Monday, December 23, 2013

Host of Angels

8"x10" Oil on Gessoed Panel
with Palette Knife

LUKE 2:8-20
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child;  and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Here is a link to a special video showing how I painted this piece.
Merry Christmas to you all!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Go Tell It

18"x24" Oil on Canvas
with Palette Knife

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord...
...let us walk in the light of the Lord!”

Growing up, my Cumberland Presbyterian church family richly embraced Appalachian carols during Advent and Christmas. The sanctuary, filled with evergreens and candles, was especially warmed by the heart-felt strains of fiddles, hammer dulcimers and the upright bass. The refrain “Go Tell It on the Mountain” ran through our hearts like a mountain stream and lifted us up to higher ground. 

For this Advent’s art, the image is a sunrise on Isaiah’s “mountain of the Lord.” The sun is breaking over the ridge and beginning to overcome the dark. Our diverse and colorful world, which once appeared as a mass of shadow, is being beautifully revealed. 

May we all climb up to the mountain of the Lord and be illuminated by the Word of God. May we shout that gospel Word for all to hear. May it echo all the way down to the deepest valley—over the hills and everywhere.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Break

8"x10" Oil on Gessoed Panel
with Palette Knife

We spent our Fall Break back at the lake. Here is a plein air painting of our view with the beginnings of fall colors reflecting on the calm water. The interesting thing on this day was the lighting. The sun was giving warm light to the background and leaving the foreground in cooler light. Since the background had more fall color, it just added to the beauty of the scene. 

I encourage you to take some time to recharge your souls to the beauty of  fall.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Touch of Autumn

8"x10" Oil on Gessoed Panel
with Palette Knife

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of painting the beginning of fall colors at Tim's Ford State Park. The folks at the State Park Marina were kind enough to allow me to paint from their dock. Although the location was a little bouncy, the view was beautiful.

Dockside with my older daughter looking on.

Another view from the marina.

The Marina at the State Park—friendly people and delicious ice cream!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

30 Paintings

30 paintings in September at-a-glance. 
Which ones are your favorites?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

6"x6" Oil on Gessoed Panel
with Palette Knife

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Author: Thomas Ken

AMEN! Another 30 paintings in 30 days is completed. For today's final painting, I chose to do another hymn abstract. I have had the most fun painting these. It is such a refreshing change to paint completely from feelings and impressions. I can think of no better finale than the Doxology.

I have learned a lot in the past 30 days. Interestingly enough, I find myself in a completely different place, as a painter, from where I had expected to be at the beginning of the month.

Many thanks to all of you who have followed along and commented on my paintings. Your comments mean more than you can ever know. I have more projects in the making and many other small painting subjects still yet to do. So keep checking in to see new works.

Blessings be with you all.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Gift of Love

6"x6" Oil on Gessoed Panel
with Palette Knife

Though I may speak with bravest fire,
And have the gift to all inspire,
And have not love, my words are vain,
As sounding brass, and hopeless gain.
Though I may give all I possess,
And striving so my love profess,
But not be given by love within,
The profit soon turns strangely thin.
Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control,
Our spirits long to be made whole.
Let inward love guide every deed;
By this we worship, and are freed.

Author: Hal H. Hopson (1972)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Be Thou My Vision

6"x6" Oil on Gessoed Panel
with Palette Knife

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
Great God of heaven, my treasure Thou art.
Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Friday, September 27, 2013


6"x6" Oil on Gessoed Panel
with Palette Knife

This is probably as close as I want to get to painting a portrait. Today's painting is of our friend’s Goldendoodle. His name is Buddy. I was amazed at how much expression there was to be captured in a dog’s portrait. I learned a lot from painting this fuzzy fella. 

Go ahead. You can say it. "Awwwwwwwwwe."

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Beautiful Dawn

6"x6" Oil on Gessoed Panel
with Palette Knife

Today's painting is of a beautiful morning sky we had the other day. It reminds me of a great song by The Wailin Jennys called "Beautiful Dawn." I have included their lyrics and a youtube video of the song below. Enjoy.

