Storm Rollin’ In

See oil painting “Eye of the Storm” come alive in under 2 minutes (time lapse)

The above painting was inspired by our first hurricane evacuation after moving here to Georgia about five years ago. It’s not hurricane season yet, but it looks like we might get our first spring thunderstorm tonight. The sky is ominous. Two of my family members are on their way home, so I hope they get in before the rain starts.

Below is a video I’ve shared before of me singing “How Great Thou Art”, the hymn in the painting video. I always feel the inspiration of these lyrics when a storm rolls in.

Natalie singing “How Great Thou Art” (hymn from the above painting video)

These are tough times. Every day can feel like a storm, even if the skies are sunny. Whatever you’re facing today, please know that you are not alone. I’m still reeling from the shock of a few things- such as the sudden death that occurred on our recent wedding anniversary- serendipitously, the death was our young ringbearer (grown up, but still too young)! I want to talk more about this, but I really must respect that the family may stumble upon my blog and I don’t want to cause them any distress. I will say this: I am deeply saddened and I wish the news weren’t true.

Grief is a storm. Any of you going through grief, it’s a dangerous and frightening time of emotional chaos, and a surreal view of what it means to be alive. And just like a storm, the worst of it ends, leaving behind a spiritual mess to sift through. It can take years to feel a sense of normal again, and some losses can never be recovered. Every life matters, and every heart matters when a life is lost. I find it helpful to make it a mission to live my life to the very fullest- out of respect for those who can no longer be here, while I’m still here, still alive another day.

As I typed that last line, a beautiful cardinal is sitting on the patio bird feeder. He’s taking his time nibbling seeds and making eye contact with me as I sit here clacking away at the keyboard in view of the glass patio doors. Now he’s closer! I don’t think he will let me take a pic of him. He’s drinking from the bird bath and staring right at me! Darn, I reached for my phone to take a pic and he flew away. Didn’t think he’d let me do that. I have to stand from the side and take photos of the wild birds when they can’t see me. Well, you’ll just have to imagine him there. Moments like these validate everything good, don’t they? That cardinal is alive. And seeing him made me happy.

God bless you and keep you, this day and always. We are here for a reason.


Eye of the Storm

Watch this oil painting inspired by satellite imagery of a hurricane come to life in under 2 minutes (time lapse)

During our first year in Georgia we evacuated for Hurricane Irma. It was my first hurricane, but I’d experienced tornadoes, blizzards, and other dangerous weather in other places I’ve lived. Powerful storms can change lives forever and can be devastating. I will be thinking of all of the people in harm’s way from Hurricane Ida, and praying for safety and rescue for those in need. *Update, now waiting to see what Hurricane Ian is going to do. God be with you, all who are in the path of the hurricane, flooding, winds, and may you rise above the fear to remain calm in the eye of the storm.

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Future Unknown

Watch this oil painting “Peach tree Hurricane” come to life in under 2 minutes (time lapse)

I painted this after my first year in Georgia when we had to evacuate for a hurricane. It was scary, as my husband needed to work the late shift and we couldn’t leave until he was home. But, we got out in plenty of time, and the only damage to the property consisted of a few missing shingles on the roof and the top of the gazebo was torn to shreds. Since we were renting, the property wasn’t ours, and the homeowner didn’t seem to care about that top because there was no replacement. That’s fine, because I was happy it was off! It was ugly and I prefer the open sky. I strung some pretty lights on the frame and when we stay out after dark it looks beautiful (in my eyes anyway!).

I’m still glad that we stayed away until we got the all clear to return. It would have been scary to have heard the gazebo roof tearing and the house roof shingles ripping… we’d probably have thought the house was being shredded! On the way home we saw downed peach trees in long stretches of the journey. It was sad to see. But the orchards bounced back quickly. It was amazing how fast the area went from dangerously stormy to bright and sunny again. 

That’s how life and nature work. We don’t know what the future holds, the journey is unknown. But we do know that the sun comes out before a storm, and returns after it.

