Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My first commissioned piece!

 A friend of mine just recently purchased an insurance agency and is decorating her office building. She asked me to paint some bright and fun paintings for her! I am super excited!

She took one of my first landscape paintings as it was ready to go and it's already hanging in her personal office.

This piece is currently curing and then it will be hung! I can't wait to see it on the wall!

It is 2' x 4' and makes quite a statement!

And if you want your own copy of the Tree of Whimsy, click here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Oh how I love the month of June!!
School is out.
The weather isn't too hot yet.
It's all around a great month.

Here are a few highlights of week one of summer.

Kylie: Hanging out with me. Talking. Talking. Talking. She is adorable and crazy and has way, way more energy than one child needs.

Sporting a few tats.

A new bike. Her old one was so small that her knees hit the handle bars every time she pushed the pedal!

Swimming Lessons. Finally. This is the third year we have tried. Third time is the charm in at least this case. She is doing fantastic!

A little running. Can't keep her off the thing! 

Lexi is reading (of course) and chillin' and doing her best to avoid cleaning her room. She is also playing with her younger sister like a champ. Last week she participated in volleyball camp. This week she joined Kylie at swimming lessons. She is working on her dive!


And both little girls have helped me cook.


Maddie started the summer with color guard basics camp and even was awarded the "beast" award the first day! Woohoo!

She even spent time after camp hours working with rifles and sabers. She is disciplined that girl.

On Friday we went and watched Maddie perform with the YellowJacket Band and Colorguard for the first time. I had tears. It was rather emotional for me. It was just two summers ago that I had to take Maddie to physical therapy twice a week so that she would be able to take junior high dance class in school. Now here we are with Maddie trying out and making a dance-type team! I am so proud of her! 

Maddie is second girl middle row closest to the viewer.

Here they are performing the fight song.

But by the end of the week and after only swimming twice this summer so far, she has swimmer's ear in one ear and an ear infection in the other.  Not right.

It has been a while, but I'm bringing out my research again and starting to read medical journals. I KNOW that there has to be a link to having almost constant oral ulcers (that get so bad they have to cauterized) and ear infections that last for months on top of her daily life issues with kidney disease, asthma and allergies. I've let her state of "doing pretty good" lull me into non-action. But I'm starting again. Just today I made an appointment with a new pediatric rheumatologist that specializes in sports medicine. I am really hoping that he will be as good as his bio on the hospital page makes him sound.  I'm tired of the lackadaisical attitudes of some of our other doctors.

And what have I done this first week of summer? I ran! Lots. Love. 
 Kylie took this picture of me. not bad.

While the girls have had swimming lessons, I've been running trails out at the ranch were the lessons are. I have absolutely fallen in love with running with dogs. I wouldn't want to have to if they were on a leash, but I love running with dogs when they are keeping the cattle at bay and making sure that there aren't any creatures that I don't want to see close by!

Here is where I have been running!

And that was about it for week 1. We swam and played and cooked.. but I won't post EVERYTHING we did! :)

But here is one last picture. I heart her.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Servant's Heart Painting. Finished. Finally.

I finally finished the painting that I created during church a few weeks ago. It was a hard one. Thankfully my dad came over and did a good critique for me and helped me move past the "i just don't like it" stage to actually fixing it! I don't know what artists do that don't have dad's or mentors to help them!

Let's revisit where I left off during church.. Here I was at 1 hour or so into the painting. It was desperate for help, but I wasn't sure where I even wanted to start!

So I didn't.

I left it sitting on my easel in my "studio" for a couple of weeks.

But then I had a friend that wanted me to paint something for her and I felt like I had to complete this piece before I started something new.

So I started working on it and was bummed. It was bad.

But my dad came along and helped me to look at it the way I look at my student's work. Objectively with a critical artistic eye.


So after not too much more work, here is the finished piece.

I made a conscience decision to not revamp the entire piece. I felt like it needed to be a reflection of the church and the service that I painted it in. But I worked on the perspective elements a bit and the proportions of the figures.

Through this process I've decided that I really LOVE oils and I really DON'T like acrylics. I just can't blend enough with the acrylics. I'm already working in a rushed tempo with the palette knife, but you add the drying time of acrylics to it and it's hard!

So thankfully, at least for the summer, I am going back to oil painting! And I can't wait!

Now I just have to get some of my to do list accomplished so that I can relax and paint.