New Painting – Wild One

Watch me paint “Raccoon” in under 2 minutes (time lapse)

I’m still on my painting marathon, but when I slow down again (with projects that require more layers) I’ll resume the blog series. For now, I’ll work full speed ahead and post each new painting the next morning. My lifetime goal of 1k is not only possible, but at this rate… INEVITABLE!

 

Enjoy your day, dear friends. Be unsinkable, unstoppable, and full of joy!

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Wild or Roped?

First, the Wild Horses oil painting, then the inspiration behind it, how I created this art, and a new challenge for self reflection. Are you

Read More »

Cardinal Promise

First the oil paintings then the stories behind them. Don’t miss the beautiful real life video update filmed just yesterday! Grab a cuppa, settle in

Read More »

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday is the day before Easter, and is associated with: Resting, waiting upon the Lord Examining one’s own life and spiritual journey Being expectant

Read More »

Good Friday

To mark Good Friday as a day of remembrance and humility, an artistic rendering of the cross is typically focused on the beauty of redemption,

Read More »

Maundy Thursday

Another Lenten season ends. As we head toward Easter weekend, my blog will feature Easter related oil paintings and short videos of live music events.

Read More »

“Raccoon”

Watch Natalie paint this art in under 2 minutes (time lapse)

This raccoon art is included in the 2021 collection “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Nature” by artist Natalie Buske Thomas. Below are options for purchasing prints of this art.

Oil painting “Raccoon” by artist Natalie Buske Thomas
Raccoon oil painting by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Small Print “Raccoon”

All small prints are approximately 8 x 10. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$33.50

Raccoon oil painting by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Medium Print “Raccoon”

All medium prints are approximately 16 x 20. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$65.50

Raccoon oil painting by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Large Print “Raccoon”

All large prints are approximately 24 x 30. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$98.50

New Painting – Honk!

Watch me paint “Geese” in 1 minute (time lapse)

Doesn’t it sound like these geese are honking with the music? This may stick in your head all day… hopefully also with this light feel-good art image of the geese as well! This was a quick one-session project. Sometimes a painting is about celebrating a mood, smooth flowy lines, attitude, and simplicity. Don’t overthink your day. Honk!

I expect to have another new painting to share tomorrow. I’m on a roll! But this roll will slow down as I resume the kind of projects that require more sessions to finish the layers. So, I’ll push forward as fast as I can for now. When the layers take longer, I’ll be back to blogging more posts for the series.

Never miss a new painting!

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Wild or Roped?

First, the Wild Horses oil painting, then the inspiration behind it, how I created this art, and a new challenge for self reflection. Are you

Read More »

Cardinal Promise

First the oil paintings then the stories behind them. Don’t miss the beautiful real life video update filmed just yesterday! Grab a cuppa, settle in

Read More »

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday is the day before Easter, and is associated with: Resting, waiting upon the Lord Examining one’s own life and spiritual journey Being expectant

Read More »

Good Friday

To mark Good Friday as a day of remembrance and humility, an artistic rendering of the cross is typically focused on the beauty of redemption,

Read More »

Maundy Thursday

Another Lenten season ends. As we head toward Easter weekend, my blog will feature Easter related oil paintings and short videos of live music events.

Read More »

“Geese”

Watch Natalie paint these geese in 1 minute (time lapse)

This geese art is included in the 2021 collection “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Nature” by artist Natalie Buske Thomas. Below are options for purchasing prints of this art.

Oil painting “Geese” by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Small Print “Geese”

All small prints are approximately 8 x 10. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$33.50

Medium Print “Geese”

All medium prints are approximately 16 x 20. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$65.50

Large Print “Geese”

All large prints are approximately 24 x 30. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$98.50

New Painting – Deliciously Peaceful

Watch me paint “Apple Tree Branch” in 1 minute (time lapse)

This art is part of the 2021 collection “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Nature“. It would be a nice print for a kitchen, wouldn’t it? I’m starting another new painting today, and have two others in progress (layered work that needs to set in between sessions). Still working hard toward my lifetime goal of 1k finished paintings! Dream big, work hard, and be willing to lay it all down when people in our lives come first. Have a wonderful day, friends.

Never miss a new painting!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Wild or Roped?

