“Eye of the Storm” was inspired by maps that track hurricanes. The dangerous swirls were created with thick layers and vivid white paint (White Titanium). Frantic paint strokes and stark contrasting colors create tension. The danger and excitement of a storm is expressed with confident lines, bold colors, and heavy texture.
This next oil painting, “Statue of Liberty Struck by Lightning“, was inspired by news photographs of this real occurrence in New York City in 2020. Slightly skewed and unnaturally fluorescent, the effect is somewhat surreal, which lends itself well to the awe and wonder of lightning strikes during a storm– especially when the target of the strike is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world!
Storms can be depicted through stark contrasts, heavy texture, confident paint strokes, and skewed surreal perspective. This final example shows a different approach. “Waves of the Sea” is about the anticipation of a storm. The waves are painted in an unnaturally ordered way. The sky looks like it’s getting dark. There’s a feeling of the wind picking up, even though there’s nothing in the painting that’s blowing. The lighthouse stands ready to lead sailors home.
The connection between art and music is very strong. Sometimes when I hear music, I imagine what I’d paint to express the song. An idea flickered through my mind that I could collaborate with indie musicians and songwriters to create something truly original… never before seen!
My painting experiment pushed me to new heights and helped me grow as an artist. This first piece was inspired by the original composition of a talented pianist. When I heard it, I asked him if I could use his music as inspiration for my next painting. I painted what I see in my head when I hear his beautiful music. “Dancer in a Floral Forest” is the result (the composer is credited in the video).
This next piece was selected for its lyrics. Words are a powerful inspiration for art. When I heard these lyrics for “Be Strong”, I knew it was an excellent choice for my painting project “Eagle and Dove”, also known as “Peace through Strength”. Credits to the singer/songwriter appear at the end of the video.
In this last example, I wanted to be brave with creativity. I composed my first ever original piano piece, which is simple, slow, and expressive. I created this music for my oil painting “Serenity Piano”.
I now create shows that incorporate my singing, music, and dancing into live painting. Some of the show format is “variety show” style, in which these acts are performed separately, but sometimes I combine them… like singing while I paint live. I want to continue to push the boundaries and try new ways to express what’s in my heart, whether it’s profound, silly, bittersweet, or joyful. Our human experience shines brighter when shared through music and art.
The reaction to my art is very individual, as is art in general. What is “meh” to one person, may be emotionally powerful to another. I sometimes paint from real life scenes, photographs, or memories, but other times I invent the entire concept from start to finish- just letting my imagination flow. It’s fascinating when people connect deeply to a place that only existed in my mind, but once painted, now exists in the natural world as if it were a real place. The place is real to the person who connects with it.
Someone told me (after seeing my “Mountain Landscape” video, below), “I want to go there!” The trouble is, this place doesn’t exist other than in this painting. I didn’t even look at anything to paint it. I just put music on and let the scene take on a life of its own.
The water is a moving, active element. I let the flow of the water direct the painting. In this way, the scene fell into an organic sense of order, as the scene mimicked the natural world. Water often shapes our landscape.
In the first painting I shared, “Dove in a Forest”, the scene looks less natural because it is rigid and orderly. The trees are like columns. But this style appeals to many, and that piece is a favorite of one of my dear friends. I tried to learn what people like about it, but they find it hard to describe.
Maybe it has something to do with the contrast between the still and wooden quality of the unnaturally orderly forest and the beauty of the living dove, who is in flight? The greens, odd blues, and browns of the forest are in stark contrast to the bright white dove, who seems to glow. Contrasting elements that share the same space can be felt as “balance”. Balance and harmony are peaceful.
Let’s talk now about the third painting I shared, “Rose in a Moonlit Forest”. This one is more about an imagined emotional and mental space, than about a fantasy imaginary place. First, I’ll share the video.
You may have noticed that this piece originally had a different title- “Blooming Through”. This art was painted for a charity auction to benefit families with children who have autism.
(autistic mind is) 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.
Some may claim that I have glorified or downplayed autism, but this painting was meant to express the profound love that families have for their children who have autism. Art is a language. Sometimes we understand each other perfectly, and other times we don’t. A grandmother of an autistic child was greatly moved by this painting. She understood what I was trying to say, and felt the empathy.
The rose represents a child, alone in a tranquil woods, yet also trapped there- in a stoned wall, where it’s difficult to grow, or connect. Yet, there is always hope, and moments of blooming through, when the moonlight shines upon this precious loved one. And that is beautiful.
