Morning Beach/Art Highlight

Have you ever walked a beach in the early morning, and seen the pink in a sunrise shimmering off the water? Its quiet moments like that I live for.

When I can’t find them in my own life, I like to paint them into being. Morning Beach is an example of such a moment. I was looking for quiet in the middle of a house gone mad, and here I found it.

Morning Beach is also another example of my early works. It is one of the first pieces of other artists in my social group. It was such a boost to hear their encouraging words. As I was and still am growing into my art.

Originaly painted on canvase papper in acrylic paint.

Prints and other products are available at my Redbubble Shop.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Prairie Sunset/Art Highlight

I have never been afraid to show my artwork in all its imperfections. Prairie Sunset is another of my early works inspired by a photograph taken by my friend Jason Shepard. I love being able to look back and see the growth that has happened in my work. I am not ashamed of where I have come from. We are all beginners once.

The absence of fear in showing what I can do in the place and time I currently stand has given people the chance to share in the joy of my art. I love to share it. I love to show you what can be done if just start, try, and keep going.

Originally painted on canvas paper in acrylic paint.

Prairie Sunset prints and other products are available at my Redbubble Shop.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Butterfly/Art Highlight

Today I would like to highlight another work.

I painted this butterfly as a practice piece for a larger painting, for my Mother. One of her favorite things is butterflies. It was a huge test of my abilities as my first painting at home, and not in an art class with an instructor. The original is quite small, and was how I learned my natural ability to paint bugs. I find joy in the tinny details.

I chose to make this early work available at my Redbubble Art Shop for sentimental reasons. My family enjoys access to artwork that is meant for them, and being able to choose what products to have it printed on.

Butterfly, originally painted on canvas paper, with acrylic paints.

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Grandpa’s Bee/Art Highlight

Today I would like to share with you all an early painting of mine.

Grandpa’s Bee was painted in memory of my grandfather, John Miller. He was a carpenter, farmer, and beekeeper.

I decided to upload this little guy at the request of some of my family members. I love how I am able to share him with all of them, though my art shop.

Flowers continue to be something I struggle with in my paintings, as as this is an earlier piece, it’s not my best. But that is okay. I am not about perfection, especially when there is meaning behind a work of art.

Grandpa’s Bee, the original, was painted on canvas paper, in acrylic paint.

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Six Word Stories (27)

I have always loved the simple things in life. A nice sharp crayon. A heavily weighted paper.

Yet the latter never belonged wrapped around the other, even in my child mind. I would unwrap each individual crayon so that the whole could be used for making my pictures.

As an adult, I am learning how to unwrap my own label and use all of me.

I would also look for the darkest part of the driveway, or church parking lot to scribble out my creations in calk. They just never looked as good on the light gray of normal cement slabs.

Contrast is still important. It helps us see details we would otherwise miss.

The way you look at things makes all the difference. It’s not about changing truths, but seeing what God really intents for each of us. If I believe he has had a plan for me since the dawn of time, then every mark, stain, and wrinkle has been accounted for. He WILL use all of them.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Black Capped Chickadee/Art Highlight

Black Capped Chickadee by: Mary Grace van der Kroef.
Original painting is acrylic on 12in stretched round canvas.

This week I have a new design available at my Redbubble Shop! I am really proud of this one. I had been eyeing up some round canvas paintings an acquaintance of mine was creating, and decided to ask for some at Christmas this last year. My husband obliged me, and this is the first put to good use.

I have proven to myself that birds are something I am gifted in painting, but flowers are different. I usually struggle with getting the depth I desire, or the delicate details my mind is picturing. This is an example of one of my best attempts. I am proud of it, so am excited to make it available for other people to enjoy.

Black Capped Chickadee is available on over 70 different products though the Redbubble Shop.

Six Word Stories (23)

It’s the little things that decide weakness or strength. It’s the unguarded places that erosion starts. Mountains are raised by pressure and flattened with quakes, while water and ice brake walls.

Humans crack under pressure, our pieces scattered.

I am learning not to fear the brake so much. Because I have seen the art in mending.

The laws of science are the laws of God. He is the Author of their workings. He wrote the plans and mixed the elements.

He poured His spirit in to my chemistry. Now watch me change.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photos sourced from Pixabay.com

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December Night, Art Highlight

I am excited to introduce you to my second new design of the year. “December Night” was painted in early 2020. The poem was written in December of the same year.

I felt the two belonged together, though I didn’t plan for it when the small original was painted. I chose the first two stanzas of the original poem fit best with the painting.

I have made it available on 72 different products via my Redbubble Shop.

All profits from my art are used to fund future publications and the blog. Thank you all for your continued interest in my writing and art.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Are You Scared of Creativity?

All humans have the spark of creativity. Some of us revel in it, and some of us hold it at arms’ length. Some of us even try to squelch it in our fists as if it was a bug we could squash, or a flame we could douse.

Have you ever done that?

I have.

Why do we do it?

Because creativity is not safe, and it scares us.

Why does creativity sometimes scare us? A few reasons may be fear of rejection, fear of inferiority, or fear of breaking rules.

When you share your creativity, there is always a risk that whoever you share it with, won’t get it or be able to appreciate it. It’s for each individual to decide if that risk is worth it.

We have a choice weather we hide our creativity from others. But that’s like placing a lit candle under a bucket. We should share creativity, at least with those who love us.

It is also a sacred thing. Creativity demands our energy. Inevitably, the creator will endow the project with a part of his or her self. It’s painful seeing our work rejected, as it’s painful being overlooked, or rejected as people. But I believe the risk is worth it.

Do you?

It’s also possible we are just not as gifted in our chosen art form as we wish to be. Other’s might outshine us. We may fail in front of the world.

I urge each of us not to let this fear stop us from practicing our creativity. Every great creative was once a beginner. Everyone will find someone more talented.

You know what? That’s okay.

Whether you gain great acclaim in your art, or not, your creativity has merit. Often, it’s the doing that blesses and not always the end product. We can bless others as they watch our progress, no matter how slow that progress may be. It can light the spark under their own creativity. Don’t stop doing what gives you wing just because you’re not the best at it.

Sometimes our creative takes us to places that push boundaries. We may have heard, “no you can’t do that, it’s not allowed.” Or been told that something makes us incapable of practicing this creativity. Be it cultural rules, religious rules, or something else, this can and is devastating. Dare we break those rules? Will we risk throwing the definition of norms out the window?

This is a personal choice. Are there moral reasons rules are there? Are these moral rules just? Honestly, human beings aren’t always fair with the rules we place on ourselves and others. It’s necessary to question rules and why they are in place, especially when they limit human creativity.

As we question these rules, and weigh the need to uphold, or brake them, I hope bravery, truth, and beauty prevail.

What will you do this week to practice creativity? Tell me about it!

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Mary’s Redbubble Shop

He Keeps Me, Art Highlight

This week I released a new design at my Redbubble Shop.

He Keeps Me Brave Products

He Keeps Me is a blending of my art and poetry, and shares the same name as the painting. You can read the full original poem here.

This design is available on sixty-six different products. From t-shirts to mugs, stickers and greeting cards to full size posters, there is something for everyone. All profits from my artwork go to funding publications and website upkeep.

Thank you!

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