SO…WHY BE AFRAID?

Psalm 37 (A Psalm of David)

by Linda A. Wingfield
September 20, 2020

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Several things strike me as I read through this Psalm.

First of all, the entire treatise tells us (as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ) not to fret, worry, or be afraid…of anything…of any wrong being done (to us or others).

Some people interpret this to mean that we should just sail along and let the devil steal from us, kill us, and otherwise destroy us, as if we are helpless babies. Such is not the case.

Wound throughout the treatise, is the omnipresent and ongoing answer to making it through your life (at any time…not just “this season”) filled with God’s PEACE.

Consistently, throughout the Psalm, David says that we should not fret, BUT…we should TRUST IN THE LORD. It’s one thing to TRY not to worry, but it’s quite another thing to admit that we have been fearful, then to turn around (literally, if we need to) look the Lord in the eyes, and say, “I trust in you, Lord, to do good…to cut down the evil (and the evildoers) as if you were mowing the lawn. I trust in your faithfulness, Lord, and I let go of my doubt and unbelief. Thank you, Father God, for your loving care and protection, through your angels and your Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name. Amen!”

Another point that David consistently made, was that we need to KNOW THE DIFFERENCE between true evil and true good. He extensively enumerated things like, “…him who prospers in his way because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.” That stands out pretty boldly, in today’s world. There are constantly people saying things like, “Follow the money,” and, “Someone’s paying the rioters,” and right now, “Who’s paying the arsonists?”

So…is God saying to just turn a blind eye to all of these things? NO! David then specifically says, “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret–it only causes harm–for evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait on the Lord shall inherit the earth. Yet a little while, and the wicked shall be no more; indeed, you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more.”

Again, David says, “…those who wait on the Lord shall inherit the earth.” He’s telling us to spend our time–instead of walking in fear, trepidation, doubt, anger, etc.—talking to and walking with the Lord. Spend your time DOING, “…if my people, who are called by my name…” (2 Chronicles 7:14) Look it up.

David says, “The wicked have drawn the sword and have bent their bow–to cast down the poor and needy, to slay those who are of upright conduct. Their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.” We’re definitely seeing those kinds things in 2020 (and believe me, this is not the ONLY time either I or many, many others have seen these things). David saw it back in HIS time…why else would the Lord have moved him to remind people about it?”

It’s a fact…David is instructing us in this Psalm, about the sorts of things that ARE wicked, so that we might recognize them when we see them, and then be able to combat them.

Then he instructs us about HOW to deal with them…”Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

As a human race, we have a common ground that a lot of people don’t realize. We HAVE DESIRES OF OUR HEARTS! Sometimes those desires are bent in the wrong directions. Once we accept Jesus as our Lord, we begin to learn more and more and more and more and more about how to bend those desires in the right directions. We need to recognize those who are still bent on destruction [against the will of the Lord] versus those who are (whether from a long time back or just recently) bent on walking in the love of God, which builds up His people…not destroy them. Then we need to seek the Lord to know what He would have us do to help Him, in this earth, to turn the evil around and off.

Notice that David’s instructions contain actions from us, toward God: trust; do; dwell; feed; delight. There are also actions from God, toward us: He will hear; He will give; He will lead; He will protect…etc.

Once again…God doesn’t expect us to just sit idly by and let everything happen that the devil has in mind for us! If God says, “Go…DO…” just do it! If God says, “Continue praying…” pray…and pray some more…until He says to move on to something else. If God says, “Vote for…” listen carefully, and do it! While you’re DOING…stop fearing, worrying, spreading anger, or purveying doom!!!


It’s interesting to note that in this Psalm, David says something THREE TIMES, in slightly different ways:

#1 “Yet a little while, and the wicked shall be no more; indeed, you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more. THE MEEK, HOWEVER, SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH, AND SHALL DELIGHT THEMSELVES IN THE ABUNDANCE OF PEACE.”

NOTE: In order to inherit the earth and be able to delight ourselves in the abundance of peace, we will have been able to notice that the evil has been vanquished.


