Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Unexpected Friends

20" x 20" oil on deep sided canvas

I absolutely love meeting friends when it was totally unexpected.  Over 40 years ago my husband and I were living in Lexington, Kentucky while he was attending seminary.  I met a wonderful woman named Lena.  I was young, away from home and working at the University of Kentucky.  Lena was over all the student records for the Engineering School and I was the secretary for the Civil Engineering Department.  She became my second mother.  There were many Friday night meals, fires in the fireplace when it snowed and wisdom shared as I learned how to work in a professional setting.  While I was there my first child was born and Lena came to my aid.  She gave my son his first bath and assured me I would not break his arms when I bathed him.  We teased that she was my mother in law as her last name was also Hodges.  Three years later after we had moved back to Alabama and I had another baby, she came to stay with me and this time helped me with two small children and come to grips with the loss of a baby all at the same time.  The fact that this friendship was part of my journey has been a gift I will always cherish.  I leaned on her so much!  As I write this Lena is asleep on my couch.  Her daughter brought her for a visit and we have talked, laughed and shared a lot to fill in the blanks of 40 years.     Today while meeting my daughter for lunch she told me that getting older is hard and she does not feel as steady as she used to be.   I never felt I could repay her for what she did for me.    Today I felt privileged to have her lean on my arm as we walked into the restaurant.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Sunflowers Out of the Blue

11" x 14"
oil on linen panel

Today was so much fun!  I painted with my friend who said she was frustrated with her painting so we painted together and I gave her an assignment.  I had a complete set up in my garage with lights, easels and flowers.  I can get real bossy teaching, for instance, I would tell her to "stop" quite often and to place her colors down and leave them.  I would not let her go back over her painting or "muddy" it.  It turned out sooooo good!  I was so impressed - I wish I had taken a picture of her painting also but I did not.  I have several people asking me to teach a class and I am looking for a venue for that.  I love to see someone feel good about their painting!  There is creativity in all of us.  

Monday, June 3, 2019

Nuts - SOLD

Maybe because this happened when I was younger it embarrassed me so much.  I was grocery shopping with my three small children.  My oldest son Matt was around 8 years old,  my daughter, Allie was 5 and my youngest, Adam was 6 months or so.  Adam was sitting in the grocery cart seat and Matt and Allie were running around the cart.  If you have ever been a young mother just trying to keep your sanity with your kids running around you crazy then you might understand how I was feeling.  I was trying to grab groceries off the shelves, keep Adam occupied and keep the other two in sight.  I hurriedly pushed my cart up to a salesman in the store and asked,  "Excuse me but where are your nuts?."  As soon as the words came out of my mouth I knew I had messed up but it was too late.  NO!!! NO!! NO!!! I thought, I did not just say that!  I could feel all the blood in my body rush to my face and I told myself to just keep eye contact.  And definitely I should not look down.  Even my children were aware that those words could have a different connotation.  The man smiled slightly at my discomfort and pointed two rolls away and said, "The PECANS are on aisle 5".  I could not get away fast enough.  

The next week when I went in to work, the charge nurse asked me to go to room 121 and take out the patient's IV, change his dressing and provide discharge teaching.  She explained the patient had a hernia repair three days ago.  I went to meet the patient, I explained what I was going to do and proceeded to remove his IV.  He was looking at me very intently and then he said, "You look so familiar to me but I cannot place you."  I replied that I was not from the area but moved there two years previously.  Then I asked him, "Where do you work?"  He said, "Kroger".  Realization hit me and him at the same time.  I slapped the bandaid on his hand and almost tripped trying to get out of the room.  I ran to the medicine room and closed the door behind me.  My friend came into the room right after me and asked, "What is wrong with you?  I just saw you running down the hall."  I said. "Beverly, please go and discharge my patient for me.  I cannot remove his dressing!  Trust me.  He might think that I really want to look under his sheet."

I had many more embarrassing moments during my nursing career but this one still makes me uncomfortable.  I cannot believe I am even writing this.  But I did learn from this. I learned that in every grocery store, the pecans are usually in the baking aisle near the cake mixes.  I never ask now.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Annie - SOLD

It is a challenge to take an old black and white and try and infuse color - using my imagination to think what this beautiful woman might look like and what her personality might have been.  

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Good Good Friends - SOLD

I sketched this picture today to use as an example for a painting later and it reminds me of the gift of good, good friends who are friends forever.

