Friday 4 December 2015

Show Your Face on Friday - A Finished Canvas?

Hello Followers and Friends and welcome to Magpieheaven! I'm not finding a great deal of time to blog at the moment, but today I wanted to link to Kim Dellow's 'Show Your Face on Friday' and give you a bit of an update on a canvas with three little faces/houses I began last week. If you haven't done so already, please do link up to Kim's blog. You'll find all the info and guidelines here along with Kim's great inspiration for this week and some inspiring work from the other artists too. Last week, you might remember, I had the idea to put these 3 little houses onto a canvas.
 I just wasn't sure about the best background for them. I was thinking in terms of Scheherazade and Kay Nielson's beautiful, midnight blue background. I could imagine them under starry skies and then a change of direction happened! Maybe it was because there are three of them, I started to think of the story of sages come from the East to visit a new Messiah, bringing symbolic gifts. I was reminded of T. S. Eliot's poem 'Journey of the Magi', which you can read here.
 My canvas now began to represent 3 Wise Women bringing gifts in the form of silver birds  symbolising peace and freedom - the best gifts we could receive at Christmas. I couldn't help thinking about all the refugees undertaking hard journeys 'at the worse time of the year', looking for a new start. Eventually, I made the sky the colour of early evening with a single, cheesecloth cloud. The background was created with torn Christmas napkins to suggest faint writing in the sky. The land itself is composed of napkins inspired by old maps and fragments of tea-bag paper.
Often the journeys we take, whether they be physical or metaphorical ones, start out full of hope, which is severely tested along the way. Few of us will know in our life-journeys the pain and anguish of those forced to flee their homes through fear. I was so moved the other day by an account of one Syrian family who had kept up a correspondence with a young journalist as they attempted to make their way to a new life in Germany. The ordeal of that journey was almost unbearable to hear as the family encountered appalling conditions in the camps and sometimes brutal, inhumane treatment. But then - arrival in Hamburg and a welcome from the German people. I have never heard anything quite like the joy in the wife's voice as she was re-united with the young journalist who had told the World the story of this one family among many. Here at last was a place to settle, to be at peace and see their children educated, warm and fed - basic human rights we all take so much for granted.
This woman's joy in the midst of so much suffering made me think! The run up to Christmas is such a busy time, often with trivial frustrations, but I'm going to try to stop this holiday and think about the joy there is hope, peace and freedom and not take those precious gifts for granted.
This was a chunky canvas, so I was able to extend the tea-bags and napkin paper right over the sides.
I also highlighted the edges with a little Treasure Gold. I do hope that you will be able to stop, re-charge your batteries and gain a little art time over the Holiday Period and that this will be a time of hope, peace and joy for us all.
I also set myself the task of creating some little angels for the Christmas tree last week and here they are - the first 2.
Their faces are my own art work, collaged onto little masonite hearts and the tiny pine cones were gathered on a walk last winter. Have a great week everyone! 


  1. Wonderful post, pictures and words full of meaning. Hugs, Valerie

  2. Oh these are fantastic! I love this piece so much!

  3. What a beautiful post Julie Ann and how poignant that your art piece inspired your thoughts and feelings on a subject we are probably all thinking about these days. I think this Christmas will be one of much more gratitude and counting our blessings. I absolutely love your canvas and your faces are beautiful. I must hunt down some napkins, I love this idea and haven't tried it yet. Have a lovely weekend. Chris x

  4. Your canvas is enchanting, Julie Ann and the beautiful story you have told. I love the maps representing the earth. I love your tree angels too,

    Lucy x

  5. Your post is beautiful. I too see the news and the plight of the many refugees are think would I be brave enough to do what they are doing. I can imagine how cold it is becoming and how hardened some governments and citizens are becoming Julie Ann.
    Your beautiful art coveys your feelings so well. Know that on the other side of the world this woman's heart beats in synchronicity.

  6. I really enjoyed reading your post today. The amount of pain and suffering in the world today is overwhelming. Your angels for the tree are marvelous and your canvas is really spectacular! Bravo!
    Sandy xx

  7. What a compassionate, kind post. Along with your wonderful art! I was already a fan, now I'm doubly so :-)

  8. Very moving post, and artwork - love your Three Wise Women! Love seeing how this came about, both in your thinking and the making. xxx Lynn

  9. of course your art is entirely stunning as always. I adore this chunky canvas and the 3 wise women. you will yet get me making faces of my own! but what I loved most here was your heartfelt expressions regarding human suffering and hope. I am right there with you. hoping for peace on earth, truly. xo

  10. A very moving post Julie Ann...your wise women canvas is wonderful, and I adore your angels!
    Alison xxx

  11. Your beautiful canvas and decorations are as always stunning Julie Ann and so too your post which, this time touched me to the point of tears.

    Sending love and many hugs your way Julie Ann.

    Lesley Xx

  12. What a beautiful post Julie Ann. You brought tears to my eyes and made my heart swell with the love you share.
    Your canvas is just perfect ans are the three wise women they should be the ones bringing forth the Peace to this world! Relax and enjoy my friend and I will as well ")
    huge hugs,Jackie

  13. Oh Julie Ann! Everything about this post is so beautiful! I love the 3 Wise Women with their wonderful gifts. I love your angels with their lovely heart shaped faces! Most of all - I love your positive words! A truly wonderful Advent post! Hugs, Chrisx

  14. You have found your calling with these tiny wonders. Love, love. xox

  15. A beautiful post, Julie Ann - thoughtful, compassionate and wise, like your wise women travelling over landscapes ancient and new, trying to find a way to bring peace and freedom to a troubled world. The canvas itself is beautiful, the wise women too, and the words around the photos so moving. As Chris said, a thoroughly lovely Advent post.
    Alison xx

  16. Stunning projects, I love the little angels.


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