#2 “THE LORD KNOWS THE DAYS OF THE UPRIGHT, AND THEIR INHERITANCE SHALL BE FOREVER. THEY SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED IN THE EVIL TIME, AND IN THE DAYS OF FAMINE THEY SHALL BE SATISFIED. However, the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord–like the splendor of the meadows–shall vanish; into smoke they shall vanish away.

NOTE: In order to have our forever inheritance, to not be ashamed (even in evil times), and to be satisfied (even throughout famines), we will have been able to notice that the evil has vanished.


#3 “WAIT ON THE LORD AND KEEP HIS WAY, AND HE SHALL EXALT YOU TO INHERIT THE LAND; WHEN THE WICKED ARE CUT OFF, YOU SHALL SEE IT. I have seen the wicked in great power and spreading himself like a native green tree. Yet he passed away, and behold: he was no more. Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found.”

NOTE: In order to be exalted and inherit the land, we will have been able to SEE that the evil “is no more!” Indeed, we will be able to seek him (because we’ll still exist)…but he will not be found. PERIOD.


Every one of those passages, and basically the entire Psalm, tell us that David understood perfectly that we live in a world where the devil wants to kill us, to steal from us, and to destroy us. Those are his motives…pure and simple.

BUT GOD…if we spend our time doing what He asks of us because we are spending our time looking into His eyes and delighting in Him…WILL make what the devil meant to harm us ricochet right back at him, with all of the Lord’s DUNAMIS (unending & righteous power) behind it…AND WE SHALL SEE IT HAPPEN!

That brings me to my three final points (which are all the same point)…


(1) Some people say that the time we are in is THE end of time, in the Biblical sense. They say that this is IT. Unfortunately, most people that proclaim that at ANY given point in time, tend to quite obviously not understand that at THAT time, the dead in Christ shall rise with Him in GLORY, we will have the most wonderful, beautiful, whole, free-from-sin-and-death place to live…EVER. Instead, they warn people to arm themselves against “the apocalypse,” and to do things like hoard food and goods, etc., etc., etc. Basically, they are spreading fear and trepidation, with no hope.

The thing is…if it IS that “end of time,” then those who are hoarding and trying to hide, will be found…and their end is at hand…they must reckon, then, with our great and holy God Almighty. There will be NO hiding from Him. Those who have “delighted themselves in the Lord and trusted in Him” for all things will be WITH God, proclaiming His glory and love, with every need met…no need for hoarding.

SO…WHY BE AFRAID?
…unless you are one of those who has been coming AGAINST God’s love and mercy?


(2) Others are saying that we are in END TIMES, in the Biblical sense. Personally, I think they are right. On the other hand, even many of those people are saying THAT with a rather “doom and gloom” point of view!

The thing is…if we are truly in the End Times, then we should be REJOICING! Again…there is no need for hoarding…there is no need for fear…unless you are in the crowd who will have to reckon with our great and holy God Almighty, from who you will NOT be able to hide. Again…those who have “delighted themselves in the Lord and trusted in Him” for all things will be WITH God, proclaiming His glory and love, with every need met…no need for hoarding.

SO…WHY BE AFRAID?
…unless you are one of those who has been coming AGAINST God’s love and mercy?


(3) Finally (as a simplistic round-up…this could go on in several directions, actually), both of the above groups, on a large scale, at least, seem to be focused on “the fact” that if someone gets into the top two offices of The United States beginning with 2024, who would then proceed to slide us into socialism, fascism, Marxism, or any other ‘ism, we will REALLY need to hoard food, and all the other stuff, and that our lives here on earth will be miserable, miserable, miserable. That well may be.

The thing is…has the scenario really changed, in any of those possibilities?

In any of those or any other eventualities (which means any and all of that IS coming, at some point, in some way, shape, or form, and with some type of intensity), there are three things to take away from it all:

(a) Are you delighting in the Lord and seeking His face on an ongoing basis…truly?

(b) Are you going around trying to snuff out those who are doing (a)?

(c) Are you ready to meet the Lord firmly able to stare Him in the eyes, and confess, “Jesus Christ…and Him crucified!”?