I cannot believe it was almost 20 years ago when I worked as the Director of Women's Services at Cullman Regional Medical Center.  I met some good, good friends there.  At the time I managed Labor and Delivery and the Nursery, a couple of my other friends managed ICU, the Medical Unit and the Surgical Unit.  We became very close and we supported each other through thick and thin.  One year we decided to take a trip together and attend the Jazz Festival in New Orleans.  Maybe because we were responsible for 24 hour a day call on our units we felt a little like renegades to all be away from the hospital for a weekend together.  We had wonderful charge nurses who took on our responsibilities and we felt free!  We ate at Emeril's restaurant, we went shopping and we battled the wild rush of fans at the festival.  It was a time to remember.  The shopping trip turned out to be one we still laugh about.  Sheila, one of the friends and I were walking into the mall and remarked on how cool it was and how we really did not bring appropriate clothes but, hey, we were on vacation.  We could just buy what we needed.  Sheila is tall, blond and regal looking.  This particular day she had on cropped pants made out of a green army pattern.  This was before the day when "fanny packs" were making a come back and Shelia had on a black "fanny pack" to keep up with all of her money while we shopped.  We went in to a store where they had sweaters on sale for $5!  Sheila said she really needed a sweater since the temperature was getting cooler.  She found one on the sale table, the only problem was that it was orange.  Not just orange but bright orange.  She said, "Marcia should I do this?  I mean this looks horrible with my green army fatigue pants?"  We were in New Orleans!  We were having a carefree weekend so I went with the moment and said, "Sheila! Of course you can get it.  We are in New Orleans and no one knows us here.  Who do you think would say anything?  The fashion Police?"

We enjoyed the entire weekend and actually walked all over New Orleans.  

About a month later I was sitting in my office and Sheila ran in and threw a Glamour magazine on my desk.  She then quoted me and said, "Who would care?  The fashion Police?"  There on the pages of the magazine was Sheila complete in army fatigue cropped pants, a fanny pack and a bright orange sweater.  Her eyes were blacked out so unless you knew it was Sheila it would be hard to tell ---kinda.  Anyway, the magazine had a page dedicated to fashion statements.  They were called "Do's" and "Don'ts". These were outfits that you might want to "do" because they were in fashion or "don't" because this particular look just would not work.   Unfortunately, Sheila's wardrobe was labeled as a "Don't"!!

I had lunch several months ago with Sheila and another friend from that trip, Paula.  We still laugh about that.  Sheila has not let me forget it.  I am so thankful for good friends but I will no longer be giving out fashion advice. :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

God Winks - Gifted

When I was 19 years for only 2 weeks I got married.  I won't even go into how long ago that was.  My husband was in college and pastoring 4 small churches.  We lived in Waterloo, Alabama which is the end of the road - any road.  We were the youngest people in the small town by about 40 years.  My best friend was my neighbor, a retired Methodist Minister's wife who was 72 at the time.  Mrs. Jaggers was very small and fragile looking except for her hair which looked like the pictures you see of Albert Einstein.  She looked like she had been electrocuted but she was special.    She  and her husband gave me a wonderful gift when I met them.  They told me that they thought I was a smart young woman and they wanted to pay my college tuition while I lived there.  What a gift that changed my life.  Audie was still in college and there was no way we could pay for two college degrees at that time. 

 Every day Mrs. Jaggers would walk with me around our little neighborhood and tell me stories of her life.  I am sure she was trying to mentor me as a minister's wife as I was clueless.   One day she told me about the birth of her 5 sons.  She then told me about the birth of her one daughter.  She told me that her daughter had died at birth and she cried as she relayed the story.  In my young, naive mind I thought, " that was really a long time ago and I would expect her to be over that by now."  But I remembered that day. We moved from that little community but Mrs. Jaggers remained in my heart and life.  

Six years went by and I found myself as a young mother who had just had a baby girl die.  I was devastated.  Even though I had a 2 1/2 year old son and another newborn daughter, I was very mad and did not understand why God would let my child die.  Several people tried to comfort me during that time but nothing worked.  I did not want to hear one more person say, "God needed a little rose bud in Heaven."  Are you kidding me?  God needed my daughter to make a rosebud?  I know they were trying to just say something but it did not work.  One night I got a call from a little 78 year old friend who said "God will come to you."  I could believe that message because it came from Mrs. Jaggers and I had seen her life and I remembered.

