Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Learning how to paint - The Shed

10" x 10"  $125

Last week I spent the week at Cheaha State Park with several other artists and the well known artist, Julee Hutchison as our mentor and teacher.  Our goal was to learn from her and hopefully incorporate what we learned into our paintings.  I never seem to "take in" all the information while on site but today I tried to reflect back on several things she taught us.  

Some of her thoughts include:

Paint with passion
Take risks
Have fun 
Revel in the day 
Dont get discouraged - must of have miles of bad paintings behind us and often more is learned from a bad painting than a good one.  

She also told us to think of our brush like a violin bow.  Pressure changes are extremely important...direction of movement matter.  Your brush is your instrument - a bow across strings with the same pressure and the same rhythm would make for a very boring "piece".  Value - If you get the value right it really does not seem to matter about the color.  

I have also heard it said, "once you say what you want to say then quit".  As any of you who paint know, THAT IS SO HARD.  The longer you look at your painting you see something you want to change but all those added strokes take away from the spontaneity that you created with the first strokes if they were laid down with conviction.

Then, there is the need to mix colors correctly and have warm colors and cool colors vibrate when placed next to each other.  

Today I took out a picture of an old shed that was located on a farm we visited last week and I spent time mixing colors from Richard Schmid's color charts.  This practice encouraged me to use colors that I do not normally reach for so it changed up my palette.  I also made an effort to lay down color and leave it.  When we go back over our colors again and again we create mud.  So easy to do but so hard to undo.  

 I am pleased with the results and hope to keep on learning.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Merry Christmas Mom

This is a commission for someone but this little girl reminds me of my Max.  I have to continually remind myself that Max is not a human and make every effort to treat him as a dog.  Those of us who love animals know that they can read our thoughts and seem to understand us when we talk to them.  Max has big black eyes like Sadie and sometimes I believe he is speaking to me through them.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sweet Baby Girl

This little girl was an assignment today from a course I am taking but I wonder if I did not channel my foster baby grandson in the painting.  After having this little fellow for over a year and having him take up residence in our hearts he was recently sent back to his maternal grandmother for his permanent home.  To say my entire family does not feel a void would be a lie.  I have watched my daughter and her sweet family give him back to his family of origin and cry tons of tears but know that they have placed him and his life in the hands of God.  You cannot become foster parents and extended family and decide to only love with part of your heart.  I just hope that seated deep down in his little spirit he knows that he is deeply loved and prayed for by all of us who had him as a part of our family.

We love you little E always.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Southern Hospitality

I drive past this little house every week on my way to Recovery Church.  It is very small but has a well kept yard and a lovely azalea bush that was on fire last week.  I loved this little scene.  It reminds me so much of what I think of when I think Southern hospitality.  I could sit on that porch and drink sweet tea all day.  I stumbled upon a blog about Southern Hospitality by a beautiful lady named Rhoda.  There I found a recipe for the best strawberry cake ever.   Talkin' about Southern - thought I would share it here - send me your comments if you bake it.

8" x 10"  $125


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Painting En Plein Air

This past week I painted "En Plein Air" with several wonderful artist friends.  En Plein Air is French for painting outdoors.  This is something I do not do very often and it is quite a challenge with wind, bugs and the need to capture the right scene without painting the entire countryside.  Our teacher for the week was Julee Hutchison.  Julee is an impressionistic painter from Telluride Colorado.  Her work is amazing. 

 Julee has the ability to paint the most descriptive, colorful scenes with unique strokes of her brush and creative colors that she seems to have an innate ability to mix.  (visit her website at

I named my above painting "Lunch With Friends".  We had the most wonderful time learning to paint better outside and sharing stories, food and friendship....I looked across the field at these cows and thought they were doing the same.

Friday, April 6, 2018

My Brother, My Sister, You Will Always Be - SOLD

This commissioned painting depicts the love between a brother and sister.  Life can present challenges that we cannot understand and we find ourselves wondering, "why?"  The miracle in that moment is that love is strong and when we walk together we see God's provision.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Mary's Testimony

John 20:1-8 (NIV) 

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.  So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!"  So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.  Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.  He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in.  Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus' head . The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.  Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside.  He saw and believed.

Many years ago when I was 19 years old and a young minister's wife, my best friend in the tiny town we lived was in her 70's.  Mrs. Jaggers was the most "real" person and dedicated Christian I have ever known.  She was way ahead of her time in her thinking.  Many looked to her for wisdom and spiritual advice.  I remember once when a little country Methodist church received their first woman pastor, the church just could not accept her.  They were accustomed to pastors who were men and they did not like change, especially a woman for a pastor.  Mrs. Jaggers called up the chairman of the board and asked, "Who ran from the empty tomb?"  The man replied, "Mary?"  Mrs. Jaggers replied, "Yes!  She was the first preacher and she was a woman!  So accept this woman as your preacher!"   And they did.