First, the Wild Horses oil painting, then the inspiration behind it, how I created this art, and a new challenge for self reflection. Are you

Read More »

More than Sparrows

First the Sparrows oil painting and the inspiration behind it, then a challenge for self reflection. Are you “worth more than sparrows”? Do you live

Read More »

Beauty of Time

Oil paintings, the stories behind them, the real life picture I took this morning, then the update… Are you open to the idea that we

Read More »

Cardinal Promise

First the oil paintings then the stories behind them. Don’t miss the beautiful real life video update filmed just yesterday! Grab a cuppa, settle in

Read More »

Feeding Critics

First the oil painting, then the story that inspired this art and the update. Do YOU feed your critics? Everyone has critics, whether you do

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Hummingbird Swing

I hope you had a joyous and spiritually restful Easter weekend. Now that my Easter art posts are finished, “Stories that Inspire my Art” series

Read More »

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter! Today I’ll share peaceful and joyful oil paintings and songs with you. May you feel the burst of new spring life in your

Read More »

“Apple Tree Branch”

Watch Natalie paint this apple tree branch in just over a minute (time lapse)

This art is included in the collection “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Nature“.

“Apple Tree Branch” oil painting by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Small Print “Apple Tree Branch”

All small prints are approximately 8 x 10. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$33.50

Medium Print “Apple Tree Branch”

All medium prints are approximately 16 x 20. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$65.50

Large Print “Apple Tree Branch”

All large prints are approximately 24 x 30. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$98.50

Wild or Roped?

First, the Wild Horses oil painting, then the inspiration behind it, how I created this art, and a new challenge for self reflection. Are you a wild horse or a roped pony? 

Watch me paint Wild Horses in 2 minutes (time lapse)

The inspiration for this art came after I saw real life videos taken by someone who owns a ranch where wild mustangs freely roam. The footage was breathtaking! He then challenged me to paint wild horses.

I’d never drawn or painted a horse before, but why not? I was teaching an online art class at the time so I assigned “wild horses” to myself as one of the class projects. I’ll show you these lessons now, as you can see step by step how I painted this art.

Session 1 of “Wild Horses

Session 2 of “Wild Horses

Session 3 (final session) of “Wild Horses

Your self-reflection challenge: Are you a wild horse or a roped pony? As most things in life, moderation and balance are key. You might have noticed that I used a painting reference (a photo to look at for guidance on shapes, proportions and perspective to achieve the likeness of the animals and structured composition), but later I stopped using the reference and painted from the heart.

 

Structure and following an established lead is akin to being roped like a pony. Painting (living) from the heart, led by emotion, intuition, and spontaneity is to experience the freedom of a wild mustang. Are you a wild horse or a roped pony?

 

In what areas of your life could you use more rope to reign yourself in, a gentle guide helping you stay in line, and a friendly pat on the head when you’ve stayed on course? In what areas of your life do you need to cut that rope and run free- following no one and nothing but your wildest dreams? Take a moment to ponder this, but don’t wait too long to act. Today, be a wild horse.

Want more?

Want more lessons? Take the full lesson for “Wild Horses” online. Or, start at the beginning of my free distance learning art course. You do not not need to paint- other art mediums work with these lessons also. If you prefer to draw, use watercolors, etc., you’ll still benefit from working through the suggestions and project prompts. Or, if you simply enjoy watching art in the making and prefer not to do the projects, feel free to watch these lessons as shows for entertainment/information only.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Wild or Roped?

First, the Wild Horses oil painting, then the inspiration behind it, how I created this art, and a new challenge for self reflection. Are you

Read More »

Cardinal Promise

First the oil paintings then the stories behind them. Don’t miss the beautiful real life video update filmed just yesterday! Grab a cuppa, settle in

Read More »

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday is the day before Easter, and is associated with: Resting, waiting upon the Lord Examining one’s own life and spiritual journey Being expectant

Read More »

Good Friday

To mark Good Friday as a day of remembrance and humility, an artistic rendering of the cross is typically focused on the beauty of redemption,

Read More »

Maundy Thursday

Another Lenten season ends. As we head toward Easter weekend, my blog will feature Easter related oil paintings and short videos of live music events.

Read More »

More than Sparrows

First the Sparrows oil painting and the inspiration behind it, then a challenge for self reflection. Are you “worth more than sparrows”? Do you live like you are?

Watch me paint “Sparrows” in 2 minutes (time lapse)

“The inspiration for ‘Sparrows’ comes from Matthew 10:29-31 ‘Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.'”

from the book "50 Oil Paintings Inspired by my Christian Faith" by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Update to the above story…

After painting “Sparrows” I saw those birds in abundance. They seemed to have had a nest in the trees by the front door. Sparrows were in my line of sight day after day. I have since not seen many sparrows, but one returned yesterday and was sitting all alone on the trellis on our patio.

