Holiday Break

Watch “Pumpkin Latte” come alive in 1 minute (time lapse)

Our house is already changing from pumpkin spices to gingerbread. Today we decorated the Christmas tree and made cookies. Yesterday for Thanksgiving we had a glorious feast! I was proud to use fresh garden rosemary, parsley, and basil to stuff and season the turkey. I went outside early in the morning while it was not quite light out, but I could see my breath in the chilly November air. I was like Santa choosing only the best reindeer for the mission- only the greenest and prettiest herbs made the cut for our Thanksgiving turkey.

Aren’t those fresh greens pretty? Their shapes are perfect!
Before roasting: turkey stuffed with an apple, orange, lemon, onion, parsley, rosemary, and basil. I also made herb butter with garlic and greens to spread under the skin and over the skin of the turkey. This is what makes it moist, tender, and in no need of basting.
It turned out VERY moist and tender, didn’t need a knife. It pulled apart with just large forks and tongs and the family could cut it easily with a fork! This is good because my husband has banned me from ever using an electric knife again after a certain incident from a few years ago… (The knife fell from the counter and I instinctively reached out and grabbed it to catch it from falling. I was very, very lucky that I caught it by the handle and not by the blade! Whew, that was close to a nasty accident. It was my painting hand too, so it could have possibly been quite tragic for me.)
My dinner plate, crammed full of food! I didn’t want the yams or cranberry sauce.
And here’s the cake I made last weekend. I took a chocolate cake recipe of my mom’s and made a few creative substitutions. Instead of milk I used eggnog, whiskey and espresso! Other than that, it was just chocolate cake! 🙂 The frosting was AMAZING. I modified a buttercream recipe.
The house even has a chimney on it. This bundt cake mold is made in the USA by Nordic Ware. The unfortunate crack you see is because I ran out of batter and had to quickly make more, so it’s two different cakes (one had the whiskey and espresso in it, the other had eggnog; both were chocolate cakes other than those substitutions for the milk). Anyway, I will make a double batch of batter before I begin next time. I’m going to make three of these tomorrow for my kids to decorate. The wreath is fondant and the snow is frosting. The trees are painted with a green food coloring pen. I didn’t add any other decorations, but my kids want to do more with theirs.

I have more stories to share, but this blog post is getting rather long! So, I’ll just leave this at the food highlights for now. I hope all of you have been enjoying your Thanksgiving break, and if you don’t celebrate this holiday, may you have a joyful weekend anyway!

New Painting

Watch my new painting “Pumpkin Carving” come to life

in just over 2 minutes (time lapse)

Father and son enjoying an autumn custom of cleaning out a pumpkin for carving (my husband and son, when he was little)… my son would put his face so close to whatever my husband was working on, lol. Fortunately this was just the part of cleaning out the pumpkin. This painting is for the new collection, a series that tells stories about the seasons of life and nature.

What is special about this new series is that more of my paintings will come from the heart and I’ll connect more personally to my art. That will show in my work, so I expect that some of my best pieces (to date, the best is yet to come!), will come from this collection. Whenever we put ourselves and what matters most to us into what we share with others, that special energy shines through in a way that is alive and recognized by others as an authentic human experience. Art is a language and when we tell our real life stories, we are understood in a way that goes beyond words.

Something New!

Watch me paint “Time” in 2 minutes (time lapse)

This oil painting is not the “something new” that I want to share, but this art is used as the book cover for a new project I’m doing for Kindle Vella, a new service that launched today. You can read parts of books for free, then after that you can cash in tokens to read more (if you want to). It sounds like a fun new thing to try, and I hope that you try mine!

You will notice that some of the episodes are stories I’ve shared here, but the ones I’m publishing currently are new stories that I’ve not put on the blog, including one that I just submitted (and will take a little while to go live, so if you don’t see episode 7 called “Lost Locket”, please check back later). All of the stories have related oil paintings that you can watch me paint on this site. If you do decide to check it out, please help me get started in this new adventure by sharing my story with others or writing a review. Thank you!

Bunting is REAL!

First, the oil painting, then the story behind it… make sure you don’t miss the video proof that my elusive Painted Bunting bird exists!

