Carl, Sunny and the stained glass windows

John and I made the trip to Lake Texoma to stay with our friends, Carl and Sunny Raschke. Carl is a famous theologian and Sunny is an incredibly talented artist.

They built a retreat for worship, relaxation and study. About a year ago, they moved there. John, Bethany, Bethany’s BFF Alex and I stayed in the guest house. It was a weekend of long walks under trees, fabulous wine (ale & beer for John) and thoughtful conversation.

One of the coolest parts of our time there was being immersed in an environment that so clearly reflects our friends’ personalities. The guest house was filled with interesting books on a wide variety of topics that interest Sunny and Carl. And, the house was filled with Sunny’s art.

Her style is one of color, depth and motion. One of my favorite pieces—Dancing City—clearly communicates Sunny’s depth and joy. She has another one of a tree where it looks like the tree is moving. It was also fun to see her studio which was full of work in varying stages of completion.

Like me, Sunny believes in the power of color. She explained that they had recently repainted the house because it had formerly been…”this color.” (Sunny pointed to a white knob without quite touching it as if it were too distasteful to say the word out loud.)

Knowing I like to paint glass, Sunny gave me two windows she had picked up at an antique market. Though Sunny didn’t know it, lately, I’ve been having difficulty creatively. The inspiration that normally flows through me like a current has been minimized to a trickle. The windows became an opportunity.

John—knowing how much I’ve been struggling—jumped in to help. He ran me to at least three different art stores where we shopped for paints and he came up with a technique to help me implement the design that was in my head. He even helped me paint when the clear parts became a chore. It was fun to sit in our bedroom floor surrounded by bottles of paint. He measured and problem solved while I worked on design and color. This is a new thing for us. Doing art together.

In the end, we completed both sets of windows while we were at home this weekend. The one pictured in this blog entry is destined for my sister, Karen’s, new house, as a gift. (Karen, if you are reading this, “surprise!” If it doesn’t work with your new décor, let me know and I’ll get you a gift certificate somewhere.)
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall