furniture collaborating arts
Creating Miniature Furniture Collaborating on a book Drawing and painting
From Heaven, the Lord gazed down upon mankind, to see if there was a reflective person who seeks out God. Psalm 14:2
He found one in Mary Bruno - whose instatiable desire to "seek out" God, through 4 decades of her 88 years of life, was ultimately fulfilled March 6th 2015, Adar 15, 5775 - the Festival of Shushan Purim on the Hebrew calendar.
This day seemed altogether fitting and proper in light of her focus on the Book of Esther in the Hebrew scriptures, where she began her quest to understand the role of women in God's heart and how it related to God's plan.
An accomplished artist, Mary's last great work was not of manmade materials, but rather of Truth and Light. For more than 30 years, Mary searched the Scriptures in the original languages for answers . . .
. . . her final portrait illustrated God’s plan to bring all mankind to Himself, which He had and would continue to reveal and implement through His inextricable relationship with His people, Israel . . .
. . . and that all of God’s Women have a unique role as modern day Esthers in bringing His Divine plan to fruition . . .
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you the deep and unsearchable things you do not know.
Creating Miniature Furniture Collaborating on a book Drawing and painting
MY FRIEND and SPIRITUAL MENTOR - MARY BRUNO
I first saw the name, MARY BRUNO, when I was a docent at the John Wornall House museum in Kansas City, where Mary’s miniature furniture was displayed as a special event exhibit.
I marveled at the patience it must have taken for Mary to so masterfully create those minuscule exquisite replicas.
Fast forward seven years.
With excitement laced trepidation, I walked to a prayer group which had met in our neighborhood for several years. Excitement - because I was on a spiritual search for something ‘more’ - trepidation that I might run into folks who were pushy with their theology.
As it turned out, 3 people were there that night - the host couple, Paul and Cherie Hale, who had invited me and MARY BRUNO!
The instant my eyes met the peace and love pouring out of her baby blues, I knew I was in the right place, and she had something I was looking for. I was not disappointed.
Thus began a friendship/mentorship, which spanned 3 decades, between kindred souls and Spirits from different generations.
This Mary Bruno was indeed the creator of the miniature furniture I had seen, as well as wife to Virgil, mother to Joseph, Diane, Mary and Mark, and without a doubt one of the most artistically gifted persons I have ever met.
I was taken aback at the quality of her art - which she deemed, “not very good.” There was an artistic harmony about all that was her's: a pleasing sense of color, balance, form and function - even in the creations which came out of her oven!
She strove for artistic perfection, with a focus which excluded the rest of the world - until she was satisfied the project was the best it could be from her hands.
Her gifting and focus was first evidenced in childhood with the paper dolls she created by the hours - complete with wardrobes! That evolved into fashion design sketches, among other things in her teens and early twenties. It appeared her course was set.
After High School, there was a job at a photography studio ‘painting’ black and white photos into color portraits, and classes at the Kansas City Art Institute, and a year in New York as an Eastern Airlines ticket agent.
Marriage and family came on the horizon. Until the children got older and she started making miniature furniture, Mary’s creative spirit most often surfaced in everyday things: like having Virgil cut offending branches off the Christmas tree and wire them into another spot to achieve the perfectly balanced pine; or sugar cookies for each holiday which were masterpieces one and all.
By the time I met Mary that night, she had, for all intents and purposes, laid down all artistic endeavors, except for the doll house she was painting and furnishing for the National Toy and Miniature Museum in Kansas City.
She had a new focus - she had met her Lord in a deep life-changing way.
It was natural for her astute curiosity, and ability to penetrate and understand what it took to artistically reproduce the layered beauty of creation, to fully equip her new endeavor. She would penetrate and understand the layered beauty and hidden treasure within the WORD of the Great Artist of the Universe.
After many hours/years of intense focus on biblical research, often in the original languages, which she shared with me, as well as recording in a stack of notebooks, she produced a grand portrait.
This one was not of watercolor, charcoal, pencil or oil, but rather of Truth, Light, Water of Salvation, and Oil of the Spirit. This portrait was God’s plan to bring all mankind to Himself to share Eternity, which He had and would continue to reveal and implement through His people, Israel.
And what seemed at that time to be the most pertinent aspect to this portrait was Mary’s revelation that as modern Esthers - all of God’s Women had a unique role in bringing His Divine plan to fruition.
Her research was ultimately woven through a 700 page novel, AMONG THE LILIES, on which Mary and I collaborated. She drew the book’s cover:lettering and irises; as well as the company logo.
After suffering through many publisher rejection letters, we established a business partnership, LILY PUBLICATIONS, and self-published.
The book got mixed reviews. Church-ladies were horrified by the realism within its pages, while scores of women prisoners who read the books we had donated to their units, sent heartfelt passionate letters about the novel’s power to heal.
We began publishing inspirational books for others, until each of our families experienced serious and time consuming health issues. We felt the necessity to shut down our business.
After I ventured into Screenwriting to help a friend’s father with the Jewish culture and faith in his screenplay, I wrote a screenplay of my own, RABBI SAUL-The Road From Damascus.
Heavily influenced by Mary’s biblical research and a dozen years of my own, the movie will present the Apostle Paul/Saul of Tarsus and his teachings from his Jewish rabbinic roots, as the Scriptures attest. It has the potential to help heal the rift in Jewish/Christian relations.
That screenwriting experience inspired the adaptation of our AMONG THE LILIES novel into a 2-part screenplay for a miniseries.
Both projects - RABBI SAUL-The Road From Damascus and AMONG THE LILIES are in development and will soon be produced out of the SHOSHAN FOUNDATION - (a non-profit 501:c3).
Thus, Mary’s and my initial vision to facilitate change by educating and encouraging this Esther generation of women - though our novel - has evolved considerably - both in approach and scope.
Thus says the Lord, "let not the wise man glorify himself with his wisdom. Let not the strong man glorify himself with his strength. Let not the rich man glorify himself with his wealth. For only in this may one glorify himself - CONTEMPLATING AND KNOWING ME - FOR I AM YEHOVAH, - who does kindness, justice and righteousnes in the land - for in this is my desire." Jeremiah 9: 22,23
She moved about as a woman of strength and dignity, with a sweet, gentle,
serene smile. As I got to know Mary better on a trip to Israel in November, 1995,
I found her to be a seeker after the heart of the Lord and a woman of His Word.
She truly was a Mary, sitting at His feet. She had chosen the one thing that is
essential, like Luke 10:38-42 speaks of.
While visiting her, almost weekly in the nursing home, these last two years – we
found that His Word, deposited deep with in her spirit, could be called forth,
bringing the beautiful smile back to her face. This is her testimony and legacy of
the Power of His Word deposited and lived in her life.
Personal Word Ministries
Comfort, Comfort My People,
speak to the heart of Jerusalem
When I think of Mary Bruno my mind goes to the blessing she prayed for others.
Numbers 6:24-26 "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face
shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face towards you and
give you peace."
God bless you
I first met Mary Bruno in 1995 on my first trip to Israel. I was drawn to the sweet, gentle, yet powerful Spirit that flowed from her. We both experienced many wonderful memories on that trip. When I observed Mary, my thought was, “when I grow up, I want to be just like Mary”. I am only about 15 years her junior, but I looked to her as a mother figure.
And, every time I saw her since then, I felt the same way. What a blessing she is and what a privilege I received to get to know her.
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