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This is a statue honoring George Mason that I discovered whilst wandering in D.C.. Despite being a lover of history, I had no idea who George Mason was, but I have quoted (or misquoted) him on occasion.
You may have also.
So here’s a quick top 10 on the other George..
10. He has a university named after him. George Mason University… obviously.
9. One of the founders of Alexandria, Virginia.
8. He said: “Don’t wait around for your life to happen to you. Find something that makes you happy, and do it. Because everything else is all just background noise.”
7. George and his wife, Ann, had many children. Nine of which survived to adulthood.
6. He grew up as a neighbor of George Washington.
5. Was one of three who helped draft the US Constitution at the US Constitutional Convention in 1787. But was not happy with the amount of power the government had, and thought it needed edits. He said, “I would sooner chop off my right hand than put it to the Constitution as it now stands.” He stood his ground with 2 other dissenters, and never signed it.
4. Drafted the Virginia State Constitution. Other states used his draft to draft their state constitution.
3. Leader in Virginia during the Revolutionary War.
2. George was a driving force behind the Bill Of Rights, and died about a year after it was ratified.
1. He said: “All men are created equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing the obtaining of happiness and safety.“
Point to ponder while you wander…. John 10:10 tells us that Jesus came to give life and life abundant. Sounds a lot like the right to pursue happiness. Doesn’t it?
In honor of Vincent VanGogh’s 165th Birthday…I offer Starry Night. Painted in June 1889. Currently housed by the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
“I know nothing with any certainty. But the sight of the stars makes me dream.” -Vincent VanGogh
I have a photo of a sunrise on my bookshelf. Just a basic 4×6 image in a frame. But this sunrise means more to me than other time I’ve seen the sun come up.
About 16 years ago I surrounded myself with people and things I couldn’t resist. Honestly, I didn’t even try to resist. I went in knowing exactly what would happen.
So in the early morning hours…I got in my car and headed home overflowing with guilt and shame.
Here I was saved, baptized, Holy Spirit filled…and in one night I threw it all away and did everything I swore I would NEVER do again.
I was ashamed, and felt like a worthless human, and then I drove around a corner to this sunrise…
I pulled to the side of the road, and sobbed. And sobbed. Full scale ugly cry.
With tears still streaming, I took this photo with a disposable camera to remember this moment.
In the instant I saw this sunrise, I heard God’s voice tell me He loved me .
In that moment I understood grace for the first time.
In that moment something changed in my mindset about mistakes, sin, and bad behavior. God was against sin and bad behavior because it hurt ME. It affected ME. It broke ME. He hated what sin did to His daughter.
He did not hate me because I screwed up/sinned/made mistakes.
He had not stopped loving me because I “backslid.”
Me He loved.
Sin He hated.
This was a life changer for me.
Point to ponder while you wander…
This sunrise image reminds me that His grace covers my mistakes, as I grow into who He made me to be.
His grace empowers me to do things I could never do alone.
Today I can do things with Jesus I could never do by myself. Even if I blow it and screw up today, I am loved.
On the campus of Grand Valley State University is Alexander Calder Fine Arts Center. When I attended there I had zero clue who Calder was, and I wondered why GVSU named their building after some guy I’d never heard of.
So when I saw his selfie in the National Portrait Gallery, my interest was piqued to learn a bit about Alexander.
1st fun fact…He went by Sandy.
2nd fun fact…His wife was Louisa James, grand niece of the author Henry James.
3rd Fun Fact….He is the the 3rd Artist named Alexander in His family. His grandfather was Alexander Milne Calder (best known for the William Penn Sculptue on the top of the Philadelphia Town Hall Tower). His father was Alexander Stirling Calder who sculpted many public installations around Philadelphia.
Sandy painted this self-portrait in 1925, while attending The Art Student League in NYC. This is just before he moved to Paris (where his career as a sculptor would began to take shape).
Alexander started his career as an engineer, then began painting New York street scenes and portraits, before settling into the mobile wire type sculptures and wire figures.
