Thursday, August 27, 2015

...While Visiting the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia

Beyond My Mountains
Oil on Gessoed MDF Panel
12 x 12
This piece is titled, "Beyond My Mountains." It is from an experience I had while visiting the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. It is meant to depict the feeling of joy when moving through something --whether spiritually or figuratively.

Such an amazing view...

Once we all got out of the was pure perfection.

What was your last "take your breath away" experience?

Friday, July 31, 2015

Be creative while on vacation: 10+ tips

"Taking it All In"
Oil and Acrylic on panel

Yeehaw! Can you be creative while on vacation? 

My Experience 
My family visited central Wisconsin this week and we went horseback riding for the first time. We took a tour along a scenic route in Mauston, Wisconsin at Red Ridge Ranch. It's about 20 minutes from the Dells and away from the touristy stuff. The scenes were just perfect for invigorating creativity.

© Antonia Ruppert
While walking in unfamiliar surroundings, I saw such beauty all around. Do you ever close your eyes and soak it all in when you experience such joy? Later, as I started to paint, I noticed the trees were doing a little dance in the wind. This piece "Taking it All In" is birthed out of that moment.

After taking it all in this week, I wrote a list of things you can do to stay creative while on vacation.

10+ Tips
  1. Take notice of local plants and flowers you might not see normally. I saw this arrangement this week while walking.
    © Antonia Ruppert

  2. Bring a pad of paper or sketchbook along.
  3. Use the sketchbook with limited tools.
  4. If you paint, use a limited or different color palette.
  5. Try a different way of crafting, cooking, exercising, etc.
  6. Change the layout of things- it will loosen you.
  7. Notice beautiful things that are similar yet different -- that sunset may be a little redder than back home. Here is one I saw this week.
  8. Use downtime to revisit goals and values.
  9. Catch up on that devotional book or Bible study you've meant to do.
  10. Practice reflection on all the things you're grateful for.
  11. Begin or end the day with a prayer of gratitude for your life.
These have been helpful to me. I hope these help you too. I would love to hear your own ideas in the comments below.

Joy and peace!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Flow Paintings: Paintings I Paint to Music Within

Do you have a song that plays in your head over and over?  I do. It seems I'm always singing or humming. Music just takes me there, you know? These paintings are my response to music within. I call them flow paintings...because they simply flow out. 

"Bold and Beautiful"
Oil on Panel
©Antonia Ruppert
"Breathing in Joy"
Oil on Panel
©Antonia Ruppert

"Joy is Within"
Oil on Panel
©Antonia Ruppert

Here is a sprinkling of the music that I have played while painting - 

  1. K'Jon - On the Ocean  - it plays over and over...
  2. Paul Bolache - Praise is Rising
  3. Colorado Mass Choir - Stir Up the Gift
  4. Judith McAllister - Halle Halle Hallelujah  - I can't help but dance in worship...
  5. Lamar Campbell - More Than Anything
  6. Youthful Praise - Lord You're Mighty
  7. Kim Walker - I Exalt Thee
  8. Lord, Do It - Hezekiah Walker
  9. William Murphy - It's Working
What music do you listen to? What influences your work? I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Good News Post!

Saugatuck Journey of Light
Mixed Media
©Antonia Ruppert

This is a quick Good News Post!

I'm super thrilled as I write this. My proposed piece - "Saugatuck Journey of Light" has been accepted by the Arc Hotel which is being built in Muncie, IN. I am thankful to God for the opportunity and for my friend Bill who let me know about it.

Oli's Pets
Acrylic on Panel
©Antonia Ruppert
This piece came together this week to a great response.  This is what I was told, " are is beautiful...I knew you would do an amazing job...God bless your hands woman!" 

Rough Patch
Acrylic on Paper
©Antonia Ruppert
This piece is something different for me. Very. I was surprised at the playfulness and freedom of it.  I put music on and my paints and this is what happened.

So thats it. Good news all around.  Thank you for joining me here!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Spending Daddy's Day Without Dad? - Some Inspiration

"Robert Lee James"
©Antonia Ruppert
Graphite on Paper
This is all still new to me. This spending Father's Day without my Dad.  I know my friends LaTanya, Laura and Bruce can relate....

Perhaps this is the path for you too this Father's Day.  In any case, I want to invite you into this moment with me--this inspirational/celebratory moment.

Remembering the Inspiration
First, I recall as a young girl watching Daddy come home from a hard days work and draw.  I was delighted by what he would create with just a pencil, paper and eraser. I thought to myself that one day, I’d like to draw like that too.

Remembering the Celebration
Second, I remember how over the years, I utilized Daddy or the feelings about him for creations.

"Real Men Read" - Markham Public Library, Markham, Illinois
Latex and Acrylic Paint on Wood 
(Bench Constructed by Ursich Construction)
"Daddy Daughter Day"
©Antonia Ruppert
"For Lauren"
© Antonia Ruppert

For the "Real Men Read" bench for the Markham Public Library in Markham, IL, I utilized photos of my Dad for the figure on the right. Additionally, this painting, "Daddy Daughter Day" shown below shares a closeness I experienced with my Dad growing up.

After completing the painting above, I received these words on my Facebook page:

My name is Lauren... and my mom is Mia...I wanted to thank you for the BEAUTIFUL painting of me and my dad. It was so special. I couldn't have dreamed a better birthday gift...It's brought me to tears a few times already and I've only had it a few hours.