SO…WHY BE AFRAID?
…unless you are currently choosing (b)?


At the end of Psalm 37 (shown in its entirety, below, from the New King James Version of the Bible), I’ll quote two more (fairly short) pieces of scripture.


Psalm 37:1-40 (NKJV)

1-2
Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity, for they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

3
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

4
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.

5-6
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

7
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

8-9
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret–it only causes harm–for evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait on the Lord shall inherit the earth.

10-11
Yet a little while, and the wicked shall be no more; indeed, you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more. The meek, however, shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

12-13
The wicked plots against the just and gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, for He sees that his day is coming.

14-15
The wicked have drawn the sword and have bent their bow–to cast down the poor and needy, to slay those who are of upright conduct. Their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

16-17
A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked, for the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18-20
The Lord knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. However, the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord–like the splendor of the meadows–shall vanish; into smoke they shall vanish away.

21-22
The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous shows mercy and gives, for those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth, but those cursed by Him shall be cut off.

23-24
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.

25-26
I have been young–and now am old–yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken nor his descendants begging bread. He [the righteous] is ever merciful, and lends, and his descendants are blessed.

27-28
Depart from evil, and do good, and dwell forevermore, for the Lord loves justice and does not forsake His saints. They are preserved forever, but the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.

29
The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell in it forever.

30-31
The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom and his tongue talks of justice. The law of his God is in his heart. None of his steps shall slide.

32-33
The wicked watches the righteous and seeks to slay him. The Lord will not leave him [the righteous] in his hand nor condemn him when he is judged.

34
Wait on the Lord and keep His way, and He shall exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.

35
I have seen the wicked in great power and spreading himself like a native green tree. Yet he passed away, and behold: he was no more. Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found.

37
Mark the blameless man and observe the upright, for the future of that man is peace, but the transgressors shall be destroyed together.

38-40
The future of the wicked shall be cut off, but the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord. He is their strength in the time of trouble. The Lord shall help them and deliver them. He shall deliver them from the wicked and save them, BECAUSE THEY TRUST IN HIM.


Philippians 4:4-9 (NKJV)

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all people. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything–by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving–let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God–which surpasses all understanding–will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report–if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.


Psalm 28 (NKJV)

To You I will cry–O Lord, my Rock. Do not be silent to me, unless…I become like those who go down to the pit. Hear the voice of my supplications–when I cry to you–when I lift up my hands toward your holy sanctuary.

Do not take me away with the wicked and with the workers of iniquity–who speak peace to their neighbors but evil is in their hearts.

Give them according to their deeds and according to the wickedness of their endeavors. Give them according to the work of their hands. Render to them what they deserve, because they do not regard the works of the Lord nor the operation of His hands. You shall destroy them and not build them up.

Blessed be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplications! The Lord is my strength and my shield. My heart trusted in Him and I am helped. Therefore, my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.

You are our strength, Lord, and you are the saving refuge of your anointed ones. Save your people, and bless your inheritance. Shepherd us, also, and bear us up forever.



My “Songs of Hope and Joy” YouTube Playlist
(my channel is Grandma’s Gone Gaming)…

Voted!

Just went and voted. COLD outside…brrr…snowed lightly sometime before we left (about 7:30 AM), then snowed very lightly just as we got home about 45 minutes later (we only live about 5 minutes from our polling place). It’s 29 degrees F. right now…brrr!

New Post Test

TO AUTHORS…

I have just pulled up a New Post form, and am writing this as a test, to show that once it’s saved, it actually does show up on the “New Posts” Page as it should.

Alaska–All the Colors of White

“Emerging” (Copyright 2005–Gary H. Minish (My Brother)–Used by Permission)

There are links you can follow (for illustrations and more detailed information) throughout this article. I originally wrote this piece in 1988, then after 1995, I added the first weblinks. Since then I’ve been updating the links at least once a year, because the internet is not a static entity. This is my latest version. I would suggest that you read the entire article through first, rather than going down every “rabbit hole” as you read through the first time. Mostly, though, I hope you enjoy my colorful description of a place that many people (yes…even in this day and time) think is simply black and white, and all snow and ice…all the time.


