Monday, January 28, 2013

Color Me Beautiful

By Hazel Holland

I love painting impressionistic watercolor flowers and birds.
 I'm so thankful God gave us so many colors to choose from.

Rainbows of Color

By Hazel Holland

Here's another impressionistic water color painting  to
 remind us that God gave us all the colors of the  rainbow
to enjoy.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Soaring High

By Hazel Holland

  But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Healer of Broken ♥♥

By Hazel Holland

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me...
to heal the brokenhearted,
 to proclaim liberty to the captives, 
and the opening of prison
 to those who are bound."
Isaiah 61:1

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Be Harmless As Doves ♥

By Hazel Holland

While I was painting this watercolor today I was reminded of the Scripture where Jesus tells us to "be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves." So how can we be "as harmless as doves" in the way we relate to one another? 

You probably have a picture in your head, just as I do, of how Jesus related to those who knew they were sinners.  He never talked down to them.  He never spoke critically to them about their behavior or shamed them in front of their friends.  He never judged them even when He spoke truth.  He always had a gentle spirit towards them because He knew their hearts.

But I think quite a different picture comes to mind when we remember how Jesus was often cornered by the self-righteous Pharisees.  They couldn't stand the way He loved sinners.  It made them want to set traps for Jesus.  They wanted to harm His reputation because they were jealous of the way the crowds followed Jesus instead of them.

Scripture reveals how Jesus was "wise as a serpent" when He dealt with the treachery of these religious leaders, but "harmless as a dove" when He talked to sinners.  He knew the hearts of the self-righteous were closed to His love, but not the sinners who followed Him... 

So let our words be kind and gentle and filled with the love of God.  And let our spirits be as harmless as doves.

See Link: Gentleness  

Monday, January 21, 2013

God's Garden

By Hazel Holland

 I painted this watercolor with wet tissue paper and water
 soluble wax pastels.  It's rather busy, but I intended it to be...

As flowers in God's garden we're supposed to bloom where we're planted.  The Gardener decides where to plant us and what our position and purpose will be.  Some flowers have a beautiful fragrance and exquisite colors, while others are rather ordinary and provide ground cover to hold down the weeds. 

Some flowers are delicate and flimsy, while others are sturdy and solid.  Some flowers are tall while others are short.  All flowers are different.  Some end up in bouquets for special occasions, while others are given by small children as gifts of love...

Whether you are wild or cultivated, you have a purpose.  Whether you are a rose or a buttercup, a lily or a morning glory, you have a destiny to complete.  If you are a spring flower then bloom and announce the end of winter.  If you are a summer flower then bloom until the first snow falls.  Whatever kind of flower you are in God's garden, bloom at your appointed time, and give joy to everyone who passes your way.

Transformation in Him

By Hazel Holland

After I painted this watercolor, I felt God's Spirit 
moving on me to share about how He transforms us...

Have you ever sat and watched a butterfly struggle for several hours to force its body through that tiny hole in a cocoon?  After awhile it seems to stop making any progress at all, and appears that it can go no further... 

I remember the first time I saw this I wanted to help the butterfly get out.  But my grandmother quickly cautioned me that this was not a good thing to do.  I learned that "helping" a butterfly emerge from his cocoon was not a kind thing to do because its body would then remain shriveled and its wings withered.

The wings would never open and expand and become firm.  They would never be able to support the butterfly's body.  The butterfly would spend the rest of its life crawling around with a withered body and shriveled wings.  It would never be able to fly!

What I did not fully understand as a child is that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get out of it was God's way of strengthening the butterfly's wings.  He was making them ready for flight once the butterfly achieved its freedom from the cocoon.  

The butterfly's struggle to emerge from the cocoon is exactly what is needed for it to become the creature God designed it to be.  It's destiny was never to remain a caterpillar, but to be transformed into a healthy and beautiful butterfly.  

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in life, too.  They make us strong.  If God allowed us to go through life without any obstacles to overcome, we would become weak and crippled.  We would never be able to fly!

So God allows difficulties to cross our path because they provide opportunities for us to grow.  He knows that we will emerge from our struggles far wiser and with a courage born out of pain.  His purpose is for us to live life the way He designed... in freedom.  

Our destiny in Him is never to remain a captive, crippled by fear, but to be transformed into His image.  He has given us wings to fly so that we are free to love others as He has loved us.  Yes, we were born to fly!
(Note:  I used wet tissue paper and water soluble wax pastels to create this picture).

Click here to see a larger image of the painting!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Beginnings

By Hazel Holland

It's been years since I showed children in the classroom how to paint using colored tissue paper.  So I thought I'd try some tissue paper art today because the ladies in one of my my art classes wanted to know how to do it.  After I used the wet tissue paper to lay down the main colors, I used water soluble wax pastels to outline and fill in some of the details .

You may wonder why I chose butterflies and flowers as my subject matter in the middle of winter.  I guess because I'm already looking forward to the spring...even though it's still many months away.  

Although I enjoy waking up in the morning to find another layer of snow making everything white, I still remember how beautiful green grass is.  I look forward to spring flowers and butterflies.  I look forward to these new beginnings.  But for right now I'll bloom where I'm planted.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Islands of "Grace" in a Sea of "Works"

By Hazel Holland

 As islands of "grace" in a sea of  "works" may our lives
demonstrate the mercy and grace of God to others.
  In the midst of a sea of works-based worldviews
 may we as believers in Jesus Christ become
 conduits for God's love in 2013.