Category Archives: Arts, Crafts, Creativity


I begin a new painting. Unsure of what I want it to be. No inspiration photo to guide me this time. Simply tubes of paint and blank canvas.

I brush paint onto canvas with no plan. Waiting to see what will emerge.

One layer on, I step away allowing it to dry. I’ve learned to be patient with this layer. Usually bland and flat. I’ve trained myself not to judge the finished piece by this first layer.

So I continue. Adding new colors. Still no mental image of what it will be. I wait. Brushing colors. Wondering what will emerge. Content with the unknowing.

Another layer. Adding new colors. Instinct dictating where to blend each new color more than conscious thought. And then another layer.

My art teacher says she sees how I’ve grown with my art. How some aspects come more instinctively now. How much paint I load on my brush. Balancing colors. All aspects I never gave conscious thought, but somehow have now become second nature.

Something about this painting, though. Something so different from the pieces I have painted prior. Every painting before imitations of artists whose work I admire. Experimenting. Searching for my own voice with paint and brush. But this one. This one is my own.

I add another layer waiting to see what will emerge. Wondering if the final image will reveal itself with this layer.

I catch my breath. Calming the excitement bubbling up in my soul.

In colors blended, layered and brushed across canvas I see my voice.

What gifts are you grateful for this week?

Continuing to count the gifts:
933. For a bird singing in the rain. (4.16.12)
934. For a full night of sleep. (4.17.12)
935. For sun breaking through the clouds. (4.18.12)
936. For a clean house. (4.18.12)
937. For painting an original painting that I’m thrilled with. (4.20.12)
938. For sunshine after the rain. (4.20 12)
939. For a fun afternoon with Chris. (4.21.12)
940. For finding a new place to photograph. (4.21.12)

Beauty Will Emerge

I brush paint against canvas. Color upon colors until the image I visualize in my head appears. As my brush picks up paint and I spread it across, all other worries quiet. Most of the time anyway. I paint then move back. I have learned I must step back. Remove myself from such closeness to my piece in order to truly see it.

One layer seemingly void of beauty. Tweak this area. Add a different color in another.

Patience. I wait for it to dry. My teacher encouraging me through every step. Giving suggestion, but allowing room for my own vision. The older gentleman who takes lessons at the same time a calming presence as he works diligently filling canvas with small strokes as I brush with wider, larger strokes. He with his small layers and me with my larger. Probably a more telling sign of the patience of his generation compared to my own.

I’ve written about layers before and again I’m struck by the process. Of how slowly the layers form to make beauty.

I am learning to be thankful for the layers. Whether broad, sweeping strokes or small patterns. Both working to build the whole. Not always easy. It’s easy for me to become frustrated and discouraged as the layers individually seem ugly and unformed. I could give up. Let the discouragement win, but each time I sit at the easel facing a blank canvas I remember the layers. And each time I find myself less discouraged when a layer doesn’t appear as the one that says beauty. I know in time that layer will emerge. Each time I find more patience with the process.  Each time my heart learns a bit more that it is a process. That beauty will emerge.

Continuing to count the gifts

856. For sunshine. (2.22.12)

857. For coming to a point with a painting where I am satisfied and happy with it. (2.23.12)

858. For a day shopping in Birmingham. (2.25.12)

859. For chocolate covered peanuts. (2.26.12)

860. For a quiet house late at night with words on the page. (2.26.12)

861. For His faithfulness in the little things. (2.27.12)

Hello Again Friends! (And An Art Giveaway)

Edited to add: The winner is Jamie! I’ll most likely be giving away more paintings in the future too! Thanks for everyone who commented and entered!

Hello friends! I’ve missed blogging, but the time away was really good. I decided that along with giving up desserts for 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting that I would take that time away from the blog and twitter.
I’m still processing what all I learned over those three weeks. In some ways I feel I learned a lot and in other ways I felt like I was supposed to learn more than I did. Like I was supposed to have some epiphanie yet I can’t say I did.
I had difficulty focusing on the prayer aspect. Even more so than during a typical time. I’m still thinking through this part of it.
Giving up desserts was hard. The detox headache lasted four days and it was probably around day seventeen when I didn’t crave them. Which is odd because I don’t normally eat a dessert or sweet treat every day.
What I did learn however was a much needed reminder: God is sufficient if we will simply ask. It was Wednesday evening of the second week. Several nights of restless sleep had left me frustrated. My prayer as I laid my head on the pillow that night was “Lord please give me the energy to wake early to spend time with you, exercise, and then clean house.”
My eyes opened at 5:15 a.m. the next morning. Nothing short of a miracle. Energy to get up instead of rolling back over under the warm covers. By noon I had accomplished what I had prayed for.
I know it’s simple and not a big “aha!” moment. But for me it was a quiet reminder that He is sufficient always and especially when I ask.
So I’ve decided to celebrate here as I ease myself back into a blogging routine with a giveaway.
I’m giving away the painting you see here. While I did paint this it is not an original. As I have been learning to paint over the past two years I often find paintings from artists whose style I like and try to paint one of their paintings. When we visited Asheville last fall I discovered Jonas Gerard. I could have spent hours in his gallery/studio studying his paintings. So this is one that I copied from him. I am learning so much from studying his work and have a couple of my own in the works now inspired by his style.

