Spring of Hope

See this oil painting “Flower Angel” come to life in 2 minutes

Today was much better! It was a beautifully gorgeous sunny and warm spring day. I was right, my next blog post isn’t a dreary “Losing Hope” theme like yesterday’s. I worked at packing for the unwanted move, while opening my mind more to the idea that this will end up good for us in some way in the end. I worked on my painting and transplanted more bell peppers for our plant sale. The first created something new, the second is letting go of my garden since we have to vacate before harvest time. Life is often this way, something gained while something is lost.

I imagine our lives as a train station where tracks run both directions. Sometimes they run at equal speeds, sometimes not. Sometimes you can see both trains at the same time, other times not. But one train doesn’t negate the other, even if their journeys and destinations are different. I have to remind myself of this often because I have a tendency to feel as if I can’t enjoy the pleasure trip if a crisis trip is running alongside on the other track. But most of the time there’s an overlap of good things and bad things. We can’t wait for all of the bad things to go away- we must live our lives and find joy where we can.

So, on that philosophical note, I’ll wrap up by saying that our housing problem is unresolved. In fact, it’s worse. There are now NO homes that meet our needs listed for rent by the property management, and very few outside of that company either. What few are available are ridiculously expensive. It’s not a good outlook at the moment. It could change any day. If it doesn’t, we’ll muster through somehow. I’ll take one day at a time. It was a good day because I had a better attitude. I got a lot done. And my husband brought home cookies.


Letting Go – Again

See angel releasing dove oil painting with real beach shells come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse)

I’ve used this same painting for a very similar blog post called “Letting Go”. In that post I said these wise words “We may not have control over time, and future events, but we always have a spiritual choice about how we respond to change.” Ha! I better take my own advice to heart, lest I be a hypocrite. The past couple of days I was in a sour sullen snit about the shocking news of learning that we have to move in about two months, when we intended to continue renting this house until after my husband’s graduation (he’d gone back to school after losing his job when the company he worked for moved out of the country, and he’s nearly done- graduates in June- but too late to get us out from under this predicament).

Today I pushed myself to start the taping of the Easter show even though that was the last thing I wanted to do, as I need to start packing! But I’d already committed to doing the show and had invested in it. Yesterday I finished making my dress and I finished the set design this afternoon. Taping has begun! The first segment is done- and it went much better than I thought it would. No matter what’s going on in our lives, we have to choose whether or not to let those temporary circumstances paralyze, discourage, or destroy our purpose. I could have canceled the show, but that would have been wrong.

Letting go of worry, anxiety, dread, fear, resentment, bitterness, despair, and anger is a perpetual experience. Life will never be perfect and if we allow our human condition to stop us from acting on our plans, we will leave things unsaid, inspirations never created, places never traveled, and destinies never reached. So, we must plow through and do the things our heart is stirred to do, even when we don’t feel like it. “Fake it ’till you make it” is real. Not only will we get to where we want to be if we keep doing it, regardless of how close to the bottom we are when we start, but we’ll also become joyful if we fake feeling joy.

Today’s work on the Easter show included dressing up in an outrageously festive gown and singing songs that are truly joyful. I may have started out faking the joy, but shortly after I forced myself to be joyful, I really was! I had a happy time today. I am glad I gave up my stubborn attitude and chose to let go.

My stressful circumstances will change, with or without my cooperative attitude. I can stomp my feet and tantrum my way through this ordeal, or I can aim for high energy to work at a smooth transition. I can look for positive serendipitous events that fall neatly into place. If I look for these things, I will find them. If I work for a smooth transition, I am likely to have one. Change is often difficult. We can hate every minute of it and be no better off. Or, we can rise to the challenge and fake joyfulness until we feel the joy.


Irish Angel Revisited

See oil painting “Irish Angel” come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse)

Continuing with the ongoing project to upload my painting videos to YouTube, today’s upload needed more work. The raw footage is from my old camcorder and I’m blocking the canvas in a lot of it (tripod wasn’t positioned very well). So, the solution was to edit those parts out, which resulted in deleting and skipping most of the painting stages. It’s always been a disappointment that this special painting didn’t have much of a video for it. But, I have new software now that I thought I’d try. I decided to go back to the original footage and use as much of it as possible, even if my head is blocking the canvas. I was able to use most of the footage by cropping in (technology I didn’t have before). I also found different music.

The end result is a much better video of a painting that was a favorite project of mine. I’m happy to have re-worked this. I didn’t expect to ever get a good video out of it and had chalked it up as lost. Let this be a spiritual metaphor for all of us. Sometimes we hope, plan, and invest in something that doesn’t seem to succeed. Years later, we may have more experience and society may have progressed to a point where our efforts in the past may now succeed in the present (what was then the future).

I believe that this painting will mean more to people at this time in history (and a bit more into the future) than it did when I painted it. People respond differently to a certain type of creative energy than they did before. We are making new choices, better ones. I feel that my work may be appreciated by more people, as if I was born to share art at this particular time, and not a moment sooner. So, no matter how badly I wanted to, or how hard I worked, or how many events I attended, I wasn’t going to succeed then, because it wasn’t my time. But, it was my time to be prepared for the future and I’m glad that I never gave up. If I had, I wouldn’t be ready.

Every day we are blessed to be alive, we must believe that today or tomorrow may be our time. Surely next year, or the year after. Perhaps it will take a lifetime, and if it does, we will live long enough to fulfill our purpose. For it is this kind of perseverance, resilience, determination, and most of all, hope, that brings success at the right time and the right place, when we are ready for the world, and when the world is ready for us.

Natalie putting the finishing touches on oil painting “Irish Angel”

Guardian Angel

See oil painting “Guardian Angel” come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse)

I uploaded this painting video to YouTube today and since the music triggered a copyright claim I changed it. This new version seems to suit the art better so it was worth the extra work. I also had the opportunity to add a description which prompted me to think more about why I painted this art. It feels timely, since the same situations that inspired this painting are happening again now. But, ultimately, the goal was to create a traditional guardian angel that reflects the times we live in.

Sadly, a guardian angel leading a small child out of a burning city represents both literal fire and metaphorical as well. With so much going on, it can be difficult to feel at peace. Yet, we will miss living our lives if we cannot find balance between staying engaged and empathetic, and focusing on who we were born to be as individuals.

I hope you were able to have a restful Sunday and can push yourself to feel productive in the week ahead, to work toward your dreams and goals, and to give yourself permission to retreat into your own life- taking breaks from the world’s manufactured dramas and very-real stark crisis’s. Let the guardian angels take care of the worries of the planet that are beyond our control. Focus on your sovereign purpose and destiny. You matter.

God bless you and keep you, this day and always.


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Update

Watch this angel and dove oil painting “Autumn Angel” come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse)

First, the above oil painting is one that I’ve shared with you several times before. I’m happy to report that this one was already on YouTube and the music had no copyright issues, so all I needed to do is add the subscribe and video links at the end. I got off easily today! Now for my update:

The vlog show is still a GO, but it is slightly delayed. I discovered that I needed to order a new tripod that can extend taller. I tried balancing my current tripod on some soup cans, but that was, predictably and obviously, problematic and an accident just waiting to happen! Rigging something rather foolish is not the right way to launch the new show. So, there’s that. But also I learned that my green screen is a little bit too narrow. I need to buy a second one so that there is no shortage of screen on the edge.

These little tweaks are causing a small delay, but that’s not a big setback. I have a lot of other work to catch up on, like the ongoing project to upload my painting videos to YouTube and edit those that trigger copyright issues. I also had a backlog of things I didn’t finish before the Christmas break, like leaving a holiday themed painting unfinished and my palettes full of heaped up dried up paint that is proving tedious to clean. I’m not a very good assistant to myself, good thing I don’t have to pay myself for such shoddy work. 🙂

Are you also struggling to get back into a smooth routine? It’s been cold and dreary here, as it is in many parts of the world. Usually February brings longer days with more sunlight and that tends to help. Hang in there, winter never lasts forever (those of you who are going through winter right now). Of course even if this is your summer, “winter” can have a spiritual meaning. This is a challenging time for humanity. May we hope for spring days to come!


