Thursday, February 11, 2016

no eye has seen

    Saturday morning February 6th we slowly drove the vehicle along our former bicycle route on blacktop highway B. The sun was delicious. The air fresh. I stopped to look at the slough south of Wakenda. I could see through to the silt on either side and a deeper green yellow path up the middle. Gosh gorgeous, Jesus -- the sharp blue reflection into the green yellow. Man, that is something to look at with reverence.
    Further up we turned off and headed west on County Road 290. A winding bluff road with low creek scenes just off the road. The lighting was good, tree trunks fallen in diagonals, cascading blonde grass, sandbars, water, gnarly tree roots -- it was all there. I remember the paintings of forests and creek beds others have created. The colors I had admired. My desire to try that myself - someday. I got to come back to paint this. Ample subject material. I walked and laid out some branches next to the muddy road to mark areas of interest. The site was ten miles from our house.
     After church the next morning, I loaded the truck and headed out. From 12:24 pm to 1:52 pm I painted.

The space between the tip of the lower branch and the left side of the panel. The grasses next to the branch. A tight measuring with my eyes.

The distance between the top of the bluff ridge and the edge of the panel. Deciding where to focus my details. The eye will know there are trees up there without drawing in the trees. An idea I saw someone else use on the En Plein Air Facebook group.

Where the water touches the grass on the right bank. Are grass blades needed? Remove all the saplings in the way. Include leaves? Texture? No, the dark water beside the right bank edge - is enough.

The distance between the two sandbars. Distance to the fallen shale behind. Distance to the foreground branch. Measured with my eye, marked with a wash. Settle on the placement first. After the space - from this to that and that to the other element - then coloring can be worked out.

Compare above to the next. I extended the bottom branch. The sandbars are in place. One thin branch comes out of the water. Three logs on the right. Red berries down front. What else do you see improved?

The winter leaves on a bluff in shadow. Red mixed with green produced mauve hues.

Above, I mix the orange-green water I have seen used by the artists I admire. Below, the strong bluff breeze at my back, I turn the paint kit and drape my shirt rag to make a wind break for the paints.

Temperature in the 50s. Glad I wore layers that day. As I worked on the panel, the verse from Corinthians came to mind:
"No eye has seen and no ear has heard and no mind has even imagined what God have prepared for those who love Him."  1 Corinthians chapter 2 verse 9.
    Stream beds, rock patterns, not just from images others have recorded -- something I can now look at with my own eyes, standing, deciphering, interpreting, choosing for, calling my own.

    Afterwards I walked stretches, stopped to listen, consider the change in light, and plotted scenes 2:20 pm. Ate my sack lunch in the truck 3:21. Checked a few more scenes and  drove home 4:00 pm.

The hidden delights You foster, bring hope to me, even to one as I.

Thank you Father. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you God.
You lift me, you bring me joy.

Bluff Creek No.1
16.5 x 18 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

cadminum red light

The loss did something with my head. The news of not getting picked for the exhibit I entered -- got to me. My three entries were not the only ones turned away. One hundred others got the same news.

What was this heaviness? What was this sadness? Why did it drag my heart down? Why was it so hard to shake it off? What was the game plan going forward?

It was the week of the last wound clinic appointment. Every reason to be joyful. The nurse proclaimed my chronic wound had healed completely!!! The epithelial cells had formed a layer closing the gap. 100%!!! The ordeal which started last March was over. Friends texted me their relief. My heart was a heavy rock. Help me, Jesus. Get me out of this slump. Release gratitude back in my attitude.

Being helpful, the nurse practitioner listened to my grief. Then she heard it turn into a tale of active pursuit -- busy creating large outdoors -- the satisfaction and wonder of it all -- and saw the increased excitement in my voice. Her eyes glittered and Tanya Land noted:
"That painting brings joy to you SAYS something ABOUT YOU. I would FOCUS on that INSTEAD."


       In the meantime, more varnishing of loose smaller works. I felt I was being led by the Lord to send these unframed works on to cousins distant. A night time scene of my neighbor's property from 2002. His name came to mind. I stepped out to gift him and Bill Smith opened up with the history of that property. How that house had been one hundred years old. It once housed Mexicans, the Olvera family. How the streets used to be dirt. And how, when he was 16 years old, the house he grew up in on North Folgers beside the Methodist Church was moved across town to North Ely Street, neighboring that corner house. The wife of the lawnmower repair man walked in and was glad to take the prized scene back home.
      The tomatoes Don Mason raised in his backyard. I walked across my lawn and pushed his doorbell, his name had also been given. Inside, warm, he held the piece with both hands, staring, regarding, remembering. I was clearing my shelves. I want him to have this. We chat. At the close he shakes my hand. The gift let go, it remains.   
      Mailing off panels and getting cards of kindness in return took off the edge. Another name came to mind. The firelight falling on the silhouette group of high school students, arms raised in a hallway of lockers. Erin Dotson met me by my car in the Mulch's grocery parking lot. She was thinking about her youth group at church. How much God is active in teenage lives. Goodbye fire painting. Jesus, your personal presence alive among your adolescent disciples. The overflow going out, his excellence, his goodness and mercy and delight filling my cup. Eases the loss, lightens the load, lifts my eyes.

