December 11, 2012

Born to be...

I'm blaming it on all the thought-provoking things I listened to while painting--this particular blog post isn't all fluff. Just warnin' ya :)

But first, I thought I'd give you a complete look at the finished painting for my sister. The Alumni show at Redeemer is all wrapped up--to my chagrin, there was no guest book so I have no idea who, if anyone, went to check it out!

Completed painting of Italy, Cinque-Terre (Manarola)
Oil on Canvas, 24x30"
Copyright 2012 Lisa Smouter

This will most likely be my last painting I blog about for the year 2012, but I do have some crafty stuff and a couple whimsical paintings on the go right now :) This Italy painting was a joy to work on, and I could do it (mostly) in complete confidence--but whimsical, imaginitive things...well...I think it's probably good for the soul to let loose and say "I have NO idea what I'm doing!!" If I eventually sum up the courage, I'll show you some of those pieces. For now, I feel very strongly that my 2 year old daughter is doing a better job of it than I.

When I started out with this project I think I said:
"So I'm just going to be really carefree, paint nice and globby and loose, you know, it shouldn't take too long...  if you don't count the fact that I'm starting two years late."

Detail of painting, Oil on Canvas
Eating. Those. Words.

But, look how textured I managed to make it--you can actually see the globs of paint sticking out off the canvas!

One of my esteemed professors from Redeemer says I should just embrace it. I'm a realist.

Maybe I have a complex left over from high school where I continually heard "loosen up!" -- anyone else??

Anyways, I've heard that your style continues to mature with each hour you do it. So, naturally, by now I must be well on my way.... I'm not bothered by that at all, but I do have even more respect for the apprentice plumbers and electricians out there with something like 9 thousand hours required to graduate! Yikes!

Detail of Italy painting. Oil on canvas.
Below are a couple photos of my family--we spontaneously met at the school to check out the Alumni exhibit. There was a beautiful variety of work!

Look at Annie on the far right. She's looking at an installation piece displaying images of Clocks--she already looks distressed about it! Haha, must be the Vanderwoude in her :)

And now on a more reflective note, here's something I'd especially love to hear from you on:

Sometimes when life gets a little hairy, at the end of it all perhaps you sit down, have a glass of Kool-Aid and get in a philosophical frame of mind. And ponder,

Was I really born to be a [insert vocation here]?

Do you ever pause to consider it--your main purpose in life, which is supposed to impact every part of your day? WHY am I here, doing THIS?

I think I ask this is because balancing the nitty-gritty of multiple roles is difficult, and there is no instruction manual.

If IKEA made a life manual, it might be neatly divided into separate sections which, much like their furniture, are never to be attempted simultaneously:

  • 1.1 How to assemble the HAHPI HUHBI HOUSE
  • 1.2 How to make a MARI MUM + MINI-WUNS
  • 1.3 How to put together a PURDY PIKCHUR

Some days, mashing these so-called instruction manuals together feels like--mushy instructions...

For practical reasons I've instituted a heirarchy in my To-Do list. Painting is about halfway down that list, but I don't think it's content to keep the peace there. As a result I find myself painting until 2am!

Which leads me back to my question--why do this? My mom told me I was "looking quite run-down", and she says everything nicely!

For now, I'm very content to be led to the One who was Born to be the Saviour of us all. I'm not born to be number one, I'm born to serve number one. My own limitations have yet again pushed me to the limitless God, to understand my place and purpose within the context of His service. God has put me here, given me great riches, and will give strength and wisdom to manage it all! It's like a light goes on, and I relax.

"I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me!" Philippians 4:13

How appropriate for this time of year... Merry Christmas everyone--I hope you also find comfort in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ!



So it's quite a heavy-duty thing to ask you to comment on... But I love to hear from you! Leave a comment, or send me an email :)


  1. Oh Lis - you're so deep! ;)
    Seriously though, awesome blog post - something I need to be reminded of today! Thank you :)

    ps. That painting is amaze, as per usual. Photo's don't do it justice ;)

  2. Hello Lisa;
    Beautiful piece!!! Your sis it one very blessed girl to have received such an amazing work of art, and you are one very blessed and gifted person to have so masterfully painted it! The text you selected and posted on your blog - I love it!! It's my fav. and coincidently I've had it pasted on the wall at my office desk for the last couple of years already- it's there everyday to encourage us!

  3. WOW What a fantastic work of art!! You amaze me every time!!
    I still marvel almost every day at the "GIRLS"... as it still hangs proudly in my living room.
    All the best ... in all you do.

  4. thanks for taking the bait ladies! :)
    Aunt Helen--I can see how that text would be extra-significant for you :) Would be pretty to do up in vinyl for a wall...

  5. Stumbled onto this blog by accident and WOW, this is an amazing piece of work! I love the brush strokes in the ocean and the beautiful detail in the rock; nice depth as well. Thank you for this – truly inspirational :)