The “Talk” …


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You know what artists usually do best?

CREATE!

We are good at using pictures, colors and textures to convey our thoughts and feelings.

But in order to make those creations relate able to our viewers we need to do “The Talk”.

“The Talk” often fills artists with anxiety.

I think this anxiety partly comes from a fear of not being able to clearly and adequately express in words what we have already expressed on canvas.

It’s that old adage that a picture is worth a 1000 words.

I think it’s more accurate to say that some things, some experiences can’t be fully described in any other way but artistically and even then the art form used may still only be grasping at the coat tails of those experiences.

Then add in the problem of subjectivity, how you see and I see will be different.

Even how we perceive the same colors will vary from person to person and at this point a lot of Artists will take a hard pass on that “Talk” because they are scared to put themselves out there for fear of rejection.

Who can blame them, Society today places an emphasis on living life on fast forward click that thumbs up button or angry face and move on.

But we were made for so much more than that.

Imagine if we took time, actual time not just a scroll through to get to know someone, to learn from their experience and to share yours to actually interact with each other.

Can you imagine what the world would look like if we saw people, individuals for who they truly are?

You see friends I’m a Christian Artist not just because I believe in a Creative God but I believe in his creative process and that’s you.

You! Each and every one of you is a beautiful work of art and you are living a life that I’m not and there is value in sharing those experiences with each other.

And that is why I am doing “The Talk”.

It may not be as eloquent as I’d like, it may fall short of describing a particular piece from my original artistic vision, but I firmly believe there is value in our interaction and I’m willing to risk getting up in front of a crowd of people to share it with you,  so I hope you’ll take the time to join me.

To our shared experiences!

Cheers,

Amanda

My Exhibit “Blue Pomegranate” will be on display for the month of June with the official meet and greet happening on June 11 at 7pm and the Artist Talk happening on June 14th at 7pm at the ALFA (Alberta Lottery Fund Art) Gallery for “The Talk”  The gallery is located in the heart of the Sherritt Cultural Pavilion at the Dow Centennial Centre 8700 84 St, Fort Saskatchewan, AB T8L 4P5

Exhibit Hours
Thursdays & Fridays
11 am – 2 pm
Also open during performances at the Shell

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In progress


Nothing is a better word picture to me of the relationship of God with humanity than that of an Artist preparing for an exhibit.

You see right now I sit in my studio surrounded by a ton of artwork “in progress” as I get ready for my upcoming solo exhibit in June.

Each piece needs something different to turn it into the artwork I had intended it to be. Some may just need a few changes here and there while others maybe so off course that whole sections need to be gesoed and started over so that piece can be transformed into it’s intended image to show at the exhibit.

Friends that’s what God wants for us. We are very much his artwork, his works “in progress”. He wants to smooth out those rough edges, fill us in with full color and transform us into the individual beautiful masterpiece he intended us to be ready to exhibit in front of heaven and earth while proclaiming “it is Good”!

I know the thought of handing over those rough areas on our canvas to God to gesoe over and paint over can seem daunting. We’ve often been so accustomed to seeing them there that we can’t picture it any other way but God knows what you were made to look like and though there may seem to be pain and fear in the process, there is always Joy in the transformation. So whatever God might be nudging you to let him work on in your life remember be brave and fearless and trust the Master Artist because friend you will be more beautiful and so much closer to the masterpiece you were made to be when he’s done.

Amanda

June Solo Exhibit: Blue Pomegranate


Just one month away is my latest Solo Art Exhibit “Blue Pomegranate” I’ve been busy working away on art for this special exhibit.

In addition to the set up I will be hosting a Meet & Greet on June 11th and an in depth artist talk and demos of my process on June 14th at 7pm I’ll be posting the event pages for these shortly but wanted to give you the heads up!

I really do hope you’ll come out, see the art and chat with me on one or both of these dates 🖌

Wedding of the Lamb


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So sometimes paintings just seem to happen. I’m going about my business and then a canvas kind of screams at me and the next thing I know I have a new painting on the go. That’s exactly what happened with this painting. I wanted to do a lamb piece to go with my series of Biblical inspired animals but I hadn’t planned this lol.

I sat down one morning and it just flowed out of me by the time lunch had come the layout was complete and that’s the way this painting kept evolving. Every time I sat down it was a whirlwind of creation and the next step would be complete. It’s crazy how God can use my talents for his purpose. I thought all along that this would be an Easter piece and I thought for the longest time I would call it “the Passover lamb” but the more I painted and embellished and layered and texturized the more it seemed like it was a celebratory piece. Not a pre-cross sacrificial painting but a joyful conquered death let’s party type of painting and so what’s more jubilant than a wedding.