     A new large work speaks to me from across the room. How did that scene come together like it did? Cadminum Red Light has entered my palette, squeezed onto my palette next to the orange, blue, green, white, and yellow. His treasure lifts me. Enormous on our living room wall. It astounds me. So bold. With depth. My spirit soars. A beacon of your aid manifested here. Yessssss!

hood easel

    Yesterday, Friday, was the thrill of looking down the length of Moss Creek --catching the cradled leafy bowl and distant feathered limbs on the far bank. Before heading home I had scoped out some scenes that paralleled County Road 211. There was this lattice of color.

Most of the leaves hung on it were still green, others were turning yellow for Fall. I did not want the menagerie to stand isolated. To see the span of water behind it, I figured I would like to get the apparatus, the easel and paint kit, as high as I could. Perhaps I could sit on top of the truck cab. It had worked back in 2006, when I painted "View From The Top Of My Cab," next.

It would be worth a try. Hope I have energy tomorrow. "God, if you want me to do this, get me up early. Give me the ideas I need and the power to carry them out. Thank you, Jesus."

Excited. After going to bed too early I stayed up later and hot milk helped me sleep. I was up before 6 Saturday morning. After yogurt, loaded the truck 6:30. Forty degrees out. Arrived on site 7:49. Set up on the cab. Started 8:20. By 12:00 pm noon I was finished. First I named it "Trees on East Bank, Moss Creek." Later, it was re-named "Moss Creek No. 5."

The canvas is large enough to begin with. Let alone hoisting it up. I wanted to seat myself on top of the F-150 cab roof, next.

Supplies, easel, paint kit, water bottle, rags -- it was all in the back of truck. There was much climbing up and over. Lifting. Figuring. Then I used blue painter's tape to secure the legs of the easel to the hood. It worked. Thank you, Jesus.

Imagine standing on the hood, holding the wooden easel out in front of you, and then --how do you push out the back set of legs and keep your balance? Thank you, Jesus, for helping me.

EasYL tripod sat below the canvas.

     It turned out the truck was the right height to view the whole tree, from the tiptop down to the water and grass below. Excellent!!!!! Thanks for the ideas and for keeping me safe, Jesus.  The easel stayed in place and did not fall over. Thank you, Jesus. The truck was parked on the grass so that farm vehicle could safely pass. The safety cones are a great way to signal traffic to slow down when I paint by a road. They do slow down.
     As for the far bank, I painted the trees closer on the left side of the tree, and made the treeline recede into the distance of the right side of the tree. See next photo of receding trees.

The lattice of dashes were in view.

Lights on darks.
Here are stages from the start to finish. What changes do you notice?

The painting was completed on Saturday, October 17, 2015.

It is currently on view at the Kansas City Artists Coalition, 201 Wyandotte, #105, in Kansas City, Missouri  till February 20th of 2016. On the 20th, this work will be auctioned off along with works for other Kansas City artists to benefit the KCAC.

For more about the 33rd Annual Art Auction, click on

Monday, February 8, 2016


 Double click to enlarge

      Vista No.8 by K. Marxhausen
8 x 10 inches
Joan Gilmore, Hopkins, MN 

Nap Time by K. Marxhausen 
20.5 x 17.5 inches
Lori Buntin and Cathryn Simmons, Kansas City, MO 
 Field by K. Marxhausen
 7 ½ x 16 inches
Stephanie Allnutt, Springfield, MO

Eleventh and Ely House by K. Marxhausen
14 x 28 inches
 Bill Smith, Carrollton, MO

Carrollton Hills by K. Marxhausen
3 x 12 inches
Barabara Dearing, Brunswick, MO

      Molly and Me by K. Marxhausen
24.5 x 20.5 inches 
Devin and Melissa Jones, Liberty,MO

Landscape Composition Johnson Ridge by K. Marxhausen
11 x 14 inches
Steven Kiecker, Berwyn, IL

View Towards Jerome by K. Marxhausen
18 x 24 inches

Amanda Husberg, Brooklyn, NY

Afternoon on the Missouri River, Carroll County by K. Marxhausen
24 x 38 inches
Linda Birkes-Lance, Seward, NE

Bo by K. Marxhausen
18 x 36 inches
Marilyn Lombardo, Bronxville, NY

Tomatoes by K. Marxhausen
16 x 20 inches
Don Mason, Carrollton, MO

     Sunrise Over Josephine’s by K. Marxhausen
4 x 9 inches
Krista Riggs, Courtland, MN
     Skinny Dip Grove by K. Marxhausen
9 x 12 inches
Shari and David Kipping, Carrollton, MO
Norborne Grain by K. Marxhausen
3.75 x 20 inches
David and Judy Dearmond, Shawnee, KS

Homes for every piece. 
Thanks to all who continue to collect my work.