Saturday, November 18, 2017


One minute. Subject. Site. Painting on easel, bungee cord. Friday noon. 
Double click images to enlarge details.

 Yes by Karl Marxhausen
Acrylic on 70 lb acid free paper
Plein air
November 17, 2017

Friday, November 3, 2017

gray smudges on knuckles

The country drive last Sunday began "the stir........"  
Monday after running errands, I stopped by Lincoln Lakes "to stand ...... and be. listen. feel the sharp air on my face. silent, hoping for a response."
I began a checklist. Dug out my padded overalls. Would my body still fit in them?? Pulled the heavy backpack with paints and supplies out of storage.
Tuesday I checked off the overalls. It was a squeeze with my tummy, but I fit. Went out with the hand saw and for my new past time, hand sawing tree trunks that lie out in the yard. Each in various stages of being cut. It is more of an exercise for me to do, rather than a task to accomplish. An exertion to keep my mind sharp.
Wednesday the paint kit was moved into the cab. The easel in the back. For a time to come.
Friday the sun remained out long enough for me to "go look. pull out the backpack, set up the easel, hunt and locate the bungee cords. telescope the legs out. stand and observe. locate the graphite.. and sketch."

Orange road cones are stationed around me as I draw from the creek bridge on South Ely Street. Sunshine. Nip in the air. Clear sky. November. And the promise of an overcast afternoon. ... An hour passes. I regard the creek on the west side of the bridge. Another day for that, another time.

Today it goes well. How will my body respond tomorrow? this stretching and lifting, bending and moving, climbing up and down out of the cab. Another check off the list, taking down the easel, carrying supplies back into the cab, lifting, placing. Gathering the cones. Off down the street.

Ely street meets West Lincoln Street and I stop by a green field with trees aflutter and a house nestled beneath its boughs. At last I find a fallen branch and mark the place I want to come back to. No sketch. Jotted thoughts on a paper squatch in my pocket to remember by.

On the shore the easel and drawing pad secured with bungee cord around back. All set.
A sullen monument of bleached tree ascends to my right. A far tree bank across the lake. Two houses peeking out from behind way up there. The breeze cold, the sunshine bright, the sky still clear blue. Bright yellow green algae. This place I hope to return to and paint.
Less than an hour I am satisfied.

Piling all into the cab. Easel hoisted. Graphite retired. The smudges removed with a clean moist baby wipe towel. I return home. My eyes roam through the passing tree trunks to backyards and houses tucked away in the wood. The spark bursts. Houses tucked away in the wood. A concept to come back to.

Here, I have finished posting the photos and typing the text, and the weather report proves to be true. The clouds have rolled in and the sunshine has left.

Thanks for reading it. It's time for lunch.

North central Missouri, central United States, North America, planet earth.


Monday, September 25, 2017

stopping to think

Remember Me when you do this.  
A sip of wine and the crunch of bread. These bring to mind the intimate involvement of my living Savior. The One who found me and makes my mind to know his wondrous activity every moment of every day in 2017.

His blood poured out for me from his physical death. His body nailed to wood till he died. His body entombed. His body brought to life to live on and on as all God and all Homo Sapien. He did this for me.

An artist is moved.
She is led to nail various sizes of hardware onto a burnt section of wood. Nails indicate where His feet were. Where His hands were. The nails remind her of people both past and present. She thinks about her own resistance. How easy it is to say no to God. This too is part of the story. What Jesus means to her. Why He came.

Other artists do the same -- they listen, they are moved, they plan a design, fingers and eyes move with precision. This kind of art draws minds to the Lord. Stopping to think about Jesus can be called prayer. It is worship. It is liturgical. We stop and think about what He is drawing us into. While I walk, while I sit, under a tree, in a yard, in a car, in a church, by myself, or with others. The One I love.

His ability to change hearts and minds. His ability to cancel debts. His ability to show mercy to me. His strength and kindness and intelligence. Instructions for amino acids to fold over in a specific sequence for each specific protein within every living cell. That I can know HIM. That is awesome!

wood - glass - formica - elmer's glue - joy - design - celebrate

The space for such creating once took place in the basement of Brommer Hall. It continues on in the basement of Jesse Hall. 

With funds from a donor the Center for Liturgical Arts now has its own new building at 540 North Columbia Avenue in Seward. Ground broke just four months ago. Already a building. What a wonder.

