Calm of a Cardinal

Watch this cardinal oil painting come alive in about 2 minutes (time lapse)

Today I was flustered, as I was preparing for the taping of the Christmas show and I realized with a sinking heart that the first segment I did had not recorded! I had to re-do that, setting my schedule behind. As I loaded the memory card back into the camera to tape the whole thing over again, a flurry of movement caught my attention. Just outside the patio doors was one of our favorite cardinals, a bird that came to our feeder as a juvenile that my daughter noticed looked like it has a mohawk hair style. The cardinal made eye contact with me as if to say, “Calm down. It will be all right. It always is.”

And it was. All went well. The show will be ready on time, despite the failed recording, a dead battery that required a delay and a switch to another one, and several other mishaps, like when my feet got tangled up in my dress and I almost did a face plant, or when my daughter didn’t realize that the camera was rolling and spent several seconds itching her nose after the faux fur on her dress jacket tickled her face. Or how about when I completely forgot the lyrics to a song, or when I was ready to paint but had forgotten my palette (the paint!)? My body aches from all of the climbing up and down the step stool to tinker with the camera, moving the easels and props around, and bustling from one task to another since early this morning.

It was a crazy day, but in the end I will look back on it fondly and remember the fun we had in trying to get this to come together. Hard work is always worth doing when we feel a sense of purpose and a connection to the people we share it with. A long day like this brings on a good kind of tired that leads to a deep, peaceful sleep.

I hope that you will enjoy the show and will feel uplifted by it. I expect it to be ready to share by next week, in plenty of time for Christmas! Please do share it far and wide when I announce it here on the blog. Thank you!!!



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Fluttering

Watch this goldfinches oil painting come alive in just over 1 minute (time lapse)

Today I was working on my garden planters when I heard a fluttering coming from a small tree a couple feet from where I was standing. I jumped nervously (which could ironically be described as “all in a flutter”; a nervous, confused, or agitated state). I thought it was one of the larger cardinals who often frequent that tree, but instead the fluttering and tree shaking continued for much longer and it was clear that this was not one of our regular birds. Instead it was a tiny finch, smaller than the usual goldfinch, but similar in color and markings.

The little bird was hopping from branch to branch, seemingly unconcerned that I was standing nearby. I was already jumpy because the tree frogs and lizards had been hiding and popping out at me every time I went outside. They always look like they’re amused by me when they do this.

The last time I shared this goldfinches painting with you was in a blog post called “Birds of a Feather“, in which I talked about something completely different from what I’m talking about now. Right now, I’m thinking literally of the finch. Sometimes a bird isn’t a metaphor for anything. It’s just a bird.

Then again, why let good imagery go to waste? Perhaps being all a flutter over a flutter is a reminder that there is often nothing to be afraid of. What could have been an invasive creature or a trespasser up to no good was only a little bird.

Spirit Birthday

Watch “Bird of Light” oil painting come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse)

Today would have been my mom’s birthday, had she lived to see this day. I explained the meaning of this painting and blogged about Mom’s mysterious ways of connecting with us in the post “Are you open?“. That post also shows a video, further down the page, of what happened to the above painting the morning after I painted it. Today, I’m just going to keep this short. Happy Birthday, Mom.

You are Worth More

Watch oil painting “Sparrows” come to life

in 2 minutes (time lapse)

The last time I shared my sparrows painting was in April, in a blog post called “More than Sparrows“. But today I’m thinking about the “don’t be afraid” part of the scripture that inspired this painting:

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.”

There are dire warnings of all kinds of upcoming calamities and a predicted dark winter, and indeed, we are facing many fearful events in this age. It’s important to control our fears and learn how to not be afraid. It’s normal to feel afraid, but the act of being afraid is a matter of spiritual choice. We can choose to be courageous even when we feel afraid.

We will never be able to eliminate all of the dangers that life throws at us, especially if powerful forces are intentionally creating terror and suffering… and throughout history, this has always been true to some degree. But if we allow our fears to consume us, we will not thrive, and we may even make ourselves ill. Survival isn’t about just barely making it through the ordeals of life, but ensuring that we are strong enough to endure it with such determination and resilience that there is a beautiful life stretched ahead of us.

To make it through to the beautiful life ahead of us, we must find the beautiful moments within the hardships. We can’t wait until life looks like we want it to, as we need peace and joy every day. Like nutrition for our bodies and wisdom for our minds, we need happiness for our spirits. It’s possible for humans to give up the will to live in their sleep and never wake up. That’s how powerful our spiritual self is. Despair is dangerous. We must fight against it!

May the common sparrow encourage us. They seem to have an insignificant life, yet they are wonderfully made to instinctively know how to find food and survive the challenges of nature. They do more than survive, they thrive. As in, they lead a full bird life, the best that a sparrow can do. I see them flying about, gathering socially with their fellow birds of a feather, and settling in on the platform of our bird feeder. Their needs are met, by nature and by mysterious interactions with others (like me, putting food out there for them to eat).

