Tuesday, December 26, 2017
Sunday, December 24, 2017
Thursday, December 21, 2017
Saturday, December 16, 2017
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
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.
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
I had art class with Whitney today and we painted Angel Babies. This little angel was one that I came up with. I love painting these little intuitive type paintings that are inspired by Mindy Lacefield. My granddaughter (Whitney) and I took her class and we are mesmerized by these little paintings. They require a lot of intuitive pushing and pulling of paint until a little personality appears.
Sunday, December 3, 2017
Friday, December 1, 2017
During the Advent season one of the traditions of the church is to have "Hanging of the Greens". That is a service where the church is decorated in greenery and possibly a Chrismon tree (a tree covered in Christian symbols). The little church I attend will have that service this week and a lot of fellowship with visiting and, of course, eating. Most of the members of our little church are related. They have known each other for years, many of them were born in the church and remained and are now the older members. The cords of family and friendships run deep and memories are made.
Photo by Angela Reynolds
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
I would not call myself a country music fan but I did watch the CMA Christmas special this week and I loved the music! I especially love the song, Mary, Did You Know? The group who sang did a wonderful job, however, my favorite version is by Pentatonix. They are an American a cappella group. Not to sound too "out there" but many times paintings appear to me in dreams and I woke up yesterday with the idea of an angel asking Mary those questions. This is my impressionistic interpretation of that encounter. I have included the words of the song here and the link to the song
Mary, Did You Know?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.
Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God
Mary did you know, Mary did you know, Mary did you know
The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb
Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I AM
Mary did you know, Mary did you know, Mary did you know
Songwriters: Lamont Savory/Buddy Greene/Mark Lowry/ Courick Clarke/ William Barclay/Wayne Buchanan
Monday, November 27, 2017
Saturday, November 11, 2017
I love it when people have great ideas for paintings, especially ideas that I would not have come up with. This painting of cotton fields is 40" x 40" - a large gallery wrapped canvas so the sides are 4" and painted. I have never purchased from this canvas company before and I love the canvas. I wanted to see how it would look above my fireplace and I found I love it.
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
I love roosters, the attitude, the colors and the tail feathers. I could not help myself naming one "Yes, Honey"----sometimes the hen lets the rooster strut.
I am so honored when a friend has purchased several paintings from me ----thank you Libbie.
Monday, November 6, 2017
This past weekend I attended a "Silent Retreat" at St. Ignatius House in Atlanta Georgia. A silent retreat is for the purpose of reflection and drawing close to God. I know those of you who know me will not believe I could be silent for 3 days but I attended partly because one of my friends, Paula D'Arcy, who is a writer and retreat leader was the leader of the event. Paula is an exceptional human being. I met Paula almost 30 years ago at a retreat with Norman Vincent Peale, the author of The Power of Positive Thinking. I had lost a little girl 8 years before and I was so touched by her story of healing and hope after the loss of her husband and young daughter to an accident caused by a drunk driver. For about 10 years, I organized women's retreats and Paula was the speaker. She continues to speak, write and touch lives everywhere she goes.
One of the stories she told this weekend was about a friend who attended an ALAnon meeting ( a support meeting for those who are affected by someone who is an alcoholic or addict). The friend stated that the speaker was wonderful and gave so much hope. When the friend attended the next week there was another speaker but the one from the previous week was a wreck! She was crying and needing encouragement from the group. The friend asked someone in the group, "what is the deal? Last week she was so positive." The member answered, "We take turns." In other words, we all have "turns" at pain in life. This week it might be your turn to be betrayed, broken, hurt, widowed, sick, depressed or whatever. Through your own experience you can choose despair or a deeper healing. If you choose the healing then it might your time to "hold the light" for someone else because we all take turns.
This little angel is "holding the light" for whoever needs it today.
Monday, October 23, 2017
Friday, October 20, 2017
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Sunday, October 15, 2017
I have said this before but I think giving the gift of a unique, original piece of art is a great gift. I know it is one that I love to receive. These two pieces are from old photos taken from the old home places of the giver's Mom and Dad. What a great way to honor them and their heritage. I truly hope they enjoy and that these little paintings bring back happy memories of days gone by.
Saturday, October 14, 2017
I painted all week long last week at the Sarah Towery Art Colony and I told the other artists that I really do not like to paint florals because they are hard to know when to soften the edges and when to keep hard. Then I saw this bouquet at Costco and I knew I had to have them. The colors were so brilliant bright ---so even though I know how dangerous I am with Cadmium Red I took the challenge. This painting is 12" x 24" on gallery wrapped canvas. The sides are painted black.
