Posted on

Grace Upon Grace

For from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace.

John 1:16

“From his fullness” – in Jesus the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being. Jesus is the Word made flesh, the very Word that spoke creation into being, the Word that sustains and upholds the entire universe. Jesus is God.

How is it that the one who made the universe, and holds all things together, how is it that He could dwell among us, die for us, and make a way for us enemies to become His friends?

That was the only way. On our own, we could never see God face-to-face. If we did, we would meet judgment and condemnation with the sentence of death. Without God’s work in our lives, everything in us wants to love and serve ourselves instead of our creator. The only way we could be made right with God, to love him with all our hearts, was if He intervened. And He did! For His own purpose and glory, He intervened! Jesus came, but not with God’s judgment, He came with redemption so we could stand in His righteousness on judgment day.

Now, the fullness of God dwells with us. Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. He promises to never leave us or forsake us, even to the end of the age.

This is grace upon grace!

Studio Update:

Happy late Thanksgiving! I thoroughly enjoyed Thanksgiving “break” this year. Lots of baking and planning for next year’s art.

Here’s a time lapse that I just got around to editing. This little floral swag is for my new mini cards (which I am excited to use)!

Then, we’ve got sparrows, doodles, and a wreath that wants to be Christmas-y, but really still insists that it is autumnal.

Thanks for stopping by, and if I don’t see you before then, have a merry Christmas!


Posted on


The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

Psalm 34:22

What does it mean to take refuge? Refuge has the idea of comfort and safety in the midst of trouble or danger. So many pictures of refuge come to mind. The picture of a child hiding behind his or her parent’s legs when chased or scared, and being gathered up in their arms in safety. The picture of a battle, running from the enemy into a fortress and bolting the gate behind you. The picture of a sheep led into a sheep pen, safely tucked away from prowling wolves. The picture of Moses hiding in the cleft of the rock when the Lord passed by, sheltered by God’s own hand. We take refuge by banking our only hope of safety in God himself. We run to him and find shelter.

Shelter from what? In my guilt, Jesus bore my condemnation (Romans 8:33-34). In my fear, Jesus stands in control of my world (Isaiah 40). In my doubt, Jesus remains faithful because he cannot be untrue to himself (2 Timothy 2:13). In trials and temptations, Jesus has gone before me (Hebrews 4:15). In any and every circumstance, Jesus satisfies (Philippians 4:12-13). In my weakness, Jesus is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). We have a strong shelter from all that assails us in this life. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

This is grace.

In the Studio

Well, a few of you know what I’ve been working on over the last year…and now it’s time to share it with everyone! My 2024 calendar is available for download! Click here to get yours.

bouquet of white peonies pink and peach tulips and butterflies

As for the rest of my projects, making progress. The cover for the calendar is done (obviously), and some happy little creatures who are going to live in the autumnal forest…So many fun things!

Thanks for stopping by!


Posted on

No Condemnation

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1

When we come to the Lord in repentance and faith, the condemnation and wrath that we deserved is gone. It seems impossible, since we still see sin in our lives. Throughout Romans 7, Paul gives a lengthy description of our constant struggle with sin (even as redeemed people of God), that even as we desire to obey God, sin is close at hand. It seems sin is around every corner. Near the end of the chapter, Paul exclaims, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” The answer is, of course, Jesus.

Romans 8 begins with, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” This is one of the most beautiful promises in the entire Bible! It comes as a flood of hope in light of our constant struggle with sin. Even though we have been declared holy and blameless before God, we struggle to live like it in our daily lives. We are not perfect the instant we come to Christ, but our condemnation is gone! We are not condemned for our sin because Jesus already bore our condemnation. Jesus was a once-for-all, all-sufficient, perfect sacrifice that satisfied all of God’s wrath against our sin. There is now no condemnation left for us to bear! Jesus paid it all!

This is grace.

Studio Update:

Yes, I started a white peony in the middle of September, but it’s going to be the cover for the 2024 calendar (stay tuned for the download to launch in November)! I also worked on some pen and ink drawings to hopefully screen print soon. With screen printing, it seems I’m always pushing the boundary of too much detail…but when it prints successfully, it’s so worth it. Then, I started painting my veggies; I still have quite a lot of work left on those.

Anyway, that’s a wrap for the October post…crazy the year is going by so fast!

Thanks for stopping by,


Posted on

An Invitation

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Isaiah 55:7

When we see who we are, unrighteous, unworthy sinners, and then we see this invitation to seek the Lord, and to return to Him, it seems impossible because we are filthy. We are not worthy to come to Him. Our sin clings so closely; it is our nature. To come to His holy presence is certain judgment and wrath. How could we ever become worthy to come to him?

