in them.


Another Day in Paradise!

Our Gospel reading last Sunday was from John 1: 35-43.  Jesus asked me, “What are you looking for?”  And all week, I’ve been thinking about my response to that question.  As the temperatures plummet to -37 degrees with the wind chill, I feel really warm inside!  I am feeling that the liturgical year is anything but Ordinary!  For me, life IS another day in Paradise!  I know!  I know!  Life continues to deliver its worries and its concerns, but around every corner is mystery and plenty!  I do not take the abundance that comes with living in Canada, for granted.  I am thankful, every day.

I continue to be neck-deep in chaos, here at home.  There is so much to be done in order that there is a sense of calm in this space.  Right now, there is a sprawl of disorganization, but very gradually, bits are advertised and given away via freecycle and boxes full of stuff are delivered to the Women In Need shops.  Slowly, there is a sense of space in the cubbies, drawers and closets as I minimize the sheer numbers of objects surrounding me.  I am looking forward to achieving a sense of peace for my children and me.  I am looking for a sense of peace.  I am looking to bring a sense of God’s light and presence to the world.  I am looking to begin with me.

Phil Collins

She calls out to the man on the street
“Sir, can you help me?
It’s cold and I’ve nowhere to sleep
Is there somewhere you can tell me?”

He walks on, doesn’t look back
He pretends he can’t hear her
He starts to whistle as he crosses the street
She’s embarrassed to be there

Oh, think twice, it’s just another day for
For you and me in paradise
Oh, think twice, it’s just another day
For you, you and me in paradise
Just think about it

She calls out to the man on the street
He can see she’s been cryin’
She’s got blisters on the soles of her feet
She can’t walk but she’s tryin’

Oh, just think twice, it’s just another day
For you and me in paradise
Oh, yes think twice, it’s just another day
For you, you and me in paradise
Just think about it, just think about it

Oh Lord, is there nothing more anybody can do?
Oh Lord, there must be something you can say

You can tell by the lines on her face
You can see that she’s been there
Probably been moved on from every place
‘Cause she didn’t fit in there

Oh, yes think twice, it’s just another day
For you and me in paradise
Oh, yes think twice, it’s just another day
For you, you and me in paradise
Just think about it, just think about it

It’s just another day
For you and me in paradise
It’s just another day
For you and me in paradise

It’s just another day
For you and me in paradise
It’s just another day
For you and me in paradise

It’s just another day
For you and me
It’s another day
For you and me

It’s another day
For you and me in paradise
In paradise

Tuesday’s Collage: Tree of Life

Progress is coming along as I have finished the application of Cycle B of the liturgical readings and have begun Cycle C.  I will use this cycle of readings for the embellishments of the root system at the base of the tree and for the detailed branching reaching up and around the crowd of angels, created by my students two years ago.  I am feeling happy that I will be painting into the piece after another three or so sessions of collage!

A New Main Branch

Tuesday’s Collage:Tree of Life

Rooted In the Tree of Life

Ongoing progress on the mural…this is a very time-intensive phase of the project.  I have about 20 pages left of the second cycle of liturgical readings and then the entire third cycle to apply.  Last Tuesday I had thought I was coming to the end of the third cycle.  S’ok. First,  I’m giving the base of the tree the visual weight required to create a sense of strength and rootedness.  The third cycle of readings will be used to develop the branching in a very filigree sort of approach.

Detail With Exposed Reading


The process feels similar to other detail work like knitting, embroidery or weaving.  The work is very painstaking, but ultimately the project shows quality and care.

Names of the Baptized: Included Slowly Over Time

To This Point: Two Hundred Names


The beginnings of layered scripture will also create depth and meaning in the piece, all connected with the themes of ‘naming’ and ‘baptism’ as I explore the notion of our inheritance.  It was a beautiful and contemplative time in the St. Anne’s room.  I thought of my own children throughout the afternoon.

Scriptural Passage: Matthew 28: 19