Sunday, December 28, 2008

Psalm 1 Thoughts

If you occasionally check on this blog then you know, "If I can see it I can understand it." This is why I approach the Sunday sermon as a search for visual clues - ways to illustrate the morning's message. This started years ago when my two little boys (now grown) used to sit in church on either side of me and try not to wiggle too much. I helped them sit still by trying to draw some picture from the morning message as they looked on. I found out that this practice was not only good for them, but good for me too.

This morning Pastor Harrop spoke from Psalm 1. "Psalm 1 presents a clear choice..." This is the picture that came to mind as he spoke.

Foamcore Model

Lately, for fun I have been building a foamcore cross-section model of the Rome Coliseum. I teach an introduction to Technical Drawing course at our high school. Each student must build a foamcore model of a home they design. This year I decided to build something too. Since visiting Rome in October I have been rather fascinated with the Coliseum. The designers and builders were truly ahead of their time!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mistletoe Makeup

The other day I wrote the "rest of the story" about the mistletoe (see below). To make up for that bit of fun I am re-posting a drawing I did about a year ago of mistletoe. I like the effect I achieved with this drawing. I used lines to outline the object - the rest of the shading was done using only dots from my pen. I used a uniball signo rt get 0.37 pen.

Basel Munster Sketch

I started this sketch yesterday - standing in the Basel Munsterhof. If you are familiar with this spot (some of you are), the Munster (cathedral) is just to the right of this drawing.
I finished this drawing from memory at home where it was warm.

Coffee quietness during shopping season

A quick sketch from...where? You guessed it. Starbucks. It's amazing how you can tell these places no matter where in the world you are.

This was sketched in the lower floor of one of the Starbuck's shops in Basel. Sandee took a picture of me while I made this little drawing.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mistletoe Anyone?

Growing up in Ohio, I never knew what Mistletoe was. I knew it was involved in a Christmas tradition: something about kissing under a little sprig of the stuff, but still I didn't know anything about the plant itself.
Then I moved to SW Germany. One winter day I wondered, what are all those round green balls in the trees around here? That was the day that I learned about mistletoe.

At the risk of upsetting this cute little Christmas tradition with the "rest of the story"...the fact is mistletoe is a parasite. Mistletoe feeds off of host trees.
I took the photo above through an upstairs window of our apartment this morning. Mistletoe grows in trees and can actually kill its host - hows that for a nice Christmas thought? I'm not a tree hugger, but those trees in our neighbor's yard could use a hug. I can almost hear them calling for help. :-)
The other day I told our student body the truth about mistletoe - cruel I know. After telling them about the little plant, I challenged them to not be "takers" like the mistletoe plant, rather be "givers" like Jesus was who came to give life and life more abundant. (John 10:10)
And then I told them, "The next time someone tries to coax you into kissing under the mistletoe, tell them, "Personally, I would prefer not to stand under a blood-sucking, low-life, vampire plant, but if you insist...ok."
Have a great Christmas - look for me somewhere far away from the mistletoe.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sermon Thoughts

The passage is Galatians 3:23-29. I always say, "If I can see it, I can understand it". Here is a quick way to visually represent what I understood from the passage our pastor spoke from this morning. I can "see it" now - can't you?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My love

I just felt this urge to draw today - so I sketched the most beautiful thing in my world - my wife Sandee! She is gorgeous if I do say so myself. This was fun to do.

I gotta find a better way to scan my sketches. I am not happy with the scan job - too grainy. By the way, this sketch is quite small - only about 10 by 10 centimeters. Fits nicely into my moleskine watercolor notebook. I love the feel of the pencil on this paper.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


This morning our Pastor briefly mentioned Rudyard Kipling and his poem "The Elephant's Child". He had a photo of him up on the screen - for about two minutes. As quickly as I could I sketched Kipling and his big black moustache. I love that face.

I included a bit of his poem. The pastor mentioned this as a lead-in for addressing the issue of "Why we believe what we believe." We are in Galatians chapter 3 and studying law and grace.

Special Music

We were graced today by some special music in church this morning. A small ensemble of string players played a wonderful worship chorus during the service. I did a quick sketch of one of the violinists - Evan Fung. He did a great job - not sure that my sketch is that great, but it was fun to try.