Watch me paint Painted Bunting in under a minute (time lapse)

“A gorgeous bird appeared on our patio. I thought maybe a neighbor’s tropical pet bird had escaped. I’d never seen anything like this in the wild. I looked at a bird identification guide for Savannah. This is a migratory bird who visits our coastal area, called a “Painted Bunting”. Well, of course I had to paint it! My family gave me a tower bird feeder to attract this type of bird. I look forward to the spring return of painted buntings.”

- from the book "50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Savannah, Georgia" by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Update to the above story…

 

For many months the painted bunting did not return, and it seemed like my family was beginning to doubt that I’d seen what I thought I had. But finally the elusive bunting appeared and he is REAL! This little guy is slightly different from the taller one I painted, but he’s definitely the same breed of bird I saw the first time. And, he visited many times after this sighting, so my video was validated by the family seeing this extraordinary exotic bird with their own two eyes.

 

He- or they, if the missus is along (you can see a glimpse of her peeking around the feeder in this video) never stays long. He eats from the feeder and quickly moves on. His migratory season is short; days or weeks in our area, not months. But the bunting is very much REAL, and beautiful!

Watch a Painted Bunting having a snack at our patio feeder

(I filmed this from only a short distance away, from inside the house behind the patio glass door – had to be quick, he doesn’t stay long!).

See previous post for more art like “Painted Bunting“, painted on black canvas: Painting on Black

I hope you’re enjoying my new blog series, “Stories that Inspire my Art”. There are many, many more stories to tell! I’ll post these daily, but if you prefer not to check back to see if there’s something new, please subscribe to my blog to be notified when there’s a new blog post ready.

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Trapper John

First, the oil painting, then the story behind it… make sure you don’t miss the Trapper John video I filmed from the safety of inside my house!

Watch me paint this Gator art in under 2 minutes (time lapse)

“We get gators in the lagoon behind our house. Trapper John came out and removed a big alligator using a pole, his bare hands, and duct tape. I watched the adventure from inside the house, through the glass patio doors. When the gator was safely bound and loaded onto the back of his truck, I went outside and asked if it was OK to take pictures. Trapper John moved the gator so that I could get a good shot. The gator’s tail felt like an underinflated tire- rubbery, squishy, and oddly soft. The police officer on the scene said- after I touched the gator- that he was surprised the alligator was being so docile. The officer was amused by my photo shoot. He said, “Welcome to Georgia.” Besides gators, we also have snakes. There was a small one inside our house, which gave me a phobia of lying on the floor. No more yoga for me! There was a large one outside our house, which gave me a phobia of mowing the lawn. Now I wear boots or ask my husband to do it. One day I was filming a cute little toad and my husband pranked me by pretending to see a snake. He laughed about that for entirely too long. Well, a few weeks later, he came in from mowing with a sheepish look on his face. He thought I’d seen him jump a mile when he saw a snake in the grass. No, I’d missed that, but I can imagine it and it’s a safe bet that I’ll have another opportunity to see it.”

- from the book "50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Savannah, Georgia" by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Update to the above story…

I bought my husband some cowboy boots for Christmas!

Watch Trapper John remove an alligator from the lagoon behind our house! (I’m filming this from a safe distance)

He looks like he’s being arrested… hopefully before he’s committed any crimes. A woman was recently killed by an alligator. It’s rare that humans are attacked, but small dogs are sometimes victims. Best to remove alligators that wander into populated areas! There is a wildlife preserve just a few miles from here. The gators roam safely and freely there.

See previous post for more backyard art: Painting Reptiles and Amphibians

I hope you’re enjoying my new blog series, “Stories that Inspire my Art”. There are many, many more stories to tell! I’ll post these daily, but if you prefer not to check back to see if there’s something new, please subscribe to my blog to be notified when there’s a new blog post ready.

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New Blog Series

Yesterday’s blog post was the final installment of the series “Compare 3“, in which three oil paintings are compared to a theme. My blog will host Irish art and my painting show over the next couple of days, but after St. Patrick’s Day, I’ll launch the new blog series “Stories that Inspire my Art“.

Stories will include videos such as when Trapper John dragged an alligator out of the lagoon, inspiring “Gator and Snake“. You won’t want to miss it. Sad and poignant, bittersweet, loving, sweet stories… and funny, whimsical, and uplifting ones too.