I lost my dad at 3 so that didn't give us much time for pictures together so my collection is limited. But now I get to look at us together everyday. There's no words to describe what that means to me. Thank you for your time and work. I cannot wait to display it in my home forever! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Can you believe that the impetus for this started when I was a little girl watching my Dad draw?

Over the years, Daddy seemed interested in my work and what new project I was working on. His last words to me were “Toni, keep doing what you are doing.” Since I did not know they were the last words, I cherish them all the more.

I celebrate these moments...

What moments do you have to celebrate?
How might you express them today?

I will leave you with this song and a concluding encouragement. 

No matter if this past Mother's Day, this upcoming Father's Day or the next birthday is challenging, I encourage you to create for your loved one. Make a song, a rap, a dish, a painting, a poem, a journal entry...

Feel free to let me know how it goes in the comments below.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

New Art + Persevering

Jennifer Strong
Acrylic and Mixed Media
©Antonia Ruppert

This painting was started some time ago. However, I was not able to finish it. Do you have projects like that?

I finished this piece by working on it about an hour at a time.  Each session brought me closer to my goal:  to show her perseverance and faith.

Determined, indomitable, tough, tenacious and faithful- these all describe Jennifer Strong. Created with many special items including acrylic, cloth and oil pastels, this piece is a reminder that you can do all things through Him who gives you strength.

$445 + s/h

Prints of this art work available on Fine Art America

Sunday, May 10, 2015

For Moms Whose Life May Not Be a Fantasy

"Julia - Standing Strong"
©Antonia Ruppert
Mixed Media Acrylic and Oil Pastel on Panel
Do you remember what two shows were on Saturday night TV in the 80’s? I won’t make you strain to remember.  They were Love Boat and Fantasy Island.  I bring them up to remind you of the endings—always perfect and wrapped up in an hour.  Though in real life, circumstances are not always a dream, I’m learning from other moms that one does not have to wait to be faithful. 

Don’t Wait to Believe
When I talked with Dee, she shared how she came to trust God with her children.  She recalls being anxious when her first daughter went away to college.  She says she cried - she was so scared.  At some point, she was assured by scripture when Jesus says he had not lost one(John 18:9).  She always goes back to that key verse.

Additionally, when her second daughter’s right side went limp while running track, she knew something was wrong.  She could not get in to see a specialist for her daughter for 6 months.  She remembers thinking, “Really Lord?’  The scripture that encouraged her was John 11:4 (But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death…”  Her daughter’s condition was eventually diagnosed and managed. 

 “God is amazing,” Dee says. He carried her through.

Don’t Wait to Worship
While getting to know Julia, it became apparent that she is a true worshipper. If you only knew her story, you'd understand her exuberant praise.

After suffering a stroke in 1995, she promised she would be a better mother.  Having a stroke brought her family closer to her.  God brought her through the slow journey.  That is why she praises God so much.

"Tina (Attentive and Faithful)"
©Antonia Ruppert
Mixed Media Acrylic and Oil Pastel on Panel
Don’t Wait to Laugh
As I painted Zoraida we could not help laughing and talking. 

Zoraida shared with me the funniest story about her children.  They were about  six and three at the time.  One day , some friends of her mother showed up to visit her. In her excitement, she forgot to offer them anything-no water, cookies or anything. This was something she often did when friends stopped by.  

After talking for a bit, her small children appeared with the tray. They had placed  real glasses and everything on it.  They walked in with juice spilling between the two of them. The three year old asked, “Do you want juice?” in Spanish.  But she said it wrong since she was just learning , both English and Spanish.

Zoraida smiled and laughed as she recalled this memory.

"Hannah Remembering" - progress
©Antonia Ruppert
Mixed Media Acrylic and Oil Pastel on Panel
Don't Wait to Remember
The funny stories continued when I talked to Hannah.

She recalled a day when her husband was home with their two year old, Marcus. When she returned home, Marcus came downstairs with a substance on his face and arms.  Hannah thought it was poop all over him and started freaking out.  She did what every mom would do. She smelled it, etc., but there was no scent.  She went upstairs and found what he’d gotten into.  what she saw made her laugh.  He  had found a stash of cheetos and coffee(was it ground?).  He had dipped the cheetos into the coffee and ate some and smeared some. 

It’s one of those stories you remember with laughter.

Thanks to all of the mothers who have shared their stories with me.  I am headed today to my church New Life Community Church to worship.  As part of the service for Mother's Day, folks will be able to see twelve paintings from my series.  Here is a sneek peek at the installation: 

Portraits of Motherhood
 Installation view at New Life Community Church (Melrose Park, IL)
©Antonia Ruppert
Portraits of Motherhood 
 Installation view at New Life Community Church (Melrose Park, IL)
©Antonia Ruppert
In conclusion, I am learning so much from my painting series.  No matter what mountain you are facing, no matter what battles you’re fighting - you don’t have to wait.  No, this is not the Love Boat or Fantasy Island.  But, what I’m learning from other moms is that one does not have to wait to be faithful. You can believe, worship, laugh and remember.  Now.

Who do you know who'd love to see this post? Thank you for using the share buttons to post on Facebook, Google + or where ever you hang out.

Happy Mother’s Day.