See this osprey come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse video).
My new art area is now fully set up and I should be able to stay on track better now. I hope to return to daily blogging soon. There’s still quite a bit to settle in from our recent move, but one day at a time!
I have a fun announcement: I started an online store for cool, fun, and elegant gifts with my art on it. You’re invited to check it out and tell me what you think of it. The link is here.
Blankets, keepsake boxes, posters, mugs and more! If you want to have (a reproduction of) one of my paintings in your home, I hope you find what you’re hoping for. Happy Wednesday, and God bless you.
“Osprey” is part of the 2022 collection “Seasons” (of life and nature). Paintings in this collection celebrate seasons of life (metaphorical, representational, or inspired-by-real-life scenes about milestones, rites of passage, and shared human experiences of love, aging, family, and beyond) as well as seasons of nature (literal scenes depicting autumn, summer, fall, and winter).
“Osprey” represents re-inventing oneself at different stages of life, new adventures along life’s journey, embracing change. It is part of the section called “Changes and Milestones” in the 2022 collection Seasons. [posters and other fun products available below]
NEW! I’ve added an online store with CafePress and it’s been exciting to see my new oil painting “Osprey” come to life on snazzy products like plush blankets, decorative pillows, drink coasters, mugs, keepsake boxes, and posters. These gifts are for YOU, they aren’t priced high enough to be a big source of income. So, if you really just want to help me out, please use the tip jar below. But if you want to own my art in a fun way, I’d love that! And that’s what the shop is for.
I’m finally working on a new painting. I’ll share it on Wednesday. My daily blog has fallen behind since our sudden, unexpected move. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it. But I’m finding my way back to normalcy and I’ll resume regular blogging again soon. Meanwhile, here’s another father/son painting (at least I think so, maybe the penguin is actually a mom?).
I hope all of you are doing well. I miss chatting with you every day, as I move toward my lifetime goal of 1,000 finished oil paintings. I’ve fallen a bit behind schedule so I’ll be back with renewed passion to crank out the paintings. Let the paints fly!
Again, I’d like to wish you all a Happy Father’s Day. My dad died when I was a child, but I think of him and wonder what he would have been like at this age. He’d have loved being a grandpa. If you are a Grandpa, or even a Great Grandpa, then my Father’s Day wish goes double or triple for you. 🙂
I’m finally back to work after our big sudden, unexpected move. The move took wild turns and we ended up buying a house at least a year before we were ready to do so. The way it came together wasn’t what we wanted, but we have landed in a place I already love, and I will heal from the things that happened. There’s a lot I can’t say here, that I’d say if we could be in person and have a long heart-to-heart over a cup of tea or coffee. I’d bring one of my cakes or a batch of cookies. But, here we are, chatting through my blog that anyone can read. It’s a bit like being at a party, having a personal chat, and a person with bad intentions overhears- twists our words to hurt us, or takes offense at something that wasn’t meant for them, and spiritually had nothing to do with them.
Anyway, I think you know what I mean. I wish I could fully describe the extreme highs and especially the lows, but I can’t. I’ll say this: I have felt profoundly hurt and disappointed by some of the unfair and bitterly unjust events that unfolded, but through it all, I felt divine intervention and spiritual support that can’t be explained away by logic. We’d have to believe in a complicated series of coincidences to dismiss it all, and that would frankly be more of stretch to believe than to simply take it as it was: I was being spiritually supported in a mysterious way that I can’t understand, but I’m grateful for. My family felt it too, but I don’t say much about their experiences on the blog, as those are their own stories to decide to publicly tell or not.