Through Jesus, God has made a way for us to come into His presence. Because Jesus already bore the punishment and wrath for all sin, God can now justly cleanse and welcome sinners into his holy presence. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

When we turn from our sin, and turn to the Lord, we are welcomed in His presence. We have confidence before our God because He is faithful, merciful, and gracious. We can come freely, openly, just as we are with all our needs, fears, and sins and He will cleanse, comfort, and provide because of His steadfast love.

This is grace.

Studio Update:

My studio extends beyond the average pencil-and-paper desk area. I take my art almost everywhere I go, and I put my creativity into everything I do…including food. Saturday mornings are my days to make Claude (my sourdough starter) into something fun or fancy. This Saturday, I made a basic sweet roll dough, filled it with chocolate, and drizzled with an orange-vanilla glaze.

On the paper-and-pencil side of my studio, I’ve really been enjoying some of my latest projects…designing some mini cards and hopefully, a recipe card set.

Hope you enjoyed this post! Thanks for stopping by!


Posted on


 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him…

Colossians 1:21-22

Consider who we were without Christ, and how Christ’s perfect righteousness can be ours because of what Christ has done. Jesus’ righteousness is not just evening out the scale for us. It’s not like God “cleans up” our own righteousness with a little bit of Jesus’ or supplements our righteousness with Jesus’ when we are lacking. No! Our righteousness counts for nothing before a holy God. We are lacking in every way!

Nothing we do could change us from alienated and hostile to holy and blameless. Only because Jesus lived the holy and blameless life that we could not, and died in our place, can we be changed from hostile enemies, separated from God. Only because Jesus lives to mediate between us and God can we become holy and blameless children. When God looks at us, he sees Jesus’ holy and blameless life instead of our sin.

Thus, we who were once alienated and hostile have become holy and blameless and above reproach! By faith in Christ, we become set apart from sin, free of blame and guilt, removed from God’s disapproval and disappointment in us. We become acceptable in God’s sight.

This is grace.

Studio Update:

I found my colored pencils in the last month. Honestly, I go in spurts. Sometimes, I want that watercolor feel and the stroke of a brush…and then there come the days when I long for the detail and intensity you get from colored pencils. And then…there’s the days when I want both. On the Christmas picture below, I laid down a wash of watercolor where I wanted the general colors to go, and then intensified and detailed it with colored pencil. So, so happy with all the textures and color my colored pencils give! Now, I’m about to go into a pen and ink spurt…

Anyway, that’s all for this post. Hope you enjoyed it!



Posted on

Servants of Righteousness

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

1 Peter 2:24

“He himself” (the perfect Lamb of God, who committed no sin, perfectly fulfilling the law of God) “bore our sins” (our disobedience that earned us death) “in his body on the tree…” He died on the cross, a sinner’s death, taking the full wrath of God on our behalf. His wounds are what bring us life.

Why? So that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. Because of what Christ has done, we can leave behind our sinful ways. More than that, we can be counted righteous before God. God paid our sinful debt so that now we can live in Christ’s righteousness. We are no longer servants of sin, we belong to righteousness and live for God. Now, we are being made holy so that we can enjoy eternal life with God (Romans 6:22).

This is grace.

Studio Update:

The garden has been going crazy in the last two weeks! There’s peas and beans and lettuce…and squash bugs and weeds, too. Tomatoes are blooming, eggplant is blooming, squash is setting on. We just dug up a bunch of potatoes yesterday. Anyway, between the garden, camp, and other busy weekends, I’ve been pretty focused on one project this month (pictures below). Hoping to ramp back up in July to work on some more fabrics and some just-for-fun projects.

Also, here are a few more how-to-draw worksheets, if you’re interested in trying them out.

Posted on

Christ’s Righteousness

God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21

We are sinners. Each of us, when given the choice, would always choose our ways over God’s. We naturally choose to love and serve ourselves rather than our Creator. In doing so, we set ourselves in direct opposition to God’s standard of righteousness. How, then, can can we become the righteousness of God?

Only through Jesus. Jesus was fully God and fully man, he was tempted in every way just like we are yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). In the Garden of Gethsemane, leading to the cross, Jesus showed his perfect and selfless obedience, praying “Not my will, but Yours be done.” In Hebrews 7:26, the Bible says that Jesus was “holy, innocent, unstained…” “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.” (1 Peter 2:22) Jesus’ righteousness is the only righteousness that can stand before a holy God. Only his perfect life satisfies the law of God.

Jesus, the only sinless man, humbly bore the consequence of our sin (death). He stood in our place, so that we could be counted righteous. When we turn from our sin and put our trust in Jesus alone, our sinful debt is paid. Now, in Christ, when God looks at us, He sees Christ’s righteousness instead of our own self serving ways.

