Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ah, Cherie! A template for future encouragement...

I am recently encouraged by a dear friend who is creating really great gifts and photographs, beginning a business and entering her 3rd year at NNU here in Nampa. (check out her cool website: As we meet, I learn from her and hope my experiences as an artist thus far can provide encouragement and mentorship for her. From this experience, I realize that this blog will serve as an important tool to document the growth of the 'hope+healing' hospital project, serving as a template for student artists to develop sharing what God has given them through the possibility of healing (emotionally, spiritually, physically...) through the arts. Keeping this in mind, this blog will document my journey as I contact hospitals and learn how to best serve the patients and caregivers this exhibition is meant to encourage. My first experience was graciously provided by a contact at Mercy Hospital in Nampa, Idaho. In order to present something somewhat professional, my brother created a gorgeous pdf--a visual overview of the work with a 'key' page interpreting symbols of hope & healing used throughout the exhibition. Through a dear friend and nurse at Mercy, I contacted the liason for the CEO of the hospital. From there, I left a phone message & emailed the pdf to her. She presented this information to the CEO, and we began conversation on the logistics of when & where to hang the exhibition. Although the work is available for sale and will be continually flowing with new work, I decided to explore that area of the journey if someone specifically contacted me about a piece, charging a certain amount per square inch for original work and a set price for specific sizes of prints. I will have this list available but not prominently shown at hospitals, so that if someone asks, they can find out this information discreetly and contribute to funding the project through sales of original art or prints. Patrons will be able to contact me personally through provided contact information/business cards available under my artist's statement for the exhibition. Let's see...what else...oh's important to know that the number one idea is to encourage the patients & caregivers, which means as an artist, I need to work with whatever the hospital deems best in regard to the details of hanging art (nails in the wall, filling holes afterward if necessary, etc.). In this case, the staff at Mercy is wonderful and provided me with nails, a hammer and the goodness to fill in holes after the show moves to another hospital. I will contact a local hospital that is well versed in exhibiting art and try to arrange a meeting with their art director to learn and gain as much wisdom as possible for how to present the practical needs of a hospital while encouraging it's patients & caregivers. I am here for any questions or suggestions, if you would like! I am learning as I grow! Mary

Friday, July 30, 2010

I'm ready to see a great kid!

Here is a boy doll! Dolls of varying ethnicity are being created! So there's more to come :D See to purchase. Each doll purchased gives a child in hospital a doll to personalize with fabric paint! See the following post for more information. Here we go!!!

girls and boys! the dolls are ready!

I actually had a dream about giving birth the night before the first doll was stuffed and sewn. Here they are and ready at Every doll sold gives a child in hospital a doll. They are great to personalize. A dear friend is ordering several for kids in her family and on Christmas day they will personalize their own dolls with fabric paint (tulip soft fabric paint or fabric markers are great for this project) while they hear the story of how these dolls help kids who are healing in hospital. While the kids enjoy their dolls, their caregivers can view an art exhibition at the same hospital created to encourage and bring hope to families and hospital staff alike! Thank you for your help in the fund raising and telling of this project. Our goal is to have the traveling exhibition reach hospitals all over the nation and give dolls to as many kids in those hospitals as possible! (p.s. orders of 10+ dolls will recieve a discount--dolls are regularly $15 + shipping, but orders of 10+ will recieve their dolls for $10 ea. with shipping included!...please inquire online at and I will set up an entry on etsy with your name on the item list). Again, this is the maximum time for raising funds by doll and print purchases so we can really get the hope+healing project going! :D We are off to a great start! The first dolls will be given away at Mercy Hospital in Nampa, ID, where the traveling exhibition is currently showing.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

thoughts today

Decided to send out a good old blog...just my thoughts about today. First, thank you to those who are reading! I have been really encouraged by looking forward to being part of the next issue of a craft zine, contacting new hospitals, looking toward sponsorship here and there, and generally feeling the love about this project. This morning while spending some time with God I decided to look up every image I could find of pillars of fire & cloud. It was wonderful. And amazing to see how many other artists are impacted by these pictures. I am researching hospital art & a kind of art called "evidence based art", which has to do with finding out what particular kinds of forms, colors, lines, etc. help patients the most. Turns out lots of the images I am inspired to create in this work have been and are becoming what fit into the kinds of images researched that are most relaxing & helpful to those in pain. Really cool. As I research, I will be blogging in a more concrete fashion, but for now, my thoughts are sketches for a larger work. I am still in pain due to figuring out what I can and cannot do as I heal from the surgery I had 3.5 months ago. It helps me remember what it feels like to have pain and helps me focus on why this project is happening in the first place--to bring encouragement, healing & hope.

