New Painting – “Thanksgiving Turkey & Pumpkins”

Watch this Thanksgiving scene come alive in less than 1 minute 30 seconds (time lapse video, above).

It’s been a couple of months since I’ve last posted, when prior to our recent move to Savannah, Georgia I’d been a daily blogger and prolific painter, working feverishly toward my lifetime goal of 1,000 finished oil paintings. Even though this move should have been easier, because we didn’t move out the country this time, or even from out of state (we were renting in a temporary location about 40 minutes’ drive from here), it was an unexpected move (we planned to go house hunting next year but the landlord wanted to sell the house we were living in and we had only two month’s notice to get out). I’ve told most of that story on here before, but my reason for bringing it up again is that it has taken me much longer than I thought to settle into our new life, and I wanted to explain my absence.

Several events happened to disrupt the process and make the transition much more stressful and life-altering than our previous moves. And, since we plan to make this our “forever” home, to the extent that such a thing is in our control and possible, this move means much more to us. I want to invest my time and energy into building a community for myself and my family. That’s different from the temporary approach and mindset we had in the years leading up to now. Connecting with people in person, face-to-face, heart to heart, in a much bigger way- out from behind the camera or the computer- was outside of my comfort zone. I’d been so reclusive that I’d lost a bit of myself along the way.

Besides this dramatic change in lifestyle, I had to face some giants that I’d been avoiding for years. Facing up to unpleasant, confrontational, or unwanted situations is never going to feel good, but hiding from these things only makes them loom larger in the shadows. If we were sitting together in person, I’d put the kettle on and I’d speak honestly about all of this. It’s been quite a physical, emotional, and spiritual journey.

It’s even been an intellectual ride, as I’ve also learned new things about a variety of subjects: landscaping, home improvement, how to get rid of rodents, how to successfully remove a hoard that was buried in the yard to deceive/hide from prospective buyers of a home, and more delightful topics such as how to become a better singer, how to take good care of vocal chords when singing regularly, in-depth religious discussions that lead to life changing perspectives to heal and build a new life, financial habits to weather storms and enjoy blessings, and much more. Most of these things I can’t talk about without putting myself into a position of too much personal disclosure online, as now I’d be talking about people, places, events, and organizations that someone may see themselves in. So, out of respect for my and their privacy, and inadvertently sticking my foot in my mouth, I can only generalize. To borrow from a famous line, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.

I hope that my return to painting, blogging, and sharing with you is taking shape now. I will do my best to stay on track. I can feel my spirit calming down and the possibility of a steady life close at hand. Instead of scrambling to react to each new twist and turn (personal instability as well as shared world-wide chaos that all of you have been experiencing on various levels), I see the road widening and the skies clearing. I feel hope and optimism rising, regardless of the grief, fear and despair that weighs heavily upon humanity.

God bless you, and Happy Thanksgiving- for my fellow Americans who celebrate this special day- and for all others who celebrate in spirit. This is a time of year for reflection and gratitude, as many of us have extra time with our families and there’s a pause in our schedules. More than any other year I’m decorating big for Christmas. My heart is full and my emotions are a rollercoaster ride. Truly, all that really matters is God, family, and community. And my joy in all of that will shine brightly this year! As I will soon be singing in the Christmas choir program, “Ring, ring the bells!” Enjoy dinner with your loved ones and set out your best shiniest sparkliest decorations.

Oil painting “Thanksgiving Turkey and Pumpkins” by artist Natalie Buske Thomas, part of the 2022 collection Seasons.

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 before sharing, but sometimes I share each session at a time so that you can see the progress (in the time lapse video above). If you missed Session 1 and 2, those are already on the blog. Here’s Session 3 that I did today. I took several days off to work on other things and to enjoy family time. I hope everyone is doing well and your September is a blessed one!

Session 3’s work on oil painting (my daughter when she was little and the road outside our house had minor flooding) “Walking in a Puddle” – I’ll wrap this up soon, one or two more sessions. I may finish it tomorrow, we’ll see how it goes.


How does it work?

