Thursday, July 31, 2014

Art: Encourage a Child with Illustrations


I can remember as a child not having much encouragement in the areas of my interest.  Sometimes it's hard to figure out just which direction your child is going if they do many things.  There are certain pictures from my memories of growing up that stick out in my mind.  It begins visual and follows with the event or situation that was connected to the picture.

Visual illustrations can leave a lasting mark on a memory.  Something as simple as a poster hanging in a child’s room or anywhere they spend a great deal of time can travel with them through their life.  Even the negative ones can have an impact and let’s face it, children are surrounded by negativity these days.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  We can change that for them with such simple things; from a special treat being placed in their lunch boxes everyday along with a note from Mom or Dad, to a simple illustration that might touch their little hearts, spark an idea or just inspire a certain attitude or outlook to live by.

Recently my daughter asked me to make some illustrations for some picture frames she had acquired.  These illustrations were to go in my grand-daughters remodeled bathroom.  So I thought long and hard about what I could illustrate for her that she might always remember.  Now, I don’t know if these illustrations will be one of those childhood memories that will inspire her as she grows up, but, if I could do anything to help her dream big, be inspired and have a positive outlook on her life, it was worth a try.

Proverbs 22:6  Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

I tried to make the illustrations include something she loved, something she could relate to, to make the biggest impact on her.  She will see these everyday.  I hope and pray she will remember the illustrations and what they are saying to her.  Someday she might need this memory.

If you are interested in hanging these up for your grand daughter click on the picture to purchase a print.  Inspire a child!

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Art: Counting feathers or NOT


Some of us are just too serious.  There are times when we just need to let go and play with ideas instead of thinking that we need to do a serious, saleable piece each time we begin one.  I find that when I do allow myself to relax and just have fun with it all, I personally, like the finished product better.  But early on, I was around many artists that were successful at selling their work, actually counting the feathers on the ducks in their paintings and they were….. tremendously stressed out.

The thought that everything had to be just so-so, has remained with me throughout the years.  Even though much of my work doesn’t reflect that, I was attempting to achieve perfection and it has been very stressful.  Occasionally, I have allowed myself to just let it all go and have fun.  I love that free feeling so much, but still can’t seem to stay there.

Early on in my life as a Christian, I was taught much the same way about worshipping God.  I had to be perfect.  Don’t wear this and don’t wear that, don’t go here and don’t go there.  Pray at this time of the day and for this long and about these things.  If you do this or that, you won’t go to heaven or God will be mad at you. 

As humans, I now know that we can never achieve perfection as far as being judged by others on this earth.  We are made in the likeness of God, so therefore we are perfect in His eyes.  We will surely slip and fall, but He knows what we are capable of, He created us.  God gave me freedom to worship Him and be happy when He revealed to me through His Word, Galatians 5:22-23, which is all about the Fruits of the Spirit.  The wonderful things that God has given me to do that I can do with His help.  I can’t battle profanity and promiscuity in the work place, but I can concentrate on being more like Jesus, emphasizing and practicing the Fruits of the Spirit.  I can’t solve the problems of homelessness, but I can give when I can.  I can’t keep someone from getting mad at me, but I can practice longsuffering.  I can’t always keep myself from getting angry, but I can replace angry words with kind words, understanding words and good deeds.

I hope that someday I can experience the same freedom and peace with my paintings that God has given me in my day to day life.  There are still battles everyday that I find I want to jump on the bandwagon of, but when I rein myself in and focus on what I should be doing instead of what I shouldn’t be doing, it’s a much happier life to live.

So whenever I find myself starting to count feathers, I pull  back and focus on the surroundings.  The beautiful clouds, the color of the flowers, the sun rise or sun set; these are all easier to see and bring into perspective than all the feathers on a duck.

Galatians 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.


About the painting:

I started out as usual, thinking I was going to copy this photograph I took exactly.  I quickly realized that I was trying to hard and just began to enjoy it.

This is watercolor pencil, black, gray and acrylic white on wood pallets placed in a barn wood frame.  The stenciling around it is a lace paper doily.

Here’s the photo:



Photo taken while working:


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Finished piece:

If you’d like to see more of my work please visit my page at southern sky art studio.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Art: Overcoming Fear


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This painting went through a great deal of changes before I was finally happy with it.  Kind of like we do as we grow and learn.


This is what it looked like yesterday and…………………….

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I wasn’t happy with it at all!

I studied on it for awhile and I knew if it was ever going to a piece I didn’t mind showing or even giving away, it was going to have to go through some major changes.  Even though I was reluctant to actually paint out the vase, that’s what I knew I needed to do.

Sometimes in our lives we know we have to make changes and more times than not, they are very difficult, even scary.  If we are passionate about what we want to do, then we just have to push back our fears and dive in.  And we have help if we want it.

2nd Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Completely painting out part of the picture was pretty scary to me.  But I thought, God has given me the desire to use the talents He has given me to show love to other people, so I couldn’t give up.  This little painting would just end up in the trash or under my bed, tossed way back in the closet or something else very wasteful.  I liked the flowers and wanted to save them.

I couldn’t let myself be defeated, so I just dove in.  I’m glad I did.  I have a happy little painting that will either make money for me or I will give it away in hopes of making someone smile.

About the painting

Just in case your interested:

This is acrylic and watercolor pencil on stretched canvas.  The large flowers are cone flowers.  I just used regular craft paint.  After I was sure it was finished, I sprayed it with a clear matte sealer.  I used photos of the flowers and the rest was just imagination and determination.

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