Friday, March 28, 2014

     It's almost time to start the 30 day countdown to "artreach"...the first art ministry trip abroad. I am so thankful to be under the umbrella of Yakima Foursquare Church & to be supporting by the amazing community in the Yakima Valley. When I return I will be more fully equipped to plant seeds for the beginning of an art ministry with which we will have the opportunity to serve families with children who have serious illness in our community and in Seattle through the following ways:
1. hosting respite nights when families can take a step away from their daily journey & learn to be creative in new ways, whether it be fine art or art & craft projects for adults and kids
2. making art for the annual "heART" show. Funds raised through this event will provide gas cards for & help meet the needs of families with children with serious illness
3. begin gathering people who will be ready to make freezer meals ready when a family calls in need of some extra support
2. giving fine art mini print packs containing image specifically created to encourage these families
3. beginning to study how to educate the Church about care for those who face long term illness
and we will be developing a team of artists to create work as a part of worship at YFC!
    I am signed up for two sessions during the Holy Trinity Brompton Leadership Conference, one with Matt Redman & Tim Hughes (the worship leader at Holy Trinity Brompton), who will be speaking having a vision of creativity in the life of the Church. I will also be attending a seminar led by Mike Pilavachi about having the supernatural be an everyday part of life, bringing the Holy Spirit a vital part of my everyday walk & equipping me to share that vision with young artists. Mike is founder and leader of Soul Survivor, a youth organisation seeking to reach, disciple, equip and empower young people to make a difference in their generation. He is also an author and international speaker.These are just a few of many speakers who will teach througout the conference. I can't wait to bring my notebook and soak in every minute! After the conference, I will stay in London to work with some folks at HTB & to share what is happening lately and partake in some creative fellowship with Art House, a faith and arts gathering through HTB.
     I've been blessed with a specific contact at VineLife church in Manchester, who will join me in meeting with the people who will make a long term partnership with "artreach" & through which we will be giving fine art mini print packs to children with long term illness in their community. I may have the opportunity to have a little marymakesart show whilst in Manchester at The Anchor, a local coffee house. I'll be blessed with the opportunity to share a series of art which I created specifically for VineLife & have the chance to share about the potential for linking churches with local groups who support families journeying through chronic illness.
     From there I will fly to Germany to meet with folks at YWAM Herrnhut, an arts based community who train young people from all over the world to encourage others as they take what they have learned in Herrnhut all over the world. I have been blessed to learn alot about this community through  Brian Stoothoff, who has just returned from serveral months of training and missions with  his gift of photography. Together we'll be sharing about our growth as creatives in years to come as he travels from another aspect of learning & ministry in Canada, then moving back to Germany to continue working with YWAM. I am learning so much about what YWAMers learn in Herrnhut and will be bringing art as a permanent gift there as well as having the opportunity to share about the potential for art ministry in the Church worldwide!
ps: We will be having a duo fundraiser at Yakima Foursquare Church this Sunday!
     All the while, we've been planning as a family. It takes a whole village to support Brian and the kids while I am blessed with the gift of being able to travel. I am really really blessed and thankful!
     A new partnership is being formed with "The Print Guys", a printing business in Yakima, who will be producing hopefully thousands of packs with 10 mini prints containing images specifically created to encourage children with serious illness & their families. I am so excited to 'go local' and utilize the amazing quality prints this business produces. The end goal is to give a print pack to families all over the world, whether it be to those who are checking into houses which they will stay in during their child's stay in hospital or along with medical  missionaries who visit sick children all over the world. God has reminded me to think big. If you or your business would like to sponser one or more print packs, please send $10 or more and make your check to "Yakima Foursquare Church", leaving the note area bland. Checks can be sent to: Mary Portteus, 608a South 45th Ave, Yakima, Wa. 98908 or you can click on a print pack on (i'll be listing these by mid April) and pay via your debit or credit card. You can also come to "arterra", an art & wine fundraiser the Brian and I will be hosting at 901 Pasta in Yakima, specifically to raise funds for the creation of print packs.
     Well, I am grateful to have the stamina to type for this long but the Ankylosing Spondylitis is telling me to stope typing and rest my fingers and wrists. I hope this has given you an update of what's happening & exciting opportunities on the horizon!
With anticipation,


