Castles, Chocolate, and Sloppy Brush Strokes

Last week, I introduced you to my niece, Katie, who has been writing about her semester studying art in Liverpool (on her personal blog) and I asked her permission to publish some of her posts here. I think you’ll be delighted to hear her heart and travel with her overseas for a bit.

Here’s my Katie ~

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This week Morgan and I have decided our favorite place is a little chocolate cafe, which has amazing hot chocolates and mochas. As much as I love the thought of becoming one of their most loyal supporters, I have to be careful to make sure half my budget doesn’t go to their business. I have to think about how much to spend on food or fun little coffee outings, and how much I need to save for traveling on weekends and my Easter break.

There are so many places close by that would make great weekend trips. LP 12 (2)I’m sure if I wanted to, I could easily spend every weekend (and every pound) exploring nearby cities in the UK. But I also want to have plenty of time to get more familiar with Liverpool and research and paint for my art classes. I’m faced with real “grown-up” responsibilities for the first time, such as managing finances, making traveling decisions, catching the right bus everyday, and preparing my own dinner every night. The difference in responsibility is not only because I’m living in a different culture far from home, but also because I’m experiencing city life instead of Arkadelphia life.

I’m planning to spend this semester studying landscapes and portraits, both through research and painting. If you read my post last week, you may remember that I mentioned Psalm 8 as being my theme Scripture for my senior show. I’ll be able to work on landscapes for the portion of the show that will be meant to reflect God’s majesty, and the portraits will be for the portion of the show that will be meant to reflect God’s personal compassion towards His people. I’m hoping to experiment with how to display the snap shot of the pivotal moment in a believer’s story of God’s compassion in their life.

Katie's Art 2For my first European landscape, I made my canvas and bought a few supplies, and had the opportunity this weekend to use my new portable easel that I got for Christmas! I went to Wales with a few other friends, and got to paint on the seaside for my birthday. It was truly amazing to paint there, at a spot I’ll probably never see again, and to literally capture that moment on canvas.

My sloppy brush marks (inspired by my desire to quickly get out of the bitter cold) seem kind of like a record of the time and thought process behind the painting.

The rest of the trip included my first visit to a castle, a slice of birthday cake in a little Welsh cafe, and six bus changes on the way back. That’s another story that I’m not as proud of, but we did make it to Liverpool safe and sound! What can I say? Adventure is out there.


That God would be my light here when things like clouds, city life, or modern art (not even joking) can make it dark—that He would be the constant and confident praise of my heart.

For us to have boldness, strong faith, and love to proclaim the good news, and for soft hearts in those who will receive it.

That God would give me wisdom in how to live responsibly and fully.

For provision in both time and ability to honor Him though my artwork.

Thanks guys! I really need the prayers!

Photo Credit: Katie Stanage


  • Jerrie

    Continue to call upon Jesus to give you boldness in your witness and I will add my prayers to that. So proud of you.
    Love grandma

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Good to have you on the website, Jerrie 🙂 I love having Katie do some guest posts . . . planning to feature some more of her, soon, so I hope you’ll stay connected!