Monday, July 26, 2010

How it all works out (amazingly!)

I started today wrestling with emulsion fluid. I am learning the ways of the printmaking machine. Successful-one boy on a screen. I learned that after about 30 runs of printing, the screen needs to be cleaned thoroughly and a new 'kid' can be applied :D . (any by the way, 'art' being our third child is becoming less and less of a joke! printmaking has many parts of it's 'becoming' that involve sitting next to a machine or screen and having to 'go!' at just the right moment...breastfeeding mothers, can i hear an amen!?). Having this 30 runs in my head, the kids and I jump over to the fabric store to purchase material as I've exhausted all of my free fabric resourses...and learned that it takes a certain fabric to do this job right. I just took what was available...down to a remnant piece that I got to purchase at a discount (crafters, you know how we like a good discount!)...guess what? Another miracle! exactly 30 rectangles of fabric is what I got from the amount they had available at the store! God really does know just what this project needs...again! So, for now, it's off to watch a great lightening storm with the kiddos and wake up to print 30 little boy dolls tomorrow! I am priviledged to be a part of this project...I can't wait to see what happens. p.s. I now have the coloring book in it's roughest form :D it's beginning!!! several drawings to fit an 8.5x11" book for kids to color while they're waiting for who knows what...maybe a blood draw...maybe a transfusion...maybe another mri in a series of many...the parents need something to color while this is going on as well...and for that matter the brothers and sisters...or the caregivers on a coffee break! hope it encourages lots of people.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


The Desktop Gallery

This 'Desktop Gallery' is a 3.5x3.5 inch lucite cube containing the seven images present throughtout the Hope & Healing traveling Exhibition. We hope to be able to hand these out with a 'key' (pamphlet which interprets the art) so that caregivers who are waiting in surgery waiting rooms can have something fresh to set their minds on amidst the worry & anxiousness that often accompanies the waiting. In order to raise funds to purchase the cubes and cover printing costs, you can adopt a family by purchasing a cube! They are available at, which shows the various pictures included in the cube.

Miracle Drying Rack

Another miracle! I have been praying for the best way to dry prints. Upon taking a walk I saw a house in our neighborhood with the kind of printmaker's drying rack that I haven't seen since PNCA! So I walked right on up and asked if they would consider selling it. Here 'tis! Sitting in our house holding the first run of prints! God is amazing and it is evident that He is overseeing every area of this project. This is really encouraging today because I have run into some unexpected pain just learning what I can and cannot due after the surgery 3 months ago. I am healing well, but still have my limits. Within those limits, I hope I am taking advantage of the slow times, learning what I can and writing what I can.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Creation Inspiration

Yellowstone, picture taken by Dave Brendgard. Dave sent me a series of beautiful pictures from the mutually loved Yellowstone. This is my favorite. I was amazed to see it in the midst of creating paintings like "Pillar of Cloud" and "What I learned at the Hospital" ...I had already began to use several organic shapes, colors and lines that I see in Dave's photographs. My next nature journey will have to be to Yellowstone to see what God has to show me there! Such beauty. In the past I have been inspired by Emeral Pool pictures I had seen. Now I want to see the real things with paints and canvas in hand!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The First Run

Here 'tis! The first run of prints on cloth. I am ready to cut, sew & stuff them! This is truly a birthgiving experience as I anticipate giving many dolls away to kids at hospitals. I will be posting five different ethnic doll styles with infinate possibilities to personalize! I recommend soft tulip fabric can find it at any craft store. If you would like to order a doll please respond to this blog and let me know! As I create the dolls, I will post them on my etsy site or you can send me a check. For every doll sold ($15--which includes shipping)marymakesart will give a doll to a child in hospital. The first batch will go to Mercy Hospital in Nampa Idaho, as that is where the art exhibition is hanging now. The dream is coming true!