Did you know any Eskimos? Did you live in an igloo? How could you stand all that snowy whiteness? Is it always dark there? Is it always daylight there? These are some of the questions people ask when they discover I lived in Alaska for 26 years.

As I was growing up, I was told that I did live in an igloo—or, as the Eskimos would say in English, a house. Though hunters in Eskimo bands sometimes had to build snow igloos to survive—I was taught—most of the time they lived in other types of homes. I had several Eskimo schoolmates, and none of them had ever seen a snow igloo.

In recent years, tours to Alaska have been advertised all over the world, but people still tend to think of Alaska as a colorless and drab wasteland of snow and ice. To me, Alaska is a wonderfully colorful and vibrant place that affects the spirit, the soul, and the body. Alaska’s unique environment, her multi-colored population, her lifestyles, and her myriad languages are all equally, alluringly painted in my memory.

Short-time winter visitors might well believe the tales of never-ending ice and snow—their mental images of Alaska remaining frozen in black and white. But let me guide you through the 49th State—The Last Frontier—as I remember her. Let me spin for you her complex color wheel, as it revolves through an entire year.

In the icy whiteness of January, black, sub-arctic nights blend with short, white days, creating an enduring impression of gray. Pale sunshine reaches hesitantly past the horizon about noon, but quickly hides behind the mountains as mid-afternoon threatens. Darkness soon triumphs, defeated only by bright winter moonscapes, sparkling distant stars, and sometimes by the eerie, but spectacular, sliding, whirling rainbows of the Aurora Borealis that sporadically race through the icy skies.

In February—tired of the gray, winter monotony—many brave the frozen highways—heading to Anchorage for the annual Fur Rendezvous. Everywhere one can see huge signs urging you to “Think Snow!” Nature doesn’t always cooperate, so enough snow for the sled dog races sometimes has to be hauled in. Then the “Rondy” can begin. The sluggish, black, white, and dirty gray of Anchorage’s busy city streets become vividly painted and animated, as eager carnival-goers don shiny, insulated snowsuits, hats, and heavy gloves—braving the elements throughout this brief, brilliant winter carnival.

Some weeks later dog mushers from all over the world travel to the state to join in the Iditarod Trail Race. This event also begins in Anchorage, but its fiercely competitive participants then traverse the icy, white expanse of frozen tundra all the way to Nome.

“Okay,” you’re probably thinking, “So I was right—Alaska is mainly ice and snow, and mostly black and white!”

But wait! After the long winter, the spring months ease in, causing the cold winter colors to begin to melt and disintegrate—bringing life to a whole different scene. Daylight hours creep slowly backward to mid-morning and inch forward to late afternoon. Sticky, rust-colored willow buds seem to change overnight to the creamier, fluffy softness of pussy willows. Gradually, a tinge of green begins to show through their furry white jackets, and soon the speckled “catkins” drop into dwindling deposits of dirty, leftover snow—allowing tiny, gray-green, velvety willow leaves to appear. Other freshly-green leaves soon follow, whispering to the hardy evergreen needles, “It’s spring! It’s spring! Help us celebrate spring!”

During the spring months yellow and green tones prevail above knee level, but by looking a bit lower, one can perceive the drab, wet, brown that has begun to spread across the ground—and into the homes. “Breakup” has begun. Aptly named, this “season” is typified by warm yellow sunshine and soft Chinook breezes, which combine to cause the ice, snow, and long-frozen earth to submit to their subtle warmth. Brown, sticky goo inevitably creeps into the homes “on foot,” dulling shiny floors and dirtying carpets for weeks.

As Alaskans begin to spend longer hours outdoors, a breeze of excitement weaves its way through the soft, blue spring skies—The Nenana Ice Classic has begun! This betting pool signals the end of “cabin fever” to many of Alaska’s winter-weary population. The people—freed from their winter imprisonment—place large sums on the exact day and time that the solid Tanana River ice will break up. Radio and television reports keep everyone informed minutely. The actual breakup is recorded electronically, by the moving of a special apparatus secured earlier in the surface of the still-frozen river. As large, gray and white ice floes begin to slowly grind and shift, the tension mounts…then, “Crack!” Spring rushes in with the thundering roar of waters too long kept locked up by the sparkling, icy grip of winter.