Technique note: This was my first experience using a pre-painted black canvas. I was pleased with the illusion it gave my paints- that the colors were glowing, or metallic- especially when the oils were wet. This worked out well for the video, and for the emotions I was expressing in this piece.
This was a fun painting experiment to see how feasible it would be to create a very basic, crude “stop motion” style animation by painting a series of similar living objects and then putting the video together as one. To make this video truly incredible, I would have had to paint probably 100 different versions of each painting, to show all of the steps in each transition. Obviously I wasn’t committed to doing that!
But, this quick method of painting an illusion of a flower coming to life was emotionally satisfying, especially when set to music. The motion of watching the paintbrush move creates a life of its own, so this is really a whole new type of animation. I’m happy with the effect and, now that I see how well it works, I’d like to try it again in the future with something more complicated and detailed.
I love inventing new methods for how I do things, and experimenting with ideas. To save time and cost, I painted on tiny square canvases for this project, which made the effort a bit tedious. I used fine detail brushes and felt very constrained. I had a headache when done, as I couldn’t freely paint in my usual style and had to stay so tightly on task. But, it was the right decision because I wanted to fit this little game in between other projects I’m doing. As a working artist, sometimes I have to modify how I create art, so that I can stay on schedule. It’s a worthy sacrifice because it pushes me to produce more work and become who I want to be.
I call this series “Crocus in Snow“. When the first flowers pop up through the ground- even through snow- our hearts leap with hope that spring is coming soon. Some winters are darker and longer than others. A simple flower means so much.
Collection of 50 works of art: a coffee table book, fashion, prints, and videos
From Natalie: “There is always enough room for you at Jesus’ table. Come as you are. Spiritual blessings will never run out.”
Matthew 14:14-21When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Watch Natalie paint this art (scroll down this page). Order gallery quality prints, here:
Small Print “Jesus at the Table”
All small prints are approximately 8 x 10. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.
Medium Print “Jesus at the Table”
All medium prints are approximately 16 x 20. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.
Large Print “Jesus at the Table”
All large prints are approximately 24 x 30. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.
More than a book, an experience! Watch Natalie paint all 50 paintings through time-lapse videos choreographed to music (in the menu on the right). Cut and remove gift copies of her art included at the end of the book – frame what you like, make crafts (see suggestions in product video below), and gift your favorites to friends and family (don’t worry, all 50 works are in the front of the book, you’d only be removing a second copy of the 13 top paintings). Be a part of the journey by experiencing Natalie’s art in your own way, a personal reflection shared with those you love. *fashion clothing and gallery prints from this collection also available (not included in the book)
“50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Savannah, Georgia” book + FREE SHIPPING
150 page beautiful art book with high quality pages and special gift supplement (13 extra copies for personal use to frame, make crafts, give away). All images have related videos to watch Natalie paint the art, available on this website.
More information about the 13 free prints included in the book:
Cut the picture you want from the back of the book
An example of framing a print is shown in the product video (the Lighthouse painting)
You may also choose to put the prints on craft projects. The examples shown in the product video include three unfinished wooden gift items purchased inexpensively at a craft store: a photo frame with heart shaped cut out to insert a family photo (American Flag painting), a small box (Painting Bunting bird painting), and a mini treasure trinket box (Lion and the Lamb painting). You of course can choose any of the prints, and any gift item you wish (gift items not included). All you need is the print and a fixative like Mod Podge (brush on, follow product instructions). Cut the print to fit the item, glue it on. Some may choose to seal it with a spray (I did not do that). Make the art your own. From Natalie: I’d love to see the creative projects you come up with, so if you are willing to share, please send your photos to me.
“This art (‘Flying to Heaven’) is the eighth illustration for my first oil painting book Grandpa Smiles, published in 2014. It is a short sweet inspirational and comforting children’s book about losing a grandparent. A family’s love is forever.”
NOTE: There are several more oil paintings featured in the book that do not have videos:
The boy’s karate class attire and backpack
Profile of the boy as preteen and teen
Portrait of the boy’s grandparents on the wall
Items 2-3 were done on scrap flatboard. Item 4 was a previous painting for a gallery exhibit.
“This art (‘Cardinal in a Tree’) is the seventh illustration for my first oil painting book Grandpa Smiles, published in 2014. It is a short sweet inspirational and comforting children’s book about losing a grandparent. A family’s love is forever.”
“This art (‘Hospital’) is the fifth illustration for my first oil painting book Grandpa Smiles, published in 2014. It is a short sweet inspirational and comforting children’s book about losing a grandparent. A family’s love is forever.”