But, before we move on…

If you missed any of the 35 posts in the previous blog series, here is the complete list for “Compare 3“:

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Blog

Blog Library

Daily blog by artist Natalie Buske Thomas featuring painting videos, art, inspiration, and positive life stories

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LOL, Irishness

Today I tried a new recipe (not the peach cookies in my painting video). These also had powdered sugar

Memory Lane

The current White House Christmas decorating theme was released this week, and I was reminded of the 2018 event

Sneak Peek

I’m still enjoying the holiday weekend, but this morning I was by myself while the family slept in, so

Holiday Break

Our house is already changing from pumpkin spices to gingerbread. Today we decorated the Christmas tree and made cookies.

Thanksgiving Eve

This painting is of a peach pie, but today my firstborn daughter baked a pumpkin pie for tomorrow. I

Happy Anyway

I struggled to think of what to say for today’s blog post. World events paint a bleak, angry, and

Praying in a Dark World

Sometimes tragic events unfold and there’s nothing we can do but pray. Tonight something heartbreaking has happened in America

Time and Roses

I shared the story behind this painting in an April blog post called “Beauty of Time”. It was a

They’re Back

The geese came back! I thought they were done visiting us for the season, but I looked out and

The Unexplained

I explained the story behind this mysterious encounter with a wild rabbit on the “Visiting Rabbit” page. This week

Going Fast

You might remember when I shared this painting in September, and now nearly two months have passed by. Autumn

New Painting

This is the painting I finished yesterday. Thanksgiving is coming up fast. Beyond a special meal that features a

When Lions Fly

I last shared this art in a blog post called “Guardians“, which was about protectors and believing in spiritual

Who we are

Do you ever see yourself in the past, through a photograph, a video, through the eyes of an old

Veteran’s Day

My oil painting is of a roadside American flag on the only way to/from Tybee Island, Georgia. Police officers

Update

I like to use this painting for my updates. The music in the video is an instrumental version of

Thanksgiving Plans?

I talked about this painting in an August blog post called “Feasting“. Today, I’m thinking about Thanksgiving and how

Is it a sign?

This painting is about serendipity and events that make us think about how the puzzle pieces of life fit

Peaceful Sunday

Psalm 36: 5-7 “Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies… You, Lord, preserve both

Want to Ride?

I had a friend who rides horses whenever she wants to escape stress, relax, or just feel happy and

Friday & Update

I last shared this puffin painting in a blog post called “Are you Worried?” Today, I’d like this funny

Garden Walls

Watch this oil painting come to life in under 2 minutes (time lapse) In June, I talked about this

Tired?

You might remember when I shared this painting in a May blog post called “Are you Weary?“. It seems

Humanity

You might recall a long blog post that I wrote back in April called “Fully Human“. It’s quite depressing

Fluttering

Today I was working on my garden planters when I heard a fluttering coming from a small tree a

Happy Halloween

You might remember when I shared this art in the beginning of October? It was inspired by my husband

Halloween Eve

I last shared this painting on the blog in May, in a post called “Dark to Light“. I also

Spirit Birthday

Today would have been my mom’s birthday, had she lived to see this day. I explained the meaning of

Orange and Black

This is the season for orange and black, especially this week with Halloween coming up in a few days.

No Grapes, but…

I talked about my grape vine in a July blog post “Is your life fruitful?” and I mentioned that

Are you this bear?

Are you feeling like this bear today? Maybe it’s a case of the Mondays, the last Monday of October-

Peace to You

Watch this “Dove of Peace” oil painting come to life in under 2 minutes (time lapse) This was a

Take my Hand

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

What is fun?

Watch this oil painting of my son jumping in leaves come to life in 48 seconds (time lapse) You

Are you Safe?

See oil painting “Guardian Angel” come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse) I last shared this painting here

New Painting

Are you enjoying autumn treats? My daughters love the specialty coffee and snacks that come out this time of

Seasonal Perspective

Watch oil painting “Trees and Stream” come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse) When I shared this painting with

A Month Ago

I painted this just over a month ago, you might remember when I shared it. It feels like much

Orchard Season

Watch this oil painting of an apple tree branch come to life in 1 minute (time lapse) Have you

Autumn in 2021

Watch oil painting “Autumn Tree” come to life in under 2 minutes This short project began with an abstract

New Painting

Watch my new painting “Pumpkin Carving” come to life in just over 2 minutes (time lapse) Father and son

Experimentation

Watch this owl and rabbit landscape oil painting come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse) You might remember

Art Imitates Art

Watch this oil painting of a little girl in a tree come to life in under 2 minutes (time

Thankful Anyway

Watch this oil painting “Prayer of Praise” come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse) It may be hard

Worn

Watch this “Armor of God” oil painting come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse) There’s a lot going

New Painting

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

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

Not Again!