He is mostly known as the father of the mobile, but he also created jewelry and was a well established and talented print maker.
Point to ponder while you wander…If you’re famous, universities will give you free honorary doctorate degree and name buildings after you. Suddenly makes my student loans seem really stupid. 😉
Seems off topic…but it is not. In July 1969, Sandy was in Grand Rapids for the dedication of his sculpture there. Grand Valley awarded him with an honorary Doctor in Literature at their commencement ceremony. Three years later, the newly completed art center was named in his honor.
(Photo: From GVSU Website, Photographer Unknown.
This is La Grande Vitesse in Grand Rapids. It is affectionately known as “The Calder” and can actually be found in GR’s city logo. (Photo: Public Domain)
Today’s artist….Vincent VanGogh, aka Vinny V!
Fun facts about Vinny V’s Selfies…
*There are 39 surviving self-portraits bainted by VanGogh.
*The lack of a model often inspired Vinny to paint a selfie.
*Vinny exchanged selfies and letters with fellow artists Paul Gauguin and Émile Bernard.
*He used a mirror to help him paint his selfies.
*I’ve personally seen two of Vinny’s selfies.
The first is hanging in the Detroit Institute of Arts. It’s an oil on pasteboard, entitled, “Self-Portrait with Straw Hat, Summer 1887″
The second can be found in the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. This one is an oil on canvas entitled, “Self-Portrait, August 1889″. It is my favorite of Vinny’s selfies.
I love all the blues that make his eyes and ginger hair just pop! He seems confident in who he is, and what he is doing in this one. Maybe because 1889 was also the year he painted “Starry Night”, “Sunflowers”, and “Irises”. A very good year!
Bonus Selfie: There was one other self-portrait that is believed to have been destroyed during WWII. “Painter on his way to work: Vincent van Gogh on the road to Montmajour“.
Vinny painted it in August 1888. It was an oil painting on canvas, and was 48 × 44 cm.
My last visit to the National Gallery of Art I entered with an entire busload of Japanese tourists.
As we were moving through the galleries together I realized that this group of people were excellent selfie takers!
Now if you’ve been following along here for any length of time you know that where I start is usually not even close to where I end up. The journey on this particular day was how much effort selfies were before cellular phones.
In the present day…people with zero artistc ability can use selfie sticks & take as many shots as they need until they get a decent enough image to doctor with clever crops & fabulous filters.
But before that..
1. Set up the camera at the right height & angle. 2. Set the timer. 3. Then run like the wind to get in to the frame before the click. 4. Pray for a good shot.
But what about prior to cameras?
Seriously think about that!
To take a selfie…you had to have serious skills to draw, paint, or sculpt an image of yourself.
So I decided to do a new feature called #SelfieSaturday to celebrate how artists wished to present themselves to the world.
To kick it off…here is one of my own selfies. It’s a fave. It was taken several years ago while camping with friends.
I spent my early morning hours coloring a garden-type scene. I enjoy coloring plants! So many shades of green! So many textures!
I wonder how long God pondered the colors, textures, and characteristics of each plant before He spoke them into being?
I wonder how wide He smiled as He considered the colors of the Monarch butterfly and the flashing light of fire flies? As I personally believe He enjoyed every second of creation as I enjoy painting and coloring.
Do you enjoy coloring or being creative?
I personally believe the reason why so many people enjoy coloring (or woodworking, painting, planting gardens, knitting and the like…) is because they’re actually connecting to the One who created them.
We are creative beings! We create with our voices. We create with our minds. We create with our hands.
“So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27 NLT
Point to ponder while you wander…
I feel closest to Him when I am writing, taking photos, coloring, painting, or otherwise creating 🖌📸✏, when I wander around appreciating His artwork 🌌🏞🏜, or looking at art others created 📷🖼🎨.
Art and nature is how God speaks to me most often, and how I relate to Him. I have friends who relate to God in music, and others who connect by just acknowledging His Presence & sitting quiet and still.
How do you connect to God?