This is grace.

Studio Update:

Well, things are moving quickly toward summer. The last of the peonies are falling apart and the garden is in full swing. Not everything is quite in the garden yet, but we’ve got most of the veggies in and the zinnias and cosmos are up. The garden is quite busy these days and there are yet more plants to get in!

But, I did manage to work on some art along the way. I wrapped up my colored pencil picture with some watercolor/brush lettering, and I am quite pleased with how it turned out. There are so many projects I want to work on, but not enough hours in the day. So…I guess I just have to enjoy the projects I do have time for, and keep the other projects ready for when I do have more time.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by!


Posted on

God’s Mercy

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved…

Ephesians 2:1-2

At the beginning of Ephesians 2, we are reminded of our sin problem. “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked…carrying out the desires of the body and mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (v 1-3). We were dead in our sins. We had no hope for judgment day. Eternal death was our sentence before we were even born.

“But God.” This is the biggest, most glorious contrast in the Bible! Everything pivots from looking at our sin and hopeless state, to gazing upon the mercy of our God. We now have hope! Because God is merciful, because He loves us so much, He made us alive with Christ! He forgave us our sin, and Jesus took the punishment we deserved.

Not only are we spared the punishment we deserve for our trespasses and sins, we are seated with Christ! We are given an inheritance with Jesus, blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1)! We are given above and beyond what we deserve.

This is grace.

Studio Update:

So much happens in a month! The daffodils have come and gone, and so have the tulips, too. We had some really amazing tulips this year, and I wish now that I’d taken some pictures. The peonies are budding up, we’ve planted lots of veggies and flowers in the garden, and every week something new is blooming!

As for the art, I got out my colored pencils for some more butterflies. (Butterflies and colored pencils were just meant to be together). Between this project and the garden (among other things), I’ve been pretty busy, so I haven’t worked on a lot of other projects besides a handful of doodles.

Anyway, hope this encourages you, and thanks for stopping by!


Posted on

Much More

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

Romans 5:10

How do we know God’s character is truly what God says it is? How do we know He is faithful, forgiving, and delights in steadfast love? Obviously, He tells us in the Bible. But God doesn’t just say words. He shows his steadfast love in His actions.

Even when we were dead in our sins, enemies of God, even when we were unworthy of God’s love, God gave it anyway. God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Don’t take ‘God shows His love’ lightly! It was a tremendous cost. God sacrificed His one and only perfect Son, Jesus, so that we could be reconciled. Jesus was willing to lay down his life to pay the debt of sin we owed. Jesus bore God’s wrath in our place!

But it doesn’t end with Jesus’ death. This month we’ll celebrate Resurrection Sunday because God raised Jesus from the dead, defeating our sin and death! Jesus’ death is proof of God’s steadfast love for us, and His resurrection is confirmation that we have a perfect mediator to stand on our behalf before a holy God (Hebrews 7:25). If our mediator was willing to lay down his life to reconcile us, his enemies, how much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life!

This is grace.

Studio Update:

It’s spring! The daffodils are starting to pop, and the hellebores are blooming, too. For the first week since November of last year, I had flowers on my desk at work! It’s been too long.

I’ve still been painting and drawing as usual. Here’s some snapshots from my latest projects (do I ever just have one?). The white peonies were definitely a challenge, but I’m pretty happy with them now. I’m painting on some soon-to-become fabric for summer, and dreaming about planting things in the garden.

Thanks for stopping by!


Posted on

God’s Forgiveness

He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

Psalm 103:10

This verse is not isolated from the rest of the chapter. Let’s consider a few snippets to give some context. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy…” (v2-4)

God’s steadfast love is why he does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love…He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.” (v 8,10-14)

This faithful and forgiving character is not just who we think God is or who we’d like him to be. No! God wrote this about himself. God is compassionate, forgiving, and merciful. He is like a Father, abounding in steadfast love. This is who God truly is. We know this because he fulfilled his promise of a Savior in Jesus.

This is grace.

Studio Update:

Here’s some samples of what I’ve been working on lately. Some watercolor-y doodles, pen and ink, calligraphy, the works. I’m excited about these pen and ink nasturtiums, this pink calligraphy ink, and watercolor polka-dots. I got out my old friends (my colored pencils) to work on some tulips, and I am so excited for spring!

In the garden, there are a handful of daffodils that are sending up shoots! There are hellebore buds shooting up from the base of the plants, just waiting to bloom! (Spring is my favorite season, if you couldn’t tell.)

Anyway, that’s all for now! Thanks for stopping by!