My first thought when I saw what kind of bird it was, “Oh, it’s just a sparrow.” I’d been hoping to catch another glimpse of the mythical Blue Cardinal that I told you about in yesterday’s blog post. So I didn’t run for my camera.

In the Biblical metaphor, the sparrows have little worth, yet they don’t fall to the ground without God knowing. I’ve noticed that the verse doesn’t say “without God saving them”, “without God preventing the fall”, or “without God regretting the loss”. If we were to take the verse at its word regardless of how many translations it has gone though throughout history, then God knows what happens to the sparrow and that is meant to be enough comfort to us.

I’m imagining this in two different ways. One, from the perspective of a king. The king has a vast kingdom with many treasures, including living assets. He counts them all. He knows the value of each, and the status of every living asset. He keeps watch over every asset in the kingdom, but some assets are far more valuable to him than others. We can imagine that his vigilance and investment into those more valuable assets would be far greater than the rest.

The second perspective I’m imagining is from that of a parent. A loving and dedicated parent knows what their children are doing, even as they grow to become adults living separate lives. One day, a call may come. An adult child is in the hospital and is in a bad way. The parent arrives at the bedside as soon as possible. The child’s response is not, “Why did you not prevent this from happening to me?”

The child is relieved to see the familiar devoted face of the parent who knows them, who sees their worth, who loves them unconditionally. This face brings the child comfort, regardless of how old that child is. For many blessed parents, a day will come when it is the child who arrives at the bedside, and the same comfort is in reverse. When an older person is dying, it is often their child who they want at their side.

What if we felt as free as the common sparrow? When I saw the sparrow yesterday, he seemed to have not a care in the world. He had easy access to food but was perched a few feet away from it, just looking around. He wasn’t jumpy, as if afraid of predators. Indeed, he had the place to himself. There was nothing to fear in that moment.

When we are perched in a space where our needs are met and there are no immediate dangers, why are we sometimes unable to let go of fear? If God knows what’s happening to us does that give us comfort, or is peace impossible without insurance that no harm will ever come our way? If we refuse peace we enslave ourselves, do we not?

I don’t have the answers, but I do know this… I’ve been at the bedside of the dying. In my experience, in those final days and moments, they don’t say, “Why is this happening to me? This is unfair!” They don’t rail at God or blame others. They seek out the faces of those who know their worth. Their gaze unmistakably says, “I’m glad you are here.”

When we know that we are worth more than sparrows, we live as if we are. We are a living investment that has the potential to increase the value of others. We can choose to let go of resentment over the times when there’s no divine intervention to save us. We can choose instead to accept the peace that is offered: we are known, valued, and loved.

We are worth far more than sparrows! Our best life is not to perch in the space where basic needs are met, where we’re temporarily safe from harm. It is not to rest in days of good weather. That’s a very small life, worthy of a sparrow.

When life hangs in the balance, what’s most important?  Acceptance of the limitations of humanity seems to come naturally to most dying persons. So many have this regret: “If only I understood this (what truly matters is love) when there was still time to live fully.”

We have time. We are worth more than sparrows. What will you do today?

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Wild or Roped?

First, the Wild Horses oil painting, then the inspiration behind it, how I created this art, and a new challenge for self reflection. Are you

Read More »

Cardinal Promise

First the oil paintings then the stories behind them. Don’t miss the beautiful real life video update filmed just yesterday! Grab a cuppa, settle in

Read More »

Mythical Blue Cardinal

First, my oil painting of a blue heron and the update. Then, the mysterious and bizarre story about what happened yesterday! Don’t miss my challenge to you to “go blue”.

Watch me paint this blue heron in under 1 minute (time lapse)

“A strikingly beautiful blue heron appeared at the lagoon one day. I quickly took its picture to paint later. This is a different style from how I usually paint. It looks like a watercolor because I was trying to get away with using cheap paints that turned out to be watery and hard to work with. This was a happy accident, because the watercolor-like effect captured the mood. He has only made one more appearance that I know of, but I hope he will return next spring. On the day he arrived, he just happened to be standing at the water’s edge when the light reflected the colors of the trees in a streaky wave of color. He was all alone, with no other birds or creatures in sight, which only added to his mysterious presence.”

- from the book "50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Savannah, Georgia" by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Update to the above story…

The blue heron still comes back occasionally, always alone. We see him about 2-3 times per season. It’s always a treat to see his blue feathers and serene spirit. His presence is calming.