It was at this time that I two prints that I loved.  One was a little blond boy who looked like my son and the other was a little girl.  I asked Audie if I could get these prints framed.  I told him maybe they would be a reminder to me of the children I had and I would let go of the grief of the little one I did not have.  He told me that our hospital bills were so huge at the time that we really did not have frames in our budget. Now, I am just being real here.  I said, "Not only does my child die but I cannot get these damn pictures framed!"

Two weeks passed and one day I received a large package in the mail.  The package was from a professor at the University of Kentucky.  I had worked for several professors there while Audie was in graduate school.  There was a note inside the package that read, "Marcia, I cannot explain this but when I saw these pictures I knew you had to have them. " Inside the package were the identical prints to the ones I had - matted and framed.   I felt like I had received a letter from God.  He knew me.  I still did not have answers to hard questions, but God knew me.  

Squire Rushnell wrote a book about God Winks.  In it he says that many people experience coincidences in their everyday lives that are too strange to be chalked up to just mere chance.  He calls them God Winks.  A personal communication from God to an individual, which is usually a circumstance or event that seems like a coincidence but is too personal and unbelievable to be so.  God Winks.



Monday, May 20, 2019

Trust- SOLD

10" x 10" oil on linen panel

Recently I have been painting some high key paintings (primarily light tones) and because this is different for me I sometimes find myself asking, "what am I trying to say?"  Then I might add one stroke - just one stroke and the painting feels complete.  I have prepared to paint for years by attending classes, reading, studying and drawing, and painting and painting.  Why is it so hard to trust that creative spirit that has prepared?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Magnolia - SOLD

If you live in the South you can probably smell this right now.  I love magnolias.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Holding On - NFS

This is nurse's week and I have been thinking alot about my many years as a nurse.  I worked as  a Women's Health Practitioner in several roles so my nursing career focused on mothers and babies.  I remember one mother who came into the unit in labor and she had no idea how far along her pregnancy was.  This was years ago when ultrasounds were not very sophisticated, as they are today.  I remember the doctor performing an ultrasound on our very old equipment and he told me to schedule a helicopter transport for the patient to a high risk facility because she was in active labor and the baby looked very small on ultrasound and we were not equipped at our small community hospital to offer the care this infant would need.  I went to tell the patient of the plan and she said, "I cannot do that.  Please deliver my baby here.  I do not have transportation and if my baby is born in another city I will not have a way to go back and forth to be with him.  I have other children at home  and no money."  I told the doctor what she said and he said, "well we will do the best we can."  The baby's heart rate started to drop and it was evident the patient would require a cesarean section delivery.  As I was getting her ready for surgery, the patient asked me, "would you do something for me?"  I said, "Yes" thinking she might want me to call someone but instead she asked, "would you pray for my baby?"  I laid my hands on her tummy and prayed.   I do admit, it was a selfish prayer asking God to please help me, the doctor and the pediatrician know how to care for this small infant.  As the patient was taken to surgery, I got the nursery ready to admit a premie.  When I heard the pediatrician come down the hall from surgery, he was walking.  My heart dropped because I thought the baby surely had died during delivery and he had no reason to hurry.  But I was wrong, he said, "Marcia, come to the warmer."  He opened his little blanketed bundle and there was a kicking, squirming, whimpering little fellow who weighed in at 6 pounds, 3 ounces and he was breathing without assistance.  

Later the obstetrician came back to the station and he asked me, "What went on back there?  The patient said you saved her baby's life?"  I told him I had prayed for her and the baby.  Not sure how he would respond I told him I would never force my beliefs on someone but the patient had asked me to pray for her so I did.  He then smiled and said, "could you be on call for that because it is a lot easier than a helicopter transport."

This Sunday is Mother's Day and I celebrate mothers.

This painting was completed on my iPad - just a quick sketch but I loved the picture.

Happy Mothers Day.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Beach Babes - SOLD

This is one of my favorite paintings.  It is large, 24" x 30" and painted with a palette knife so the paint is thick and painted in an impasto style.  This picture of my friend and her children creates so many wonderful memories for me.  I loved playing on the beach with my children when they were young and today I love playing with my grandchildren. 