May and June usher in delicate, blue and yellow forget-me-nots (the state flower) and purplish lupine and iris. Along with fireweed and hundreds of other cascading and fragrant wildflowers, variegated Alaskan poppies begin to nod their rainbow-hued heads in the summer breezes, and brilliant magenta shooting stars cover the drying ground. Leafy green canopies begin to billow atop creamy birch and aspen bark, mottled gray alder trunks, and the muted tan of graceful willow and cottonwood branches. Long bright days taper gently to short pastel nights—accented by soft, often misty, rains and sighing breezes. Alaska has shaken off her heavy, drab (though often beautiful) winter parka and slipped into her brilliant, lightweight, summer windbreaker.

It has always seemed to me that Alaskan summers are somewhat frenzied. The “midnight sun” lends its nearly-24-hour light to hundreds of summer-only activities, including Fourth of July parades, fireworks, and festivals. Temperatures that had been well-below zero only a few weeks before, now reach even into the 90s. Flaming pink fireweed stalks stand tall and proud along many winding highways and gravel roads, guarding small, red, wild strawberries, tiny pink and white blossoms that will become lowbush cranberries, crowberries, and other small but plentiful fruit that will be highly-treasured in the Fall.

Farmers in the fertile Matanuska-Susitna Valley, outside of Anchorage, are busy taking advantage of the long hours of sunlight and the occasional summer rains to produce prize-winning fruit and vegetables known internationally for their quality and size. It isn’t uncommon to see men and machines laboring to till and plant the rich brown earth, into the wee hours of the twilight mornings.

All too soon, though, August arrives. The nights begin to darken earlier and earlier. However, fall in Alaska is probably more vivid than any other season. Frosty nights, warm days, and winter winds, combine to ripen leaves to gold, rust, then brown, creating a daily kaleidoscope—ever changing, always calling one to run outside early, and to stay outdoors late.

By this time, the salmonberries have already been harvested. Appropriately named, the salmonberry’s color approximates the flesh of a “pink” (one of the varieties of Alaskan salmon. As youngsters, we would impale one of the juicy fruits on a bent-safety-pin hook then dangle a fishing line in the sparkling streams near our homesite, luring the delectable Dolly Varden and Rainbow Trout to devour what they thought were clusters of salmon roe. Kin to blackberries, loganberries, and raspberries, many of the juicy, orange-red salmonberries—at least the ones that make it to the picking buckets—get lined up on pantry shelves in the guise of wonderful sparkling preserves and refreshing colorful wines!

Fire-engine-red elderberries and readily-available dandelions, have been mashed and fermented to make their tangy wines. As fall settles crisply over the land, glossy pendulous red currants and duller rounder red highbush cranberries beg daily to be scooped from their branches. They will be poured into huge pots to be boiled down into sparkling jellies, wines, and luscious confections. Blueberries hang quietly on their burgundy and green stems, staining harvesters’ fingers and mouths indigo, as they also await their ultimate fate. Alaskan “sourdoughs” gather brilliant autumn fruit from dawn to dusk—packing larders with colorful taste delights guaranteed to brighten even the darkest winter.

I can still visualize the way both the Alaskan wildlife and humans scramble to finish stocking up, as early hard freezes leave in their sparkling wakes the first grays and browns of early winter. Leaves begin to forsake their frozen, lonely branches that then begin to provide nourishment to the moose. Meanwhile, the caribou herds begin their migrations in search of winter feed, as well.

Suddenly it’s late October. One morning lacy white snowflakes float lazily down from thick, heavily-laden clouds, creating starkly beautiful mosaics across the velvet surface of a deep, rich, charcoal-gray sky. This is the end—yet the beginning—of another Alaskan cycle of color.