Embrace the Storm

Watch me paint “Eye of the Storm” in under 2 minutes

(time lapse)

This painting was inspired by live radar of Hurricane Irma. How fascinating to watch the storm as it moved over the ocean! Up North, I’d been through bitter life threatening cold of -25 actual temperature, not including wind chill, blizzards, tornadoes, and floods, but none of those were a shared experience world wide. When a hurricane comes, humanity watches in breathless anticipation, in awe of nature. It is a bonding experience, and seems everyone who’s been through a hurricane, even if only to evacuate from it, has their hurricane story that they love to tell. I was worried that hurricanes would be a deal breaker for me down South, but everywhere I’ve ever lived, there has always been some type of dangerous weather. In fact, there were more episodes of dangerous weather in other places I’ve lived. At least with a hurricane, there is plenty of advance notice (usually- sometimes the forecasts are wrong about exact landfall or which levies may breech, tornadoes that spawn, etc.). My point is, I no longer fear hurricanes. We can’t escape risks in life. I love living in coastal Georgia, and hurricanes are a risk I’m learning to live with. I’ve only evacuated from the threat of two of them, but each time, I felt a renewed gratitude for my community, my home, my family, and my God. Maybe that’s what storms are all about?”
- from the book "50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Savannah, Georgia" by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

“Brace for the storm!” is a fear based approach to life. “Embrace the Storm” is a mindset that takes us out of a powerless victim role. We can’t prevent or control all of the storms that come our way, but what we can do is see opportunities and make the most of every situation. A crisis is an opportunity to connect with other people through shared experiences and powerful emotions. A scary event can also heighten our spirituality and sharpen our senses. Suddenly what’s important to us seems clearer than it did when life was “safe”.

Life is never truly safe. We weren’t meant to be idle with too much time on our hands to fret. Some moments we forget to worry about the dangers of living because our minds are occupied.  When we push ourselves to be active and engaged in pursuits that we’re passionate about, we have little room left in our day for fear.

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New Painting – “Alabama Landscape”

Oil painting by artist Natalie Buske Thomas "Alabama Landscape". Watch Natalie paint this art in less than 2 minutes (time lapse video). New painting for September 2022.

New Painting Finished!

If you’ve been following the progress of my new oil painting “Walking in Rain Puddle”, you’ll be happy to know that it …

Back to Work! Session 3

Well, it’s time to get back to work on the new painting in progress. Normally I wait until the painting is finished …

Today’s Painting

LOL! It looks like my daughter (girl in the painting) is afraid of my fan brush in this still photo I lifted …

New Painting in Progress

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 …

New Painting – “Lion in Storm”

Watch oil painting “Lion in Storm” come alive in under 1 minute (in the time lapse video above). This is an angry …

New month, new direction!

Did you click on the image above? I’ve painted enough art now to re-design this website and sort by categories! This will …

New Painting – “Coffee Outside”

See my new painting “Coffee Outside” come alive in less than 2 minutes (time lapse video). This art is for the 2022 …

New Painting – “Frog in Garden”

Watch this frog painting come alive in just over 1 minute (time lapse video) This project was inspired by my tree frog …

Hymn for Cardinal Painting

As promised, I’ve put together a singing video with the lyrics for the instrumental hymn that was in yesterday’s painting video. Maybe …

“Eye of the Storm”

Watch Natalie paint this art, and all 50 oil paintings in this collection (menu below)

“This painting was inspired by live radar of Hurricane Irma. How fascinating to watch the storm as it moved over the ocean! Up North, I’d been through bitter life threatening cold of -25 actual temperature, not including wind chill, blizzards, tornadoes, and floods, but none of those were a shared experience world wide. When a hurricane comes, humanity watches in breathless anticipation, in awe of nature. It is a bonding experience, and seems everyone who’s been through a hurricane, even if only to evacuate from it, has their hurricane story that they love to tell.

I was worried that hurricanes would be a deal breaker for me down South, but everywhere I’ve ever lived, there has always been some type of dangerous weather. In fact, there were more episodes of dangerous weather in other places I’ve lived. At least with a hurricane, there is plenty of advance notice (usually- sometimes the forecasts are wrong about exact landfall or which levies may breech, tornadoes that spawn, etc.).

