A Tree Called Life
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A Tree Called Life 

Watercolor on paper; 14" x 21-1/2", 2008

I love this watercolor Katie painted of a tree near her college dorm, just two months before she died. The title comes from a favorite poem of hers, "I Carry Your Heart With Me," by e.e. cummings. 

Ever feel like this tree’s battered trunk? I have. I do. But look at the life bursting forth from those gnarled branches—it reminds me of the kind of “life to the full” Jesus talked about: 

“I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.”John 10:10

And when we steward our gnarled circumstances open-handedly, allowing sorrow to do its transforming work in our souls, this is the kind of abundant life God invites us to experience. Not a life void of pain—but a life richer for it. 


NOTE: 50% of the proceeds from this painting go toward helping Syrian refugees living in Jordan through Celebration of Hopethe annual compassion campaign of Katie's church, Willow Creek Community Church.

Gallery | Select pieces from Katie Vaudrey's portfolio

"Skull & Sunflower 3" | Contour line drawing followed by cray pas on paper; from a series of three; 18" x 24", 2005. Katie earned the nickname, "The Machine," for her accuracy and speed at contour line drawings, in which one puts pen to paper and never takes her eyes off the subject.  

"Lavender Orchids" | Watercolor on 140-lb coldpress paper, 12" x 21",  2008. Katie painted this watercolor employing an all prima ("first attempt") brush technique usually reserved for oils. It's a technique that requires speed which made it all the more fun.

 "Visible Anjelin" | Watercolor on 140-lb cold-press paper, 18" x 26"; 2008. Katie began a relationship with Anjelin through child sponsorship with Compassion International. (Um, her name was actually Kristen. Angolan was her middle name, but Katie thought "Anjelin" was more exotic!)

 "My Voice" | Black and white ebony on recycled paper, 9" x 28", 2008. Drawn in the negative on recycled brown paper, Katie used white and black ebony to show the lights and darks of her favorite brushesallowing the paper to show through in the shadows. 

"Masquerade" | Graphite and colored pencil on sketch paper; 19-1/2" x 23", 2005. This drawing took first place in Katie's school district, and it hung in the CUSD 300 headquarters lobby for a year. It hangs in Scott's office today. One of our favorites.

"It Needed Yellow" | Acrylic on stretched canvas, 36" x 48", 2007. Two years after completing this piece, Katie whipped out her brushes, mixed a wash of cadmium yellow, and added fresh brushstrokes to the pieceas it hung on her bedroom wall. "It needed yellow," she explained.

 "Lighthouse 1" Acrylic on canvas; from a series of three; 16" x 20", 2005. Early on, Katie had a penchant for lighthouses. She painted this one while catching some sun on our back deck. Today it hangs in my dad's study. She loved fishing with him on his salmon boat in Puget Sound.