The Unusual

Watch this oil painting of the mother of Jesus “Mary of God’s Favor” come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse)

This oil painting was inspired by a statue I saw in Savannah, Georgia (and was for the art collection and book “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Savannah, Georgia”). It turned out a bit odd, but just like I talked about before, in the blog post “Art I Don’t Like“, once I share my art it doesn’t belong to just me anymore. Art is a language and what it means is left up to the viewer. The meaning can even change depending on the mood, perspective, and time that the viewer sees it. Something we saw in it yesterday, may look different today.

When I shared this art inspired by a statue of Mary, someone felt a strong connection to it. He had an emotional response to this piece that I must respect, even though I personally think this art is unusual and even awkward. That’s definitely not how this man saw it. He felt that this painting resonated with his spiritual connection to Mary, and to his faith in general.

I’m going to keep on painting, always working toward my lifetime goal of 1k finished works, and along the way, there will be times when my journey isn’t about me. Instead of dismissing ideas or chucking my work in the bin, I will be generous about sharing paintings that I don’t feel a connection to, knowing that someone else might. What is unusual and off-putting to one person may be special and emotionally important to another.

May this be a metaphor for our lives. We may not always know when our inner light shines brightly for another person. Never hide yourself away from others. Even when it’s difficult, intimidating, awkward, or humbling, let us pledge to be generous about sharing who we are. Our energy is a language and a gift that is meant to be shared. We may not see what others see in us, but what they see may be exactly what they need. This is a hurting world. May our light shine even when we don’t feel worthy or special. We are a work of art that has value when shared.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

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

“Autumn Leaves”

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

“Autumn Leaves” is part of the 2022 collection “Seasons” (of life and nature). Paintings in this collection celebrate seasons of life (metaphorical, representational, or inspired-by-real-life scenes about milestones, rites of passage, and shared human experiences of love, aging, family, and beyond) as well as seasons of nature (literal scenes depicting autumn, summer, fall, and winter). “Autumn Leaves” represents the change of seasons and the spiritual process of letting go. [prints available below]

Oil painting “Autumn Leaves” by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Small Print “Autumn Leaves”

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

$33.50

Medium Print “Autumn Leaves”

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

$65.50

Autumn Leaves oil painting by artist Natalie Buske Thomas 300 dpi

Large Print “Autumn Leaves”

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

$98.50

Quiet Lion

Watch me paint this lion oil painting in 2 minutes (time lapse)

I changed the music for this video today. Whatever you’re experiencing, you probably feel pressure from these times we’ve living in. Stay strong. Seek truth and stand your ground. God bless you.

Note: I plan to get back into my painting schedule tomorrow. My foot is less swollen today (after my fire ant attack) and I think I can manage to go without icing it tomorrow afternoon, making sitting at my easel possible. So, hopefully something new for you soon.

Nutty Day

Watch this oil painting of an old truck selling boiled peanuts at the road side in 2 minutes (time lapse)

Before people became too afraid to be socially near each other, it was common to see independent vendors selling produce from their trucks by the side of the road. Here in the deep South, in Georgia, they’d sell bags of boiled peanuts (or fruit and vegetables). I painted this art for the collection “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Savannah, Georgia“, and of course I had to make the experience complete by trying boiled peanuts.

I have learned that I do not like boiled peanuts! But, some people do and I’ll just let others have them all. My daughter is allergic to peanuts but can eat other types of nuts so she baked almond butter cookies (the texture and taste are similar to peanut butter cookies and are very good!). Well, today was a nutty day…

Today I had an even worse day of misery due to my swollen and painful/itchy/burning foot that was stung by several angry fire ants when I stepped onto their nest while wearing sandals. It’s agonizing to put pressure on my foot. Last night I woke up every couple of hours or so to ice my foot down, so sleep deprivation as well as malaise made it easier to lay in bed rather than try to function. Since it was awful to hobble around and stand on my foot, I didn’t want to cook anything. Every time I felt hungry, I ate an almond butter cookie.

It was a nutty day. Tropical rains fell for most of the day, so heavily that it felt like I was on a ship. The steady rains muffled all sound and the house was dark. I kept slipping in and out of sleep. I lost track of time and of how many hours I’d had nothing to eat but cookies. I don’t know how many cookies I ended up eating.

Finally I got myself together and managed to cook dinner that I’d promised the family (pasta and meatballs). I’ll heal just fine from these ant stings. My reaction to them is actually fairly typical and the remedies give relief. It just has to run its course. But when this episode is over, I’ll probably remember it whenever I have a nutty cookie.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

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

Misery

Watch this “Miracle Dancer” oil painting come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse)

Well, I said yesterday that I’ll know soon if the ant sting/bite attack was going to be miserable, and it is. My foot is very swollen and I’ve been hobbling along because any weight on it makes it throb with a horrible combination of stinging, itching, and pressure. It’s not too worrisome though- it seems no worse than the last time this happened. It’s definitely not a condition that will put me in a wheelchair, as I’d experienced after my white water rafting accident when I was 15 years old (and recovering from the injury the following year). 