Take me to the breaking of a beautiful dawn
Take me to the place where we come from
Take me to the end so I can see the start
There's only one way to mend a broken heart

Take me to the place where I don't feel so small
Take me where I don't need to stand so tall
Take me to the edge so I can fall apart
There's only one way to mend a broken heart

Take me where love isn't up for sale
Take me where our hearts are not so frail
Take me where the fire still owns its spark
There's only one way to mend a broken heart

Teach me how to see when I close my eyes
Teach me to forgive and to apologize
Show me how to love in the darkest dark
There's only one way to mend a broken heart

Take me where the angels are close at hand
Take me where the ocean meets the sky and the land
Show me to the wisdom of the evening star
There's only one way to mend a broken heart

Take me to the place where I feel no shame
Take me where the courage doesn't need a name
Learning how to cry is the hardest part
There's only one way to mend a broken heart

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

From Russia with Love, St. Basil’s Cathedral

8"x10" Oil on Canvas
with Palette Knife
Commissioned Painting

Today’s painting is a commissioned piece by a mother and father to honor the heritage of their Russian-born sons. I loved working on this project, not just for the artistic challenge, but for the importance for all of us to know who we are and how much we are loved.

This painting was a real challenge. I began with a pastel sketch. Instead of blocking in large areas of value and color, I tried a different approach. Since the building was so intricate, I worked the painting one color note at a time—checking the value and color relationship with the note’s immediate neighbor. Piece by piece, I completed the painting. You can see the steps and my finished palette below.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Elk River

6"x6" Oil on Gessoed Panel
with Palette Knife

Another of my favorite moments is to be painting by a river. I just love to hear the sound of water running by as I paint. The colors, reflections and shapes in running water are such a joy to paint. Things were even better for this plein air painting. I was fortunate enough to get onto a rock and paint in the middle of the river. A good day indeed.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Misty Morning Lake

6"x6" Oil on Gessoed Panel
with Palette Knife

Today's painting is a plein air piece from the lake. It was a cool and misty morning—giving us a taste of Autumn weather.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Crown Him with Many Crowns

6"x6" Oil on Gessoed Panel
with Palette Knife

Crown Him with many crowns, 
The Lamb upon His throne;
Hark, how the heavenly anthem drowns 
All music but its own!
Awake, my soul, and sing 
Of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King 
Through all eternity.

Crown Him the Lord of love; 
Behold His hands and side,
Rich wounds, yet visible above, 
In beauty glorified:
No angel in the sky 
Can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his burning eye 
At mysteries so bright.

Crown Him the Lord of peace;
Whose power a scepter sways
From pole to pole, that wars may cease, 
Absorbed in prayer and praise:
His reign shall know no end;
And round His pierc├Ęd feet
Fair flowers of paradise extend 
Their fragrance ever sweet.

Crown Him the Lord of years,
The Potentate of time;
Creator of the rolling spheres, 
Ineffably sublime.
All hail, Redeemer, hail! 
For Thou has died for me;
Thy praise shall never, never fail 
Throughout eternity.

Matthew Bridges (1851)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

For All the Saints

6"x6" Oil on Gessoed Panel
with Palette Knife

For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
Thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true light.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
Alleluia! Alleluia!

William Walsham How

Friday, September 20, 2013

Red Hot Chili Peppers

6"x6" Oil on Gessoed Panel
6"x6" Oil on Gessoed Panel
with Palette Knife

Ten more days to go in the 30 paintings challenge and things are heating up. My sister-in-law, while traveling in New Mexico,  took a photo of chili peppers hanging out to dry. I just couldn't resist the opportunity to paint all of that red hot color.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pumpkin Truck

6"x6" Oil on Gessoed Panel
with Palette Knife

Every October, we go to Gentry’s Farm to pick pumpkins for Halloween. The farm has many antiques and items of visual interest. My favorite is this pumpkin truck. You can see a painting of last year’s pumpkin pick here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

No Wake

6"x6" Oil on Gessoed Panel
with Palette Knife

Today's painting is a bobbing message from the lake. 
Slow down and don't make too many waves today.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Gulf View

6"x6" Oil on Gessoed Panel
with Palette Knife

Today's painting reminisces our trip to the Gulf, on Florida's beautiful white beaches.  Over the half-way point in the 30 Days challenge, I thought I'd celebrate by painting a serene scene of relaxation. Ironically, this one took more work than any other painting for this challenge so far. But, in the end, the lasting impression was worth the effort.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Praise To The Lord, The Almighty

6"x6" Oil on Gessoed Panel
with Palette Knife

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
The King of creation
O my soul, praise Him
For He is thy health and salvation
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near
Praise Him in glad adoration

Praise to the Lord
Who o'er all things so wonderfully reigneth
Shelters thee under His wings
Yea, so gladly sustaineth
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e'er have been
Granted in what He ordaineth

Praise to the Lord
Who doth prosper they work and defend thee
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do
If with His love He befriend thee

Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him
All that hath life and breath
Come now with praises before Him
Let the 'amen' sound from His people again
Gladly for aye we adore Him