 I count myself blessed to have lived a life full of great friendships, exciting jobs, opportunities to lead women's retreats and speak at various functions.  Now I am truly living my dream as I can paint every day and spend time with friends and family.  As I look back on the things that have meant so much in my life I remember one day years ago when I was sad.  My 10 day old  daughter had just died from an overwhelming infection received at birth.  Even though I had her twin sister to care for and my 2 1/2 year old son, I found myself questioning my abilities as a mother.  I was "stuck" in the grief.  On that particular day I remember being busy and preoccupied washing clothes and straightening up the house and being lost in thought.   My little son called out to me and got my attention.  He said, "Momma, did you hear me?  I said you sure are a good Momma."  That simple little message from such a little fellow changed my perspective.  That was a turning point, a time when I knew it was time to move forward, hold the past in my heart but dedicate my time to my two little people right in front of me.  Five years later that very sad day, the day of my little girl's death became a Birthday as my youngest son was born on the same date.  God has a way of speaking that is personal.  I think every Mother loves to hear those words that she is a good mother.  Those word can heal a heart and create smiles that last a lifetime.
So to all of you mother's out there - hear these words:

"You sure are a good Momma!"

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Last Words of Good Friday

12" x 9" acrylic on wooden canvas

Luke 23:34 Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Luke 23:43  Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.

John 19:26-27 Woman, behold your son.  Son, behold your mother.

Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34 My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?

John 19:28 I thirst.

John 19:30 It is finished.

Luke 23:46 Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Holy Christ - SOLD

12 "x 9" acrylic on wooden canvas

This is Easter week and Christians believe that Jesus of Nazareth, a Jew of the first century of our era, is the fulfillment of the promise of the "anointed one".  In John 17:1-3 it says that the night before his death Jesus talks to his Father and says, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.  And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent".

Sometimes little kids can relay the gospel so much better and "real" than us adults.  I have the cutest little friend who is 8 years old.  She is such a "diva" and dresses up every day for school complete with stick on bracelets and shiny beads in her hair.  She has a backpack covered in sequins and bright pink tennis shoes.  I feel like she and I are kindred spirits.  We usually talk while she is waiting on the school but two weeks ago she was out of school for spring break and I caught up with her riding her bike while I was walking my assistant, Max.  I asked her what she had been up to since school was out.  She said, "Well, I talk to my friends, watch movies and watch music videos."  She told me she loved the group Pentatonix and especially when they sing, Mary Did You Know".  (You can click on this link to hear it.


I told her I love that song to and that it is one of my favorites.  She grew very serious and said, "did you know that there were some "thumbs down" given on that video?"  She said, "I mean what is wrong with these people?!  Do they not know the Holy Christ?!"  Every time I think about her saying that I smile.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Sunday Bunny-SOLD

Where did the Easter Bunny originate?  I researched on the famous web and found that the story of the Easter Bunny is thought to have become common in the 19th Century.  Rabbits usually give birth to a big litter of babies (called kittens), so they became a symbol of new life.  Legend has it that the Easter Bunny lays, decorates and hides eggs as they are also a symbol of new life.  One of my younger grandsons was discussing Easter with his Mom last year.  His Mom is a very smart lady, she holds a PhD and teaches others in a grammar school and at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, Alabama.  Charlie, her son, was six  years old and is very smart as well.  They were discussing the true meaning of Easter being the resurrection of Christ.  She told him, "I am not sure where the Easter eggs fit into the story."  Charlie said, "Well Mom they are probably a symbol because when the egg hatches a new life appears".  She said, "That is exactly what I was going to say."  :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

I'm Back Home - SOLD

16" x 20"
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

I am so happy the birds are back.  I cannot keep my bird feeder filled.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Truly Calico

I have been asked to paint cats.  I don't know about cats so I usually don't paint them but I saw this picture posted by Camille on a site I use to paint  photos. (PMP-art.com)  

 I was drawn to the unusual background and the way it reflected off the cat.  

12" x 16"
oil on archival board

Sunday, March 24, 2019

There is This Thing Called Love - SOLD

24" x 36"
Acrylic on stretched linen

I will be participating in the Mountain Brook Art Association Art in the Village on May 4.  Every year Norton's Florist provides a floral arrangement for the artists to paint.  Below you will see the arrangement provided for this year.  I chose to paint only a portion of the arrangement on a large canvas (24" x 36").  I also provided a picture of how it would possibly look on a wall depending on the size of the couch.  I really love this painting.  I rarely ever say that about one of my paintings but when I paint large paintings I also paint something that I can see living on MY wall.  

