Tag Archives | artwork

Do you want me to paint your picture?

Hi there!

I recently opened up my etsy shop and added a dozen paintings. You can check out my listings here.

In addition, I am doing watercolor portrait commissions, but I currently have nothing on my docket. If you are interested in having me paint a portrait from one of your photographs, please email me at goldenavalon (at) gmail (dot) com.

Some examples of my recent work:

KendraToni aWhiteapples aThank you,




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First Fruits: Selling My Artwork

I am announcing the inaugural sale of my watercolor paintings! My original artwork will be posted for sale on Memorial Day morning, to my etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ekwetzel . For the first week, ALL SALES WILL BE DONATED to our local church planting fund for Mars Hill Church in Tacoma. That means: for a $50 art piece, all $50 will be donated to our church plant (the extra shipping fees will cover my shipping costs).



Matt and I are passionate about the Tacoma area and about being on mission in our region. We currently attend the Mars Hill location in Federal Way, but we have yearned for a church in our Tacoma home ever since we were married five years ago…and I have hoped for a local Mars Hill location since I became a member in 2005. This dream has been a long time coming.

Our church has now purchased a building off of Wright Park, one of our favorite parks in Tacoma. When we walked through the doors of this building for the first time, it felt like coming home. We were giddy with excitement. We want to be a part of the restoration of this building. We want to make this a home for our children…and our children’s children. We want this building and the church of Christ’s body that worship and serve in it to bless this region that we love.

You can read more about the restoration of our church building at the Mars Hill Tacoma blog … The long and short of it is that we bought an old building at a killer bargain, but it needs a lot of repairs. We have no deep pockets in our church body to help fund the restoration of this space, so it falls to all of the ordinary people with average incomes in our church to find creative ways to contribute to the restoration.

Matt and I talked about it. We prayed about it. And we believe giving our fruit fruits in this way will glorify God. And we are thrilled to do it!

bokeh heart


I have always loved the idea of giving first fruits. In the past, whenever I got a new exciting job, I always wanted to be able to give my entire first paycheck to church or charity, but something seemed to always get in the way.

The seed was planted in my head at a young age. Growing up, I read “The Pineapple Story” (published by the Institute in Basic Life Principles) about a missionary who planted a pineapple field and struggled with the natives who were stealing his pineapples. After much heartache, the missionary decided to give the pineapple field to God. When the natives asked why he was no longer angry when they stole his pineapples, he told them they were not his pineapples; they were God’s. This transformation entered other areas of the missionary’s life…he was less possessive of his time, his family, and his belongings. Once the missionary gave up worrying about all his stuff and let Christ’s love shine through him, the natives responded in kind and opened up to the missionary and his message of Christ. And they stopped stealing the pineapples. Everyone ended up sharing them.

I like having faith in God to meet my needs.

And I like the idea of giving extravagantly.

This is a picture of one of my originals (right) compared to the art print (left). Even here you can see the poor quality of the print.

This is a picture of one of my originals (right) compared to the art print (left). Even here you can see the poor quality of the print.


I will not be selling art prints.

I have been holding out on opening my etsy shop for business because I wanted to sell art prints; however, I have run into great difficulty in making quality art prints. Even the best prints that the local print shops have to offer are subpar, and I would not feel right about selling them. Therefore, I will hold onto the original pieces that I want to keep trying to make art prints from.

I will sell some original works.

I will sell some reproductions of originals that I’m keeping for future art prints.

I will also sell one commission.

All told, I hope to have ten total paintings, plus one commission, up for sale.


I’m excited to open up my etsy shop with artwork for sale. I hope you enjoy what you see, and I hope you find something you like! If you do not want to buy artwork, but would like to donate to our Tacoma church plant, you can do so at marshill.com/give.

Thank you!

By Erin

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My letter to Instagram

“Dear Instagram,

I cannot BELIEVE you disabled the account for wakeupslowly. Again. Her photos are beautiful & inspiring. And, more to the point, breastfeeding in public is a legal and protected right! Removing an account because some Instagram users complain only furthers misinformation and fosters an environment where Breastfeeding is vilified. Do the RIGHT thing. Do the GOOD thing. Protect Breastfeeding Mamas & resurrect wakeupslowly’s account from the instagrave.”