“Calming” and “serene” are NOT the right words to describe the bird I saw yesterday! Oh my! So, let me tell the story…

I’m just sitting at my computer, same as usual, when there’s a flurry of motion at the patio doors a couple feet away from my chair (the same patio doors I keep showing you in my other bird videos). This is a small house with only one source of windows on this side, just the patio doors. I’m inches from my portal to the outside when I’m talking to you.

I was typing when a flurry of motion caught my attention. I turn my head to see a glorious vivid neon blue bird hovering in front of the glass. Keep in mind, he is so close that I could almost touch him if not for the glass between us. At some point he stands on the welcome mat, which brings him so close to the glass that I can see his distinctive cardinal shaped head.

He looks just like a red cardinal that someone tinted blue! Now, some say that this mythical Blue Cardinal doesn’t exist, and this bird is likely a Steller’s Jay. I have looked into this, and the bird I saw doesn’t look like a Steller’s Jay enough for me to claim it as absolute. He really does look like a Blue Cardinal. He doesn’t have a dark head like the Jay, and his face looks like a Cardinal, not a Jay.

Watch the 1 minute video – in this footage you can see how he flies into the scene like a blue angel. What you don’t see, is that he did this many times prior to me getting the camera and having it ready to film him. He was also “hovering” like hummingbirds do… (unfortunately I didn’t get that on film) staying in one place, mid-air, directly in front of the patio glass, seeming to make direct eye contact with me. To be honest, it rather scared me and I called out to him, “What do you want?”

Although I didn’t get a clear shot of him on video because he was always in motion when I had the camera on him, when I saw him before I got the camera out, he stood on the welcome mat, still. I got a very clear up-close look at his face. I could identify this bird in a lineup.

My daughter saw him later in the afternoon and said she saw red markings on the tips of his wings. I don’t recall seeing that, but it’s possible I didn’t notice. The footage of him is while he’s flying and fluttering. It would be next to impossible to detect small red markings on the wings.

So, my family is now hoping to catch a glimpse of this bird. I want a good clear picture of his face to show you. This is driving my husband crazy because once again we’re talking about an exotic bird and he can’t see it. It took over a year for him to finally see the Painted Bunting with his own two eyes.

I don’t know why this bird came directly to me, and seemed to be trying to get my attention. It was unnerving. I may talk a big game, but when something happens that seems spiritual in nature, I am afraid… uncomfortable. My truest reaction is that I want the experience to stop. And then it does. If I were to hazard a guess, I’m open enough to see these wonderful things, but not quite “there” yet to see it through. I become easily spooked and then the whole thing shuts down… whatever it was.

I feel I’m getting braver. Perhaps next time I won’t panic and blurt out scared questions. I was asking the bird, “Why are you here? What do you want? Why are you doing this?” Of course I didn’t get an answer, but the bird did fly away.

Even if my blue angel meant nothing at all, but was a random intersection between nature and humanity, the quest to see a glimpse of the mythical Blue Cardinal will keep my family entertained all weekend. Hope is a gift. All it takes is one small thing to alter a mood and elevate all the people who live in this house.

Whether we wish to see the calming presence of the Blue Heron, or we seek the exhilaration of discovery in the flurry of a mythical Blue Cardinal, the quest to see something extraordinary keeps us alive. Energy begets energy. Today, I challenge you to “go blue”. Look for blue spirits in nature. Seek, and ye shall find. Report back… did you see a blue butterfly? A bird? If you see the mythical blue cardinal, take a picture!

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Wild or Roped?

First, the Wild Horses oil painting, then the inspiration behind it, how I created this art, and a new challenge for self reflection. Are you

Read More »

Cardinal Promise

First the oil paintings then the stories behind them. Don’t miss the beautiful real life video update filmed just yesterday! Grab a cuppa, settle in

Read More »

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday is the day before Easter, and is associated with: Resting, waiting upon the Lord Examining one’s own life and spiritual journey Being expectant

Read More »

Good Friday

To mark Good Friday as a day of remembrance and humility, an artistic rendering of the cross is typically focused on the beauty of redemption,

Read More »

Beauty of Time

Oil paintings, the stories behind them, the real life picture I took this morning, then the update… Are you open to the idea that we don’t understand what time is, and often fail to see its beauty? What does fate, serendipity and destiny mean to you?

