Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Painting With Love

“When you are in awe of someone else's greatness, you are really seeing your own greatness.”  Debbie Ford

The greatest gifts that we have are the ones that we give from our heart and soul.  

I painted this special painting as a surprise present for a woman’s special birthday.  Her husband loves and cherishes her so very much and wanted to give her a present filled with love.   I was delighted to be in the surprise and changed the Golden Retriever to a Golden Doodle -- which up until this time, I did not even know these dogs existed.  Now it seems that I see them everywhere!

He was so excited that he decided to give her the gift when he received the painting, instead of at her party which would be two days later.   She came home to a beautiful painting hanging in her dining room and I immediately received a phone call telling me of their delight!  And, she saw herself and her dog in the painting, and that was my intention while doing this painting.

And to me, that is what painting is all about -- bringing joy and love to the people who collect my art!

"A Summer Walk" 24 x 24
Oil on Parisian Linen

Monday, April 22, 2013


The innocence of childhood and kittens brings me so much Joy!  Our world could use more Joy every day!

I remember this day very well -- we borrowed the kittens and little Fifi told me that she didn't want to hold them -- and guess what -- she couldn't let them go!

Watch a child play .... they are in the moment .... without a care in the world .... a place where we all should be.  In the moment, experiencing Joy!

What a concept ... try it today and let me know how you are doing!


"Two Little Kittens"
12 x 12 Oil on Canvas

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Friday, April 12, 2013


I was reminded yesterday of a beautiful little painting that I did several years ago.  The simplicity of the painting and the flow of the strokes showed the joy that I put into the painting.

I sat at my computer and enjoyed my own painting -- once again!  As I looked at it I wondered how I ever painted such a little beauty so simply and yet filled with so much emotion and power.  My first thought was WOW!  How did I do that?  Why don’t I paint like that every day?????

Then I thought of how many times I have struggled with my work -- agonizing over my strokes -- re-working it, adding doubt and truly not enjoying the process.  And, so, there it was -- a simple beauty staring at me.

And there it is -- it’s simple --just paint from your heart, knowing that the love and joy of God is in every stroke!

Have fun painting today and every day, and please let me know how you are doing.

12 x 9
Oil on Board

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Walk In The Woods

Now that Spring has sprung!!  It’s time to take a walk in the woods.  It will nourish your soul and revive you for the creativity that is coming your way.

My sister and I took a walk in the woods on Sunday -- it is a preserve that leads into the North River here in Marshfield.  It was a joyful and peaceful walk and I was smiling as we walked in nature.  It has been a very long time since I had an opportunity to walk with my sister, and our conversations were “all over the place”.  

When we got to the river, we sat and enjoyed yet another view of God’s beauty.

I sometimes forget to get out of the studio and out of my own way and just “BE” in nature with God.

How special that is!  
Nature At Its Best

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Great Read


What an awesome reminder
Of why we are here.

The Cab Ride

I arrived at the address and honked the horn.
After waiting a few minutes I walked to the door and knocked.

'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice.
I could hear something being dragged across the floor..

After a long pause, the door opened.

A small woman in her 90's stood before me..
She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it,
Like somebody out of a 1940's movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase.

The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years.
All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters.

In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said.

I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb..

She kept thanking me for my kindness.

'It's nothing', I told her..
'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated'.

'Oh, you're such a good boy', she said.

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked,
'Could you drive through downtown?'

'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly..

'Oh, I don't mind,' she said.

'I'm in no hurry.
I'm on my way to a hospice'.

I looked in the rear-view mirror.

Her eyes were glistening.
'I don't have any family left,' she continued in a soft voice..
'The doctor says I don't have very long.
'I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city.

She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived
When they were newlyweds.

She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once
Been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner

And would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing..

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said,

'I'm tired. Let's go now'.

We drove in silence to the address she had given me.

It was a low building, like a small convalescent home,
With a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up..

They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door.

The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

'How much do I owe you?'
She asked, reaching into her purse.

'Nothing,' I said

'You have to make a living,' she answered.

'There are other passengers,' I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.

She held onto me tightly.

'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said.
'Thank you.'

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.

Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift.

I drove aimlessly lost in thought.
For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.
What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,
Or one who was impatient to end his shift?
What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once,

Then driven away?

On a quick review,

I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware - beautifully
Wrapped in what others may consider a small one.



You won't get any big surprise in 10 days if you send this to ten people.
But, you might help make the world a little kinder
and more compassionate by sending it on and
reminding us that often it is the random acts of
kindness that most benefit all of us.

Thank you, my friend...

Wishing you Joy every day!

30 x 30, Oil on Canvas

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Making My Heart Smile

One of the greatest compliments to an artist is the purchase of their work.  I just finished a beautiful painting for a woman in Oklahoma.  And to my greatest delight, here is what she emailed me upon receiving it.

“Your painting of Magical Splendor arrived and I am in awe!  It's absolutely beautiful.  I just stand back and admire it.  Thank you so much for taking the time to paint Magical Splendor for me.  No words could better describe what your painting means to me.  What a blessing you are to others through your art!

I hope some day we have the opportunity to meet.  I am sure I will be asking you to do another painting for me in the future.  God's blessings to you!!!

With sincere gratitude,"


This truly made my heart smile!

"Magical Splendor"
8 x 10, Oil on Board

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Fun

The joys of childhood can be fun to recreate at any time, and especially on Easter.  We had a great time doing an Easter egg hunt in our yard.  It was a beautiful day and I had to convince a room full of adults to wear an Easter Bonnet and join us in the hunt!  Our bonnets were all of my vintage prairie hats and other hats that were hanging around the house.  (Photo below!)

We laughed and laughed at the silliness of it all -- and guess what -- everyone had fun!  Going around the yard looking for plastic eggs that I had everywhere was silly, and as I watched everyone feeling that child within themselves, I smiled and smiled.  Yes, the child in us still lives there just waiting to come out and play.

And it is that child within us that creates from our souls.  Yes, having FUN is the way to live life -- why not?  God wants us to be happy, to create, to have fun and feel the love that we share.  

Easter is that special time to eat Peeps, chocolate and celebrate the newness or life. 

I wish us all days filled with laughter and candy and love.  Have fun creating from your inner child today.

And, please let me know how you are doing.And I imagine a world where we are all equal in everything we do! 

Let me know how you are doing!

The Easter Egg Hunters