My point is, I no longer fear hurricanes. We can’t escape risks in life. I love living in coastal Georgia, and hurricanes are a risk I’m learning to live with. I’ve only evacuated from the threat of two of them, but each time, I felt a renewed gratitude for my community, my home, my family, and my God. Maybe that’s what storms are all about?”

Eye of the Storm oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas

Small Print “Eye of the Storm”

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

$33.50

Medium Print “Eye of the Storm”

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

$65.50

Large Print “Eye of the Storm”

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

$98.50

List of Oil Paintings in this Collection, linking to their pages here on the site, and also citing physical pages in the hardcover book:

  1. City of Savannah
    1.1 “City of Savannah” page 6-7
    1.2 “Natalie at the Fountain” page 8-11
    1.3 “House in Savannah” page 12-13
    1.4 “Guardian Lion” page 14-15
    1.5 “Autumn Angel” page 16-17
    1.6 “Steamship Savannah” page 18-19
    1.7 “Boiled Peanuts for Sale” page 20-21
    1.8 “Bulldog” page 22-23
    1.9 “Serenity Piano” page 24-25
    1.10 “Painting Colors” page 26-27
  2. Tybee Island
    2.1 “I Love Life” page 30-31
    2.2 “Living Sand Dollar” page 32-33
    2.3 “Matthew the Sea Turtle” page 34-35
    2.4 “Fungie the Dolphin” page36-37
    2.5 “Angel Releasing Dove” page 38-39
    2.6 “Flag on Tybee Island” page 40-41
    2.7 “My Kids at the Beach” page 42-43
    2.8 “Lighthouse near Tybee Island” page 44-45
  3. Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians
    3.1 “Gator and Snake” page 48-49
    3.2 “Tree Frog” page 50-51
    3.3 “Lizard” page 52-53
    3.4 “Blue Heron” page 54-55
    3.5 “Hummingbird” page 56-57
    3.6 “Painted Bunting” page 58-59
  4. Flowers and Trees
    4.1 “Pink Flower” page 62-63
    4.2 “Porch Flowers” page 64-65
    4.3 “Clover” page 66-67
    4.4 “Butterfly Tree Flowers” page 68-69
    4.5 “Savannah Tree” page 70-71
    4.6 “Dancer in a Floral Forest” page 72-73
    4.7 “Come to the Garden” page 74-77
    4.8 “Cherokee Rose” page 78-79
  5. Faith and Food
    5.1 “Floral Cross” page 82-83
    5.2 “Lenten Flower” page 84-85
    5.3 “Celtic Cross” page 86-87
    5.4 “Mary of God’s Favor” page 88-89
    5.5 “Lion and the Lamb” page 90-91
    5.6 “Breakfast with Friends” page 92-93
    5.7 “Peaches in a Bowl” page 94-95
    5.8 “Peach Cookies” page 96-97
    5.9 “Peach Pie” page 98-99
  6. Seasons and Weather
    6.1 “Pumpkins and Mums” page 102-103
    6.2 “Autumn Cottage” page 104-105
    6.3 “Spring Lambs” page 106-107
    6.4 “Peach Tree Hurricane” page 108-109
    6.5 “Eye of the Storm” page 110-111
    6.6 “God’s Promise” page 112-113
    6.7 “We Gather Together” page 114-115
    6.8 “Savannah Snow” page 116-117
    6.9 “I Believe in Santa” page 118-119

“Peach Tree Hurricane”

Watch Natalie paint this art, and all 50 oil paintings in this collection (menu below)

“Hurricane Irma was my first hurricane. When we got evacuation orders, my husband was working the late shift as a pharmacy tech and he couldn’t leave until his shift was over. I was terrified, anxious we wouldn’t get out in time. I was so panicky that I tripped and fell in the shower while I was getting out. I injured my leg to the point that it was knotted up by the time my husband came home. I had to put ice on it the whole way to the hotel.