Saturday, November 16, 2013 the dreams are coming alive! it's been a long time...thanks for checking in! since the last blog i have undergone quite a continuing journey with the ankylosing spondyloarthritis diagnosis. but with a new med and a ton of prayer i am getting back on track and looking forward to this wonderful trip to england in may! please click on the link and consider trading your cuppa of the day for a $5 investment into a lifechanging, fruit bearing trip! i will fly across the pond to attend a leadership conference ( in prep for being an arts leader at my community: yakima foursquare church. i will also be presenting a series of paintings to vinelife church in manchester, speaking with students about using their gifting to encourage kids with long term illness & presenting these bravery badges to families  of those experiencing the journey of serious illness through Royal Manchester Children's Hospital. more to come soon and more frequent blogs happening this season! -mary 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

glorious mess

it's a sunny day in july. though we are all down with head colds, i am reminded of the serendipitous fact that the paper dolls i've just finished are laminated...meaning they can be wiped off and cleaned! i had this in mind when laminating them--longevity and clean-a-bility. whilst emailing with one of the wonderful staff at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, i discovered that because of their strict standards, paper goods are not e given to children in hospital without being laminated. it was so nice to be able to share that the paper dolls are already protected! i am praying for the opportunity to bring and give these paper dolls to Manchester when i travel there in April 2013 (so the plan goes...Lord willing!). As you see above, there are a few new pieces in not so tidy looking as life has not been so tidy over the past few months.i've felt a bit exposed...and tangled up...but guided by light (see above my head) and by a pillar of cloud (on left, unseen and representing the Holy Spirit) and a pillar of fire (on the right, also representing the Holy Spirit).knitters will know that it's maddening to untangle yarn when you are ready to use it...which is how i've been feeling...ready to be used creatively yet being unravelled first--which is part of the refining process (which i had forgotten!). so, praise God for the messy parts, like feeling exposed and unravelled while healing from yet another injury (my hip) and caring for jesse's healing fractured back and injured ligaments. (phew!) and praying to figure out how to care for chloe, who has been feeling a lack of attention of late. (if any of you caregiving parents are going through this, please feel free to comment and we can dialogue about this...a very real part of the healing process is how a cybling(s) is effected.) thankfully, we have wonderful counselors who are working with us as a family to get out of survival mode and into living more after all of this glorious mess. i am looking forward to jumping back into working with "holland", the parent to parent group at Children's Village in Yakima, Washington. But only after our family is properly cared for and ready to roll again. blessings on you who have had a summer of healing, whether it be emotionally, physically or otherwise. Mary

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

walking wounded and light in darkness

These pieces, along with many others, are available at in print form. I am excited to post them for you now! I've been working on a new series of art about light in the midst of darkness and am finishing the garments of praise series with wearable art. As you will read, these opportunities have been gifts through a very difficult time. Beauty from ashes. Mourning into dancing. A boy who is not paralized, but walking. Our hearts changing through turmoil. Months after my last blog, I am finally here again. Since the last post, my son, Jesse fractured his back and damages muscles and ligaments. We just returned from our last visit to Children's Hospital in Seattle. His fractures have healed and he is just beginning to be able to walk more! He is still very sore but healing well and we are so thankful it wasn't worse. I learned what it means to be caregiver again. Days of feeding him, helping him bathe, use the toilet, etc. It has been a good reminder to me of the need to encourage caregivers. Their help is vital to the healing of long term illness. I was thankful to have the help of family and the encouragement of friends along the way. I have no answers as to why our family has experienced so many health issues. But I'm okay with that. This time around we really got shaken. I was not sure how to handle this kind of affected our family in the worse way so far. I lost sight of God's comfort for a few weeks. I am excited to post the "Tranquil" painting/print as it means so much more to me now than when it was first created about 10 years ago. Again, I look at a piece of art and it serves as a visual reminder...when i pass it and look, even if only for a moment, I remember that peace in the midst of a storm is what having a relationship with Jesus is all about. I am reminded that through art, I hope we can share that kind of peace and promise to kids all over the world with long term illness. I am reminded that i can serve, even if i stumble around and grope in the dark for a while--I still belong to an unchangeable Creator. This journey continues. I really want to be living the peace that I've been shown. This is my latest portion of the journey.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Heros Past & Present