So here the lamb is clean and radiant. The flowers are in bloom, he is crowned and gleaming wearing his bridegroom clothes of covered in song and ready for the church his bride. The work has been done and now it’s time to celebrate.

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Each sets of words woven into the lambs wool is a hymn title, I emphasized the trinity by crowning in in triplicate “holy”s on his forehead.

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He is clean and pure adorned in gold and sparkling rhinestones that flash and glimmer in the light and he seems to radiate and glow.

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The birds who fly and adorn him with music singing are gold and jeweled but pale in comparison to the light surrounding him.

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New life grows up from his feet and even the earth is growing with hymns embedded in it. I did a double emphasis on “art” along the bottom of the piece because I do believe God enjoys art and to be praised through it as I’ve spoke on in previous posts.

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And finally the lambs position of facing straight out at the viewer was intentional because Biblically we as Christians make up the body of the Church, and the Church is the Bride of Christ so here the Bridegroom, Christ is looking at us the Church on his Wedding day as through him we are made pure and holy and most assuredly ready to celebrate.

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I used a large variety of materials to create this painting including genuine peridot stone chips, rhinestone crystals, gold leaf, paper clay, modeling paste, acrylic, oil paint sticks, beads and old choir music / hymns.

I’d love to hear what you think of this painting or any of my other works. You can comment below or email me and I’ll be happy to respond.

Cheers,

Amanda

Broken Hearted-the Golden lining


 

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The problem with the human heart is it’s so damn fragile, like an egg.

This whole human experience of dealing with other broken humans leaves scars on us.

So when we enter into a relationship as two broken individuals, that doesn’t mean we complete each other and that we magically fill in all the blanks. Don’t believe me?

Try taking two separate broken eggs and fit them together without causing further damage or without spilling any yolk. It doesn’t work. Cracks will worsen, more damage will ensue and things will get messy.

That’s humanity.

And let me tell you, I am one broken egg.

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You see all along for this painting I had this image of this light shining out of a broken heart just like that children’s song “This little light of mine” based off of Mark 4:21.

This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine,
Let it shine,
Let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine
Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine
Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine,
Let it shine,
Let it shine.

If you’re like me you’ll have that stuck in your head all day now. You’re welcome haha.

Anyway, I wanted this piece to be a testament of my love, trust and faith in God. A light shining out of my heart illuminating the way for others to be healed, to understand humanity’s brokenness and the need for an all loving, all forgiving Abba, God.

However, God is Good at using us in these moments to shed light on issues that we need to address and in this moment, this painting, He stepped in and said “Amanda, you haven’t let go of this. You’re being tight fisted about these past hurts and you need to open up and share to be healed.”

It’s not that I didn’t think God could help me through it because I knew he had brought me to where I am now and had already blessed me and rebuilt so much of my life. It was more that I didn’t want to deal anymore with those things.

You see I had spent a lot of time and energy trying to fix it myself, but despite my best efforts to crazy glue, duct tape and cement that sucker back together it was still broken, so I gave up, I dug deep and I buried it so I wouldn’t have to deal with it ever again.

But dammit, it comes at a cost and that debt was starting to come due. I had walled off part of me, buried it deep to protect myself from the past and future hurts, and I never once realized how much of me I had shoved down that hole with it. And I was scared. I was scared to let it out, I was scared to be hurt or broken again.

I mean my shell was just barely holding together as is. If I pulled it out from that tomb I buried it in, I might break beyond recognition. But man, God has a way to fix the un-fixable and nudge us toward his image of us. So here I am, heart in hand, broken into a million pieces handing it to God to fix and do you know what HE brings to my mind? Two things.

#1 Kintsugi.  Kintsugi is Japanese and it translates into “Golden repair” and is a centuries old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with a special gold lacquer as a crack filler. God was reminding me that He was the potter and I was His vessel and that there is VALUE and BEAUTY in those cracks that make me me. Just because I was broken doesn’t mean I was irreparable and to be discarded. It didn’t even mean that God’s love and my faith in Him would make me perfect and flawless. No. it meant that He would use my brokenness, highlight it in Gold, draw attention to it because it’s those Golden cracks in my shell that are the true value, the true testament of what God has done in my life.