Even though I know this is a temporary setback, I tend to be an active person and it’s driving me crazy to be forced off my feet for longer than I’m used to. If I would be willing to sit still, my foot would probably not be as swollen, but I get so restless and it’s hard to just sit here. I still managed to do most of the things I’d planned to do. It sure makes me appreciate that most of the time I’m healthy and mobile, as there was a time when I wasn’t, and there was a possibility that I’d be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life.

I’m very grateful for the times in my life when I’ve seen a glimpse of something horrible and was saved from it. I’m also grateful for the times when the horrible things happened, but I was given the strength to get through it and the peace to heal from it. Sometimes a nuisance crisis like an allergic reaction to insect bites is a stark reminder of how vulnerable we are, and how it’s a miracle when we have a pain free, active, healthy day. It’s a miracle just being alive for one more day. What shall we do with this blessing?

Subscribe to Blog via Email

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

New Painting

Watch me paint this “Autumn Leaves” oil painting in 2 minutes (time lapse) No matter what is happening in the world or in our personal

Lion of Judah oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas

Quiet Lion

Watch me paint this lion oil painting in 2 minutes (time lapse) I changed the music for this video today. Whatever you’re experiencing, you probably

Not Again!

Watch this oil painting about the dark side of the animal kingdom come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse) I don’t have a painting

Happy Grief?

Watch this hedgehog oil painting come to life in about 1 minute (time lapse) You might remember when I painted this one and shared it

Melancholy

Watch this lighthouse painting come to life in 1 minute (time lapse) I share this one when I’m feeling melancholic, flitting back and forth between

History

Watch this oil painting of the day (July 23, 2020) that the Statue of Liberty in New York City looked to have been struck by

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

Another New Week

Watch this vase of flowers oil painting come to life in 1 minute (time lapse). Did you have a restful Sunday? I hope that today

Things we See

Watch this jellyfish oil painting come to life in just over 1 minute (time lapse) You might remember when I shared this one in April?

A Gift for You!

First, do you remember this one? Watch my oil painting of geese come to life in just over 1 minute (time lapse). And now, I’ll

Goodnight, dear Friends

Watch this oil painting from the children’s book “Grandpa Smiles” come to life in just over 1 minute (time lapse) I painted this art for

Inspiring

My oil painting of my daughter reading in the butterfly garden… this one doesn’t have a video because I painted this before I started filming

Too Much Talking

Watch this parrot oil painting come to life in about 2 minutes (time lapse) These days it feels like there is too much talking, not

Forced to Slow Down

Watch this oil painting illustration for children’s book “Grandpa Smiles” come alive in under 2 minutes (time lapse) This part of the book was inspired

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

Art I Don’t Like

Watch this yellow butterfly painting come alive in about 2 minutes (time lapse) What we see and feel about art is highly individual, personal, and

End of Summer

Watch my tree swing painting come to life in about 2 minutes (time lapse) You might remember when I first shared this one when I

Not Much to Say

This oil painting is called “Silenced”. I originally painted it to express what it feels like to be censored, blacklisted, etc., but as it often

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

Unfinished

If you missed my new painting video that I shared yesterday, here it is again. I did something different this time… I took pictures at

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

Bad days

Watch this deer oil painting come to life in 2 minutes, and then see below for the real life video I took today! Even when

As Summer Leaves Us

Watch “Flower Angel” come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse) You might remember that I shared this one when I finished it at the

Protected and Loved

Watch this oil painting of an angel guiding a child out of danger in 2 minutes (time lapse) Sometimes this world throws so much darkness,

Another Delight!

Watch this hummingbird oil painting come to life in 1 minute (time lapse) This is another of my hummingbird paintings, that I painted for a

Do you need rest?