My Christmas present this year is being introduced to two remarkable stories, those of Josh Elliot & Bethany Hamilton (who I was introduced to through experiencing the movie "Soul Surfer" the night before Josh and I prayed over 'marymakesart for hope+healing"!)...and remembering Paul on his journeys: In Acts, Paul's & his fellow travelers were guided about where to go by the Spirit of Jesus (aka: the Holy Spirit, part of the three in One), who led this troop by vision, circumstances, good sense or use of prophetic gifts. As I read about Paul's journey with Timothy, Silas & Luke I discovered a strong parallel to The Spirit letting me know when and where to bring the traveling exhibition and who would be most encouraged by receiving a piece of art. Sunday He led me to Josh Elliot. Josh is a marine who recently returned home after a whole lot of physical therapy (which is continuing) after losing his legs, a few fingers & his eardrums after an explosion while searching for an IED on April 18 in Aphghanistan. "Whose hands are you in", his fellow marines asked as they helped rescue him. "I'm in God's hands" was his response. I was inspired to create this piece of art when my friend Jim was imbedded in Aphghanistan to write an "extreme travel" report for Traveling Boy. As we prayed for his safety I thought about all of the believers who have prayed daily for soldiers abroad. They are represented in the left side of the piece, the strings represent their prayers going out to soldiers in war who travel amidst dark places on behalf of our safety (this is visually indicated by the dark, right half of the piece). Both Bethany and Josh's lives inspire me to send out a message: "Giving Blood Saves Lives"...this is true both in the literal sense (the transfusion of blood saved the lives of Bethany and greatly helped Josh) and in the sense that God is using their shed blood to be used as a powerful catalyst to tell people about the promises of Jesus Christ. Their lives are breathing examples of Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose". A friend asked how I can look back at Chloe's and my health issues/surgeries with a smile. The above was my responese. It just came to mind that my life and the lives of Bethany and Josh are eternal. Our time here is not all the time we have--it's momentary--and we want to use it to tell other people about the love of Jesus despite and through tough times...that the Christian life does not mean we are going to be pain means that God will come along side us and work amazing things to His glory, bringing freedom to others...and promising new bodies for eternity (this, I have to admit, is a bonus to look forward to!)! Praise the Lord! The good outweights the pain and giving blood saves lives!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

VALA show & a divine appointment

Last Wednesday I was blessed to be a part of a show for the emerging VALA group in Redmond, Washinton, who are there to support artists through providing venues. It was an unexpected and wonderful event full of conversation about the hope+healing project and a lot of encouraging moments with wonderful patrons (thank you!). The piece of art shown was one of many in the new "postage" series, celebrating the idea of the hope+healing project enouraging people all over the world! If you are interested in any of these pieces, please hop on over to and help support us!
A special thank you for the conversation between myself and someone at the Sammamish Starbucks...what an incredible thing to be able to give a piece of art to encourage you and your wife. (she is a woman who is suffering physically--please join us in praying for her!) We hope you are blessed by the piece of art we sent via your husband and are already gathered in prayer on your behalf. healing, rest and comfort to you!!!! "hope into dispair" is what I have learned from you and hope to pass on to others. What you are experiencing is being used to produce encouragement for others already.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

YFC Exhibition going on now!

What a wonderful morning at Yakima Foursquare Church! I will be posting the video created by Matt and the video crew, who captured the essence of what hope+healing is all I am so thankful for you guys! If any of you YFC folks would like to talk about the current exhibition, please contact me using the number or email on the information sheet. Thank you to all of you for making this morning a beautiful experience, for sharing your stories with me and contributing to our pay off the medical bills fund. Ahhhh...what a blessing! Please let me know how viewing the art affected you personally...I love the stories about what and how God speaks to you all through the art. (Any posts can be sent to: Mary Portteus, P.O. Box 1356, Zillah, Wa. 98953)Through the opening of this exhibition, I hope for doors to open to Yakima hospitals in the coming months. I am still healing from some after effects of the last I'm giving that some time to work itself out and then we're ready to hang a hospital exhibition and create more dolls to give to pediatric patients. If any of you are interested in sponsering a "marymakesart for hope+healing" home show, I would love to hear from you and plan for the holiday season. I will post more regarding that soon!