As we head into the last month of autumn, may you give yourself a few moments of peace to watch me paint these 10 fall scenes. Each video is about 2 minutes long (time lapse) to see each painting go from blank canvas to finished art. This first video (above) is called “Autumn Forest”. Scroll down to see the photo of this painting and more happy fall scene videos.
“Little Girl in Tree” oil painting for children’s book “Fred“
“Autumn Tree”, a short relaxing project
“Autumn Cabin” an imaginary scene in an illustrative style
And, finally, here’s my latest autumn oil painting “Thanksgiving Turkey and Pumpkins”. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday weekend ahead, even if your country doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Wherever you are, and even if the change of seasons doesn’t fall upon you the same as it does for me here in America, this is a good time of year to reflect on our lives, find gratitude for our family and friends, and seek the joy of thankfulness for all that we are blessed with- no matter how humble our circumstances may seem upon first glance. For, if we are alive today, we are blessed. Time is precious. May God bless you and keep you, this day and always.
Watch this Thanksgiving scene come alive in less than 1 minute 30 seconds (time lapse video, above).
It’s been a couple of months since I’ve last posted, when prior to our recent move to Savannah, Georgia I’d been a daily blogger and prolific painter, working feverishly toward my lifetime goal of 1,000 finished oil paintings. Even though this move should have been easier, because we didn’t move out the country this time, or even from out of state (we were renting in a temporary location about 40 minutes’ drive from here), it was an unexpected move (we planned to go house hunting next year but the landlord wanted to sell the house we were living in and we had only two month’s notice to get out). I’ve told most of that story on here before, but my reason for bringing it up again is that it has taken me much longer than I thought to settle into our new life, and I wanted to explain my absence.
Several events happened to disrupt the process and make the transition much more stressful and life-altering than our previous moves. And, since we plan to make this our “forever” home, to the extent that such a thing is in our control and possible, this move means much more to us. I want to invest my time and energy into building a community for myself and my family. That’s different from the temporary approach and mindset we had in the years leading up to now. Connecting with people in person, face-to-face, heart to heart, in a much bigger way- out from behind the camera or the computer- was outside of my comfort zone. I’d been so reclusive that I’d lost a bit of myself along the way.
Besides this dramatic change in lifestyle, I had to face some giants that I’d been avoiding for years. Facing up to unpleasant, confrontational, or unwanted situations is never going to feel good, but hiding from these things only makes them loom larger in the shadows. If we were sitting together in person, I’d put the kettle on and I’d speak honestly about all of this. It’s been quite a physical, emotional, and spiritual journey.
It’s even been an intellectual ride, as I’ve also learned new things about a variety of subjects: landscaping, home improvement, how to get rid of rodents, how to successfully remove a hoard that was buried in the yard to deceive/hide from prospective buyers of a home, and more delightful topics such as how to become a better singer, how to take good care of vocal chords when singing regularly, in-depth religious discussions that lead to life changing perspectives to heal and build a new life, financial habits to weather storms and enjoy blessings, and much more. Most of these things I can’t talk about without putting myself into a position of too much personal disclosure online, as now I’d be talking about people, places, events, and organizations that someone may see themselves in. So, out of respect for my and their privacy, and inadvertently sticking my foot in my mouth, I can only generalize. To borrow from a famous line, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.
I hope that my return to painting, blogging, and sharing with you is taking shape now. I will do my best to stay on track. I can feel my spirit calming down and the possibility of a steady life close at hand. Instead of scrambling to react to each new twist and turn (personal instability as well as shared world-wide chaos that all of you have been experiencing on various levels), I see the road widening and the skies clearing. I feel hope and optimism rising, regardless of the grief, fear and despair that weighs heavily upon humanity.
God bless you, and Happy Thanksgiving- for my fellow Americans who celebrate this special day- and for all others who celebrate in spirit. This is a time of year for reflection and gratitude, as many of us have extra time with our families and there’s a pause in our schedules. More than any other year I’m decorating big for Christmas. My heart is full and my emotions are a rollercoaster ride. Truly, all that really matters is God, family, and community. And my joy in all of that will shine brightly this year! As I will soon be singing in the Christmas choir program, “Ring, ring the bells!” Enjoy dinner with your loved ones and set out your best shiniest sparkliest decorations.
Watch me paint this art in less than 2 minutes (time lapse video)
Here we are, in mid September, and I’m relieved we got through the past few weeks without any hurricanes. This art was inspired by a place we visited in Alabama a few years ago when evacuation orders were issued for Savannah, Georgia and surrounding areas (we were in nearby Port Wentworth at that time). It was a nerve-wracking abrupt forced mini vacation, but we came back to minimal damage, and glad to get back to our lives. We made family memories while waiting for the storm to pass and that’s what endures.
As often happens, this art can be taken at face value or on a deeper spiritual value. During the storms of life, we can keep our hearts and minds in a dangerous place, or we can seek higher ground and wait (upon the Lord) for the storm to pass. Whatever hardship you may be going through, I wish you peace, courage, and the stamina to have faith even when struggling through grief or fear. We can’t control when a storm will come upon us, but we may be amazed at where we could end up. Instead of facing darkness from power outages, howling winds, and flood-inducing rains, we stood under sunny skies on top of a mountainous land, gazing at quiet beauty. That’s how I imagine spiritual peace looks.
If you’ve been following the progress of my new oil painting “Walking in Rain Puddle”, you’ll be happy to know that it is now finished and you can see the whole thing in the 2 minute time lapse video (above). The beautiful song in the video is called “Where Can I Turn for Peace”. When I have a free moment, I’d like to sing that for you with my oldest daughter- the little girl in the painting who is now all grown up. My painting was inspired by a warm day when the road in front of our house flooded and she enjoyed walking in the puddle.
