Tag: mixed media art

{ Ascension }

{Purple | For Jenny}

{Purple | For Jenny}

there never was ascension
without climbing the mountain
what is your priority?
comfort? or exaltation?

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{ Out of Your Bone Weary Soul }

I Do Not Understand | Art by Angela DiGiovanni


Have you ever woken up to find that your life has changed overnight?
And you wonder, how did this happen?  How did I get here?
Your choices were meant to take you somewhere else, but somehow it didn’t work out that way?
You realize you’re all alone, when you meant to have increase.
You realize you’ve opened the door wide open to many foolish paths, when you meant to follow God’s path.  And you are blind-sighted.
You realize your heartache can only get you in trouble – when you look at the paths before you and don’t see the future you thought was yours.
You sit in despair.
Like everything you thought you knew has been ripped out from under you.
Like your very heart is about to explode inside your chest from beating and searching so hard, but it has nowhere to go.
You have nowhere to go – and yet you can go anywhere, because you are tied down to nothing.
And that is the very saddest part of it all.
You belong to nothing – to no one.  Anymore.
You have no one to call home anymore.  No hands to hold your heart.
You have no place to hang your hat, your clothes, your trinkets, your collection of 37-years of life.
A gypsy, suddenly.
Your wandering heart can finally wander, but you don’t want it to.
You don’t want to face the paths that it may take on this blank canvas.
The first strokes to set the precedence, the mood, to set the next chapters of your life.
An unpaved road, an unexpected fork.
You could lay down strokes of angry black, portraying a fearful, rogue wanderer.
You could lay down strokes of fierce red, portraying a mask of distracting bold adventure.
You could lay down strokes of happy yellow, portraying a faux optimism.
You could lay down strokes of honest blue, serenely portraying your melancholy heart, surrendering sorrowfully to the reality before you, painting each stroke without pretense, but with all the passion and authenticity you can billow out of your bone weary soul.
Yes, I will paint blue.  It is the hardest.  It is the softest.

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~{ I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me }~

Not All Who Wander Are Lost | JRR Tolkien

Angela DiGiovanni ArtAngela DiGiovanni Art{some say i am a lost soul. but just because i wander, does not mean i am lost. in fact, nothing has ever made me feel more found.}

I am the seed of my mother and father.
I am the progeny of the ages of my ancestors.
I am the end of the line – my nieces and nephews left to carry the torch.
I am the contrarian, so says my dad affectionately, and I embrace it.

Outside of the cocoon that I call home, I much bolder and brighter than I really am, coming home, exhausted, to gently fall back inside myself where it is quiet.

To date, the most exciting thing I’ve done is to challenge the way things are – anywhere, all the time. How did it get to be the way it is? And why should I accept that?  I won’t, oftentimes, preferring instead to move to the music already inside me.

I have far too many rooms in the place I live, cold storage spaces for things I don’t need and which weigh down my soul. How would it be to get rid of it all? To dare live simply with little? I intend to find out.

I should like more windows than I have walls, if that is any indication of how much I crave the natural light, whether sun or moon. What would it be to live under these ruling lights alone, without the constant background noise of buzzing lightbulbs? It would be beautiful, I dare speculate.

I have been dubbed the black sheep, affectionately, whether spoken or unspoken. I am sometimes viewed as a lost soul. But just because I wander, doesn’t mean I am lost. In fact, nothing has ever made me feel more found.

I am forever. The cells of my body have always existed. If matter cannot be destroyed, only broken down, then I dare say it has always existed on the corollary.

I need truth. I crave it in all things. In relationships, in philosophy, in religion, in ideas, in art, in the food that I eat. I want everything pure and true. I want to have no room or tolerance for synthetics in my life.

The world needs love, but first, a swift kick in the pants.

To live is to grow – your garden, your intellect, your soul’s estate, your heart. To live is to understand, and be in harmony with nature and the laws of God.

It is one of my deep frustrations in life that I shall never get to read all of the books that line my shelves. There are many good choices, but there is only so much time. I could spend my lifetime studying and really understanding perhaps just one section, instead I dabble, here a little, there a little, never committing or excelling in one area.

I would choose to live in an agrarian society, where people depended on the work of their hands in the dirt to toil for their own food. I would live in a day without industry, which has only made our lives more busy, and less rewarding, I presume.

Before falling asleep, I think about all the things I’d rather be doing that I am simply too tired to do. As much as I love my bed and laying next to my love, I am frustrated by all the time lost. I need a lot of sleep.

Right now I am happily wearing a silk robe with Geishas on it. My dad brought it home for me from a business trip to Korea he took in the 80’s. I was just a young girl, and remember wondering why he brought me a big robe fit for a woman? Now I couldn’t be happier that he did.

As early as 4th grade I have kept the secrets of my friends who often seem drawn to confide in me. Regretfully, I have kept my own secrets, mostly born of shame.

My sister makes me laugh. More than anyone – well, other than myself. I really do crack myself up, and I noticed actually just over this past Christmas that my father does the same. He really cracks himself up. I like that I get that from him. But, when I get around my sister, it usually ends up in a fit of giggles over everything, over nothing. They are some of my favorite times.

My favorite time of the day? Usually afternoons. I dread getting ready for the day, what a waste of time. I dread that time just before I surrender to evening before bed, I don’t want the day to be over. Any afternoon I allow myself to indulge in leisure – a good book or a good painting, is a good day for me.