11" x 14" with deep sides that are painted $150

Friday, March 30, 2018

William - SOLD

This little boy is so cute.  This painting was done from a black and white photo.  That is a challenge.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Ballerina Girls- SOLD

This is one of those paintings that is meant for someone special.  I have several commissions to complete but this painting just would not leave me alone.  I remember the Lionel Richie song, "Ballerina Girl".  I know this dates me badly but I loved that song and the whole album, "Dancing on the Ceiling".  My daughter was very young at the time and for some reason she thought he was singing "Peanut Butter Girl".  That still makes me smile.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

You've Got A Friend - Give Away

Girlfriends are the best!  With a true friend you can be yourself, even your bad self and they will still love you accept you and tell you when you have lipstick on your teeth.

Friday, March 16, 2018

My Heart's Home - SOLD

Home is  place where memories are made. Just looking at a depiction of the house we grew up in can bring back memories of Birthday parties, friends, special moments with siblings or parents.  There were times when I walked around my father's farm where he grew up and I felt close to those who had walked that land before.  Joseph Campbell said, "Sacred Space is where you can find yourself again and again."  That describes home to me.  

I found another quote stating that the role of home and sense of place in a person's life story can be significant.  As people age their life stories take on added importance.  "It moves from being just a story to becoming an actual resource that people rely on to remember their place in the world and their accomplishments." Not to mention this is the place where the tooth fairy first visited you.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Becoming - SOLD

I was not planning on painting flowers today as I have two commissions to complete but keep me away from Trader Joe's!  I love the sunshine coming through my window as I have not seen it a lot lately and I loved this bouquet so I thought I would provide a couple of pictures showing how this painting became a painting.  I will know to take more pictures next time as I got so into painting I kind of forgot to take photos.  As you can see, this is a loose interpretation of my flowers.  Someone told me today that they could always tell my paintings because of my unique style.  That makes me happy because I am sometimes unsure if I have a "style".  

Sunday, March 11, 2018

At The Cross - SOLD

Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.  Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself!  Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!"  In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.  "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself!  He's the king of Israel!  Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.  He trusts in God.  Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God.'"

Matthew 27: 38-43 NIV

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Sailing - SOLD

  Oh My Goodness - I loved painting these two.  The photo was a black and white so I was able to create a palette based on harmonious colors.  What a sweet moment captured between two siblings.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Two Little Angels Sitting By the Water - SOLD

I have been working hard on a couple of commissions and completing some inventory for the upcoming Jerry Brown Art Festival in Hamilton, Alabama.  Today I painted this little painting with a palette knife.  There are times when a palette knife will just work better for the painting I have in my head.  

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Your Sister I Will Always Be - SOLD

The love between siblings is so deep.  I read a quote on Pinterest recently that said, "Here's to you, here's to me, big and little we'll always be."  We moved around a lot when my children were growing up and the one thing they could always count on being a constant was each other.  Today they are all grown up and some of them have kids of their own but I still see them as these two cute little girls.   I am very thankful that they still know they can always count on each other.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Friday, February 16, 2018

I Got You - SOLD

It is nice to know someone has "got you" regardless of what is ahead.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

True Colors - SOLD

There is a lady in our church who is so transparent, so "real", so honest.  She tells her story of mistakes and then reconciliation with God and it is so inspiring.  For one thing she is brave, she knows she is loved and forgiven and she really does not care what anyone else thinks.  The other part of the story is that the small church congregation loves her, accepts her and holds her story in their hearts and not in their gossip.  

Those are true colors to me.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Wake Up to Hope - SOLD

14" x 14" acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas

I spent the most wonderful lunch with an old friend yesterday, our lives crossed over 16 years ago and as life does sometimes, circumstances - some good, some not so good brought us back together.  I am always amazed when this happens, especially when it just feels "right" and "good" to share our learned life lessons over a bowl of soup.  This morning I had that visit on my mind when I glanced up on my wall and saw a painting entitled, "Wake up to Hope" something we had talked about yesterday.  The fact that we were much more hopeful and compassionate in these years of our lives after living through some "things".  Hope, love and the fact that we cannot make something "ok" for another person.  We have both grown and changed and become different over the years.  Maybe being gracefully broken has not been all in vain as we both feel we are becoming more of the people we were meant to be.  Thank God people can grow and change and move closer and closer to freedom and being "real".   I grabbed that painting off the wall and completely redid it and just felt it was now representing it's name...........