It’s making me a little teary-eyed to see my girl in this painting, as I’ve captured her body language and the familiar way that her favorite dress hung, her hair when it was loose and free, her dainty legs, arms, and posture. It brings back that day, and I miss when she was that age. But I wouldn’t trade who is she is now for the past. I’d miss my adult daughter much more! I cherish who she is. Hold your family close. Every day is fleeting and precious. God bless you and yours.
Well, it’s time to get back to work on the new painting in progress. Normally I wait until the painting is finished before sharing, but sometimes I share each session at a time so that you can see the progress (in the time lapse video above). If you missed Session 1 and 2, those are already on the blog. Here’s Session 3 that I did today. I took several days off to work on other things and to enjoy family time. I hope everyone is doing well and your September is a blessed one!
Session 3’s work on oil painting (my daughter when she was little and the road outside our house had minor flooding) “Walking in a Puddle” – I’ll wrap this up soon, one or two more sessions. I may finish it tomorrow, we’ll see how it goes.
I don’t often show my paintings until they are done, but I thought you’d like to know what I’m working on since there’s been a long break between projects. This one is called “Walking in Rain Puddle” and is inspired by a warm rainy day when our road lightly flooded and my oldest daughter (a little girl at the time), enjoyed walking in the puddle. The time lapse video of the session is posted above this paragraph (you might need to click on the blog post if you are reading this in your email and don’t see a video link). Check back to see more progress on this painting. I’m expecting to spend 2-4 more sessions before calling it finished. I’ll likely be busy over the next couple of days, but surely by the end of next week this painting will be done.
I hope everyone is doing well. This summer has been a blur for me, as we continue to adjust to our unexpected move (needing to move at least a year before we planned), and my husband started his new job this past week. We also found a church home and my daughter and I have joined the choir. That’s been a wonderful experience! I look forward to singing with them regularly, and especially during the Christmas program that we’re already working on.
These life changes (the move, looking for a new church, my husband starting over after losing his job several years ago) are things I’ve blogged about in the past and I thought I should give you an update. We are settling in and my anger about life not going as planned is mellowing. Usually I roll with the punches easier than this. We’ve moved so many times and I have the process down to a science. The depth of my reaction to change took me by surprise, so it’s with great relief that I feel more myself again. I even had a normal kind of day, as if I’ve lived here for years. And since we intend this to be our forever home, one day I will have lived here for many years. It seems our hearts know a glimpse of the future and recognize home when we find it.
It was good to feel ordinary today, not chaotic. I worked on some landscaping and gardening projects, as well as starting the new painting session, making a casserole for the kids, and managing household/family stuff. I was practicing choir songs while painting, cooking while talking to the kids, and so on. I’m sure you have days like this too- the good kind of busy when we feel productive and happy with how life feels. When we have a day like this, just an ordinary day that is going well, let’s grab hold of it. We all know that the other kind of day could be tomorrow, or may have been how we’ve spent many yesterdays- the kind of day that is too slow, too fast, too stressful, or too painful. When an average day comes along, it’s a good day!
May you enjoy this last bit of August as summer slips away. I hope to be there for you more, sharing my paintings. I know that some of you feel encouraged by my art and I’m sorry for being so absent this summer. I plan to make up for lost time as I can. Stay strong and enjoy the change of seasons. May God bless and keep you, may His face shine upon you and give you peace.
Watch oil painting “Lion in Storm” come alive in under 1 minute (in the time lapse video above). This is an angry time. Many of you are furious about personal hardships and struggles that are unfair, unjust, and not yet getting any better. Many are enraged by world events. Whatever your source of anger (and/or sorrow), may you feel understood, embraced, and loved by God. Stay strong. Keep a hopeful heart and never stop fighting for a better tomorrow. God bless you and your family.
See my new painting “Coffee Outside” come alive in less than 2 minutes (time lapse video). This art is for the 2022 collection “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Seasons (of Life and Nature)“. It’s inspired by the coffee chats I have with my daughter. One day we’ll have an outdoor bistro set like this. The thought of enjoying coffee outside with my favorite people keeps me motivated to tame the yard that was neglected and somewhat hoarded up when we moved in a couple of months ago. I’m still finding bits of trash, glass, and oddities coming to the surface after a heavy rain. Why do people destroy their own homes? Well, I’m going to make the place beautiful. It will take years, but I know I can do it.
I’ll talk about this in more detail some other time. It’s been interesting to discover the strange piles and isolated items that we’ve found and had to dispose of. “Interesting” isn’t really what we’d hoped for, but when I imagine a future garden the way I know it can be, surrounded by trees and flowers, it helps me get through the unpleasant work and handling the debris.
May this be a metaphor for life in general. We may not like the neglected and destroyed political, social, or spiritual environment we’ve inherited from others- who made choices we have to clean up after- but with resilience, persistence, patience, faith, and hard work we can make our world a better place. Our garden can be a beautiful one, where we enjoy living with our loved ones in peace.
As promised, I’ve put together a singing video with the lyrics for the instrumental hymn that was in yesterday’s painting video. Maybe you already know this one? It’s a popular old hymn that many people love.
I have added this art to my new store. If you order anything, would you please consider taking a picture of what you buy and letting me know if you like how it turned out? Eventually I’d like to own all of these products so that I have a sample of everything and know what things look like, but that would be too expensive to do all at once. It’s amazing to see my art on things we can use for our homes, gifts, clothes, jewelry – just about anything! It makes me feel that my paintings can have more life to them after the videos fade from memory and are forgotten. I hope this adventure works out! If it does, I’ll add a lot more paintings to the store. If there are any favorites in particular you want me to add first, feel free to let me know.