(You can click on the picture to get a larger view)

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

I'm That One - SOLD

Years ago when my youngest son, Adam, was 9 years old, he loved baseball cards.  One weekend there was a baseball card show at our local mall and I made plans to take him on a Saturday.  I remember we arrived early and we walked up to the mall hand in hand.  He was so excited and I was happy that he was happy.  I was filled with anticipation of a great day together.  We walked into the mall and I saw so many young boys already there, many of them I recognized as his school friends.  He saw them too and immediately dropped my hand and said, "See ya' later Mom!" and ran off.  I stood there, feeling a little rejected.  I thought, "Hey, I planned my whole Saturday around being with you.  I thought we were going to spend time together, not to mention the fact that I actually gave you birth and now you act like you do not even know me!" Needless to say, I found a chair in the middle of the mall and sat and waited for Adam to return.  

Two weeks later I was teaching a childbirth class and came home around 9:00 p.m.  My older two children were home but my husband and Adam were not. (This was before everyone had cell phones.) When I walked in, my daughter said, "Mom, Adam jumped off the couch and broke his arm and Daddy took him to the hospital".  Do you think I stopped and thought about the earlier experience at the mall and how he did not want me around then?  Do you think I thought about how I had felt rejected that day?  NO!  I drove like a crazy woman to the hospital and I ran in the doors of the emergency room.  Nurses were asking me, "Ma'am, can I help you?"  I ignored them and ran into the back of the emergency room and went from cubicle to cubicle until I found Adam.  His father was at a desk completing paper work and Adam was all alone in the room. He looked up at me with tears in his eyes and said, "Mom, it hurts."  I sat down beside him and gently pulled him close to me and said, "I'm here".  I think at that moment we both knew it was going to be ok.

I have thought back to that experience and it reminds me that when we are hurting, feeling alone, maybe feeling like we have been rejected, God comes to us.  He runs.  He pulls us close and He says, "I am here".

There is a parable Jesus told about a lost sheep.  "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them.  Doesn't he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts him on his shoulders and goes home.  Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep'.  I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.  Luke 15: 4-7 NIV

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

We're Found - SOLD

I have read a book by Rachel Naomi Remen entitled, Kitchen Table Wisdom.  This is an older book but has a unique perspective on healing that comes from her background as a physician, a professor of medicine, a therapist and a long-term survivor of chronic illness.  She invites us to listen from the soul to other's stories.  She states in the book, "Life is the ultimate teacher, but it is usually through experience and not scientific research that we discover it's deepest lessons.  A certain percentage of those who have survived near death experiences speak of a common insight which afforded a glimpse of life's basic lesson plan.  We are all here for a single purpose; to grow in wisdom and to learn to love better.  We can do this by losing as well as through winning, by having and by not having, by succeeding or by failing.  All we need to do is to show up openhearted for class."

These guys showed up.

Friday, March 15, 2019

I Hear His Voice - SOLD

I have a wonderful friend, Paula D'Arcy who is a writer, conference leader and counselor.  I met Paula over 30 years ago at a week long event with Norman Vincent Peale.  He was known as the father of positive thinking.  His best selling book is entitled, The Power of Positive Thinking.   Paula was a speaker at that conference and told the story of losing her husband and young daughter in a car accident while she was pregnant with her second child.  Her story was one of a painful journey back to a faith in a God who she was not sure of and was not even sure she wanted to know.  Her story can be found in the book, A Song for Sarah.  Her story was so compelling to me.  I waited in line for about an hour to speak to her.  The conference was being held in New York and I told her I was from Alabama and I led a women's group there. I asked if she would consider coming to Alabama to speak to a small conference if I organized it.  She said, "Well, I have been all over the world and never to Alabama.  I will come."  That conference was the beginning of 10 years of women's retreats with Paula as the main speaker.  Sometimes I would make it a weekend complete with massage therapy, artists, books and even a potter.  I still hear from women who remember those retreats and especially Paula's speaking.  I have not seen Paula in over 15 years and last Fall I attended a silent retreat where she was the leader and we spent the first hour talking non stop (before the silence started).  **Just a disclaimer here for those who know me personally....that will be my last silent retreat.  I know they are wonderful and hold so much introspective time for many but it was very hard for me to be quiet for 3 days.**