So why did I choose to paint a yellow rose as my first painting in my new home? Because, shortly after we moved in, my rose plant bloomed for the first time. It is symbolic for me because yellow roses have a special meaning in my life. My grandma loved them and would keep her roses on a hill that was highly visible. When she passed, I thought of her whenever I saw yellow roses. Since I always admired them, I wanted to grow some. Grandma was successful with hers in upstate New York, but we were living in Minnesota at the time, which has much harsher temperatures in the dead of winter (sometimes as low as -25 F). I could only have a specialty engineered rose, an “arctic rose”, in yellow. That’s all I could find that had a good chance of thriving. It did thrive, and those were the roses that were in bloom long after they should have been, when I was Mom’s caregiver and bringing her cut roses. The roses finally stopped blooming after she passed- which was after the regular season when my roses had usually already stopped producing new roses for the year. If you garden, you can probably relate to how surprising it is when flowers, fruit, or vegetables survive much longer than expected. It feels like a miracle, especially if there is a heavy emotional impact.
After we sold our hobby farm that we’d built (after years of fixing up dirty rundown houses while living in them, selling and saving toward having a nice new house one day and meant as a “forever” family home), because the company my husband worked for moved out of the country and laid everyone off after they trained their replacements, and I lost my job too since my arts school was based in my home studio, we moved several times (my apologies if you’ve heard this story too much, but new people join us regularly and don’t know my story so I have to summarize it fairly often). While moving around, I didn’t want to get another arctic rose, so I waited until I could live someplace warm enough for real traditional roses to thrive. Then I waited some more because I could find any- they were sold out when I tried to get some- and I was always a day late and a dollar short. Time slipped away, and I never did get my real yellow roses… until a few weeks before we learned we would have to move from our rental house sooner than we planned.
Fortunately, because we were renting, I planted my new roses in a grow bag container, not in the ground. So, when we were blindsided by the vacate notice, it was easy to move it to the new place. It was a new plant and hadn’t produced any flowers yet. I was optimistic it would survive and I’d finally get my yellow roses, but until proof of this appeared, the yellow roses were still just a hope, not a reality.
It was astonishing that as soon as we moved everything into this house, the first bud appeared. Even though of course flowers bloom, that’s what they do, it still felt like a breathtaking surprise, as if I was not really expecting to ever see yellow roses. It was glorious! So pretty, dainty, and perfectly yellow- just as I imagined my yellow roses would be!
But then, it opened. And I was amazed at how beautiful it was. This was truly a real rose, not a close copy. I tried to capture it by photographing it and then painting it. I looked outside the window as I painted the rose to see the leaves in real time as well (the flower itself had already faded from its peak glory by the time I finished painting it). In the end, it’s only a representation of what I saw, because there’s nothing that can capture what it feels like to see a rose in person. I hope I came close, and that you can feel the emotion. If I felt uncertain about the love of God blessing my new life, all doubts fell away when this rose opened its lovely pedals. I imagine this spiritual connection to flowers is universally felt by all who feel a connection to nature, regardless of your faith, background, or social status.
We may have to wait a long time for something our heart desires, or for grief to lift. It can take years, and twists and turns we didn’t want to take. We may have to live in places we didn’t want to be, and we may be pushed to go on a new adventure before we are ready. But one day, we will arrive. The time has passed. And we are home. That is when a new yellow rose will open up, the sun will strike upon its glorious color, and we’ll know we are loved by God. Wherever we are sent, in this life or the next, there is something beautiful waiting for us. We are never truly alone, even when it feels like we are. We are never abandoned. We are human beings who feel the weight and burden of time, pain, and fear, that clouds our judgement and burdens our hearts- blocking us from seeing the yellow roses. Until the right time, and my time is now.
I hope you join me on my new painting adventures in my lovely blue home with the red door in Savannah, Georgia! How I got here is complicated. How I’ll live here may be complicated as well. But I know I will have a good life because I choose it. God bless you and your families. Never give up. Always look for your yellow roses to bloom.
If you missed my St. Patrick’s Day show last year, or would just like to see it again- here it is! Live painting (well, recorded obviously, but painting in real time instead of time lapse), silliness, singing, and surprises. HAPPY St. PATRICK’S DAY!
