Some Beautiful Artwork For Your Friyay!

Happy Friyay! I have a special treat for you today, an interview and artwork from a very talented artist. She’s not just an artist, but also my Mom. 🙂

What you’re seeing here today is but a fraction of the wonderful oil paintings that grace the walls of my parent’s home, and that of our families. I hope you enjoy and please feel free to comment. Have a great weekend!

This painting celebrates the trees in a farmer’s field down the road. The farmer had trouble with wolves. The trees were destroyed because the cows were too attracted to the Crab Apples. Glad I painted a picture of those lovely trees.

How did you get into painting?

As a timid child, in a large immigrant family, I started school at the age of six. I had teachers that encouraged my drawing ability. My love of art grew, as I grew. After my marriage, I moved to a farm, where my husband and I raised four children. It was a good time, and I did try to find time for art, but at first it was water colors. Later, I discovered my real love was oil painting. It is such a relaxing and forgiving medium; no rush, and if I don’t like something I can just paint over it. Oil painting is best done in layers, anyway.

Lighting is everything on a finished painting. The daylight gives it an authentic sheen that becomes more mysterious by lamplight, so the picture is never quite the same. That is what I love about oil paintings.

Taken from a photograph. MacDougall Mill in Renfrew, Ontario, Canada.

What is your favorite subject to paint?

I try to diversify, but the easiest for me is trees. I love doing skies and landscapes. Bright, cerulean skies, with whitish puffy clouds and shadows, is a great way for me to start a painting.

A peaceful fall scene. Again, from my imagination.

Do you enjoy listening to music while you paint?

Music is a staple in my life. I especially love listening to beautiful hymns. I am so thankful for easy access to talented, Christian musicians. I almost always listen to music as I paint.

No longer used by humans. Left for wild animals. A sad and lonely painting.

If you could go back in time and learn from a famous artist?

I would love to learn from the 16th century artists, who mastered skin tones and shadows. Someone like Rembrandt. I like art that attempts to portray the natural world, over modern art, though some of those can be quite striking also.

A playful winter scene from my imagination. Happy times!

This scene is from our backyard, on a calm winter evening.

A peaceful scene, and something from the past. A farmer’s wife wife bringing him an early supper. They are offering up a prayer of thanksgiving to God.

Thank you, Mom, for being a guest today, and for everything you’ve done for us over the years. We love you very much. But, there’s one last very important question. How did you manage to raise such an angelic, oldest son?

Ummmhmmm . . . (nods and smiles) 🙂

Meet Wendi Bierman:

Wendi Bierman was born in Holland and immigrated to Canada at the age of four, as part of a large family. She grew up in Pembroke, Ontario, Canada, and had a happy, busy childhood, with church every Sunday. She became a follower of Jesus at a young age, and has remained a Christian all her life.

As a teen, she loved roller skating, reading mystery books, learning to play music, and singing. Wendi married a farmer and moved to Athens, Ontario. They have raised four children, now married and enjoy eight grandchildren. Each one of those grandchildren has received a painting of themselves, at age seven, doing something they liked to do. Something for them to remember their grandmother in later years. Grandpa has added to this by making the lovely frames.

Wendi is thankful for everyday, along with the gift of art and painting that is in her soul.

Photos with Captions, To Make You Smile and Think

It’s hard to believe that we’ve arrived at March 3, already. Seems like a blink since we were in our homes, ringing in 2021, COVID style. As vaccinations roll out and the most vulnerable are innoculated, we cling to the hope of showing this pandemic the back door.

While you wait, here’s a few photos and captions that I hope will take your mind off things. Enjoy!

I’m hiring them to build our addition. It’s going to cost large, in worms and dryer lint, but so worth it!

There’s nothing wrong with the occassional ‘Dad Joke’. 🙂

Very proud of my daughter, as she learns different forms of art.

An Interview with Musician Thomas Mastin; A Tale of Trials, Resilience, and Faith

Today I’m privileged to host, once again, nineteen-year-old singer/song writer Thomas Mastin. Some of you may recognize the name from a previous interview we did back in December of 2018. Please click on the link, if you want to read that one. Please note, that some of the links on that post are no longer available or relevant.  His current social links and some videos can be found at the end of this short interview.

Interview With Up And Coming Musician, Thomas Mastin

Thomas and I go a few years back, I remember a time when he needed two hands to swing one drumstick. Ok, maybe not that long, but it’s been a pleasure watching him grow from a young kid playing his heart out at church, into the talented musician he is today.

I’m offering you a brief glimpse into his journey. A tale of struggles, perseverance, Faith, life detours, and lessons. Thomas’s ‘can do’ spirit is an inspiration!

Me: You’re not a shiny penny to the music industry. You’re young, but you’ve already had a significant amount of experiences. Can you share some of those?

Thomas: Two summers ago, I was a drummer in a band called Arbour Season. We played a lot of venues in Florida including Busch Gardens, Splitsville in Disney Springs, and Mother’s Restaurant in Tampa. We’ve also done House Shows, which are exactly what they sound like. The band would do their gig at a residence either indoors or out.

Me: There’s been some ‘bumps in the road’ since those sunny Florida days. Can you share what’s happened and how the course of your career has changed?

Thomas: Well, as things go, we parted ways and I charted a course for a solo career, however, I’m a social guy and decided it wasn’t for me. I met Nathan Hardy, an amazing guitar player and fellow song writer. We formed Hello July. The name came to us one day, when we were in Nashville. I saw a poster for a band called Goodbye June. I jokingly mentioned Hello July. The agency that signed us, Brave Enough Agencies, supported it.

We began singing Blues, but our genre has evolved into a mixed style of rock and pop. It almost sounds a bit like Cold Play, and U2.