By the time we booked a hotel, it seemed all of Florida had already filled up every hotel room in the surrounding area. We had to drive five hours deep into Alabama, to a cockroach motel (literally!), where we were price-gouged and spent almost $1,000 for a few nights’ stay.

By the time we booked a hotel, it seemed all of Florida had already filled up every hotel room in the surrounding area. We had to drive five hours deep into Alabama, to a cockroach motel (literally!), where we were price-gouged and spent almost $1,000 for a few nights’ stay.

It wasn’t all bad- we found interesting things to do and made an “Evacucation” out of it. This year when we had to take another forced vacation during hurricane season, we almost looked forward to our Evacucation. We had even more fun than before, because we didn’t have to drive as far, were in a much better motel, and it wasn’t our first hurricane.

On the return home after Irma, we saw many peach trees down. It was sad to see the orchards ruined. But, soon after, we heard that they rebounded and all was well. Nature can be resilient, and it’s a reminder that we can be too. No matter how dark and dangerous the storm, the sun shines once again. “

Peach Tree Hurricane by Natalie Buske Thomas

List of Oil Paintings in this Collection, linking to their pages here on the site, and also citing physical pages in the hardcover book:

  1. City of Savannah
    1.1 “City of Savannah” page 6-7
    1.2 “Natalie at the Fountain” page 8-11
    1.3 “House in Savannah” page 12-13
    1.4 “Guardian Lion” page 14-15
    1.5 “Autumn Angel” page 16-17
    1.6 “Steamship Savannah” page 18-19
    1.7 “Boiled Peanuts for Sale” page 20-21
    1.8 “Bulldog” page 22-23
    1.9 “Serenity Piano” page 24-25
    1.10 “Painting Colors” page 26-27
  2. Tybee Island
    2.1 “I Love Life” page 30-31
    2.2 “Living Sand Dollar” page 32-33
    2.3 “Matthew the Sea Turtle” page 34-35
    2.4 “Fungie the Dolphin” page36-37
    2.5 “Angel Releasing Dove” page 38-39
    2.6 “Flag on Tybee Island” page 40-41
    2.7 “My Kids at the Beach” page 42-43
    2.8 “Lighthouse near Tybee Island” page 44-45
  3. Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians
    3.1 “Gator and Snake” page 48-49
    3.2 “Tree Frog” page 50-51
    3.3 “Lizard” page 52-53
    3.4 “Blue Heron” page 54-55
    3.5 “Hummingbird” page 56-57
    3.6 “Painted Bunting” page 58-59
  4. Flowers and Trees
    4.1 “Pink Flower” page 62-63
    4.2 “Porch Flowers” page 64-65
    4.3 “Clover” page 66-67
    4.4 “Butterfly Tree Flowers” page 68-69
    4.5 “Savannah Tree” page 70-71
    4.6 “Dancer in a Floral Forest” page 72-73
    4.7 “Come to the Garden” page 74-77
    4.8 “Cherokee Rose” page 78-79
  5. Faith and Food
    5.1 “Floral Cross” page 82-83
    5.2 “Lenten Flower” page 84-85
    5.3 “Celtic Cross” page 86-87
    5.4 “Mary of God’s Favor” page 88-89
    5.5 “Lion and the Lamb” page 90-91
    5.6 “Breakfast with Friends” page 92-93
    5.7 “Peaches in a Bowl” page 94-95
    5.8 “Peach Cookies” page 96-97
    5.9 “Peach Pie” page 98-99
  6. Seasons and Weather
    6.1 “Pumpkins and Mums” page 102-103
    6.2 “Autumn Cottage” page 104-105
    6.3 “Spring Lambs” page 106-107
    6.4 “Peach Tree Hurricane” page 108-109
    6.5 “Eye of the Storm” page 110-111
    6.6 “God’s Promise” page 112-113
    6.7 “We Gather Together” page 114-115
    6.8 “Savannah Snow” page 116-117
    6.9 “I Believe in Santa” page 118-119