We too experience more moments in which our needs are met than moments when we are in lack. This is easily proven by the fact that we are right now still alive. If we had too many moments of lack, we’d- to put it bluntly- be dead. But we are not dead, and we mustn’t ever let our soul feel deadened when we are clearly very much alive. May our blessed condition of living be enough to desire to not just survive, but to thrive. Seek joy in every little thing. Do not be afraid.

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Friday Freakishness

Watch this oil painting of a lizard come to life in 1 minute (time lapse)

Today was Leaping Lizards day! I was doing some gardening and lizards kept scaring the daylights out of me by popping out of whatever pot I was grabbing. One of them even leapt from where I was reaching to a chair a few feet away, just sailed through the air like an acrobat. I saw four different kinds of lizards in a variety of colors, and all of them were a bit crazy today.

There was also some people craziness. The trespassers I’ve mentioned before came back and this time, in addition to their unleashed dog, fishing-near-the-“no fishing”-sign husband, and her child, our famous texting squatter brought a CAT. Why? Why would someone do this? They stayed for about an hour or so this evening, with the cat just hanging out. When they wanted to leave, the woman put a leash on the cat and tried to get the cat to cooperate, which of course it did not do.

I was busy doing dishes, so I missed this pet show, but my daughter was watching it and laughing. She knows cats, and she thought it was hilarious that this woman expected her cat to agree to being led by a leash. When I took a glance out there the cat stared back at me, looking quite pleased with itself, just lying there all relaxed.

In other Friday freakishness… oh wait, this happened yesterday, but we can count it for today: I looked out the patio windows because a flurry of bird activity caught my attention. Two cardinals and a hummingbird were racing for the same feeding area at the same time. One of the juvenile cardinals, the really dotty one that looks it has a mohawk haircut, perched on my potting table shelf and suddenly I saw its head pop back. A hummingbird collided with it while blitzing by and buzzed it on the back of its bird head. This was even more hilarious to me than a woman who leashed her cat.

I didn’t catch these things on video today, so you’ll just have imagine the craziness this time. I hope all of you are doing well. Have a marvelous weekend!

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Back to Work!

The past few weeks I’ve been preparing for the new show series “Inspired by Natalie” vlog, uploading my painting videos to YouTube (not done with

Read More »

Update

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

Read More »

Golden Path

I shared this one with you recently, but today I re-edited it for YouTube and it’s somewhat different. It’s another painting video that I needed

Read More »

Slow Change

This lion painting has had several changes of music. This is the latest version for YouTube. The emotional vibe is entirely different, depending on what

Read More »

Heaven Again

I’ve been telling you about my ongoing project to upload my oil paintings to YouTube. This has resulted in editing some of my older work,

Read More »

Inspired Vlog

First, about the re-edited Sparrows video: You may notice this version has new music dropped in. This is part of my ongoing effort to use

Read More »

How are you?

Watch this oil painting of a bird in a forest come to life

in about 2 minutes (time lapse)

You might remember when I first shared this painting when I finished it in April? Here we are, five months later, and I’m guessing you are feeling a lot of the same emotions that I am. When spring came upon us, I felt hopeful that the change of seasons would bring positive developments along with the blooming trees and sunny skies. Then we slipped into summer, and my optimism waned. Now we are entering autumn. With fall leaves changing, soon we’ll be hibernating again in a deadened world of shorter days, longer darkness, bare trees, and the emotions that come with the reflections and reminiscing that ring in the holiday season.

I don’t have extended family who visits, nor do I visit anyone, but I enjoy the time I spend with my own little family (my husband and kids). I’ve shopped early this year and their presents are already stashed away, long before Christmas. I want to make sure that we can celebrate so brightly that our happiness and gratefulness outshines anything dark that may be upon us in December. I’m also investing in new baking projects and food ideas, party plans (even though it’s just us, we are a party!), and of course the big holiday show that I’ll be sharing with all of you. I want to encourage you to think ahead about how you want to spend your holiday season and prepare for it in a way that is bigger and brighter than you’ve ever done before, even if it’s just you alone.

I will be here with you, same as always. I am committed to blogging every day. So even if it seems that “no one” is around, someone always is. Stay strong, stay positive, and plan for happiness.

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

Back to Work!

The past few weeks I’ve been preparing for the new show series “Inspired by Natalie” vlog, uploading my painting videos to YouTube (not done with

Update

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

Emotion and Logic

When I uploaded this one to YouTube today, I was thinking about how art is a language that fills in the gaps. How can we

Saving for Good

Here’s the painting video I uploaded to YouTube today, as part of my ongoing project to upload my art to that platform. This time, the

Golden Path

I shared this one with you recently, but today I re-edited it for YouTube and it’s somewhat different. It’s another painting video that I needed

A Stone’s Throw Away

Here’s another painting video that I needed to change the music I’d originally used, to avoid copyright claims. I like how the new music works,

Slow Change

This lion painting has had several changes of music. This is the latest version for YouTube. The emotional vibe is entirely different, depending on what

Heaven Again

I’ve been telling you about my ongoing project to upload my oil paintings to YouTube. This has resulted in editing some of my older work,

Preview! Sneak Peek

Whoa! Isn’t this cool? Here’s a sneak peek of my new show- just a still shot though, the video would be too big of a

Must See, Funny & Weird!