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Tomorrow I leave for a week of painting. I thought today I would just know out a quick little painting while I was teaching my grandkids. WRONG! This painting had a mind of it's own and I had to just follow the paint but I do like the results
24" x 12" acrylic on stretched canvas
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Of course I would think this, but I really think one of the most thoughtful gifts someone can give is a piece of art. Anytime I am given the honor or someone commissioning me to provide a painting for that purpose I am honored. However, when someone asks me to paint a portrait I am quick to remind them that I am not a realistic painter but an impressionistic one. Their response is usually that they are looking for an impressionistic interpretation and my style is what they want. That makes me happy. So that being said, I always hope that something in my painting will touch something in their soul.
Cecil was a commission that I really enjoyed. His sweet face and tossed about curls made me smile while I was painting and this is my interpretation of him.
This week I leave for my yearly artistic experience painting with a wonderful instructor, Julee Hutchison and several artists I have painted with for 10 years. We will be spending the week together at the Sarah Towery Art Colony. I hope to have some paintings in time for Christmas presents.
Sunday, October 1, 2017
Saturday, September 30, 2017
I have been painting a lot of commissions for Christmas. I love painting for people who tell me they are happy with their paintings or that I have captured a certain "spirit" or personality. Those times make my day but I find that I get very "serious" when painting commissions. Mostly, it is self imposed pressure because I want to please the person I am painting for. I have to fight being too "tight" or reverting back to a way of painting that I have tried to move away from. As I have mentioned before, it is very hard to paint freely or loose and at the same time try to incorporate the needed color theory, rules of thirds, exciting brushwork and value patterns that make a good painting. I constantly read and study painting techniques and attend workshops as often as I can. In fact, next week I will attend the Sarah Towery Art Colony at Lake Martin which I have attended for over 10 years now. I love painting with many other artists that I have known over the years and I am especially happy to be painting with a wonderful teacher, Julee Hutchison. But today I strayed - I took the advice of another artist and took an old painting and painted over it. Someone told me recently that I should paint more intuitive paintings and that is what I did. I painted a very loose vase of flowers with a lot of pushing and pulling of paint.....adding and removing until I found what I wanted. There are some places where the old painting peeks through and adds interesting detail. Rarely ever do I say, "I love this" but today I do. I couldn't love it more.
Sometimes people will ask me to replicate something I have already painted and sold. That is really impossible because paintings can be similar but there are always nuances that cannot be repeated. I know this one will never be repeated, it is one of a kind.
Monday, September 25, 2017
"I am worthy, I am a Child of God, I am Will".
"Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person's ability to communicate, and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a "spectrum condition" that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and early diagnosis/intervention and access to appropriate services/supports lead to significantly improved outcomes. Some of the behaviors associated with autism include delayed learning of language; difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation; difficulty with executive functioning, which relate to reasoning and planning; narrow, intense interests; poor motor skills' and sensory sensitivities." (Autism Society website). Please consider getting involved with your local organization.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
The love between siblings starts out strong and ends up strong. Sometimes, usually during adolescence, there are those "in between times" when we might grow in different directions and even choose being with our friends over our brother or sister's company. But when all is said and done and we mature and life starts flying by at a faster speed than we could have ever imagined, we think back to that picture when we were together and you were my little brother and in a way, you always will be.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
When I was younger I really loved the sun. I slathered on that baby oil and iodine and headed to the lake every chance I got. Well, now years later all that sun worshipping has taken it's toll and I have had several "procedures" plus I have a full body exam every 6 months due to all the sun damage. Hey, who knew??? Anyway, yesterday when I saw the Nurse Practitioner at the Dermatology office, she said, "What is this bright yellow in your ear? And there is bright pink on your knee and some other colors on your hands." I was embarrassed! I know she probably thought I did not even take time to take a bath before coming but that is not true. I did! I told her I am an artist and I really get into my paintings.
I do not think I am a cow but just wanted to paint one today and I made her pink because she is embarrassed.
Hope you smile and wear sunscreen.
Monday, September 11, 2017
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Friday, September 8, 2017
I have had strong women on my mind today so I painted this little painting (8" x 8") for all of those strong women out there. I started the day by drawing a card for one of the strongest, most beautiful, most intelligent women I know. I missed her Birthday and wanted to create a card for her with fashion from the 1960's. (I wish I had taken a picture of it before I mailed it.) But Biddy Stewart, my heroine, is 98 this month and she is so remarkable. I want to be her!
Then I ended the day by painting this painting while praying for a dear friend who is going through a very tough time. She is beautiful, intelligent and a true Southern Belle but she has been forced to "be tough" and fight some red tape for the health and well being of someone she loves. She is STRONG!!