Blog readers! If this is something you care about, help me support Toni & write your own letter to Instagram! Just click here . It takes 5 minutes. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just help Toni out.



– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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Do Not Despair

Joy is a complicated thing.

Matt walks in the door after a long day. I tell him how I have felt sick all day, how Phoebe fought her nap for two hours, how all of the dishes are dirty, how it’s beans and rice for dinner because I was too exhausted to prepare anything more elaborate. With compassion, he hugs me and says, “I’m sorry it’s been a bad day.” And it hits me: it HASN’T been a bad day. A difficult day? Yes. But a good one; a fulfilling one; a purposeful one. A day filled with love and blessings.

Weeping Sunshine

How are we to be JOYFUL when we are called to pass through DIFFICULT TIMES? I’m not even talking about the bombing in Boston or the shooting in Newtown, although those tragedies apply. I’m talking about your everyday life, your everyday grief, the griefs you carry with you that you cannot seem to shake. I have these types of griefs, and I believe we all do: money troubles, aches and pains, illness, injury, people we have lost, relationships that have withered, divorce, death, miscarriage, the yawning pain of absence.

Close up 1

Being Joyful is less about being happy, per se, and more about Being OK whether or not I’m happy. Knowing that my world will not fall apart in the face of despair, this is what gives me hope and strength and tenacity. I do not speak these words as someone who has never felt pain. This I have seen time and again: wherever there is disaster and death and chaos, life and love and hope spring back in it wake. Love is victorious. Good is victorious. The flowers pop up each spring. Babies are born. Wounds heal. Rainbows paint the sky.

Loving someone means you open your heart and make yourself vulnerable. Even the most loving relationship has its hurts. But that’s ok. Because loving someone was never supposed to be about symbiosis, but about paying it forward. Love is not about keeping track of how even a relationship is. Love is about being poured out, being ok with the mystery of emptiness, and being amazed when God fills you up again.

This, I believe, is the mystery of Faith. This is the act of surrendering my idols and worshipping God. I don’t need to be healthy. I don’t need to know where my food or clothing or shelter will come from. I don’t need to be with my child. I don’t need rest. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I don’t wallow in my sufferings, because suffering tenderizes me: it opens me up to feel the suffering of others and teaches me how to love compassionately.

Close up 2

My hope for you is not that you will never suffer, but that you will suffer well.

My hope for you is not that you will never feel pain, but that when pain finds you, you will allow yourself to feel it, and then let it pass; and when the echoes of that pain find you: let them fill you, take a breath, and then empty yourself all over again.

My hope for you is that, when you find joy, you dance and hug and sing and laugh. Pour yourself out, over and over, like a jar of clay. For we feel like sinew and bone, but we are dust-to-dust in the blink of an eye. And recognizing the slice of eternity we are called to steward within our hearts might just be the key to turning our Grief into Joy.

I leave you with this poem by Mary Oliver…

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean–
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down–
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Blog post by Erin

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I’ve been painting

I’ve been painting. I hope to start selling paintings, soon.

PS: Respect the artist and DON’T STEAL MY IMAGES! ^_^ Thanks! If you want to use one of these images for something, contact me first.


– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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((new art)) Portait of a Nursing Mother

I finished a new commission for my friend, Cristy. Here are pictures of the artwork, a portrait of her and her daughter, Ziggy, as they are nursing. I find the breastfeeding relationship between a mother and her baby to be a strong and sweet bond, and it’s a pity something so instinctual has become charged with so much social drama. Breastfeeding is beautiful. And disarming. And strengthening. And I love it.
Medium: charcoal. To follow my art process and current projects, check out my tumblr feed: ekwetzel.tumblr.com

^_^ Erin

Posted using Tinydesk Writer iPhone app

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Michael Sowa-esque Art

I love the artwork of Michael Sowa. You may recognize him from the French film Amélie.  Whimsical and surreal without being unsettling, Sowa takes a child-like imagination and fleshes it out in an adult and grown-up setting. His colors are rich. His premises hilarious.