Monday, July 19, 2010

This One's For the People

"This One's For the People"/Mixed Media/12x12in. As I heal, I have small moments of victory. Whilst painting this piece I listened to an 'anthem' sung by Paper Tongues with the same title. It's about expressing creatively what good God has brought out of some dark situations to encourage others who can relate.

What I Learned at the Hospital

"What I Learned at the Hospital"/Mixed Media/12x12in.
At the hospital your world gets turned upside down. There are good people who are there to take care of you and help you take care of yourself. You have options at the hospital. You can ask for a second opinion always! Don't be afraid to ask questions. Be good to the hospital staff serving you...they go home and live lives taking care of other people too. The hospital is a part of the journey of healing. It may seem like the wilderness...but if you look at creation there is always something beautiful to see...and if you look at all the nifty gagets, bits and bobs in the room there are wonderful shapes and colors to inspire creativity. At the hospital there is always someone to matter what you are going through.


"Night"/ Acrylic & Ink/ 12x12in.


"Consider+Bird"/ Acryilic & Ink/ 12x12.

Cloud and Connection

"Cloud and Connection"/ Acrylic & Ink/ 12x12in.
The cloud signifies God's presence settling around people connected in support (through prayer, giving, bringing meals, etc). I am amazed at how communities and people from miles away who can relate to stories get together in support of those in need. We have been fully blessed as a family to receive that kind of support. Thank you, everyone!

Pillar of Cloud

"Pillar of Cloud" or "Direction"/ acrylic & ink/ 12x12in. One of a series called "The Healing". The pillar of cloud represents the presence of God in difficult situations, providing guidance on things like decision making (which hospital to go to, which doctor to choose, surgery? or no surgery?...). I have discovered that many pictures of Yellowstone (sent by a dear old friend from high school days who shares a love for this place)resonate with me visually and I am not sure why. I have never been to Yellowstone. I think upon visiting and looking into the details of such an beautiful creation, I will see many parallels between it and the paintings. I have been working on them since I got home after this last surgery. Whenever I hurt I took out the paints, turned on the incredible music on the Paper Tongues self titled c.d. and just painted what I felt...each piece a visual prayer. Sometimes a prayer in agony, in thanksgiving, a declaration of hope.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

when we begin the begin

my thoughts are on a great family who are growing through the adoption of someone new. as i've created the pieces in "the healing" work, it has been very much like birthgiving/adding children to the family. and that means so much more as we are not able to have more children. we've prayed about adoption and have concluded that these pieces (among others--but especially the healing creations) are our third child, art. art, meet the extended web family as they read this blog. now that introductions are complete, i am about to add more kids to the bunch and break out the 'yudu' silk screen machine to make dolls. my 'yudu' is an all in one exposure/silk screen machine that we will use to produce dolls that will be given to kids in children's hospitals and sold to raise funds for the art to travel from hospitals to and fro. eventually the prints will find their way onto tshirts and all sorts of fun things with different designs. inspired by duzi and friends from varying cultures, the dolls will have differing ethnicities. i have also decided to begin a coloring book and embroidery kits for the above purposes of encouragement and fund raising. these will pop up on i have watched the little 'yudu' dvd, read the instructions and am going to begin the first for-real ;D doll prints tomorrow afternoon! i'll post pictures as soon as the first dolls are made! :D this blog is dedicated to mike howerton and his lovely family, who have just added the lovely duzi to their family from south africa! we are praying for you!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A ride on the elevator...what the work is all about

--About the Art--
This exhibition will travel from hospital to hospital with the purpose of encouraging patients, their caregivers & families with the visual messages of hope & healing. The art is currently being exhibited at Mercy Hospital in Nampa, Idaho. The work will be exhibited for as long as each hospital wishes without cost to the hospital. The work will be hung and taken down either by myself or experienced volunteers helping with the exhibition. Purchasing of pieces will be overseen by me (or a local volunteer if necessary) through personal contact with potential buyers, with funds that will be exclutsively directed toward the creation of new pieces and future travel of the exhibition.