One of the surprises I was most looking forward to being revealed, was a custom branding iron that I got for my husband. I collaborated with my oldest daughter who created the art I wanted for the logo. We decided that an osprey was a good choice, since he loves seeing ospreys fly over our yard, especially the time when we saw one catch a fish. So, we captured that in a logo and added “Wood Crafted by …..” his name. We worked with a Russian craftsman online to get this to come together. It was a very fun experience and special. I couldn’t wait for him to see this!
He does beautiful projects, like original musical instruments. See this dragon shaped violin he made for our youngest daughter.
I will show you more of his work in future blog posts. But this is enough to show you that he really needs to stamp his work with his own logo and name, as these pieces will be heirlooms and are very special to us, as he is special to us!
I hope that you too had Christmas surprises that are meaningful and joyful. I will share a few other things later. Enjoy your holiday break and make many wonderful memories!
“The Christmas Dance” is part of the 2022 collection “Seasons” (of life and nature) and debuted as a featured painting in Christmas Show 2021. Paintings in this collection celebrate seasons of life (metaphorical, representational, or inspired-by-real-life scenes about milestones, rites of passage, and shared human experiences of love, aging, family, and beyond) as well as seasons of nature (literal scenes depicting autumn, summer, fall, and winter). “The Christmas Dance” represents love and relationships as they change, and how the connection becomes deeper over time. This painting will be published in the book “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Seasons”. [due to the personal nature of this art, the artist has requested that prints of this painting are not for sale]
“Rose in a Moonlit Forest” (originally titled “Blooming Through”) is available as a print. This art was created for a charity auction to benefit families with children who have autism. Natalie imagined the autistic mind like a solitary rose growing against all odds inside a stone wall, surrounded by an environment that is quiet, dark, and yet when the moon shines- a brief, perhaps rare, light- is mysteriously beautiful.
This painting is for the collection “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Nature”. It will be published as a book, prints, and limited fashion items.
“Childhood Winters” was originally created for children’s book “Fred” and is now included in the collection “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Nature”. No prints are available at this time.
This painting is included in the collection “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Nature” and the children’s book “Fred“. “Fred” is a story about Natalie’s childhood. This particular scene is about the day when Natalie accepted a dare from her cousins to touch her tongue to the icy metal porch post at her grandparents’ house, when visiting for Christmas in upstate New York. With the house full of relatives, it was embarrassing for Natalie’s mother that this happened to her child. With a very sore tongue, it was a lesson learned, but Natalie never stopped accepting dares and challenges (with smarter and better outcomes!).
“Crocus in Snow” is available as a series of prints. This project was a painting experiment to test a painting strategy to create the illusion of animation; through painting three stages of a growing flower combined with time lapse video.
I like to use this painting for my updates. The music in the video is an instrumental version of “Be Thou my Vision”. The lyrics are appropriate for how I feel as an artist.
My update: Well, today isn’t going to work out for painting. I do plan to have the next one ready to share soon, but it probably won’t be tomorrow. I’d planned tentatively in my head for tomorrow, but I’m fine with a delay. I’m ahead of schedule, as I’ve been working on the 2022 collection for a while now. This gives me leeway to take my time if other things pop up or if lighting conditions aren’t great (natural sunlight coming in through the windows is preferred over solely artificial lighting).
In other news-
The holiday show is coming along. It’s a Christmas one, and will be the last live-taping event show I do for 2021. You’ve met my whole family by now in the videos I share, but this will be the first painting variety show in which all of them will make a guest appearance at the same time. I hope that you tune in when I share it and please share it with others. There are so few of us producing original shows that are positive and authentic. I want my work, and my family’s gift of their time and talents as well, to make a difference. For a short half hour, may we bring hope and smiles to you through our singing, dancing, art, and happiness (and one surprise act that I’m not telling you, as it would be a spoiler!).
In the end, it’s not about the talent, work ethic, or social power of what we create. It’s about the lives we touch and the love we share. These are challenging times. We need for every lit candle to light another. So, please do share my special show when I share it with you. And if you could also hold supportive thoughts for us as we begin to tape this show soon, I’d appreciate that as well.
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