Peaceful Change

See oil painting “Candle and Bible” come alive in under 2 minutes (time lapse)

A personal challenge is waiting for you at the end of this blog post, so I hope you make it to the end.

More of my ongoing project to upload my painting videos to YouTube- the saga continues. This is another video with a copyright claim so I changed the music to something else that allows free use. It has created a peaceful change from the original version.

The music in the original means something special to me, as it is a song I knew from my growing up years. “There is a candle in every soul, some brightly burning, some dark and cold… Carry your candle, run to the darkness. Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn… Take your candle, and go light your world”, sung by Kathy Troccoli. We’d sing this song at events and use a flashlight in the darkness.

Many years later, I saw this song performed live by Chris Rice during a benefit concert for a very tragic situation in which I knew the family. At least I think he sang that one. Now I’m not sure if that particular song inclusion is a true memory, or if my recollection of hearing this song as a recording has merged with the songs I heard live at the concert. It was a long time ago.

Anyway, the song is meaningful to me and I thought of it instantly for my candle painting, but the music is of course not the original song by either of the artists I mentioned. It’s a rather plinky instrumental version (something I found online that I thought was free use, but apparently triggers a copyright claim on my video if uploading it to YouTube). So, I deleted it and replaced it with the music in the revised version at the top of this blog.

What I noticed is a peaceful change. And here comes the metaphor:

Sometimes in life we make a decision that seems right at the time. It may be based on our personal perspective, past experiences, and emotions about these memories. Then, a day comes and we are forced to listen to the music we’ve chosen as the soundtrack of our lives. And maybe the song no longer fits. It’s a poor imitation of an original, so it’s already removed from the source. And now it’s been so long (not necessarily in time, but in spiritual growth “years” which can be faster or slower than physical time), that we don’t even feel as strong of a connection to the original either.

Now it sounds noisy. We don’t want to listen to it anymore. It no longer fits.

The new music for this candle video is mellow. It is a peaceful change from the person I was when I chose the first song. I have progressed from someone desperate to make a statement, needy for approval, anxious about avoiding hateful feedback, and frightened by death threats, targeting, and other crimes committed against me, to who I am at this moment. I stand unafraid. I have held my ground against terror group “activists”, who knew my name, address, and children’s faces. I survived being “cancelled”. I have weathered unkind and stupid hateful remarks about my work or about me personally.

And? I’m still working on my lifetime goal of 1k finished paintings. What are my enemies doing? I have no idea. They have faded away. Always a new a’hat is ready to take their place, but they don’t have the power they used to have over me.

I do not need to stress out about every detail of my work and how it might be received poorly by others. I don’t need to try so hard to please those who love my work either. I also don’t need to worry that my expression of my faith isn’t good enough or Christian enough for those who choose me only for those reasons. I am doing the best I can with who I am. And that’s a peaceful change.

I am learning a lot about how I want to go forward with my work and my life, through this project that forces me to re-visit my older painting videos. It’s like a time capsule or a diary. The scrapbook of the past few years is bringing an awareness of how different I am today from who I was before. I strongly encourage you to do something similar.

I was also sorting through our family photos and framed several of them. That journey was just as healing, if not more so. Please do that, it is well worth the time. Not only will you have a fresh round of pictures to enjoy, but you’ll find closure that you didn’t even know you needed. It’s easier to know where we’re going when we have a firmer understanding of where we’ve been.

God bless you and keep you, this day and always.


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Inspired Vlog

See my oil painting “Sparrows” come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse) inspired by Matthew 10:29-31

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 music that has no copyright claim. I plan to create some of my own music too, but it’s hard to fit everything in. So, for now I am grateful to the talented musicians who have donated their music for free use!

Second, I want to talk to you about my new show. I’m starting an “Inspired by Natalie” vlog that will run on YouTube and here on this blog (and possibly other places, especially if people download my series to other platforms).

Today I wrote lyrics for my theme song. Yes, there will be theme song, LOL! And I have my show outfit. It was delivered this week and it’s everything I hoped it would be! 🙂 No spoilers. Well, maybe a few, but not today.

Do whatever you want to do, let no one tell you that you can’t. While others may mock you, they do nothing, while YOU live your best life! Be unstoppable!


New Year’s Resolutions

Watch this oil painting “Serenity Piano” come to life in just over 1 minute (time lapse)

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? I thought I didn’t have any, except for my ongoing lifetime goal of 1k finished oil paintings, but today I came up with something I’d like to do. I want to do more of my own music for my oil painting videos. This one (above) was an experiment where I composed something for this piano video. The song has lyrics too, but I even though I’m the one who wrote them, I don’t remember what they were. I’d have to look those up. Anyway, the song is a bit rough and I’d planned to try this again with a more serious effort. I never did get back to it though.

I will commit myself to creating original music for… let’s say, at least three of my new paintings videos in 2022. I’ll let you know when the music is my own. I don’t mind if it’s not very good. The goal is to simply do it. I will improve over time (or will stop doing it, feeling as if composing/playing my own music for a short while was enough, we shall see!). Either way, I will have done it.

So much to do in 2022! Dream big, play hard! Remember, it’s a TIGER year!


Peaceful, Heartfelt

Watch this lighthouse oil painting come to life in 1 minute (time lapse)

This lighthouse art is one of my favorite projects. I’ll talk more about that tomorrow. I love how the music tells the story. Today I’m feeling grateful for what is, accepting of what isn’t, and hopeful for what is yet to come.