And as I will never sell paintings that I copy from an artist and between my son’s and my art we only have so much room in our home I have decided to begin giving some of them away.
To be entered in the drawing simply leave a comment below in the comments section. That’s it. One entry per person. I’ll draw a name Sunday, February 5.

What are Your Strategies?

I find myself distracted easily these days. I don’t know if it’s due to the season of life as a wife and mom to an eleven year old and trying to keep a house in some sort of order or if it is just the pace that life seems to take during this time of year.

And let’s be honest, self discipline has never been one of my best traits. Yet I think there is still hope. I have managed to stay in an exercise routine for most weeks over the past fifteen months.

Finding the quiet to sit down and write or do any of the creative things I love has become very difficult for me though. There is always laundry to do, dinner to prepare, school pick up, etc. I know you moms understand this dilemma.

When I realized that today’s one word at a time for the blog carnival was strategy as I ran yet another errand I began thinking I need a strategy for carving out time and most of all bringing my mind into focus so I could make the most of the time I can find to write. Or even paint, scrapbook or photography, the other creative endeavors I enjoy.

But the writing I know I need to discipline myself to do daily.

So for my post on strategy I want to know what strategies you use to carve out time to write, to stay focused and discipline yourself to write daily?

I do love Alise’s strategy for writers who procrastinate.

Linking up with Peter Pollock for the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival.

One Day at the High

We travel down the highway. Grey skies gripping tightly for the fourth day. Misting rain hits the windows. Passing the airport I again long to be on one of the planes taking off. As much as I hate to fly I love exploring new places.

But that is not the agenda for today. A spontaneous trip to the museum two hours away. A chance to expose him to those considered modern masters. A chance for him to see art is in the eye of the beholder. For him to see there is no perfection in art. No right or wrong way.

“I can draw that,” he says looking at a Matisse. “I know,” I tell him. “And these are considered masters.” As the teen years have approached he has lost that childlike assurance in his gift. He sketches with an ease of which I am jealous. An ease present from the time he could hold a pencil. “You’re just not good at 3-D objects are you mama?” he grins. “No. I’m just not, but I’ll keep trying.” I reply.

Yet his confidence has shrunk as age has increased. Hurt by children taunting his abilities. “You’re not an artist,” they tell him. Words sting as only maturity brings the understanding that jealousy spouts hate. That hurting people hurt people.

The spontaneity though of days like these feed my soul. A break from the routine. Taking him out of school for a day, exposing him to art not found in the small town south. Time with just him, the daddy’s boy since birth. Something I would not change for anything. I love the relationship they have. I can not comprehend friends who complain that their husbands do not take an active role with their children.

And although these days feed my spirit they are not the easiest of days. Keeping in routine and sending him to school is much easier. Dishes and chores and laundry could be completed. But they will still be there when we return.

He complains as I take my time studying each piece of art. Does any eleven year old sit and study anything for more than sixty seconds? It would be easier to send him to school instead of listening to the complaining. One day when maturity finds him he will understand though. Why I want him to experience a Picasso and a Pollock. Why I want him exposed to art and theater and music. Even though he thinks video games are of more pressing importance, one day he will understand.

This is what I have to remind myself of. Yes. One day he will understand. One day he will once again rediscover his childlike confidence in his gift.

And until that one day I will keep encouraging him in that gift and giving thanks to the one who gave me the gift of him.

635. For an unexpected compliment about the photography on my blog. (10/10/11)
636. For a calm day subbing. (10/11/11)
637. For seat warmers in the truck. (10/11/11)
638. For Picasso to Warhol and member previews. (10/12/11)
639. For getting more accomplished after a quick day trip to Atlanta. (10/12/11)
640. For a free smoothie at Panera. (10/13/11)
641. For pouring rain with sun and blue skies blinding from the south. (10/13/11)
642. For low clouds glowing as the moon moves behind then rising above. (10/13/11)
643. For a productive day. (10/14/11)
644. For a fun morning photo session. (10/15/11)
645. For an amazing location for the photo session. (10/15/11)
646. For found treasures from a sweet girl I was photographing. (10/15/11)

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