Watch me paint “Time” in 2 minutes (time lapse)

“Serendipity, the mysteries of life, and how the pieces of a great wondrous puzzle fit together, are beyond our comprehension, yet when we are free to hear the whispers beyond our universe, we hear God’s voice saying, ‘You are not alone. You matter. You belong. You are loved.’ If we know how to look, we see how people, animals, nature, music, art, and events are synchronized, as if the meaning of life centers around only ourselves, one single individual, who, along with the energy of millions of others, form the masterpiece’s gestalt. Time is fleeting, no matter how long we live, or even if we’ve never lived outside of the womb. In the vastness, time is but the anticipation of a single breath among a mighty wind. Time is precious, more valuable than wealth, more valuable than achievements, more valuable than governments. Time belongs to no one, yet is for everyone. Time has no physical boundaries of space or human limitations. Time is both grand and intimate. Time is beautiful.”

- from the book "50 Oil Paintings Inspired by my Christian Faith" by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

When I was Mom’s caregiver, I knew her little apartment inside and out because I was the one who cleaned it. Yet it looked completely different when Mom was no longer in it. That first time I entered the place after she had passed was when the first round of grief attacked me. Her tea cup was still sitting by her chair. It wasn’t right that it should be there if she was never coming back. Yet moving her cup was wrong too.

Sorting through Mom’s life was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. During that fateful weekend, we gave away many of her things and sold a few items. One of those items was a very large filing cabinet. We’d placed it into the hall with a sign on it.

A short while later, I opened the door to see a woman in her early twenties in the hallway. I was surprised, because Mom had been the youngest person on that floor, the third floor where only a handful of older people lived. The woman was interested in Mom’s filing cabinet. She liked to sew and thought it would be ideal for holding her craft supplies.

She was holding a newborn baby. It had been a long time since I’d last seen a baby that young. A strange feeling overtook me, as a thought struck my mind. I asked, “When was your baby born?” even though my heart already knew the answer. Yes, her baby was born on the same day that my mother had died.

There are many reasons why I shouldn’t have even seen the young mother standing there with her newborn baby. I also shouldn’t have been alone when I saw her. But in that narrow space of time, we connected. I was meant to see how as one left departs, another life enters. I don’t know if I can put it into words why this comforted me, but I’ll try.

I kept thinking, what if I’d done more? What if I’d nagged Mom earlier about going to see a doctor? What if I’d persisted when she refused to make the recommended lifestyle changes? Mom had said, “I made my own choices, Natalie. There is nothing you could have done.” But I struggled to let go of the idea that maybe I could have persuaded her to make different choices. Mom often said, “If it’s my time, it’s my time.”

One life entering in joy, as another (whose name was Joy) leaves this earth… it was Mom’s time. If she had been meant to stay, she would have stayed. I looked at that sleeping baby in his mother’s arms and said, “You have a beautiful baby. Congratulations!”

I took this photo this morning of the first bloom of the season from my potted patio roses. Isn’t it beautiful, standing tall in the early morning light? Compare it to the painting I shared yesterday. See how tall it’s grown? Notice that the tallest rose used to stand below the top of the trellis and now it is soaring above it.

In both my real life patio rose and the painted roses in my idealized garden, the color is strikingly beautiful. Roses such as these were difficult to grow in the frigid climate of rural Minnesota, where I was living when Mom was alive. I kept “arctic” roses that were born of hybrid research, and when in full bloom looked more like carnations than roses. These didn’t have the vivid colors of the tropical varieties I now have here in Georgia.

Mom would say that she didn’t have a “green thumb”. The only plant she kept was a pair of 70’s style plastic (now considered vintage) home decor gold-painted wall hangings, an outline of flowers on a vine type stem. My subconscious mind seems to have painted a loose likeness of those flowers in the “Time” painting I shared at the top of this post.

The antique watch in the painting is my husband’s, inherited from his grandfather many years ago. We now live in a place that neither his grandfather nor my mother have ever visited. We have a family who has grown past the ages when they were known. If they were seen now, they’d be as strangers.

Time has created a new life for us, and in this life, the roses are red. They are real, and they are beautiful. I do have a “green thumb”, as I love plants, animals, people and life. When it’s my time, I shall be sad to leave.

But I’m still here, and I envision a long life ahead of me. I have been gifted with time. How much love and joy can I pour out while I’m here? What is time, but an opportunity to connect… to add our unique piece to the universal puzzle, and for those who choose… to accept the challenge to live up to the purpose destined for us.

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Wild or Roped?

First, the Wild Horses oil painting, then the inspiration behind it, how I created this art, and a new challenge for self reflection. Are you

Read More »