Play Video

First, my oil painting of a blue heron. I believe this is a “little” blue heron, vivid blue. 1 minute time lapse to watch me paint the art…

Next, see the funny and weird bird that I saw tonight! It looks like it might be a type of big heron, kind of blue, mostly gray. What happened was hilarious. Make sure you see the ending, when the bird sees the “No Fishing” sign. From his reaction, looks like he knows how to read!

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See What Happened Today!!!

I shared my sunflower oil painting with you before (2 minute time-lapse video above to watch me paint this). Well, now I have my own sunflowers growing on the patio. I planted them from seed and they are now in bloom. See what happened today when I noticed a cardinal near my new sunflowers and I thought it would make a pretty picture. Have you ever seen a cardinal in a swing before?

You might remember that this swing was marketed for hummingbirds, and that’s why we bought it (I shared a hummingbird in swing video on a previous blog post). But the juvenile cardinals like it too! It’s so fun to watch them play and swing, and this time I finally was quick enough to capture it with both still photography (the first part of the video), and then I switched over to video mode, but he was nearly done by then. I was amazed at how long he was swinging. He seems to like the attention and looks for me! 

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New Painting – AND MORE!

Watch my new oil painting come to life! “Cardinal on a Tree Branch“, my latest painting that features a cardinal; a bird that is spiritually meaningful to many people and is simply delightful in nature, a truly peaceful and beautiful bird.

This painting will be the featured art in my new book and displayed on the cover. The book is now FINISHED! It is ahead of schedule by several months! The 2021 collection “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Nature” is available as free time lapse videos, prints to buy, and soon a published book. It follows two previous collections (2019 “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Savannah, Georgia” and 2020 “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by my Christian Faith“.

I also offer some fashion inspired by art from the previous collections. I plan to add some new designs from the 2021 Nature collection, and I’ll definitely include this cardinal. I know that some of you love cardinals and have been hoping for a new one. I understand because I love cardinals too, and they mean something personal to me and my family.

So the “and MORE” is the celebration that my 2021 art collection is FINISHED! WOOT!!! This feels awesome! I also wanted to announce that I’ll soon have the book and fashion parts of it done. But, I’ll hold back on the reveal of what the new collection for 2022 will be. I’ll be starting on the first painting of that series soon, so stay tuned!

Thank you for being a part of this journey. One more set of 50 done toward my lifetime goal of 1k finished paintings!

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“Cardinal on a Tree Branch”

Watch Natalie paint this cardinal in 2 minutes (time lapse)

“Cardinal on a Tree Branch” is featured in the collection “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Nature“. Prints available below of Session 1, Session 2, and Final painting. Those who prefer the minimalist look of the unfinished painting may find these prints appealing. Others may enjoy purchasing these three prints as a collection, to display as a set of three frames together. The finished painting print is available on its own as usual.

Session 1
Session 2
Final Finished Painting
“Cardinal on a Tree Branch” oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas

Small Print “Cardinal on a Tree Branch”

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

$33.50

Medium Print “Cardinal on a Tree Branch”

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

$65.50

Large Print “Cardinal on a Tree Branch”

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

$98.50

Small Print “Session 1 of Cardinal on a Tree Branch”

Unfinished painting, after Session 1, for those who like the minimalist look.
All small prints are approximately 8 x 10. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$33.50

Medium Print “Session 1 of Cardinal on a Tree Branch”

Unfinished painting, after Session 1, for those who like the minimalist look.
All medium prints are approximately 16 x 20. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$65.50

Large Print “Session 1 of Cardinal on a Tree Branch”

Unfinished painting, after Session 1, for those who like the minimalist look.
All large prints are approximately 24 x 30. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$98.50

Small Print “Session 2 of Cardinal on a Tree Branch”

Unfinished painting, after Session 2, for those who want a storyboard style set of the three paintings in progress, or who prefer the scaled down version.
All small prints are approximately 8 x 10. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$33.50

Medium Print “Session 2 of Cardinal on a Tree Branch”

Unfinished painting, after Session 2, for those who want a storyboard style set of the three paintings in progress, or who prefer the scaled down version.
All medium prints are approximately 16 x 20. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$65.50

Large Print “Session 2 of Cardinal on a Tree Branch”

Unfinished painting, after Session 2, for those who want a storyboard style set of the three paintings in progress, or who prefer the scaled down version.
All large prints are approximately 24 x 30. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$98.50