And

#2 He reminded me of the purpose for those shining broken seams in Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” You see, that’s the true miracle, the true testament of God’s love. Can you image sitting there patiently repairing something so broken with something so valuable as Gold? It seems inconceivable, but you are loved and valued that much by the one that made you. You are worth the time and effort because once God is done, you will gleam, radiate and shine a true testament to His craftsmanship.

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This painting is gritty and cracked and the inside is flawed but shines with Gold because inside that is exactly what God is doing in my life and is the truest testament I can give. If you pass over your brokenness, God will repair you, the vessel he loves and values. I am proof, because I’ve traded in these broken pieces for beautiful healing golden repairs: Abandonment, Rape, Neglect, Abuse, Depression, Suicide, Loss, Divorce, Anger, Fear, Infertility and Loneliness.

It’s easy to want to lock away the past and the pain, but God can use my golden highlights to help shine hope to someone else. You may be broken now, but you are loved and you are valued and this is not the end; you will glow again!

xo- Amanda

Behind the Brush


I wanted to take a minute and share with you a bit more about my creative process and what goes on behind the paint brush. I know you’re not used to me speaking in “word” form much but I thought it was time.

If you’ve been following along at all, you’ll know that I identify as a Christian Artist.

So what does that mean? And why not just say Artist?

Well, I’m a Christian AND I’m an Artist.

These are the two main characteristics that form my identity.

(I mean if you want to get technical, I’m also a Woman, a wife and a mother)

So how does the fact that I’m a Christian influence and impact my work as an Artist?

Well, every Artist has something that inspires them, something that drives them to create.

For me it’s my Faith.

I am inspired by a Living God who created and values me.

 

So in return, I TRY to live my whole life, my whole self as His and that includes what I do with my paint brush. But that doesn’t mean I have to paint 101 portraits of Jesus, or illustrate Bible stories or create Sunday school materials.

I don’t have to dumb down, dull down or dilute my Art.

I can create genuinely, I can make a statement, I can be Abstract BECAUSE I Am a follower of God. I was made in HIS image and the Creator of the Universe has given me the gifts and ability to create.

I don’t take this commission lightly and I won’t narrow my scope because of what people think a Christian Artist should look like or because artists don’t neatly fit inside the Church (yet). We don’t all have to be the same.

Have you seen the wonders God has created? Have you seen stars, the cosmos, have you seen the level of biodiversity around us, the microscopic creations. Have you seen the variety of people, of personalities, of life.

God did. And He said it was GOOD.

So hey, I’m good if He is 🙂

I try to share my relationship with a Living God with you in my art and as I get to know Him better, day by day that relationship changes, grows and matures and impacts my Art process, subject and mediums used.

 

Some pieces are representational and have recognizable form and symbolism while others are completely abstract. This dichotomy of styles I feel is good in keeping with this approach of faith + art. Why you ask? Well simply put, we as finite humans have trouble grasping the fullness of an Infinite God.

So sometimes I translate my experiences into symbols and recognizable form in my finite way, while other times, I try to stretch outside myself and grasp onto a tiny piece of the infinite to share with you in abstract form. My works are inspired by my encounters with God, how he’s leading me in my life and making me more in his image. While other pieces are inspired by Bible stories, sermons and specific verses as I experience them. This variety of subject matter is also why I enjoy creating using a variety of materials and textures. Just like you don’t like to eat or wear the same thing everyday I don’t like to be tied down to one method to create.  This diversity of materials and versatility of process enriches my art and is a more genuine reflection of who I am as a person.

Well, I think that’s enough for now.

How’d I do? lol

Do you feel better informed? Good 🙂 I’ll expand on this more but for now I need to go back to the creating part.

Cheers,

Amanda

Where to find me on the Web & Where to buy my ART


If you’re looking for more Art content you can find me sprinkled across the world wide web at these locations.

Like and Follow me to keep up to date on what I’m making and where I’m exhibiting! 😊🎨

🎨Instagram at milke.amanda for a photo collage of all my in progress creations.

🎨Twitter at amanda_milke for featured art, musings and whatever else has struck my fancy that day

🎨Facebook at Amanda Milke Artist for all my in progress art, art classes and exhibits. You can also msg me here and purchase art or arrange a commission 🖌💳💱

And Finally for all your shopping needs my new

🎨🛍Etsy Art shop where you can purchase all my ready to hang artworks which more being uploaded on a regular basis.

Check it out at Amanda Milke Artist

You’ll find paintings & Gifts like these listed for sale

So when you think the blog is slow you can get your Milke Art fix at one of these locations while you patiently or not so patiently wait for more of what goes on behind the paint brush posted here.

Cheers!

Amanda