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

Happy Grief?

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

Melancholy

Watch this lighthouse painting come to life in 1 minute (time lapse) I share this one when I’m feeling

History

Watch this oil painting of the day (July 23, 2020) that the Statue of Liberty in New York City

How are you?

Watch this oil painting of a bird in a forest come to life in about 2 minutes (time lapse)

Another New Week

Watch this vase of flowers oil painting come to life in 1 minute (time lapse). Did you have a

Things we See

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

A Gift for You!

First, do you remember this one? Watch my oil painting of geese come to life in just over 1

Inspiring

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

Too Much Talking

Watch this parrot oil painting come to life in about 2 minutes (time lapse) These days it feels like

Forced to Slow Down

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

Sunday Rest

Watch this Irish Angel oil painting come to life in about 2 minutes (time lapse) The image in the

Art I Don’t Like

Watch this yellow butterfly painting come alive in about 2 minutes (time lapse) What we see and feel about

End of Summer

Watch my tree swing painting come to life in about 2 minutes (time lapse) You might remember 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,

Unfinished

If you missed my new painting video that I shared yesterday, here it is again. I did something different

Bad days

Watch this deer oil painting come to life in 2 minutes, and then see below for the real life

As Summer Leaves Us

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

Another Delight!

Watch this hummingbird oil painting come to life in 1 minute (time lapse) This is another of my hummingbird

Do you need rest?

Watch oil painting “Docked Boat” come to life in under 2 minutes (time lapse) I blogged about this painting

Pests

Watch this raccoon painting come to life in under 2 minutes (time lapse) Our experiences with nature are often

Serendipity

Watch this oil painting called “Time” come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse) Two days ago I blogged

Feeding the Birds

Watch this sunflower painting come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse) As part of my new homesteading adventure,

Peace to You

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

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

Happy Sunday

Watch me paint “Flying to Heaven” in under 1 minute (time lapse). This was for a children’s book called

Anxiety

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

Trust

Watch me paint these cardinals in 40 seconds (time lapse) I just came back inside after an exhilarating experience!

What do you see?

I only meant to paint a faint outline of the fish skeleton, but my daughter looked at the canvas

Distorted Reality

Watch me paint “Kitchen Devotions” in under 1 minute (time lapse) Surrealism is an art style that combines unusual

Fear

Watch me paint “Forest Fire” in 1 minute (time lapse) What scares you? Fires, hurricanes, storms, floods, criminal violence,

Setting or Rising?

Watch my “Trees and Stream” painting come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse) Was the sun rising or setting?

Are you a child?

Watch me paint “Fred” in 1 minute (time lapse) This oil painting is a self-portrait; me, through my father’s

Birds of a Feather

Watch this oil painting “Goldfinches” come to life in 1 minute (time lapse) There’s been a lot of propaganda,

Big Picture

Watch me paint “Predator and Prey Alike” in 2 minutes (time lapse) Inside this big picture, there are many

New Painting – Owl

Watch me paint this art in under 2 minutes (time lapse) Oil painting “Owl” by Natalie Buske Thomas Another

Something New!

Watch me paint “Time” in 2 minutes (time lapse) This oil painting is not the “something new” that I

Justice

Watch me paint this historical art in 2 minutes (time lapse) The inspiration for my painting isn’t political (not

Perspective

Watch me paint “Consider the Lilies” in 2 minutes (time lapse) This is a small oil painting, only 10

Empathy

“He Wept” Feeling sad today. I was reading personal accounts by people going through heartbreaking situations that are caused

HAPPY 4th of JULY!

If you missed my new painting show announcement, here it is! Have a happy Independence Day, no matter where

New Painting Show!

Don’t miss it! New oil painting revealed, variety show acts, surprises, laughter, and a very special shared human experience!