If you were a bear, you’d be snugly hibernating in a deep, dark cave, dreaming of your busy, painted summer. Being human, you can’t hide from the whiteness of winter, but you can face it more boldly by keeping the brilliant, vivid images of the seasons just gone past at the forefront of your mind, and by anticipating another brightly-colored spring—just around the corner.

Yes—I knew some Eskimos when I grew up in Alaska. Yes—I lived in an igloo—at least the English version of one. Yes—I endured the snowy whiteness and the darkness of the winters. However, my memory returns mainly to a vividly colorful Alaska, where I lived for 26 years, and to the special warmth and color of Alaska’s people.

(Copyright 1988 – 2018, Linda A. Wingfield)

Two PaintShop Pro “Paintings”

DIGITAL STORYTELLING
Copyright Phillip Martin Clip Art
http://www.phillipmartin.info/

I use PaintShop Pro for most of my digital artwork solutions. It will run Photoshop plugins, making the program quite flexible. The program used to be developed and sold by JASC, but Corel took it over somewhere in 2004. They’ve done a good job of keeping it similar to the original program, yet adding state-of-the-art capabilities every couple of years, that keep it on the cutting edge of graphics software. Even if it wasn’t as good as it actually is (I love it for many reasons), the price would mandate my choice. Whereas Adobe Photoshop costs about $250, Paint Shop Pro (which is also often bundled with other, related software) usually runs about $99 for the Ultimate version. I usually wait until it’s been out for a year or so, and buy the version that’s just going out, as they develop the next version. The version I am running right now is Pro 2020 64-Bit, which means I also own the 32-bit version, because when you buy the 64-bit version, they include the 32-bit one free, which is cool.

I started working with PSP’s brushes, trying to implement them in similar ways that I would wield actual paintbrushes, back in 1998 or so, on my Macintosh computer, shortly before the move to Corel was accomplished. Here are a couple of paintings I did. Keep in mind that I was still learning to actually do wet-on-wet painting, so one way or another, these paintings are pretty primitive. Still…I had fun making them, and I’ve kept them all of these years.

WILDERNESS…
This was my first effort at this type of image creation (in 2002), though I had been using PSP since 2000, I think. I was trying to get some distance effects, blended clouds, a sky providing a focused light, reflections, and things like snow on the mountains, running water, grass and trees, rocks, and reflections in the water. I was fairly please with that, and also with the fact that it has the basic look of having been actually painted on canvas. It was actually quite hard to achieve anything approaching brown, so I was pleased with that, as well. Not a single part of this was copied from anywhere. It was completely painted with the appropriate brush strokes, and layered only by using blending techniques…not by using actual layers (which I learned to do later).

(Copyright 2002-2018, Linda A. Wingfield)

ALASKA WATERS…
When I decided to do this painting (in 2003), I had been looking at an Alaska Magazine (to which I subscribed for many years, after moving away from Valdez) and had seen a photograph that looked somewhat similar to this painting, except with more detail. I was using the last version of PSP by JASC that I ever owned, as the following year Corel took it over. However, I had moved to my first Windows  computer (which I purchased when I could no longer afford the newer versions of Macintosh…sigh).

My purpose for creating this (other than the inspiration from the magazine) was to use it for a background for a website page I was working on. So I didn’t add any more detail than you see here, because I needed it to remain soft and muted, yet have enough depth to show that the mountains in the background were much further away than the 12 other land masses that would appear as you traveled forward along the waterway that winds along all of the shores. The mood was also supposed to express a slightly foggy, yet warming early morning. No foliage was added on purpose, as it was the landforms and the still, still, deep water that I wanted to represent. I still am pretty pleased with the result, that once again, was achieved only by using the available brushes built into that particular Paint Shop Pro version.

I just did a search for this type of a real Alaskan Scene. If you check out THIS LINK, you can see that I really did a pretty good job, though without the detail in the photograph.

(Copyright 2003-2018, Linda A. Wingfield)

Afghan Made on My USM

The USM (Ultimate Sweater Machine…previously called the Incredible Sweater Machine…previously called the Bond Knitting Machine) is a non-electric single-needle-bed knitting machine created in 1981, in the UK, by Roger Curry. The company is no longer in business, so if my machine ever breaks, the only way I might find parts would be on e-Bay or other such sites. It’s a very sturdy machine, thankfully, so I probably should have it as long as I need it (keeping in mind that as I write this, I’m almost 69 years old).

