Tag Archives: nature imagery

“All Creation Sings”, Finished!

I so enjoyed painting this set of banners for Easter Lutheran Church in Eagan, MN.

Birch Forest Fox horiz

The goal of these banners is to lift up the natural habitat near this St. Paul suburb as God’s sacred creation. In order to do this I had to remember back to my childhood and early adulthood roaming the beautiful hardwood forests in eastern Iowa and the more northern birch forests of Minnesota. I am sure my first experiences of the sacred occurred from early childhood forrays into Grandma and Grandpa’s woods near Decorah, IA.,  later as a teen and young adult  canoing in the Boundary Waters of northern MN, and then during collage years taking refuge from aceademia in the Nerstrand Woods near Northfield MN, a last remnant of the historic Big Woods of Wisconson and SE Minnesota.

All Creation Sings the Glory of God: Oak

“All Creation Sings the Glory of God: Oak Forest,” silk dye on silk, 12 feet by 54 inches.

All Creation Sings the Glory of God: Birch

“All Creation Sings the Glory of God: Birch Forest,” silk dye on silk, 12 feet by 55 inches.

 

As a full-fledged adult living rurally in North Idaho and remotely in the North Cascades Wilderness at Holden village, and still today near Bellingham WA I search for peace, for life lessons, for beauty and awe-inspiring power and inevitable change of everything, even rock. I search for that which is greater than me in the forests. If I’m really lucky, very still, or completely dumbstruck by what I  experience in the wild, once in a while I can sense the God of Martin Luther, in, with, and through all things.

 

All Creation Sings

 

If I am very, very lucky, God’s  creation is a door that leads me to Tielhard De Chardin’s Sacred Millieu, where the veil thins and I glimps the sacred.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

From St. Patrick’s Breastplate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©2013 Kristen Gilje, Zion's Waterfall wc sketch

River Theme for a Northwest Church

Baptismal Waterfall with River Banners to surround the congregation

I am in the beginning stages of designing a large project for a Northwest  church…Here you can see how I start playing with the ideas. I’ll keep you posted as things progress. Nothing is for sure yet…but I hope the designs are accepted. Here are three versions of a waterfall, sketches in pastel…

©2013 Kristen Gilje Zion's Waterfall, pastel sketch 3    zion-waterfall-2

zion-waterfall

Only one of these three designs would be selected, and quite possibly altered to meet the needs of the church. The final banner  would hang behind an alter that opens up to a baptismal font.

It would be about 30 feet long, and up to 8 feet wide,  hand painted silk dye on silk Charmeuse.

The composition to the right here is my favorite I think. But I do like the yellow light in the sky of the other two. Maybe a combo?

What do you think? Leave me a comment.

 

 

Furthering the River theme would be several 8’x4′ panels on the walls  depicting macro images of a river flowing from the waterfall and embracing the sanctuary. Here is an example of one of these sketches, done in watercolor, and a second one below.

I sure hope this project flies, as I’d love to do it. But you never know until the contract is signed. Send me good thoughts or prayers if you are inclined.  And to the church that would commission these. I’d love to do this project.

©2013 Kristen Gilje River Banners WC sketch©2013 Kristen Gilje River Banners WC sketch

Nature Journaling

Drawing and Painting the Wild Journal

Sept. 6-9, 2012, North Cascades Institute’s  Learning Ctr

http://ncascades.org/signup/programs/the-wild-journal/program-registration

Preparations for this 4-day workshop are getting me excited! September is my favorite month to be in the mountains here. The weather is cooler but more predictably sunny, the bugs are fewer, and every plant and animal is putting for a last burst of beauty and wholeness before the early mountain snows and cold winds push them back beneath the surface. High mountain summers are brief and beautiful.

© Kristen Gilje 2005 Holden Lake Trail, Watercolor 10x14

We”ll be brushing up on drawing and watercolor skills in the morning, and using those skills to record our high mountain excursions in the afternoon, the easy way: we’ll be shuttled by van to places our resident naturalists choose for us. When it’s time for dinner we’ll be driven back to the Learning Center for a good meal and a warm bed.

Click on this link for more info on the workshop

http://ncascades.org/signup/programs/the-wild-journal

and click on this one to register:

http://ncascades.org/signup/programs/the-wild-journal/program-registration

North Cascade Institute Learning Center near Newhalem WA

 

 

Kristen Gilje wild-flowers-may19

 

 

 

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Trinity Lutheran, Couer d’Alene, ID

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Kristen Gilje with “Come to the Water” ©2008Kristen Gilje  in Coeur d’Alene, ID

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©2008 Kristen Gilje “Come to the Water,” 3 of 4 panels 65″x42″ each, acrylic on masonite. 

Here is a mural I completed for the entryway of Trinity Lutheran Church, Coeur d’Alene Id. in 2008.  The four arched panels are 5.5 feet tall by 3.5 feet wide each. The three panels above depict a small quiet pool with a waterfall that I used to frequent in the Cascade Mountains, at Holden Village. I considered it a sacred place.

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©2008 Kristen Gilje Panel 1 “Come to the Water: All Water Carries the Sacred.” Acrylic on masonite, 65 inches by 42 inches. 

 

The first panel, seen here,  is an image of Lake Coeur d’Alene, and is closest to the main door of the church.

 

I designed this panel to have an outward, rather than inward, view. If I were to title this panel alone it would be”All Water Carries the Sacred” or “Go out with Good Courage.” But all four panels together are called “Come to the Water.”

 

 

 

 

 

Someone at the church took a couple of pictures of all the panels together, and spliced them. It was the only way to get an image of all four panels together after they were installed.

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©2008 Kristen Gilje “Come to the Water.”    5.5 feet by 17 feet, acrylic on masonite,

 

Kristofer installing “Come to the Water”

WELL. You may be wondering how big a STUDIO I have, in order to make such big paintings? At the time we were renting a house from a friend who had an attic studio. It was good to have a space, and I could stand straight up right in the middle of the room.

Kristen at Harris Street Studio