Three minutes. Concordia University president Brian Friedrich.

Actually the original vision happened about right here. Today, you long term Seward residents know: the house was green, almost the shade now covering the outside walls of the Center. In here lived for many years, Dorris and Reinhold Marxhausen and their children Karl and Paul.  Brian Friedrich

What the Greeks said to the disciple Phillip: "Sir, we want to see Jesus." John 12:21

Former Marxhausen family residence at 540 North Columbia in Seward.

 Harvey D. Lange, Associate Professor of Theology, 1972 yearbook, p. 86

Carol and Harvey Lange, Concordia Teachers College, 1976 yearbook, p.106

Reinhold on his studio deck working on welded sculpture piece 
for Hope Lutheran Church in Park Forest, Illinois, 1966

 New Forms for Worship item by Marxhausen, 1968.
Paint on Morrell ham lid.

Reinhold Pieper Marxhausen, Professor of Art, 
varnishing New Forms for Worship project 
in Art Annex basement, 1969

Professor Marxhausen design, July 1970, 
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod conference, Denver, Colorado

Those in attendance of building dedication September 22nd.

Seven minutes. Director Mark Anschutz shares two stories for the center.

Those two families, the Lange - Marxhausen family, started this marvelous idea of the Center. Now ideas take a while to start and to flourish. And that's what happened. It took years and we don't know exactly when things happened but the Spirit moves. You know the Spirit loves creation. It moved at Creation, and was in Creation, and I believe the Spirit moves over the Center. So, when I think about that moment, when these two men out on that deck were talking about THIS, they didn't know we would be in a building. They didn't know how we would reach across the ocean. They didn't know what God had planned for THIS, but they were MOVED BY THE SPIRIT. And the Spirit also led me here.      Mark Anschutz

Mark Anschutz oversaw the new property to keep portions of the Marxhausen inspired landscape. Such as the path to the Reinhold and Dorris Marxhausen studio. He matched the exterior color to the green that was on the Marxhausen front porch. Various trees started by Dorris Marxhausen continue to flourish, a couple a persimmon trees, and a marvelous giant ponderosa pine along the Lincoln Street side.
Thank you Mark for your love and dedication. He preserved and showcased the original front door, next. Which my father glued piece by piece, then burned portions with a torch, then wire-brushed, and at the end waxed down. It has a loud metal doorbell which rings loud when you pull the porcelain knob.

Six minutes. Harvey and Carol Lange
A six year program with funding for each of those years. Sufficient to hire a part-time worker who would design a proposal for congregations to enhance their sanctuary for Christmas or for Easter. And this person would take this design to teacher conferences or pastor conferences. And would also talk about the potential for liturgical art --- The first hired person was Mark Anschutz. Here we are fifteen years later. Would you believe that this proposal would lead to fabricating a 72 pane glass stained glass wall. 20 feet tall and 80 feet across. And all those pieces of glass fabricated here in Seward. And then packed and shipped to Hong Kong, where they are put in place. Harvey Lange

One minute. With gratitude to the Lord.

News spot on Channel 10 of new center

Photos and videos of dedication by Karl Marxhausen
Additional photos courtesy of Mark Anschutz, director of the Center for the Liturgical Art.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

string arrangement

The theme advances in the art room of Carrollton Elementary School, in Carrollton, Missouri. The classes that began on Wednesday in Ms. Jan's art room have something NEW to enjoy. Compare Vertical Color Tab #1 (2014) and Vertical Color Tab #3 (2014) to "String Arrangement (2017)." You will observe similarities. This time I am interested in putting thin colors end to end. Diagonal strands floating across vertical lines appears again.


Two minutes. First strand was red. Soon a dozen red strands. Then a yellow. A second yellow. Thin tied around thick. Standing back to see the whole arrangement. More trips to the bin of yard in the supply closet. Some lines attached with Tacky Glue. Sticks fast, quick. Easy. Then strands placed up high as I could reach while standing on a chair. Creating depth - placing some close to the wall, still suspended. Others hung from the ruffles of weaving that leaned outward. A gentle embellishment.

North wall behind the teacher's desk. Kraft paper weaving (2013) 5 feet by 10 feet. String Arrangement (2017) is the lower fringe.

Will the students notice it at all?
Ms. Jan tells me they will.

Excuse me. 
She has asked me to
dangle the cloth fish
and the colorful paper fish
from the ceiling in her art trailer
over at the second building.