P.S.  I love you Martha!!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

You Are Loved - Sold

16" x 20" acrylic on stretched canvas

I am in a Bible study where I read this passage last week:  Luke 9:51-56 (The Message)
When it came close to the time for his Ascension he gathered up his courage and steeled himself for the journey to Jerusalem.  He sent messengers on ahead.  They came to a Samaritan village to make arrangements for his hospitality.  But when the Samaritans learned that his destination was Jerusalem, they refused hospitality. When the disciples James and John learned of it, they said, "Master, do you want us to call a bolt of lightning down out of the sky and incinerate them?"

The study is about John and I could not help but laugh that the disciple who called himself "the one that Jesus loved" was also a hot head.  He gives me hope.

At Valentine's and always, "you are loved".

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Hide and Seek - SOLD

12" x 12" oil on gallery wrapped linen

You can click on the image and see a larger view with more detail.  I love getting emails from customers after they have received their paintings and they tell me that they love them!  Paintings truly are more beautiful "in person".

Monday, January 29, 2018

Friday, January 26, 2018

Topiary Road - SOLD

This is a very peaceful road that a friend of mine jogs every morning.  I was struck by a picture he posted to his facebook page because I walk a road that looks similar every morning and I love it. I also love finding new sayings or messages that speak to me and last night I found a scripture while participating in a Bible Study.  Maybe I have read this before but I never heard it nor did I know it existed.

Proverbs 6:  20 - 22 "My son, keep your father's command and do not forsake your mother's teaching.  (The study stated this was in reference to scripture).  Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck."

This is the part I love....."When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you."

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Monday, January 22, 2018


8" x 10"
oil on stretched canvas

I love watching kids run in the ocean, even when the water is freezing they are so excited to squeal and splash around.  This little girl was even dressed for the occasion complete with bow in her beautiful hair.  I was in my beach chair covered up and smiling.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Life in a Fishbowl

12" x 12" on gallery wrapped canvas

My husband and I have been in Destin, Florida this month and I have had beach paintings on my mind.  I found a picture of this fish, a koi, I think and decided he needed to be captured on canvas.  He makes me smile.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Me and Mommom - SOLD

Having a grandchild is a gift- one of the greatest ever - I cannot imagine what it would be like to be a great grandmother and be able to witness life moving forward at such a rapid pace.  

Friday, January 12, 2018

Love Always - SOLD

12" x 24" on gallery wrapped canvas
Mixed media

I love painting mixed media.  The painting seems to take on a life of it's own.  I found some wonderful paper that says "Love always" and I have that incorporated into the painting on the lower left.  

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Soccer Secrets

10" x 8" oil on stretched canvas
$125 + shipping

I absolutely love watching my grands play sports.  Miller wears his baseball cap even during soccer games and he and his friends take every opportunity to share secrets on the sidelines.  

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A Pretty Mess - SOLD

This is the granddaughter of one of my friends.  She is beautiful and when I mentioned that to her grandmother, she said, "She is a mess but she is pretty".  During a critique by other artists recently one told me that I had the ability to capture emotion.  I hope I was able to do that here because I loved painting this little girl.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Palm Tuesday - SOLD

12" x 24" oil on stretched canvas

Today I did not go very far - well except Max and I walked 2 miles and then I came home to paint the house across the street.  My goal is to get my husband to take me out for lunch.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Summer Serenade - SOLD

This painting was fun.  I am painting inside on these cold days at the beach and I have surrounded myself with flowers trying to "will" some sunshine and warm weather.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

St. Andrews By the Sea Episcopal Church - DONATED

20" x 20" on gallery wrapped canvas

Every morning Max and I head out for our walk on the road by the ocean.  Even though it has been very cold, I bundle up in my heavy coat and he seems completely fine with his long, curly hair blowing in the wind.  I listen to a lot of podcasts and today I listened to a interview of Jack Canfield, the author of Chicken Soup for the Soul.  He stated that he believes that what makes us come alive is the fulfillment of our soul's purpose.  He said, "We all have an inborn purpose we were born to fulfill and when we fulfill that, we achieve happiness and we serve the world."  When asked how he thought we could do that he stated, "Your passions are your purpose."  He quoted Howard Thurman, "Don't look to do what the world needs but see what makes you come alive because what the world needs is more people who have come alive."  I like that.  For me personally, when I paint I find happiness and when someone tells me a particular painting means something to them or if I paint a painting and just "feel" that is for someone in particular, then I am happy.  I am very thankful that my art sells but I think I am at the point where I really just paint for the pleasure of painting but it is nice to be able to buy more paint :).

