Green without 'Green'

Elena's Greens
12" x 9"
pastel on Wallis paper

I taught a class last week on how to paint greens without using any actual green pastel sticks. Instead I layered a lot of turquoise, cobalt, cerulean and ultramarine blues with gold, yellow, yellow-ochre and pale orange to arrive at 'green' colors. In the course of the painting I used almost every other hue in my palette, except true green. This exercise helps illustrate the almost unlimited palette of colors you can derive from using what you have creatively.

Isn't that a lot like life with the Lord? When I look at what He's given me, the talents and giftings from Him, the experiences I've lived through as I've grown to trust Him, there's every reason to be confident that I have everything I need to accomplish what He gives me to do. It's just that sometimes He may ask me to make new and different "mixtures" in order to arrive at an outcome, instead of falling back on my old tried-and-true methods.

Lately He's taken away from me a few of my old reliable methods and means and asked me to be open to new leadings from Him. We've left the church we attended and have loved for almost 11 years to move on to something new. He's taken away from me some things I'd grown quite confident of having at hand, a lot like that range of green pastel sticks that I put aside last week.

I'm not to plunge in and willy-nilly mix things up just to get moving, but to wait for Him to show me what He wants of me. If it's to be 'green', and I have no green sticks, He may ask me to try a few new mixes to see the results. I very much enjoyed the creative challenge of making green without green, and I think the painting above is successful as a composition, with a good range of values and interesting details. But the highlight of the piece is the color green, which is in actuality a product of the process used to arrive at it.

As am I.

This child of God is a WIP (work in progress) but it's good to find yourself in the hands of the Master Creator.



  1. sehr schön, tolle Farben.
    Gefällt mir sehr gut.

    Viele Grüße Werner

  2. Translation of above post:

    Very beautifully mad colors. Pleases me very well.

    Many greetings Werner

    Viel Dank!
    (Many thanks!)


  3. The interesting thing about your greenless painting is that it is actually more vibrant than it would have been if you had used a couple of different greens. There is so much variation...and that is like God too. To make something prettier than we can imagine when we use His methods.

    Great post.

  4. I agree, Stevie. He's the Master, after all.

    And thanks...

  5. Deb, what a wonderful exercise for your students, and I love the results. Elena's Greens is truly beautiful, as are the thoughts in your post.

    I saw a nice review of your blog and art on Katherine Tyrell's "Making a Mark" on Sunday. (It was in her 3/14 post under Art Blogs/Landscape.)

  6. I was fun, Mona, and I think we all got a lot out of it. I know it was a good review for me!

    Katherine has been most generous to mention both the book and the gouache blog. (And thanks for clarifying things about the comments there!)

  7. I really needed to read this tonight. He is calling me to some new things and it helps to be reminded that He will equip me with all I need. Thanks. :)

  8. Yep, Deb. He equips the called... It really helps to remember that, doesn't it? :D God bless!

  9. Oh--and I didn't even know it was St. Patrick's Day until now. How appropriate to post something GREEN! LOL

  10. Such beauty and more strength to face new challenges comes from a strong base faith, evident in all your work, Deborah. :) This exercise in color mixing is priceless.

  11. Thank you, Cindy. Try this experiment sometime. It was enlarging for me! BTW, it's so nice to 'see' you again...


  12. I love this post and it's so timely for me to read. I too have just left the church we've known and loved for 11 years - since my daugther, now 14, was 3 years old. I am in much the same place as you describe in this post. Read my latest post of a few minutes ago if you would like. I think we might be kindred spirits LOL Sisters in Christ for sure!

  13. Deborah, I read your blog, far more than just the last post, and I agree that we are surely kindred, and definitely Sisters in Christ. (I'm the older son is 23.)

    I felt your recent sabbatical speaking to my heart, as well. I'll take that up over there, however. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  14. I just discovered this blog. How beautiful to find something that touches on two of my great loves...Our Lord Jesus and art. Thanks for sharing your insight and incredible talent, Deborah. I look forward to learning to tap into the Spirit and bring Him out in my work.

  15. Hey, Mary, welcome aboard. I'm delighted to meet another sister in the Lord!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Who's Your Daddy? by Priscilla Shirer

Peace After Sorrow

God's Word is Good