I remember a story Paula told me once that has stayed with me.  She was talking about the way God speaks to us and she told me about visiting a sheep farm.  She said she met the shepherd of the flock and learned that he had a large amount of sheep to watch over and take from field to field and he told her that all he had to do was call them and they would all come to him because they knew him.  They knew he was their shepherd.  She said that one morning she was walking early and no one else was around.  She decided to walk up to the fence where the sheep were and she called out "Sheep!"  just like she had previously seen the shepherd do.  Not even an ear twitch from one of those sheep.  She proceeded to try and make her voice deeper and used several different inflections.....no response.  She left feeling a little embarrassed.  She later went back with the shepherd and watched as he called, "Sheep!"  and when they heard his voice they all came to the gate to be let out.  The sheep knew the voice of the shepherd.  They spent time with him, when he called they recognized him immediately.

I think there is a sermon there.  

Friday, March 8, 2019

I Want to Be Real

Seven years ago my brother Ronnie died from a rare cancer.  He was one of the most "Real" people I have ever known.  He was 16 years older than me so I looked up to him as more than a brother but also as someone with more years and wisdom.  When he got sick, we took him to MD Anderson and we were told there was really nothing that could be done and they encouraged us to go home and allow him to enjoy his last days with family and friends.  One particular day my sister in law and her son were walking with Ronnie and he suddenly stopped and looked straight ahead and asked, "how old is that man?"  My sister in law obviously could not see the person my brother was referring to and asked, "I do not know, what is his name?"  My brother replied, "I think they call him Rudolph".  My sister in law called me and relayed the story.  She was concerned that maybe he was delusional, however, he never again said anything else out of the ordinary.  Two days after this conversation on January 11 he died.  

Ronnie had lived his life well and was very well respected in his community.  On the night of the funeral visitation, we, the family, were asked to start visitation early as the line of people who came to pay their respects was so long it went out the door and into the street.  We started an hour early and stayed late to greet all the visitors.   I left the funeral home that night tired, sad but thankful for all the people his life had touched.   Even in the midst of all the love and concern expressed, that night I found myself asking God, "just tell me one more time that I will see him again.  I have heard him tell all of his grandchildren he will see them again one day and I just need to know - is it true?"

I have been a Christian for a very long time.  I believe but I also have a certain understanding of the man in Mark who brought his child to Jesus for healing.  Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."  The father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" 

As I was walking out of the funeral home I glanced up at the marquee with my brother's name and time of service.  Next to that marquee was another one and it had the name of a man who was also to have a service the next day.  His name was Charles RUDOLPH Kirchner.  I heard God whisper, "Is that a good enough sign for you?"  

My sister in law waited 3 months and then called Mr. Kirchner's widow and told her the story.  She told her she felt that her husband had walked into Heaven with Mr. Kirchner. They died within 30 minutes of each other.  Mrs. Kirchner said she had prayed to know her husband was at peace.  He had Lou Gehrig's disease and was unable to speak for the past 10 years.  She also said, "no one called him Charles, his name was Rudolph".

There is a quote found in The Velveteen Rabbit that I love.  It was written by Margery Williams.

"You become.  It takes a long time.  That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.  Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and our eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby.  But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

I just want to be Real.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Little Green House

8" x 10"
Oil on board 

My wonderful assistant, Whitney who is my 12 year old granddaughter is amazing at editing and creating videos.  She actually filmed me painting this little house and the video is on my facebook page, Marcia Hodges, Artist.  I cannot place it here as it is too large and I can't seem to make it smaller.  Visit there if you would like to see.

Friday, February 15, 2019

The Cows Are Coming Home - SOLD

24" x 36"
Oil on stretched canvas

This painting was a lot of fun to paint.  There is a phrase that I have always heard "when the cows come home".  From what I can find on the internet that means for an indefinite time or a very long time.  Evidently cows are very slow moving and never seem to get in a hurry but live a pretty non hurried life.  I do envy that trait.  For years I worked at jobs that required a lot of organization and running from one project to another.  Now I paint every day and walk and read, meet friends for lunch and even watch a movie in the middle of the day if I want to.  There are still moments where I feel like I have too much to do.  I know, for those of you who still work outside your homes I sound like a spoiled brat.  But today I tried to just live more like a cow.....I took my time.  One of the benefits I reaped today was that my sweet friend sent me a devotional and I stopped what I was doing and took the time to read it.  It was written by Richard Rohr.  I will quote part of it here:

"If you have loved Jesus - perhaps with great passion and protectiveness-do you recognize that any God worthy of the name must transcend creeds and denominations, time and place, nations and ethnicities, and all the vagaries of gender and sexuality, extending to the limits of all we can see suffer and enjoy? All of our human differences are "hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3).