I created this afghan for my mom’s 86th birthday, in 2009. It’s another item I got back when she passed away in 2014, a few months before her 91st birthday.

Mom’s favorite colors were blue and white. She loved patterns like those used on Delftware, and the Willow Pattern (or Blue Willow). She also love Windmills, so many of the gifts she received from friends and family, for birthdays and Christmas, were similar to the items you can see HERE. Before she passed away, she had given away many of those knickknacks, but my sister Cindi (author Little Sister, on this Blog) has a few of them that she reclaimed after Mom’s funeral. I think my brother Gary (who still lives in Valdez, Alaska) took a couple of them, as well.

Mom also loved soft textiles, which made me think of creating this special afghan for her. She used it a LOT–especially when she was confined to a nursing home for the last three years of her life.

Here’s the afghan during construction, on my USM. That blue & white mug in the background was a gift from her to me, by the way. 🙂 While knitting with the machine, you see the back (purl side) of a project, so this looks slightly different than the second picture, which is of the front (knit side).

 

The afghan is about 6′ in length and nearly 5′ wide. Here it is on the office chair I use when working at my knitting machine these days. Notice that the finished afghan sports a scalloped crochet border.

Despite the lacy look of this pattern and the softness of the yarn (it’s Red Heart 100% acrylic Super Saver), this afghan is very warm and comfy…one of my favorites to curl up with while reading a good book (on my Kindle Fire). 🙂

The second picture was taken about an hour before I typed this out. That means the afghan is almost exactly nine years old, since I gave it to Mom on October 10, 2009, and today is October 9, 2018.

Pioneer Life

As with the painting “Farmer and Scythe,” this man was found in an Ideals Magazine. When I drew him, in 1994, a couple of years after we moved to Aberdeen, Washington, I totally meant to get my paints out and create a companion for the farmer in that painting, but it never happened.

I still have the original drawing, and I still have my paints, easel, and all of my brushes, etc. I’ve been wanting to get back into painting (haven’t done any of it since we moved to South Dakota in 2009). Perhaps, now, I will get really inspired and make it happen!

I was either 44 or 45 when I drew this. As you can see, I had progressed quite a lot with textures since drawing the picture of my baby Jackie when I was 25. On the other hand, I never did get that axe head right! I’ve always thought that though the figure of the man shows the power he would have been wielding, the axe itself looks like it was pretty wimpy. That would be because I invented the axe and everything else in the drawing, except for the man. I wanted him to look like an Alaskan pioneer who had maybe built his own cabin out of logs, and was using some of the leftover pieces for firewood. I did have a picture of the axe to go from, but I think  it was a catalog image…no life to it, at all. If I ever paint this, maybe I can do a better job with that. 😀

(Copyright 1994 – 2018, Linda A. Wingfield)

Farmer and Scythe

The man in this painting was drawn, and then painted, from a picture I had seen in an old Ideals Magazine. If you aren’t familiar with those, here’s a Google search page for images showing it.

Ideals is still being published. If you’re interested, you can find them on Facebook.

My mom and dad used to subscribe to the magazine (I don’t know if you can still do that, or if you just have to buy them separately these days). I always loved poring over all of the beautiful photos inside. When I married (the first time) and left home, my mom gave me a bunch of her old ones. I still had them until we made the move from California to Washington State, in 1992, shortly after I painted this.

Everything in the painting except for the man himself is totally my own invention. The painting was actually done using a mix of oils and acrylics, while I was still learning from William Alexander and Bob Ross videos on TV. Everything except the man’s face was painted in oils. Because I felt more confident in doing the facial details in acrylics, I masked off the face while painting the oil parts, then pulled off the masking to paint the face after the oils were dry.