Plant your Flag

Watch me paint “Flag on Mars” in 2 minutes (time lapse) “The excitement of ‘heavenly realms’ has inspired people

Spoiler!

Here’s a clue… (the above photo) One of the variety acts in my new upcoming painting show – coming

Day of Rest

Watch me paint this art in 1 minute (time lapse) Do you give yourself a day of rest every

Teaser!

Watch the teaser for my next live painting show! Coming soon! Don’t miss it!

Fish for Life

Watch me paint this bear catching a salmon (time lapse) This is a recent painting that I shared last

Angels Art oil painting by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Are you an angel?

Watch me paint “We are the Angels that He Sends” in 1 minute (time lapse) “This art was inspired

Timeless

Watch me paint this city scene with fountain from downtown Savannah, Georgia in 2 minutes (time lapse) It’s difficult

Are you open?

Watch me paint “Bird of Light” in 2 minutes (time lapse) From my book “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by

Secrets

Watch me paint this apple tree branch in 1 minute (time lapse) If we’re being honest, there are no

Be Mysterious

Watch me paint this coastal scene from Dingle, Ireland in 2 minutes (time lapse). I visited this area when

Are you a tiger?

Watch me paint this tiger in 2 minutes (time lapse) My daughter wanted me to paint a tiger. This

Solitary Roses

Watch me paint this art in support of families of autistic children Some may claim that I have glorified

Memorial Day

Is every institution and national day of recognition meant to be diminished, overshadowed and eventually abolished… “reset” until we

Embracing LIFE!

This is a tree on “Rock Hill”, a rural area in Ireland near Grenagh. Grenagh is a village close

Are you Weary?

Watch me paint “Sheltering Tree” in 2 minutes (time lapse) A sheltering tree is a place we can go

Create or Destroy?

Watch me paint this angel in 2 minutes (time lapse) A tribute to the Turning Angel monument, built over

False Prophets

Watch me paint this wolf in 1 minute (time lapse) Beware of false prophets. Or should we say, “Beware

Censored Spirit

Watch me paint this rabbit in 2 minutes (time lapse) This is one of my art videos that was

Balance

Watch me paint this mountain landscape in 2 minutes (time lapse) If we imagine life as a balanced landscape

Bluebird of Happiness

Sometimes called “bluebird of happiness”, seeing a bluebird is associated with prosperity, good luck, joy, life, beauty and hope.

Do We Want Peace?

Watch me paint “Dove of Peace” in under 2 minutes (time lapse) Surely most of the world’s people want

Be a Lion

Watch me paint this lion art in 2 minutes (time lapse) Yesterday I posed the question “Are you a lion

Dark to Light

Watch me paint “The Moon and the Stars” in 2 minutes (time lapse) The phrase “dark to light” is

Something Funny

Watch me paint this terrifying children’s game of tag in 1 minute (time lapse) Thought we could use something

Do, then See

Watch me paint “Redwing Blackbirds” in 2 minutes (time lapse) First the inspiration for this art, then the update.

Are we Unpredictable?

Watch me paint “Narrow Way” in 2 minutes (time lapse) First I’ll talk about the inspiration for this allegorical

Fully Human

Watch me paint “Miracle of Life” in 2 minutes (time lapse) The inspiration behind this art is the alarming

New Painting – Deer

Enter the serenity of this peaceful scene; overcast skies, green foliage, and a wild creature peering through a clearing

Are we free?

“Silenced” oil painting by artist Natalie Buske Thomas I painted the above art “Silenced” years ago after I was

Peace or Hate?

Why do people destroy what others create? First the painting, then the inspiration behind it and an update. Do

Wild or Roped?

First, the Wild Horses oil painting, then the inspiration behind it, how I created this art, and a new

More than Sparrows

First the Sparrows oil painting and the inspiration behind it, then a challenge for self reflection. Are you “worth

Beauty of Time

Oil paintings, the stories behind them, the real life picture I took this morning, then the update… Are you

Cardinal Promise

First the oil paintings then the stories behind them. Don’t miss the beautiful real life video update filmed just

Feeding Critics

First the oil painting, then the story that inspired this art and the update. Do YOU feed your critics?

Display or Field?

First the oil painting, then the story that inspired this art and the update. Are YOU at a “display