You are a child of God, and always will be, even when you don't believe it.

This is why I can see Christ in my dog, the sky, and all creatures, and it's why you, whoever you are, can experience God's unadulterated care for you in your garden or kitchen.  You can find Christ's presence in your beloved partner or friend, an ordinary beetle, a fish in the deepest sea that no human will ever observe, and even in those who do not like you and those who are not like you.

This is the illuminating light that enlightens all things, making it possible for us to see things in their fullness.  Light is less something we see directly and more something by which we see all other things.  When Jesus Christ calls himself the "Light of the World" (John 8:12), he is not telling us to look just at him, but to look out at life with his all-merciful and non-dualistic eyes.  We see him so we can see like him - with the same infinite compassion.

When your isolated "I" turns into a connected "we", you have moved from Jesus to Christ.  We no longer have to carry the burden of being a perfect "I" because we are saved "in Christ" and as Christ.  Or, as Christians say correctly, but too quickly, at the end of our official prayers: "Through Christ, Our Lord, Amen."  

Monday, February 11, 2019

Picture Day - SOLD

8" x 10"
Acrylic on wood canvas

School pics - sometimes I would not even know what day the kids were going to have pictures made.  I remember my own.  I showed up but my hair did not!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Valentine Sunflowers - SOLD

20" x 24"
acrylic on deep side canvas

Sunflowers are such great flowers.  I found these in a vase that matched the color in the flowers.  They make me smile.  

Friday, January 25, 2019

My Feathers Are Ruffled - SOLD

12" x 24"
Acrylic on stretched canvas

On this blustery day the seagulls are just trying to stand without being blown over and so am I.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Group Pic - SOLD

10" x 20" oil on deep sided canvas (sides are painted)

Neil Kingsbury provided this wonderful reference photo to paint.  I am so thankful for wonderful photographers.  This one stoled my heart.  

Monday, January 21, 2019

Tiger for the Orange and Blue

16" x 20
Acrylic on deep side canvas - sides painted - no frame needed

I wish I were a football fan. They are so dedicated to their teams.  I recently painted an elephant (the mascot for the University of Alabama) and some asked for a tiger (the mascot for Auburn University).  Here you go!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Bama Elephant - SOLD

A couple of people have asked for an elephant.  I am in hiding downstairs at the beach condo so my husband can have no idea what I am painting.  (He is a HUGE Auburn fan!)

Dock Siders

9" x 12"
oil on linen panel
$175 + $8 shipping

Cute couple walking along the boardwalk...had to paint them.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Just the Two of Us - SOLD

11 x 14
Oil on Linen Panel

How can anyone stay married for 46 years?  Well when my husband and I married 46 years ago we were young and in love and had no idea what marriage was.  We did not know that we were supposed to grow emotionally as husband and wife after we said, "I do".  We certainly did not anticipate some of the hardships we would endure along the way.  We endured the pain of losing a child, a pain we thought we could not bear and ended up in a place of healing and strength we never dreamed possible.  There were other frustrations, painful situations, disappointments and opportunities to either leave or stay in our marriage.  There were times when I questioned my faith and I questioned God but we both found that life gives you the opportunity to choose....choose faith, choose love, choose forgiveness, choose moving forward and not looking back. And make the best choice every day.  The kids are grown now and have families of their own, the grandkids are wonderful and we have such great times together but they eventually go home.  We find ourselves alone, sitting on the deck in Destin  Florida, looking out on the ocean, together, and finding that life is not so bad for "just the two of us".

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Monday, January 14, 2019

Moo Town - SOLD

16" x 20"
Acrylic on deep sided painted canvas

Today I had fun painting more abstract cows.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Girl's Day Out - SOLD

9" X 12"

Nothing is better than a girls day out, laughing, eating, drinking wine and having fun.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Angel Laughter

24" x 12"
acrylic on stretched canvas

I am painting for an upcoming Art Festival and started with an angel series.  I could not resist this sweet smile.