ThomasandNathan1

Thomas Mastin & Nathan Hardy

I’ve gone through an issue with my voice. As it turns out, I was straining my vocals, making them inflamed and they bled at times. Someone who knows more about singing than me, said to be careful, or there could be permanent damage. I’m taking some lessons and going a bit easier. I’m also learning certain diets that can help or harm your voice.

Me: I hope coffee’s okay!

Thomas: (laughs) “Oh yeah. I couldn’t do without it. I also couldn’t do without the ton of people reaching out to me right now. I didn’t expect that. It’s incredible! People have offered free lessons, I’ll have to choose which offer to take.

Pastor Dusty (Parkway Church, Amherstview, Ontario) has also been a huge inspiration. When I was eight, he told me, “If you can’t sing for five people, you can’t sing for 5,000.”

I’ve never forgotten that saying, even put it in the notebook that I use to write music. Those words remind me to be humble and with the trials of the past year, I’ve lost an arrogance. I’m no longer that high schooler who expects everything to fall into place.

Me: I think people can relate to struggles. We all have them and there’s an appreciation for an artist who is open about their challenges. They realize they’re not alone. Listening to music is often an emotional experience for most people. It can soothe, recall distant memories, and bring joy. You’ve been given a special gift.

Thomas: Yes, and now I’m in a place where people can relate to me better. This past year has taught me who I really am and that I sing, not for fame, but for God and to inspire listeners. It’s been hard for some to wrap their heads around the fact that I’m not pursuing a Christian music career, exclusively. I understand that, really, because when you grow up in the church and you say that you’re pursuing a music career, they expect Christian only. But I want to reach those who are struggling, both Christian and non. The band, NeedToBreathe, does this. They play worship songs on Sunday mornings, but festivals throughout the week.

We are planning a tour of Canada first, before eventually heading to America. We’re hoping to start with a few local House Shows. I’m willing to travel to the Toronto to Ottawa areas, and beyond. We have one booked, a couple from our church, they want to be the first.

Thomassinging

Thomas in action!

Me: Does Hello July have any videos?

Thomas: We’ve made four. Speaking of a humbling experience, one day I was in a line-up at the grocery store and a woman behind me recognized me from a video. I asked her how she liked it, expecting a positive answer.

“It’s a good thing you’re pretty!” she said.

(laughs) I was surprised but answered, “Well, I’m glad I’m pretty, at least.”

Me: We all get those. They’re great reminders that not everyone appreciates your work. Most of the time it’s a matter of personal tastes. Personally, I don’t pay much attention unless a particular issue is mentioned by several different people.

Check out Hello July singing Coldplay’s  song, Yellow.

 

 

Hello July on YouTube

My name is Thomas Mastin, I’m a 19 year old singer song-writer from Roblin, Ontario! Here are some links to my social media and one of the videos my bandmate Nathan and I have put out.

Find out more about Thomas and Hello July 

Hello July on Facebook 

Hello July on Instagram

Thomas Mastin on Facebook

Thomas Mastin on Instagram

 

 

Welcome to the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour

Watch Write Showcase Tour

 

smalldenise

Welcome to the second day of Rave Review Book Club’s blog tour! A parade of very talented authors who are members of the Rave Writers – International Society Of Authors (RWISA). Today, I am privileged to host D.L. Finn. Please enjoy this wonderful poetry piece written by her. If she’s turned you into a fan, please click on the link at the bottom of this page to learn more about D.L.

POETRY by D. L. Finn

ICICLES 

The icicles dangle downward

Reaching for the substantial snow

Each drop bringing them closer

As the landscape merges into itself

It is silent in its existence

Until a raven reveals itself

Wondering what’s in the trash

Yet, the moment remains peaceful

Sitting and surveying in the chill

An instant promising potential

When there is no celerity

When crackling fires call

When surroundings are concealed

Soon, the renewal will be revealed

But now it’s the stage of contemplation.

For sustenance

For solace

For soul

To live on our abundance of the past

This is the gift of the snow

When we can replenish our hearts

In the silence of the icicles.

 

FREEDOM (Musings from the back of a Harley)

The freedom of the blue skies

Welcome us warmly back

Our path is asphalt

Our vehicle a mechanical horse

Our guide is the wind

Lush green walls soar

The sun illuminates the way

Oaks are waking up after a long nap

And I…

I fill my soul

With nature’s flowering renewal

Bursting with beauty and abundance

In the freedom of spring.

 

WHERE THE RIVERS MEET

Roaring white, pounding the granite

Swirling, swelling, splendor

The air is heavy with anticipation

It blows over me like a lover’s touch

Filling my heart with sweet floral ecstasy

I relax into the experience

Each breath carries away my worries

My eyes fill with abandonment

As the rushing liquid serenades me

Singing the praise of this paradise

Until the different directions converge

After a brief resounding rumble

They combine and continue on their way

Leaving the moment where the rivers meet.

 

OCEAN

As I sit perched up high on our lanai

Comfortable on my recliner in the shade

The ocean draws my gaze

Its sapphire and emerald water calls me

While the blue pool floats in its space—uninviting

I hear the sea’s song as it smashes onto the shore

The surfers ride its motion

The snorkelers gaze into its depth

And the swimmers float on its perception

Our attraction is undeniable

Opposites: one of air, one of water

It beckons, and I must respond

Offering myself up to the hidden world

Under the cerulean summon

I answer, embracing the ocean completely.

Thank you for supporting this member, along with the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today! We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan. 

We also ask that you check out their books in the RWISA and RRBC catalogs. Thanks again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member during this amazing tour of talent! Please click on the link below to learn more about this author.

D.L. Finn