Yes, I will.

Friday, August 11, 2017

University of Nebraska Art Alumni reunion

You were in the same sculpture class I took under Thomas Sheffield.  Duane Grosse
Friday night at the closing reception Duane Grosse remembers me. He has a sculpture, a cylinder of carved marble on a large organic section on tree. The bottom of which is gnarly bumps and twists and the table side up orange polished wood. A lamp crowns the marble tower. It looks solid and heavy and I know immediately Grosse approaches his materials with an engineer's mind. 

I remember doing a bronze in Sheffield's sculpture class. The bronze lady bent over with her hands on her knees and her chest hanging down. I shared with Grosse how it took me more than a dozen fitted section of plaster to make that bronze come out so well. Five inches tall by five inches wide - a bald headed female. These years later I have not ground off the unwanted metal. Not knowing what exactly to do with it. It has not seen the light of day - anywhere. Nude subjects are acceptable in college, but not for elementary grade school art.

The names listed on the wall are not familiar to me. Alumni participants my age, the ones who agreed to submit one work for viewing, mill from room to room in the Eisentrager- Howard Gallery wearing name tags, their graduation from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln some thirty-seven years ago. Conversations revolve around the classes we took in 1978 and 1979. Teachers like: Thomas Sheffield, James Eisentrager, Keith Jacobshagen, Michael Nuschawg, and Gail Butt.  

(photo courtesy of Brad Krieger)

Brad Krieger was a teacher aid to Professor Gail Butt. The instructor who had him paint all the still life bottle white. Reflections on glass bottles were a distraction to the students, Krieger recalled. Later Krieger did the same thing in the art classes he taught. It helped students to focus on the forms.

Bradley W. Krieger work (double click to enlarge)

In 2002 when I drizzled glue and paint over oyster shells for a painting I loved the dispersement of pigments. (See next detail.) This is why I REALLY ENJOYED the surface treatment of Brad Krieger's painting, ABOVE. Nuanced. His patience and careful produced an exquisite variety of patterns. The rinsing off of pigment using mineral spirits. Wow.

 More on 2002 painting here 
 And HERE.

Krieger recalled hearing my father speak once on the second floor of Richards Hall in the auditorium. The art professor from Seward spoke on serendipity, he said. Listening to the story just blew me away. Thanks Brad.

Me and the person I am talking to, we have both had Keith Jacobshagen in Illustration and Design classes. Though he painted he never taught a painting class. The oddness of teachers being older people. Can I call them people? Telling us what to do. Never seeming to "have a life." Now as grownups ourselves, look at the amazing artwork these "teachers' have created out there. I told her how I loved observing the passages of color Jacobshagen used in a skyscape at the O Street Kietchel Gallery. 

One gal who had once modeled for art classes - told how the watercolor teacher was kind and gentle to the younger female students in class. But she had seen him bark at older females, telling them how to watercolor by making a scene about it. She was glad that she remained neutral.  She had no troubles in watercolor class.

Matt was a current second year undergrad. He told me about working with resin epoxy. About the dusty free room and the two filter mask he wore to keep the fumes out.

(photo courtesy of Brad Krieger)

One gal had nine small square canvases. I enjoyed the thin white veil over portions of the red. And the mark making she did that tied the sections together. I learned later her name was Cathy Patterson.

Portions writing on notebook paper created ambiance for one work. Tiny hangers with sewn garments in a doll house closet. Two dozen folded notes with bright-colored ribbons on the spine. The details of the crafter exhibit so much care and precision. The name of which I do not recall.

The seven I listened to made remarks about my painting. Calling it "plein air." Noting that it was spatial. How it was done quickly. Michael Villarreal said that the acrylic work had passages that read like oil. Matthew Sontheimer said it was well observed. Soundbites I that appreciate.
Passages read as oil.  Michael Villarreal, MFA grad student at UN-L.
It is well-observed. Matthew Sontheimer, Associate Professor of Art Painting, UN-L.
This encounter was worth driving up for. Though home for me is in Carrollton, Missouri - I have seen that those who submitted artwork - continue to find satisfaction working with materials in 2017. Many live in Lincoln and have their support communities. I am glad to be counted among all of these artists.

Alumni from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s School of Art, Art History & Design showed their work this summer in the exhibition “Nebraska Alumni Artists 1979-1982” in the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery in Richards Hall.