I was sorting through my video files to clear space for the Christmas 2021 show I’m starting to film this week (are you looking forward to this year’s show? I hope so!). While sorting, I found this clip of me singing.

I was feeling overwhelmed by something that day and sang this. I no longer remember why, or why I never shared it. I will share it now, as this is my mood for today. God bless and keep you, may His light shine upon you and give you peace, this day and always.

Natalie singing “How Great Thou Art”

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Take my Hand

Watch oil painting “City of Savannah” (city near me) come to life in 2 minutes, time lapse

I shared this painting here on the blog in June, in a post called “Timeless“. Today I want to share something else, not about the painting itself, but about the music I chose for the above video. I sang the song for you this morning and added the lyrics. It is an old hymn that may be familiar to you:

Natalie singing “Precious Lord, Take my Hand” (hymn used in painting video “City of Savannah“)

I knew most of the song by heart, but I had to peek at the words for the second verse. It helps to memorize comforting songs because during times of crisis, these familiar words may pop into our heads; playing a song that we need to hear. Has this ever happened to you?

It’s a surreal experience to be in an emergency or grief moment of extreme stress, and “feel” a song playing inside our head. Sometimes a song that is meaningful to us will literally play- perhaps in a grocery store while we’re picking up a few supplies during a very tragic day. Whatever is happening to us, when we are open to spiritual “music”, we will hear it.

By music, I do mean any sign of comfort. Music isn’t the only language that reaches us. But, it’s an important one, and I wanted to talk about that with you today. I hope that you are feeling strong and positive, despite these trying times. God bless you and your families.

Playing a Tune

Watch oil painting “Serenity Piano” come to life

in under 2 minutes (time lapse)

I composed and played the music for that video. I wrote lyrics for it, but I’d have to dig those up because I don’t remember them. It’s something like “Life is so beautiful”, but it’s fuzzy to me now. Yesterday I had to re-arrange my space to make room for a stash of Christmas presents I need to hide until December 25th. In doing so, I cleared out the corner where my keyboard was inaccessible and collecting dust.

Before I even had everything put away, I couldn’t resist stopping what I was doing to play a little tune. I played a few Christmas carols and realized how long it’s been since I’ve last played. I’ve never learned how to properly play the piano and I’d been working on the chord method when I abandoned the project because I became busy with other things and then let my music become out of my reach for over a year.

It’s a bit of a shock to realize how quickly this sort of thing happens. I pledge now to make regular time for learning how to play the piano and enjoying making music. Is there anything that you had good intentions to learn or do, and you’ve let life clutter it up until you’ve forgotten all about it? How much time has slipped past? It’s not too late! 

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Choreograph your Life

Watch me paint “Dancer in a Floral Forest” in just over 2 minutes (time lapse)

Did you notice how my painting comes alive to the rhythm of the music? My brush strokes seem choreographed, as if dancing. This synchronicity was natural and authentic, not contrived. I sped up the painting video and then dropped the music in. Some would call it a coincidence that “random” music synced up with my time lapse painting, but to say that would be to deny the existence of serendipity, collective consciousness, and spiritual connection.

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)."
- "Painting Music" blog post by Natalie Buske Thomas

Interactivity usually refers to computing and AI, but imagine this concept in a spiritual sense. In technology, interactivity refers to an individual’s ability to actively communicate with a computer that will reciprocate by responding or adapting its programming to fit the specific needs or wants of the user. What if the spiritual world is even more powerful than any computer?

Imagine if you could choreograph your life in much the same way that my painting appears to dance in rhythm to the original music composition created by a stranger I connected with? What if you had the power to create happy encounters and special opportunities, by merely choosing an extraordinary life? You do have this power. 

From where does this power come from? I believe this power comes from God. Nothing will ever convince me otherwise, but that journey is deeply personal, intimate, and individual. No one can travel the exact path as another, although we may share the journey from time to time. Our connection to each other is nonetheless very powerful, should we choose it to be.

As you read this, I wish health and prosperity for you. May the sun shine upon your face. May you and your family be blessed. Have a good week, dear friends.

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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 »

Protected

I’m continuing with my project to upload my painting videos to YouTube, after a long break from using that platform. It seems that my videos

Read More »

Painting Music

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.

“Serenity Piano”

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

“Savannah loves music. Live music is a vibrant part of the city’s lifestyle, from the famous to the new, Savannah offers concerts, festivals and even small gatherings in homes. Churches also offer a variety of music, from traditional organ and piano hymn arrangements, to contemporary songs featuring electric instruments from drums to guitars. Celtic, African and Indian instruments make appearances as well.

My son saw a flyer on his college campus for a local in-home gathering. He brought his guitar. My husband and I attended with him and were among the youngest people there. The musicians were incredible! Their life and musical experiences were rich indeed. We sang together and felt as if we participated in an intimate concert with professional artists- a priceless experience!

My son has also had the opportunity to play at church. I was especially happy when he played “How Great Thou Art” on harmonica while my daughters and I sang. I’ve played my mountain dulcimer and keyboard, but I don’t play either particularly well. I mostly sing with the choir. Our playing ability isn’t what’s important though- it’s about enjoying live music in the company of people we share our home city with.”

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