  1. Painting Ahead: Natalie paints most of the artwork, leaving just one session to do LIVE at your church event
  2. Short Video Played at Live Event: The “ahead of time” sessions are taped and made into a short time lapse video to show to the congregation ahead of the LIVE painting (typically 2 minutes, but the custom video can be made to fit your event schedule – for example, if your choir is singing a 4 minute song and the desire is to fill the entire 4 minutes, the video would be time-lapsed for 4 minutes instead of the usual 2). The video is created WITHOUT audio unless you request otherwise, to run while your live music/singing is occurring. Natalie can add your congregation participation song lyrics or other titles to the video if desired.
  3. Painting LIVE! After the short time-lapse video catches the congregation or audience up to the current painting session, Natalie will finish the painting LIVE. If your worship team or choir is singing during this time, Natalie has both choir and P&W team experience if you’d like her to sing with you while she paints. From Natalie: “If I’m not mic’d, it’s fine to just let me sing along with the congregation without any chance at rehearsal. But if you’d like me to sing with you while mic’d (audible), please provide me with the chance of a rehearsal (giving me the music ahead for me to learn on my own is ok). I’m also flexible about not singing at all if you’d prefer I just paint.”
  4. More Details:
    1. How long will Natalie paint? From five minutes to thirty- it’s up to you! Don’t forget to include the opening time-lapse video. (For example: time-lapse video is played during song 1, lasting 3 minutes upon your request. Then Natalie paints live through 2 songs that you say will combined take 6 minutes. Total time then is 9 minutes, video + live while your three songs are performed). If you have a long program scheduled, Natalie can paint for up to 30 minutes while your events on the main stage unfold (for example: a special Christmas or Easter program in which a complete song service of many songs is planned). On the flip side, if you have a very short program planned, Natalie can add pre-recorded music from your own choir, or public domain or royalty free music to the time-lapse video, so it does not need inclusion in the live music portion of the event. In that case, only one long song could be enough for a short 5-minute painting session. In other words, Natalie is flexible and will plan for her live painting session to coordinate with your live music time frame. Just please give her the music ahead so she has an idea of when things are about to wrap up so that she can coordinate her final painting strokes to end on your final notes. It’s OK if your group doesn’t know precisely how long the songs will take, as long as Natalie has an idea of what the song sounds like when it’s about to wrap up. She knows from years of theater experience how to improvise!
    2. What is needed? Natalie brings everything (easel, paints, a small cart or stand for putting the paint supplies on). So, really nothing is needed. However, this concept works best with a camera focused on Natalie’s easel to watch on a large screen to see her paint the art up close, while also able to see her live in person. If your stage has a bump-out apron (area that extends into the audience), this may be the ideal place for the easel, out of the way of the musicians and vocalists, choir, orchestra pit, etc. Another option is to use floor space if any is available near the stage, wings, etc. The necessary footprint is about 3 ft x 3 ft of space (room for the floor easel and Natalie to stand next to it, room for a small cart/stand for supplies but that can be worked around if the space is too tight). Ideally the tech crew would have time to figure out ahead of time the best angle to film the canvas without Natalie’s body blocking the view. If your church doesn’t have a snazzy stage, tech crew with livestream, or ample space, God always makes a way. So please don’t feel that you can’t do this if you don’t have the ideal setup. Natalie can likely make it work with what you have.
    3. What will Natalie paint? Whatever you want her to paint, within reason. She’ll work with you to come up with a concept that fits into the theme of your songs or program. Or, you can choose something like she’s already done (browse through this site for ideas, perhaps start here with the Faith category). It will not be an exact copy of anything she’s done before, but it can be the same general design if you like something she’s already painted. Try not to make the selection of the painting a stressful exercise. This is meant to be a joyful experience.
    4. How much advance notice does Natalie need? If you choose a painting project that is very involved, it may take up to two months to complete (and Natalie has the right to decline a project that is too involved). A small project can be flipped in two weeks or less. So your selection may depend on how much time you have before your event. Please allow at least two week’s notice, while realizing that if you give only the minimum notice the project will need to be fairly basic (such as a candle and Bible, a cross and flower, etc., NOT Jesus at the Table, or a nativity scene).
    5. How much does this cost? Nothing. Natalie is doing this as a ministry. The Lord will provide. If you want to donate or to allow Natalie to sell art, books, etc. at a back table, your offer would not be turned down. But no, there’s no fee. If your event is not in the Savannah, Georgia area however, there may be travel expenses that we can’t cover and we’ll have to turn down your opportunity if the travel costs aren’t met by your organization.
    6. How far is Natalie willing to travel? From Natalie: “I’ll pray about your opportunity and listen to what God says.”
    7. What happens to the painting when it’s done? Natalie will photograph the painting and retain all rights to reproduce it in books, on gifts, as greeting cards, etc., but the original painting finished LIVE in your church will be donated to your church. There is no obligation for you to keep or display this art. You may choose to raffle it off as a fund raiser or gift it to a worthy cause. You may also decline to keep the painting (in which case, Natalie will take it home with her).
    8. How do I contact Natalie about her painting ministry? Please contact her through e-mail:

Food, Fun & Flowers

Enjoy my oil paintings that feature food, fun (hobbies, holidays, joyful things) and flowers. Many more paintings appear in other categories, so when you’re finished here, you can explore the rest!

See the art come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse video). Click and go!

And many more:

See many more paintings in these other categories: “Faith“, “Birds & Animals“, and “People & Places

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 be more fun for all of us, and it means a shift in my career as well. I will explain that in a couple of minutes. First, more about the categories: As I finish each year’s collection of 50 new paintings, I can add them to each category. So far I’m planning on 4 categories, but I may have to add a 5th one if there are paintings left over that don’t fit into the four. Here’s another category:

I’m working on the others and will have those done soon. The links to these categories are on the main page of this site and I’ll add them as menu items too. I’ve been working for years toward this goal of having enough art to re-design my site, clarify my vision and go in a new direction. I’m excited and proud to say that I’ve done it!

Now that my work is focused and my brand is clear, I can now step things up beyond the virtual space and into the face-to-face world of physical human experiences after a long absence. I plan to schedule in-person live events for 2023 or possibly sooner, depending on if opportunity knocks. I believe I’m being pushed to open that door. It is time.

My wish for you is that whatever you are working toward, that you feel the finish line close at hand. It’s a brand new month and full of possibilities! Stay strong. Never give up. God bless you and your family.


Enjoy my oil paintings that feature faith themes. Most of the art is easy to figure out how it fits into the faith category, others may need a little explanation or the story behind the painting.

See these come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse). Click and go!

Jesus at the Table oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas

And many more:

Oil painting "Lenten Flower" by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

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 friend who would hang out in my garden planters, watching me and seemingly smiling (do frogs really smile or just look like they do?). He’d scare me the first time he’d pop up unexpectedly, but after he enjoyed hearing me scream in fright over such a tiny little thing, he’d stick around all casual like, leaning over the edge of the planter watching me work. I grew to expect him to be there, my little froggy friend.

“Frog in Garden” is part of the 2022 collection called “25 Oil Paintings Inspired by Seasons (of Life and Nature)“. I’ll be adding this frog to my new store soon. Another painting done toward my lifetime goal of 1,000 finished oil paintings!

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 you already know this one? It’s a popular old hymn that many people love.

If you missed yesterday’s new painting, it is called “Cardinal in July”.

I have added this art to my new store. If you order anything, would you please consider taking a picture of what you buy and letting me know if you like how it turned out? Eventually I’d like to own all of these products so that I have a sample of everything and know what things look like, but that would be too expensive to do all at once. It’s amazing to see my art on things we can use for our homes, gifts, clothes, jewelry – just about anything! It makes me feel that my paintings can have more life to them after the videos fade from memory and are forgotten. I hope this adventure works out! If it does, I’ll add a lot more paintings to the store. If there are any favorites in particular you want me to add first, feel free to let me know.

Happy Saturday everyone!

New Painting – “Cardinal in July”

See my new cardinal oil painting “Cardinal in July” come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse video). I have lost track of how many cardinals I’ve painted, but I know this won’t be the last one. Cardinals are a recurring theme in my life and I know that many of you find special meaning, healing, hope, peace, and serendipitous sightings of them also. Those who have lost a loved one often report mysterious interactions with cardinals and healing spiritual experiences. If seeing a cardinal painting helps you feel inspired, I am happy to keep painting them.

If you are a subscriber to my blog viewing from your e-mail, you may have to click thru directly to this post to see the video. I’ll put together a singing video of the lyrics of the instrumental hymn used in the painting video and post that soon. You might already be familiar with it, as it is a popular old hymn called “When Peace Like a River (it is well)”.

I hope all is well with you and your family. It’s a hot summer here in Georgia, USA and the time is going by fast. Because the world is so chaotic, it’s good to keep busy and remain hopeful for the future by focusing on the good things. Stay strong. God bless you.