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!

Thanksgiving Eve

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

This painting is of a peach pie, but today my firstborn daughter baked a pumpkin pie for tomorrow. I baked ahead the homemade macaroni and cheese. My youngest daughter made a green bean casserole. The two hot dishes will be on a heating & warming tray tomorrow. In the morning I’ll prepare and roast the turkey. We’ll have a flurry of activity in the kitchen when it’s time for making all of the other parts of the feast: stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, yams (I don’t count them as vegetables and I won’t eat any, I don’t like yams) and heating the french bread my husband baked. My son will open a can of cranberry sauce and slice it. I won’t eat that stuff either, but he sure will.

I put matching turkey and harvest themed tablecloths on the tables, finished making festive potholders, and washed the pretty new holiday apron my daughter gave me. I’m ready! I’ll be up very early to finish thawing the turkey, going outside to cut the fresh parsley and rosemary to stuff the turkey, as well as a lemon, orange, onion, and apple. This is a new variation I’m trying, based on tips I found online. I like to try new ways to prepare the turkey. Every year it seems to be “the best turkey ever!”

I wish you all a happy day tomorrow, and those of you who celebrate this holiday, may you have a joyous Thanksgiving!

New Painting

See this Thanksgiving oil painting come alive in 3 minutes (time lapse)

This is the painting I finished yesterday. Thanksgiving is coming up fast. Beyond a special meal that features a roast turkey, those of us who celebrate this holiday typically use this time to reflect upon our blessings, express gratitude, and gather with family.


Watch Natalie paint this art in about 3 minutes (time lapse)

“Thanksgiving” 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).

“Thanksgiving” represents autumn and celebrates family traditions, as well as celebrating blessings and expressing gratitude. [prints available below]

Oil painting “Thanksgiving” by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Small Print “Thanksgiving”

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


Medium Print “Thanksgiving”

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


Large Print “Thanksgiving”

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


Thanksgiving Plans?

Watch oil painting “We Gather Together” come alive in about 1 minute (time lapse)

I talked about this painting in an August blog post called “Feasting“. Today, I’m thinking about Thanksgiving and how quickly it’s coming up. For those of you who celebrate this holiday, do you have plans? We already bought a turkey last week, fearing that there may be a turkey shortage this year.

I’ve also dressed up the house with decorations and I’ve been sewing festive potholders, which is good because our current potholders are disgusting! I’ve let them get gross from too much use without enough washing in between. Now they seem too nasty to save. Happily, my first potholder is done and it turned out great!

I’m working on a new Thanksgiving painting that I’ll share with you soon. I expect to have it done by the weekend, assuming I have good natural light coming in. If it’s cloudy every minute of the day or raining I’ll have to postpone the project. But, barring that, I should get it done. Anyway, there will be a new Thanksgiving painting that will be in a slightly different style from the one above.

You may notice that sometimes I paint in a highly detailed and realistic way, such as in this oil painting of a wolf. And other paintings are somewhat detailed, but soft in parts, like this lighthouse painting. Still others have abstract backgrounds with details in only the main subject, like this lily painting, and others are simplistic and representational like the painting in today’s blog, in which there are no faces on the figures and the proportions and perspective is skewed/unrealistic. I usually paint faces on the people in my art, but I didn’t want this particular work to be too much about my own family so I left our faces and other realistic details out.

Some people have said that they like my paintings that I personally don’t care for, so I continue to share different styles and experiments that I try. But my own preference is when I do a more realistic style painting even if somewhat dreamlike or stylized, or when I paint a detailed subject on an abstract background. The paintings that are rough, skewed, or in this case- without faces!- are not ones I like. I’ve said it before: art is a language. What is communicated to one, may be different for another. Even in my own family, we do not agree about which paintings are my best. And the ones I’ve thought are my worst were some of their favorites. So, I’ll continue to just paint as the inspiration or project goals lead me, and then it’s no longer about me.

That’s true of anything we share in life, isn’t it? Like a Thanksgiving turkey; we may prepare the meal ourselves and be quite proud of the table display, the wonderful delicious feast, and the festivity we’ve created, but the real joy is in sharing the holiday with others. Even if the turkey is dry or the decorations are cheap, it’s all about the love we share.

I don’t think it matters much what I paint or how I paint it. What matters is that I keep painting, evolving, and sharing. Whatever we do, may we do it with our whole heart, and then give ourselves away. That’s when we find true happiness.

God bless you, and keep you, and may His face shine upon you this day and always.