The second podcast I listened to (it is a long walk) was the pastor Keon Henderson.  This guy is good!  He said that God introduces you to people who look like you will eventually look. The premise is that God can use people to shape our lives and he believes that every time you are in the presence of a great person that you look up to, God is giving you a snapshot of what your are going to look like.  He said if you have a dream that is nothing more than a thought asking for permission to live.  A dream is something God put into your head asking to live.  

So I guess I took away an idea from both of these podcasts....our passions are our purpose and we can make our dreams come alive.  That is what I am going to focus on in 2018.

Each one of us is given his own gift I believe that and I like the way it is described in 
Ephesians 4 in the Message:

"You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly.  You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who rules over all works through all, and is present in all.  Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.  But that doesn't mean you should all look and speak and act the same.  Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift....."

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Pelican Dreams - SOLD

It is cold even in Florida but I am having so much fun!  The Emerald Coast Plein Air group graciously allow me to paint with them.  I did opt out today because it was 33 degrees, but Friday I am going to paint with the local figurative painters at a local gallery with models.  Yesterday I went to my favorite beach bookstore, Sundog Books and found a good book to read and some wonderful fish paper.  I wanted to paint a pelican so I thought he would like the fish and I love working on mixed media pieces.  AND to top it off, there are restaurants that have discounts for early no cooking!!

This piece is 12" x 24" on gallery wrapped canvas...the fish extend to the sides and the side are also painted.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Joy Comes in the Morning - GIFTED

There is a promise in Psalms 30 that  "Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning."   That's a good promise.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

You're Beautiful - SOLD

It does not matter what age, height, weight, color, day, or year.....everyone loves to hear those words.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Recovery - NFS

For the last three years my husband and I have been involved with a church called "Recovery Church".  Every Thursday night the church meets on the campus of a sober living facility.  A meal is provided, someone who is in recovery from drugs and/or alcohol will give their "story of hope" and then a minister brings a short devotional.  The guys present are from all socio-economic statuses, various ages and cultures.  There are those who have been homeless and those who have come from very wealthy families.  They are all present because they want sobriety, they choose to be free from their addictions and they are working out their sobriety as best as they can.

I have learned a lot about addiction during this time.  I know that addiction is chronic, often relapsing despite the harmful consequences to the addicted individual and to those who love them.  The reasons why a person might start taking drugs are varied but after a very short period of time, the brain changes and that change will challenge a person's self control and his or her ability to resist the impulses to use again and again.  The brain becomes "fooled" into thinking the drugs are as essential as food or water.

I have seen men who have found sobriety through the 12 step program and through Christian based programs.  One important part of their healing is the comradery and encouragement found in support groups.  Being with others who have been exactly in the same place.  I am always touched by the love they have for each other, it is deep.  They hold each other accountable and also hold each other up when someone has  relapsed because they know the depth of the struggle.

Recently, I was asked to paint two paintings.  One depicts a man who gave his time and expertise to starting a farm at a particular Recovery site to provide work and food for the inhabitants of the facility.  Not only did he provide this service but he provided friendship, love and concern.  He was such an example of Christ and compassion that he touched many.  A compassion that came from his heart unsolicited.

The second painting is one of a young man who strayed away and returned.  He was not met with condemnation but with love and encouragement.  The kind of encouragement that only those who have walked in his shoes could give.....totally unconditional.

During the three years we have been involved in this ministry, we have also seen too many deaths.  The disease takes the lives of young men and women every week.  It is epidemic and it takes a miracle to find healing and wholeness once the person is in the throws of the disease.  But miracles do happen.  I heard a man in recovery say that he believed in miracles because God had turned crack cocaine into groceries at his house.  He had delivered him from years of pain, low self esteem and bad choices.  He said he was broken.  The scriptures tell us in Psalm 34:18 that "the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."  His testimony was that only God could do that.

Each week when we ask for prayer requests at the service, there is one young man who requests that we continue to pray for those who are still "out there" - those who have not found the way into the rooms where sobriety occurs.  That is my prayer for those who are battling addiction.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Always Faithful - SOLD

It is a gift in our lives when we have that one place that holds for us wonderful memories of births, deaths, life changes, love, celebration, friendship and faith.  Life can sometimes surprise us with unexpected twists and turns, hurts and unplanned disappointments but we know that there is a God who is "always faithful".  And many times we find that promise wrapped up in a memory that reminds us of that fact.  My daughter, being a "preacher's kid" for a long time named this painting for me.  She knows.......He is ....Always Faithful.