I am amazed at the strength of the women I know; women of all ages and backgrounds, nationalities, families, social status, color, religion and circumstances. Thank you Tom Jones for the title to this painting!
"She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the Universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings." Ariana Dance
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
This is Emma. There are really no words that describe how our furry children can bring joy and meaning to our lives. One study revealed that dog owners who have had heart surgery are more likely to get up sooner and take their canine companion for a walk. In an article I found by John Allemang, he stated, "animals give us a purpose, a sense of meaning, an altruistic obligation to be active and aware." Researchers have long known that the animal-human bond is strong. When we lose a pet, Julie Axelrod, explained in a article entitled, "Grieving the Loss of a Pet" that we actually mourn several losses at the same time.
- The loss of unconditional love
- the loss of a protege
- The loss of a "life witness"
- The loss of multiple relationships and routines
- The loss of a primary companion
Helping a friend who is grieving might include helping them through the loss of their pet.
Rest in Peace Emma.
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Saturday, August 26, 2017
While I was painting this the music playing on my computer is "Safe". The lyrics to this song by Phil Wickham are below:
To the one whose dreams have fallen all apart
And all you're left is a tired and broken heart
I can tell by your eyes, you think you're on your own
But you're not alone
Have you heard of the one who can calm the raging sea
Give sight to the blind, pull the lame up to their feet
With a love so strong that'll never let you go
No, you're not alone
You will be safe in His arms
You will be safe in His arms
There are times when life sends unexplainable sadness but there are also many times of unbelievable joy. Joys like a simple sunset at the beach with our sweet children or grandchildren looking out with wonder.
You will be safe in His arms.
Friday, August 25, 2017
This angel has been in my head and I finally took the time to paint her. This is a larger piece, 30" x 40" so that is always a challenge; what size easel, where to paint and how much paint is needed. Also I wanted to paint the wings as a "hint" of wings, not a completely solid mass and I love different textures so I used actual feathers to paint the wings. I made quite a mess but I love the results. Now when I see those geese walking down my driveway, I realize they do have some redeeming qualities even if they leave all that poop to clean up!
$500 - free shipping
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested
Friday, August 18, 2017
Recently I went on a marvelous painting workshop trip to Italy to paint with Trisha Adams https://trishaadams.com The workshop was offered through Montorno Painting Workshops and I cannot say enough good things about the experience. For one, Trisha is an excellent teacher and I learned so much from her expertise. She took every opportunity to expose us to wonderful art via museums, marble studios and small quaint villages. Not to mention that her teaching method included demos, critiques and lectures complete with visuals and exercises. As in any workshop, it is also important to have a good group, one that is cohesive and willing to do what it takes, especially in hot weather and walking to sites that are sometimes very up hill. In this case, the other artists I met were such special people and I felt privileged to have been able to work along side them. The group was hosted by Alessandro and Francesco Poli in their home and studio. Each day they provided extraordinary meals that were worth the trip. The areas we traveled to while painting were so full of beauty and character that it was hard to choose which site you wanted to paint. The entire experience was one I will carry in my heart forever.
Saturday, July 29, 2017
This little whimsical girl has an attitude...how many times have I heard one of my grandchildren talking to another one and saying, "I Don't Think So" when one of them says they are going to do something the other one does not like.
This painting is painted with acrylics and mixed media on watercolor paper and then affixed to a 10" x 10" stretched canvas and polished. I love the way the finished product looks. She is available on Easy at
Friday, July 28, 2017
I have seen this look a couple of times - usually right before the little person gets sleepy. In fact, I think I have seen the same look on my husband's face.
This painting was painted on 140 pound watercolor paper, then it is attached to a wood canvas and polished several times to a gloss finish. I love this process and it looks so good "in person".
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
It is hard to believe that time goes by so fast. This little doll baby is the new granddaughter of a long time friend. At least 30 years ago our children played together and now I see the cycle of life continuing. I love the way babies hold on tight to our fingers like they are so glad to be here. It is like their own language telling us they love us and they are here to make our lives more full......especially for us known as Mimi, Grandmother, Gigi, Nana ---you get the message.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Last December I took an online course with Mindy Lacefield. The course was a more intuitive type of painting where you laid down paint and waited until you "saw" something on the canvas that spoke to you of a painting. (I am not sure I am doing a very good job of explaining this.) Anyway, I saw this little face and developed it and she reminded me of the look on one of my children in the past or grandchildren who had just been "caught" doing something forbidden.
This is so different from the way I usually paint but I hope to revisit again and again as I loved the process and the outcome. I am not selling this little girl because she is a reminder to me to keep on trying this style. Recently in an art show several people told me that she "spoke" to them, something about her touched them. I listen to those kind of comments and let them lead me along this path of creativity.