I decided to scour Etsy.com, the best online arts and crafts community that I know of, and see how many contemporary artists followed the Sowa vein. Here are my findings. If you click on the picture, it will take you to the respective shop on Etsy.com.

Enjoy! And if you know of someone I left out, please, by all means, share!

Art Memoirs by Amalia K: Sir Rabbit

Berkley Illustration: Sea Otter

The Little Fox: Hop To It

Marisol Spoon: The Reading Room

Beaumont Studio: Alpaca With Ruff

Marmee Craft: Mr. Fox Esquire

Art by Shira Sela: Never Alone

Curious Portraits: Blue Dove Portait

Harriet’s Imagination: Art Prints by Tanya Mayers: Free As A Bird

By ekwetzel

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A Sentimental View of Lens Flare

new years 2009 kiss wagoner turco

Lens flare is getting a lot of flack from the geek community, these days.  Ever since J.J. Abrams decided to accentuate it in Star Trek (2009), it’s like lens flare is the bane of film’s existence.  Critiques, such as this “How It Should Have Ended” satire, epitomize the attitude many hold towards the lens flare that saturates the movie.  The mildest critiques I’ve heard are that the lens flare is distracting and obnoxious.

I, however, have always been a sucker for lens flare.

Lens flare is a beautiful imperfection that makes you realize the thing you are looking at is captured in a moment in time.  It calls attention to the fact that there is an observer involved in every act of art, and in this way connects the viewer intentionally with the object being viewed.  I believe lens flare helps to bridge the gap between artist and audience as well as the gap between art and object, because it finds a common ground in the natural imperfections of everyday life and turns them into a momentous occasion and opportunity for beauty.  Accepting lens flare in a work of art (or film) is the acceptance of a flaw.  Celebrating lens flare as part of a work of art is like receiving all the parts of a moment as worthy of beauty.

ekwetzel new years 2009 painting kiss

In the same way, when you love someone, you cannot only take them for their best moments, for the image that they want to portray to the world, but you must accept their humanity and their flaws.  Through relationship, you can come together and help each other to be better people, but one way you become a better person yourself is by bearing with the flaws of the one you love.  This painting, set on New Years day, depicts a moment in my friends’ lives when they were starting the journey of a relationship together.  We are not called to find the “perfect person” in life, but to find the one that will work with us and help us to be better, the one who will take our faults and help us morph them into something beautiful. When you’ve found someone that helps you be a better person and better reflect the glory of God in your life, that is when you have found “the one.”  When you’ve found the person who has a vision for your life which includes redemption of your faults and hope for your maturation, that is when you have found the person who is able to see you, not only for who you are, but also for who you strive to become.

My hope for these friends, and for any of you, is this: when you find the person who will accept you, not in spite of your lens flare, but because of it, that you’ll be wise enough to hold them tight and brave enough to face the new years that lie before you.

By ekwetzel

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Little Green

Little Green (acrylic on canvas)

This is my latest painting. I had the idea of titling it Little Green because I was listening to Joni Mitchell while painting it, but the name seemed perfect because the painting arises out of my love for sustainable, local farming.  The more I learn about the practices of big meat factories, the more dedicated I become to the “localvore” movement.

 Sea Breeze Farm is one place that does meat production right.  The farm is on Vashon Island, WA.  Their animals are free-range, their fields are gentle on the environment, and their people are friendly and full of life.  I wish there were more places like this to make it easy to eat delicious food that does not put one in a moral dilemma. I sent this painting to their restaurant, La Boucherie, this week as a piece of fan art. I know I’m a geek, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Website for Sea Breeze Farm: www.seabreezefarm.net
For more information about eating locally in your neighborhood, check out: www.localharvest.org

Many thanks to Stephen Proctor for the photography.

 By ekwetzel

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