discover your created self

Bare: Open to View; Exposed

I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create calamity;
I, the Lord, do all these things.
(Isaiah 45:7 NKJV)

Bare canvas, what will you reveal? Our potential placed upon the easels.

She asks, are you nervous?

I was nervous. How did she know? She’s my sister.

At the art supply store, her canvas was grabbed up and in her hand.
Aren’t you going to look around?
Nope, let’s go. I want to paint.
I tag behind her to the checkout counter. We head home.

Barely in the door, I grab the easels, paints and brushes.

The bare canvas asks for paint, for brush strokes. We feel exposed. What color should we use? We close our eyes and then pick. She mixes gray. I decisively choose black. We try different techniques. The broad side of the brush, then the narrow, and then swish and skip the brush.

I pause to photograph our beginnings.



Little by little we unfold. Immersed in the process, we pause occasionally to peek at each other’s progress. We applaud; we interpret, adding meaning to each other’s work. I am glad she wanted to paint today.

How do we know when it’s finished, she inquires.

I don’t know. Just keep painting.

And then slowly, we come to completion. She adds a little more detail. We marvel at what we’ve done. We encourage each other to sign our work. We each add two little initials, claiming and saying yes to ourselves.


“Untitled” by Juniper Gillian
“Many Suns Rising” by Kel Rohlf


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5 responses to “Bare: Open to View; Exposed”

  1. Bravo! WIthout bare canvasses, there would be no artists. Without bare pages there would be no authors. Without bare souls there would be no lovers. Lord, give me a bare soul, free from sin, so that you can paint YOUR love onto my heart.Lynni

  2. Lynne-how true! I love your prayer …perfect as we begin to observe lent this coming week.

  3. Okay, those were beautiful and fun! Thank you so much for sharing the process, Kel. what joy to share it with your sister. (named "Juniper?" now that's a memorable name 🙂

  4. Jody-It was such a joy to share with my sister…this is the first time since we were children that we are neighbors. Juniper is a new name for her and she mostly goes by Gillian these days…she has a blog at called Grounded…in one of her posts from 2012, she shares her story of coming upon her new name.

  5. Whoah! I so want to do that! Wonderful and exhilarating!

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About Me

Hi! My name is Kel Rohlf. I am an intuitive mixed-media artist, creative writer and performer. Life is a performance. I often attend.


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