Be Thou my Vision

Singing “Be Thou my Vision” in English and Irish (Gaelic) with my daughters for Easter Show 2022

I hope you are enjoying this Easter weekend with loved ones and are feeling peace in your spirit. I’ve uploaded the Easter Show 2022 in separate short videos of the different segments (two oil paintings “Easter Lily” and “Jesus at Calvary”, two songs “I’ll Fly Away” and Irish hymn “Be Thou my Vision”). The best viewing experience is here on this site because I can upload the highest quality large HD files. However, your family and friends probably prefer to click on a platform link that they know, so I’ve put these clips and the entire show on YouTube and BitChute also.


Painting Show: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day fun! 20 minute variety show

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!


A Stone’s Throw Away

Watch this Ireland Coast oil painting come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse)

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, but I also like the Irish music I had at first, so I’m keeping it the original way here on this site.

It feels like a journey looking into the past, going through these older painting videos. This was inspired by when I was living in Ireland in 2016 after my husband lost his job and we wanted to start over in a very big way. I’ve been thinking about Ireland a lot lately. Looking back is bittersweet.

We’d given up nearly everything we had to start over in Ireland, but even though I landed my month-long solo art show and my son got a partial scholarship to University College Cork, alas we couldn’t get our “permission to remain” visa and I had to cancel my art show (it was scheduled past our temporary visa expiration date), and the kids each canceled their school enrollment. It was rather crushing, as there was a process to get accepted for both them and for me, and our work to earn the money to go, by selling most of our possessions, and, well… it just wasn’t meant to be.

So, back we went, and by that time my husband was homesick and then the rest of us felt it too. We were born and raised in America, and no matter how much my dad’s spirit was calling me to Ireland, he was gone and I was not allowed to be an Irish resident. I will never really fully stop being sad about this, but I accept my place in life and I bloom where I’m planted.

However, when we first returned to the States, we went somewhere that quickly made us miserable, and we did not bloom! We were again landlocked and cold, and nothing we did was successful. But we didn’t let our journey end in such a crushing failure.

Even though we felt crazy to try yet again, we made one last long trip to somewhere beyond the rainbow where the dolphins roam wild. And now… if I were to stand at the coast near where I currently live, and throw a stone that could magically fly in a North Eastern direction across the ocean shore to the other side, it would land at the Celtic Sea Coast. I think of this whenever I stare across the ocean, imagining that it runs into the sea, and it reaches Ireland. I am just an ocean away. And this is where I belong. I will make a good life for myself here.

As I’ve been sitting here talking to you, the sun has come out. While it’s been cold here in Southern Georgia this January, today it is beautiful. It is currently 71 degrees F, with a high of 72. I’ll “see” you again tomorrow. I’m going outside!


Update from Yesterday

Watch this oil painting “Clover” come to life in under 1 minute (time lapse)

I painted these clover after I found them growing wild through the cracks in the patio, here in Georgia (USA). It reminded me of shamrocks. We saw a lot of wild clover/shamrocks while living in Ireland.

Yesterday’s blog post “LOL, Irishness” was about my experience making a type of Irish shortbread that is baked in a pan for about two hours. I promised an update, so here it is: AMAZING! Oh my! I love these little cookies so very much! But I’d really describe them more as a dessert that goes well with coffee or tea, even for breakfast, rather than what Americans think of as a cookie.

Irish shortbread with an Irish coffee
Irish shortbread pieces in the pan
The texture is a bit dry, yet moist inside- truly delicious
Close up of the shortbread. That bit at the top is melted powdered sugar. I shouldn’t have added the powdered sugar until it was done, but I didn’t know it was still raw until after I put the sugar on. So, I put it back into the oven after the finishing sugar was added, which made an extra texture on the top, but that was a happy accident and very nice!

You can find this recipe called “Irish Shortbread” by Anissa Wolf at Food.com. If you try it, you may find that you have to bake it for even longer than the suggested time. It was gooey and obviously not done, and easy to tell it had firmed up enough to cut it when it was baked longer. It was suggested to cut the slim bars into 20 pieces while the shortbread is still hot. I used a heat resistant silicon spatula/scraper (the kind you can use to scrape batter in a bowl, or because it’s heat resistant also multi-purpose while cooking) to cut it with and that worked very well.

I was skeptical about such slim pieces lasting long in our house, but the shortbread is quite rich and satisfying to have just the one serving. So, I froze most of it into separate bags since it looks like this dessert is best fresh or fresh-from-frozen. I enjoyed a piece of shortbread this morning for breakfast. And knowing the rest of the batch is in the freezer, I’m happy we’ll have this again soon.

If you want to give this a try, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. I’ve had a good day today, with a family member who is celebrating a birthday. I hope you had a good day too. Have a happy weekend!


Sunday Rest

Watch this Irish Angel oil painting come to life

in about 2 minutes (time lapse)

The image in the video above is a photograph of this painting at a gallery exhibit. I thought it would be a good one to re-share for this Sunday. I hope that you are able to find peace in this day and can reflect on how you want your week to go. God bless you and your family.

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aww

Another Sunday

Watch this Celtic cross painting from start to finish in 2 minutes

(time lapse)

This Celtic cross oil painting was inspired by a monument presented as a gift from Ireland to Savannah, Georgia; commemorating the large Irish immigration to the United States that settled in this area. As we near the end of another Sunday, I hope that you take time for rest and reflection. May the week ahead be peaceful.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

2 minute time-lapse to watch me paint this art “Ireland Coast

 

If you missed my St. Patrick’s Day Show, it’s never too late to tune in! I also posted Irish Art. Tomorrow I’m launching a new series on this blog. I think you’ll enjoy it. But until then, I’ll leave you with this Irish Blessing:

 

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

- Traditional Gaelic Blessing
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St. Patrick’s Day SHOW!

Click on the video above for St. Patrick’s Day goodness!

Live Painting and SURPRISES! 20 minutes of happy. You won’t be disappointed. Please share with your family and friends.

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“Celtic Cross”

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

“After our disappointing early return to the United States after we couldn’t get our one-year “permission to remain” visa in Ireland, I thought we’d be resigned to a life in the Northern or Midwestern states. Our dream destination of Savannah opened up for us expectedly through a series of events. I had no idea that I’d feel a connection to Ireland, and my Irish heritage.

It was only after moving here that I learned that there is a big Irish community in Savannah, as many Irish immigrants settled here. Savannah has one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the world, second only to New York City. I attended a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Cork, and it was ironically much smaller than the parade here! Savannah also holds an annual Irish festival and has a strong Irish dancing and music community.

The Celtic Cross that this painting was inspired by is in Emmet Park. It was handcarved in Ireland, and presented as a gift to the Irish of Savannah. According to Visit Historic Savannah:

‘Dedicated in December, 1983, the Celtic Cross of Irish limestone from the County of Roscommon, in West Ireland, honors Savannahians of Irish descent, a reminder that their history was one of religion as much as it was about ‘hard work, suffering and endurance.’ The monument faces Bay Street, and every year a wreath is laid at its pedestal, right before St. Patrick’s Day.'”

Celtic Cross oil painting 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