Angels Mourn

See this oil painting of an angel come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse)

The story of this angel is one of mourning, looking over the mass graves of children tragically killed long ago. This painting was inspired by a statue called “Turning Angel”. I am thinking today that some of you may be feeling the need for such an angel to mourn for your losses, and look over those you’ve lost. Whether you are manifesting empathy for others, or you are yourself grieving, may we together create peace and healing. God bless and keep you, this day and always.


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New Painting, Nativity Scene

See oil painting “Nativity Scene” come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse)

This is the short time lapse version of one of the featured paintings in Christmas Show 2021 (the full 45 minute variety show with painting, singing and dancing is available on this site, YouTube, and BitChute). This nativity scene is larger than the one I’ve done in the past, as this one includes more than the central figures of Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus. Added are the wise men, shepherds, animals (cow, donkey, sheep) and angel. The Christmas star is included in both paintings.

“Nativity Scene” oil painting by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

I hope that you are enjoying a peaceful time with your loved ones, as we reflect on what Christmas means to us as individuals, and as we participate in our family traditions. Speaking of traditions, old and new: Tonight was the last surprise meal for our Secret Santa game. I said yesterday that I’d talk with you about that, so here it is: our youngest daughter made chicken gnocchi, and it was DELICIOUS!

Our youngest daughter’s chicken gnocchi
She took a lot of care to slow cook the chicken, grate the carrots, finely chop the celery, and chop the fresh spinach and onion. She spent two hours preparing and cooking this dish.
Here it is, served up and ready for me to light the candles before we pray together and eat.

We had a wonderful Secret Santa exchange this year and now we have gourmet leftovers to help us through the busy day tomorrow. I hope our family has inspired you to give this idea a try sometime. The week leading up to Christmas is a good time for families to share the cooking and try new special dishes.

Tomorrow is already Christmas Eve! I wish all of you peace, love, and joy. God bless you and your families.


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Season of Advent

Watch oil painting “Angel Watching over Baby Jesus” come to life in 1 minute (time lapse)

I have quite a lot on my heart about Advent, but this will have to keep until tomorrow. I need to wash some paint brushes as I’m running out of time to get my special Christmas paintings done on time and I’ve made a mess of my supplies. When my best brushes are all dirty it’s a frustrating session. I also have a kitchen full of dirty dishes, and a family that has a very early morning of final exams and other stressful events that they need support for. So, it will be a bit of a late night for me and a very early day tomorrow. Today I baked an important cake that went well for the most part. I will explain more about that later also. Sorry to push my stories off, but I’m sure you understand. Life is about balance. When I need more time to take care of the household, I prioritize that. I will “see” you tomorrow. Until then, good night, dear friends. Sleep well and God bless you.



Are you Safe?

See oil painting “Guardian Angel” come to life

in 2 minutes (time lapse)

I last shared this painting here with you in August, in a post called “Protected and Loved“. Today I’m thinking of the concept of safety, and what it means to be “safe”. Who decides what is safe for us, what protects us, and what we must do to be protected? Is this protection motivated by love, or by something else?

A sovereign human seeks of their own free will: love and protection, safety from harm. No one needs a propaganda campaign, threats, or enforcement to be compelled to move toward safety. So if those methods are used to force humanity to comply, one must question the motive. Goodwill and benevolence have no profit or power motive; therefore, coercion is not an act of kindness or virtue.

What does it mean to be “safe”? Is enslavement safe? For whom? True deliverance is like this Guardian Angel leading a child out of a city on fire. She is not pulling, pushing, or threatening the child. The child recognizes this angel as a source of help, and intuitively, willingly, gratefully takes her hand.

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Sunday Rest

Watch this Irish Angel oil painting come to life

in about 2 minutes (time lapse)

The image in the video above is a photograph of this painting at a gallery exhibit. I thought it would be a good one to re-share for this Sunday. I hope that you are able to find peace in this day and can reflect on how you want your week to go. God bless you and your family.

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