I still have this painting, and it’s framed beautifully with a box-type frame lovingly crafted by David in 1994. I couldn’t get a good picture of the whole thing, but you can see the color of the frame around the edges of the photo. The “mat” is another masked area. I first covered the entire canvas in black gesso. After it was dry, I covered the entire surface with contact paper, then cut out the shape of the mat. Once the oils were dry, the contact paper was removed (at the same time I removed the mask over the man’s face).

If I were going to do this same scene, now, I’d add some shading inside of the mat, to make it stand out in more of a 3D manner. I’ve learned a lot more about THAT, by doing digital artwork since then.

(Copyright 1994-2018, by Linda A. Wingfield)

An Exercise in Textures

Shortly after my middle daughter Jackie was born (in 1975), I decided to take a drawing class presented free of charge by the Parks and Recreation Dept. in Anchorage, Alaska. I had been drawing since I was a little girl, and I was involved in several other crafts (including ceramics) at the time, but the fact that the class was free and I needed some time out of the house, prompted me to go. Plus, they allowed me to take her with me to class (while my two older kids stayed with the family next door for a couple of hours)…way cool! 🙂

This picture was drawn as an assignment. We were to go home and practice drawing textures. I realized that she was wearing several different textures, plus there was just the smoothness of her baby skin and her almost-nonexistent hair. 😉

So away I went with it, the very same evening I got the assignment. I drew this as I sat and munched some other textured items…chilled celery and carrot sticks…which I had been craving ever since I was about three months pregnant with her. I’m not sure, but I think Jackie still likes both of those things, even now, as she did all the years she was growing up.

I had to imagine her mouth, while drawing this. In order to keep her sleeping and quiet, I had given her her pacifier (or plug, as we called it back then), and there was no way I was going to remove it, just to draw something I was very used to seeing, anyway! LOL

***NOTE (a couple of days later)…Down in the first comment, my oldest daughter has just reminded me that I originally did NOT draw the mouth…just left the place blank where the mouth was supposed to be. I totally had forgotten about that! Silly old brain! 😉 I don’t remember how long it took me to place Jackie’s mouth where it should be, but Jen says it was years, so…poor Jackie! 😀

As you can see, I had made at least a LITTLE progress in letting shading define areas, since my Beatles drawing at age 14. I was 25 years old when I drew this. At least I had learned to draw from life, rather than just from photographs.

The darker shadows on the picture were from my scanner at the time. I do have the original here, somewhere. Note to self…find it, and rescan it with my much, much better scanner that I have now!

Teddy Bear Box

This box was made back in 1985 or 1986, when David and I were running our decorative wood products business, Wood ‘n’ Word. We made (and sold) quite a few boxes similar to this one. David made the boxes out of pine, handed them over to me, and I did all of the finish work.

This particular teddy bear was (quite obviously) done by using a stencil. I don’t remember for sure, but I don’t think I painted it. I believe I had just given the empty box (minus it’s padded interior panels) to my mom, and she stenciled it and did the padded interior as well. I’m pretty sure that was the case.

From the time I was just little, my parents both created tons of crafted items and taught us to do the same. Daddy was a cabinetmaker by trade. He went through an apprenticeship until he was a journeyman, in California, after Mom and Dad were married. During that time, he got to help renovate a home for Bing Crosby, and he often told us what a wonderful, really nice man he was.

After we moved to Alaska in 1951 (when I was only two years old), he became one of Valdez’ chosen craftsman and carpenter. Plus, over the years, he proved that he was one of the best handymen around…ever. When he passed away in 1973 (at age 54), my mom got card after card saying that Daddy had been to this, that, and the other person’s home, in the middle of the night, on the coldest (or hottest, or rainiest, etc.) day of the year, to fix a plumbing or electrical problem that would have left them without heat or made something else desperately hard for them if he hadn’t been able to get there. He never, ever asked for payment. People paid him, many times, but he never asked, and my mom wouldn’t have had it any other way, even though sometimes WE didn’t have any money to pay anyone. It’s just the way they (and the times and place) were…but all of that is subject matter for more stories I’ll share in other places here.

At any rate…getting back to the original subject…I’m pretty sure Mom decorated this box. I do know she used it for many years, and it’s just another item I received back from her after her death. Thank you, Mom! 🙂