Watch oil painting “Docked Boat” come to life in under 2 minutes (time lapse) I blogged about this painting in the post called “Painting Rest“,

Pests

Watch this raccoon painting come to life in under 2 minutes (time lapse) Our experiences with nature are often wonderful, sometimes mysterious, and occasionally pure

Serendipity

Watch this oil painting called “Time” come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse) Two days ago I blogged “One gone, another enters” and I

LOL! What happened today

Watch this frog painting come to life in just over a minute (time lapse) I didn’t have a toad painting to share, so this tree

Feeding the Birds

Watch this sunflower painting come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse) As part of my new homesteading adventure, I have a vertical garden on

Peace to You

Watch this beach painting come to life in under 1 minute (time lapse) Another new week begins. Rest, reflect, and prepare your spirit to be

My Son’s Birthday

Watch me paint “My Son Praying“, time lapse video Today is my son’s birthday, so I thought I’d share one of my oil paintings of

2021, We’re all Grieving

You might remember when I talked about this painting before, from an artist perspective: Painting Nostalgia. This art has no video, and I’m relieved that

Happy Sunday

Watch me paint “Flying to Heaven” in under 1 minute (time lapse). This was for a children’s book called “Grandpa Smiles“. Here we are, another

Anxiety

Watch me paint “Waterfall Flowers” in 1 minute (time lapse) This is a fictional landscape, just something from my imagination, but it was based on

Not Again!

Watch this oil painting about the dark side of the animal kingdom come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse)

I don’t have a painting that shows the brutal pairing in my area of the animal kingdom. While there are gators just a few yards away in the lagoon, along with snakes, it’s not those creatures that go after me. It’s the ANTS! They have swarmed me three times now. Today’s attack was possibly the worst yet, as they stampeded into my sandal before I even felt the first sting.

I’ll soon find out how nasty this is, in about 24 hours. I hope that I won’t be sick and icing a swollen foot for the next day or two like last time. And all I was trying to do is move my tomato plant into a sunnier location, just minding my own business. I’m guessing I stepped on the ant’s home and they weren’t pleased about my foot wrecking their village.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

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

New Painting

Watch me paint this “Autumn Leaves” oil painting in 2 minutes (time lapse) No matter what is happening in the world or in our personal

Read More »
Lion of Judah oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas

Quiet Lion

Watch me paint this lion oil painting in 2 minutes (time lapse) I changed the music for this video today. Whatever you’re experiencing, you probably

Read More »

Not Again!

Watch this oil painting about the dark side of the animal kingdom come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse) I don’t have a painting

Read More »

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!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

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

New Painting

Watch me paint this “Autumn Leaves” oil painting in 2 minutes (time lapse) No matter what is happening in the world or in our personal

Read More »
Lion of Judah oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas

Quiet Lion

Watch me paint this lion oil painting in 2 minutes (time lapse) I changed the music for this video today. Whatever you’re experiencing, you probably

Read More »

Not Again!

Watch this oil painting about the dark side of the animal kingdom come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse) I don’t have a painting

Read More »

Happy Grief?

Watch this hedgehog oil painting come to life in about 1 minute (time lapse) You might remember when I painted this one and shared it

Read More »

Melancholy

Watch this lighthouse painting come to life in 1 minute (time lapse) I share this one when I’m feeling melancholic, flitting back and forth between

Read More »

History

Watch this oil painting of the day (July 23, 2020) that the Statue of Liberty in New York City looked to have been struck by

Read More »

Happy Grief?

Watch this hedgehog oil painting come to life in about 1 minute

(time lapse)

You might remember when I painted this one and shared it in early April? At that time I hoped that the world would have sorted a few things out by the end of summer, and obviously that didn’t happen. But through it all, I try to share happy things when I can. Is there such a thing as “Happy Grief”? In my experience, yes, there is.

When we share hardships collectively as humans traveling in the same time line (those of us currently alive on this planet, spanning four or five generations across the globe) we may feel a special connection with humanity that is unique; and known only by people who experience the crisis together. Of course we may need to be “on the same side”, however we may define that to be. Connection is based on kinship, and that doesn’t happen with those who rule in dominion over us, or with those we perceive as in alignment, enforcement, or loyal to the ideology of those we are oppressed by. We do not bond with our abusers, but we develop intimacy with fellow travelers on the same journey. This is part of the “Happy” side of grief. Feeling close to fellow humans makes us happy.

Another aspect of “Happy Grief” is due to the extreme emotions. When our lows are very low, when our spirits try to counter-correct and restore balance, we swing to the other extreme- very high; happiness, joy, elation, bursts of creativity, optimism, and overall confidence that “everything’s gonna be alright”. We may feel surprisingly nostalgic and have vivid flashbacks to times, places, and people from years ago, or even many years ago. We may then take an abrupt turn in mood, as we remember people we’ve lost, and a world that used to be, but is no more.

During these extreme mood swings, we may land somewhere in the middle, but it’s not an ordinary kind of middle. It’s the middle that happens between highs and lows of crisis grief. In this sacred space, we find the greatest treasure in “Happy Grief”. We feel certain of what is most important in life. We know the secret of happiness, and it’s not things or work or relationships that we do not choose. It’s a secret that many elderly people already know: happiness comes from doing what we want to do.