Silence. It’s music to my ears. It’s golden. It’s warm and embracing. It’s freedom. It’s a cold snowy day when I’m out feeding the animals and all stay warm inside, leaving only the sounds of the snow crunching beneath my feet.

When I leave this life, I want to remember that I tried with all my soul to know truth, to live truth, to be truth, even at the risk of losing everything.

*art and journaling exercise for Face to Face by Misty Mawn. It’s not too late to sign up!

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Let My Tragic Lesson Be Your Reminder

Sacred | Art by Angela DiGiovanni

Several months ago when a client kept insisting to Mark and I that she sent a check, we chalked it up to the old cliche, a sort of stall tactic. But when she called and said that it had been cashed, we became concerned and had the situation investigated. It turned out someone had stolen our mail and forged our name to deposit the check into his own account.

Because the bigger issue was federal mail fraud, the police decided to prosecute the man who did this. We knew this man, and we were astounded that he would do this. He was nice to us. He was friendly toward us. He had recently suggested we barbecue together. He was our neighbor.

It turns out that he had additional court related situations other than ours, as well.
This is what dual nature looks like. Where your friendly neighbor can become so desperate he is willing to commit mail fraud, forge your signature, and steal from you. This is what desperation can do to a man.

Because he was an immediate neighbor, we had to see this man frequently. We were told we weren’t allowed to talk to him or approach him in any way. It was hard. It was awkward. My heart went out to him. I wasn’t mad at him. I know what desperate looks like. I know what utter despair feels like.

While circumstances were slightly different, as we did not intentionally steal money to use it for our own gain, we have faced our own accusers when after failed investments in the market crash, friends and family lost money… a lot of money, unrecoverable amounts of money, people’s nest eggs, people’s equity. I live with despair over it every single day, even years later now. We live with a bad reputation and assumptions and judgments that may or may not be true about us from people who were very dear friends at one time. From others, we also live with indescribable mercy, that humbles to the core. It’s one of the most brutal and shameful experiences of my life and has left irreparable damage to my soul.

So I didn’t want to approach him to yell at him, or question him. I simply wanted to see how he was doing. I wanted to tell him that we forgave him. I wanted to help make his burden lighter. This all might sound corny, but when you’ve been to the bottom of despair like we have been, the last thing you want is for anyone else to go through it. It is one of God’s ways of teaching us compassion and mercy, I think; our deepest aches in life become our greatest opportunities of service to others.

We had stopped seeing him around, and I started having premonitions of him being dead in his house, that he had killed himself. It was so unlikely to not see him for so many days, so that is where my mind went. It went there because I have felt that level of despair, where you just want to go home from where you came because you can’t take the shame anymore. Life can be so hard, cruel, and complicated, and so I worried for him.

I called the detective in charge and begged him to come to his house to see if he was
alright – that his car had been parked for three days in front of his house, but that we
hadn’t see him come or go. I told him my fear, that perhaps he took his life. It was then the detective told me that his car has been parked and we haven’t seen him come or go because they had booked him in jail. My heart rended for him. For his family. What had we started? What could we have done differently to have remedied this course in a more civil and dignified way? It was too late, and out of our hands as it was the police who were prosecuting him, not us.

He got out on bail and was back home days later. We were still under order not to speak with him. Eventually he got evicted and so our lives weren’t crossing paths anymore, yet we kept ‘running into him’ in different towns on different errands. I asked God why we kept running into him. What were/was we/he supposed to learn? Was I supposed to say anything? What should I say? Tell him you forgive him, let him know how you feel, was the answer I received. But I didn’t do it. I had four opportunities. But all I could think of was the order we were given to not speak to him or approach him in any way. He could be dangerous.

Yesterday was his sentencing.

He never showed up to court.

He was found dead.

As you can imagine, my heart is heavy. I share this story because I hope it has an impact. If we can be merciful to someone, let’s do it. If we can forgive someone, let’s do it. If we can tell someone we forgive them, let’s do it. If we can lighten someone’s burden, let’s do it. Life is hard, precious, and complicated. Let’s give people the benefit of the doubt when we can. We don’t know the level of fragility of a human life and soul. Our ‘rightness’ will never be more important than another’s human condition.

Or a child’s dead father.

Or a wife’s dead husband.

Or a parent’s dead son.

May his soul find peace, and may God have mercy on him.

Please pray his family may find peace and comfort.


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{ Out of Your Bone Weary Soul }

Oil Portrait Painting in the Style of Amy McDonald

Girl Oil Painting | Art by Angela DiGiovanni

So, this happened tonight.  I’m new to painting with oils and I can say with certainty that I won’t paint portraits with acrylics again.  I feel like oils washed away all of my frustrations I had with acrylics.  I live in a very dry climate and they would dry out so fast I couldn’t blend much once on my paper or canvas.  Even my oils I had to keep wetting down with turpentine.  Speaking of which, is by far the biggest (and only?) downside of using oils… the stuff just reeks and you gotta smell it throughout your painting session!  Anyone have any tips?  I feel like I need to wear a mask to protect my lungs!

By the way, this is in the style/technique of Amy McDonald, who so generously documents and shares her process.  This is my first attempt – I’m very excited to keep going with it, learn more, and get better.

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{ Ascension }