--Giving the message of hope & healing--
I would like to give handmade dolls of varying ethnicities to hospitalized children who will be able to paint and personalize each doll, bringing them hope & giving them something fun to do during recovery. We would also like to provide art and pillows with various illustrations which can be painted for older pediatric patients. (The illustrations are from original pieces of art creating an overview of the traveling exhibition & include encouraging descriptions of the art with messages of hope & healing).

"Intercession-First drawing", Pen & Ink


"Intercession", Mixed Media. The cluster of circles represents a group of people in prayer...the strings are their prayers going up to a family of four, shown by the four larger organic forms. Whenever any of these forms are pictured in a piece of art in this series, they are a symbol of a person in need of prayer. An original drawing of this piece is seen in the following blog post. A friend who shares a love for Yellowstone sent several pictures that just stopped me in my tracks. He sent lovely pictures to me that really resonate with this art...and I'm not sure why...As I discover more about Yellowstone maybe I will find out what part of God's creation is mirrored in the healing pieces of art.

"Hope". I am amazed at how children deal with chronic pain, hospitalization & healing. They have so much hope and an ability to deal with it all one moment at a time with so much bravery. Here's to them!

The Embroidered Ephod

I've been embroidering lately...this piece is now painted in and its frame is the embroidery hoop. The ephod is a symbol of intercession. It's taken from a portion of the Old Testament. Aaron, a priest, wore a piece which held 12 stones, each representing one of the tribes of Israel that he prayed for. The colors of those stones are here in each organic embroidered shape, symbolizing those in need of healing & prayer.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Behold, the "Cloud Form Earring", available at
This symbol is seen throughout the healing art and symbolizes the provision (anything we need that gets rained down on us, like healing or finances to pay medical bills..that sort of thing) and also symbolizes the presence of God in difficult situations. This earring is available with sterling silver, 14k. gold plated or gunmetal ear wire. They are available in any color you can think of!

And this is the we go, these dolls with vary in ethnicity. my hope is that i can find a company willing to donate fabric paints & fine tipped brushes that can be available for kids to "color in" their own dolls and make them personal. marymakesart has recently been blessed with a new silk screen machine that will allow us to print the dolls with detail and more ease than my first attempts at hand painting the image onto the screen. live and learn! The dolls can be ordered at any time. They will be aprox. 12 in. high and 5 in. across and will be an oval cut out that is stuffed and ready to color in! if you are interested in purchasing one, just send me a note! please feel free to look at and my facebook page to see updates on new art that is forming around the idea of encouraging those who are healing and their caregivers! Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think :D

This post is a picture of "girl with leaf". she will be one of many dolls we hope to give away at children's hospitals & sell to raise funds for the hope & healing art to travel from hospital to hospital. the leaf she is holding represents new growth and healing.

Cloud Form... Earrings and everything else...

It has been a long time since my last blog. I hope that this series of blogs brings light to the need for others to be encouraged in hospitals everywhere. I will be posting more thanks to the lovely hand me down laptop (thanks, in-laws! you are wonderful to us!) In the last several years, I have been battling and growing through several surgeries. The results have been positive and healing, both emotionally and physically...WOW! If you look at my facebook, I am regularly updating the progress of the latest series of art, which is now hanging at Mercy Hospital in Nampa, Idaho and will hopefully begin to travel to more hospitals soon. The series is an exhibition created to encourage those in the hospital and their caregivers and families. There are seven symbols which are used throughout the body of work. More to come! The latest is that I am 3 months out of the last surgery using am amazing technology called "interceed" (yup...that's what it's in praying on behalf of others for healing!) which creates a barrier against further adhesions from pelvic adhesive disease. I am hoping that this exhibition also generates communication and support for women fighting this disease, as it's not commonly discussed, but causes chronic pain. God is amazing! He has brought joy in the midst of all this pain. Besides the paintings, I am also working on 'garments of praise'...wearable art that expresses what the healing art expresses. More to come!