When we see time as precious, vulnerable, and fleeting; when we feel that our future is uncertain and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed; when we can’t trust that the world we know today will still be there tomorrow… we live differently. We live with intention. We choose to spend time with the people we truly love, and have little patience for time wasted on those we do not enjoy being with. We structure our days differently. We are more willing to do productive work like gardening, baking, or making something homemade without thinking we should be doing work that pays an income or we should be doing nothing at all. Why work if there’s no pay check? Because productive work is happy work, and when we do something productive we are often rewarded with adventure, a pleasant outcome, and connection with others. These things make humans happy.

When we live life with intention, instead of scurrying along each day on a schedule to get each thing done, every item checked off a list, prioritizing meeting the expectations of others, putting paid work ahead of anything else- then we start to live on our own terms. We remember who we really are, and we may wonder why we squandered so much of our life trying to please others and doing what was expected instead of what we want to do. We may wish we had “one more day” with someone we lost. We may feel overwhelmed with regret or pangs of longing.

As the grief emotions sweep over us, we can channel these highs and lows into something good that improves our lives forever. Do that thing you’ve always wanted to do. Be that person you’ve always wished you could be. “Live as if there’s no tomorrow. Love as if we’re on borrowed time.” It’s not just a catchy phrase or song lyrics, it’s real. And we know it’s real when we are in a state of “Happy Grief”. That is what I meant by Happy Grief. Because, when we live as if there’s no tomorrow, we finally learn how to be happy. May we take this precious awareness into a post-grief season, and never forget. But, of course, the grief season must end before the healing can begin. I will pray for deliverance, and I will pray for YOU. I do not need to know who you are to do this. Prayer is powerful. I need only to care. God bless you and your families.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

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

New Painting

Watch me paint this “Autumn Leaves” oil painting in 2 minutes (time lapse) No matter what is happening in the world or in our personal

Read More »
Lion of Judah oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas

Quiet Lion

Watch me paint this lion oil painting in 2 minutes (time lapse) I changed the music for this video today. Whatever you’re experiencing, you probably

Read More »

Not Again!

Watch this oil painting about the dark side of the animal kingdom come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse) I don’t have a painting

Read More »

Happy Grief?

Watch this hedgehog oil painting come to life in about 1 minute (time lapse) You might remember when I painted this one and shared it

Read More »

Melancholy

Watch this lighthouse painting come to life in 1 minute (time lapse) I share this one when I’m feeling melancholic, flitting back and forth between

Read More »

Melancholy

Watch this lighthouse painting come to life in 1 minute

(time lapse)

I share this one when I’m feeling melancholic, flitting back and forth between faint optimism and bittersweet sentiment, and a gloomy premonition that something bad is about to happen. This sense of doom is partly an empathetic response to the way the wind is shifting on the world stage on a particular day, and partly a personal, individual perspective that is complicated and unique to me (although my own emotions are often astonishingly in sync with other fellow humans, even with people I’ve never met). 

Melancholy can be channeled into beautiful things. I tend to be more introspective and lost in my art when I’m feeling a bit blue. Depression or a funk is a different state, and I find no benefit to emotions so low as to be unproductive and damaging to one’s health. So I’m definitely not advocating for sadness that causes a person to have difficulty leading a normal life. What I mean is the kind of sadness that put us in a quiet, restful state that may evolve into empathy; a profound connection to fellow humans and our shared plight. This state of being is a good foundation for creating art.

When you’re feeling a bit blue, embrace those emotions by channeling them into a project you can escape into, as if alone at sea on a peaceful cloudy day, in which you can just see the comforting glow from a lighthouse. You won’t lose your way home. Stay in the cold murky waters for a while. Take in the beauty of the moment; as our joy is defined by our sadness. When we don’t know sadness, we may struggle to fully appreciate joy.

When we are weary, the lighthouse will lead us back to the shore. We can rest, and let our breath flow out, relaxed, letting go of all of our concerns. As we lay our heads on our pillows that night, we sleep deeply; our fears lose their grip, our sadness lifts, and when we waken in the morning our energy is restored. 

Subscribe to Blog via Email

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

New Painting

Watch me paint this “Autumn Leaves” oil painting in 2 minutes (time lapse) No matter what is happening in the world or in our personal

Lion of Judah oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas

Quiet Lion

Watch me paint this lion oil painting in 2 minutes (time lapse) I changed the music for this video today. Whatever you’re experiencing, you probably

Not Again!

Watch this oil painting about the dark side of the animal kingdom come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse) I don’t have a painting

Happy Grief?

Watch this hedgehog oil painting come to life in about 1 minute (time lapse) You might remember when I painted this one and shared it

Melancholy

Watch this lighthouse painting come to life in 1 minute (time lapse) I share this one when I’m feeling melancholic, flitting back and forth between

History

Watch this oil painting of the day (July 23, 2020) that the Statue of Liberty in New York City looked to have been struck by