Saturday, November 30, 2013

November is NOT over Yet - It's CONTEST TIME!!!

Okay - Here's how it goes! Whomsoever is the very 1st person to post a comment on this blog about either one thing they've been thankful for this year or if they just want to straight up say they want to win the prize get's a free 4"x6" print of "Doe Eyes" matted and ready to be framed to a 5"x7" sized frame (frame not included). So, if you want it, the 1st person to comment HERE ON MY BLOG WINS! There's only one winner so you better respond quickly! Good luck! =0)

Print of "Doe Eyes"     4"x 6" matted to 5"x 7"     Lustre Finish

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner! - Oh, and a Portrait Drawing of Sorts...

Okay, so the winner for October is.... Natalia Hedlin! Congratulations and thanks for the great idea!!! I love the idea and have so many different ideas swirling in my head about how to approach that, but it's gonna be awesome, so thank you so much! Would you rather the Commissioned Abstract or the painting "Under the Starry Sky So Blue"? Let me know your choice as well as your address via private email or a private message on my Facebook Fan Page, and we'll work from there on getting your painting out to you. Thank you so much everyone for the excellent ideas - I always need more, so if you ever want to see me try something out or commission a work from me, just let me know. Have a great day everyone!

Oh yeah, and before I forget, I'll be announcing the new contest for November in, well, November, so stick around to see what you can win. With the holidays soon upon us, I imagine it will be a themed prize for once. =0)  Well, seriously, I gotta go. I still haven't gone to bed yet and I'm supposed to get up in two hours, so we'll see how that works out on my body. This might not be too pretty. Hopefully this portrait however is, though I say portrait loosely because it's not really a portrait, since it's fictional. Is it then just a drawing or a fictional portrait? Oh man, no more posting at 6:30am for me! Well, it's off to bed for me now - I hope you're sleeping comfortably in yours and I hope to be posting again soon. Take care of yourselves out there today! 

"Her Gaze"     8" x 10"     Graphite on Tracing Paper Placed Over Drawing Paper

Oh, and by the way, this picture is also taken by my phone, which is good, but not perfectly true to nature in coloring. After all, it's indoors and it's nighttime, or morning, but yeah, you get the point I'm sure! I did find that I really rather enjoyed drawing on Tracing Paper and then placing it over some Drawing Paper in my Sketchbook. It gave the drawing a certain sheen and a softness to it that I've never felt or seen with Drawing Paper alone, and you can be sure I'll be testing what other effects I can get with this in the future. So many ways you could manipulate this image by what paper you use underneath it - if I come up with any cool combinations I'll let you know. Okay, seriously though, I really am going to go to sleep now. I mean it... Goodnight and good morning! =)

Monday, October 21, 2013

"Trudging Along" - A Colored Pencil and Conte Pencil Drawing

"Trudging Along"     Colored Pencil and Conte Pencil on Bristol Board
Sorry, I know this isn't the best picture ever, but I'm so incredibly tired and just wanted to get this up here - and in all honesty, it's just a picture off my phone. But If you like this piece and are interested in Purchasing this Original Work of Art, Please feel free to Email Me Via My "About Me" Section on the Right Side Panel. Thanks! And Have a Great Day!

It's been more and more difficult and far more painful than I ever imagined it would be at this point for me to get out my paints and brushes these last few days, or really this entire last month. I keep promising myself that I'll try my hardest to get everything set up so I can work on some projects, but my body just isn't havin' it right now. 

And it's become more than just a little bit frustrating by now - after all it's my best way of blowing off emotional steam,  and since this flare hit last month I've had plenty of steam to fuel a freight car right now. But like I said before, this time I'm choosing to fight this with all I got, and so away go the paints for a small time (I'm still praying and holding out hope that this won't last too long) and out come the drawing tools. 

I've been working with colored pencils, Conte crayons, and oil pastels, not to mention plain old graphite the last few days, and I'm just trying to get in as much practice as possible. I'd actually forgotten how much fun just the practice of drawing and, well, practicing in general, really can be and I'm actually having a blast with this! 

Finally, I'm starting to make some progress here, with God's help. I'm learning how to make the best with what I have, though I have a long road ahead of me before I get that one down. =0)  Rather than just letting myself get depressed with what I can't do right now, I've been praying that God would open my eyes to see the things I CAN do instead, & I have to admit it sure does make a huge impact on your life. Everything seems to be so much happier this way, the days seem brighter and more full of hope, and I feel way less defeated as well . It's way more fun when you can find a way of looking at things as if the glass were half full rather than it always being half empty, or so I seem to be learning this these last few weeks. It's quite a change of pace for me but I'm really enjoying it and I can't wait to see what it leads to! God bless you and have a great day!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

October's Contest - Only One Week Long and It's a Fun One!

I'm so excited to announce this month's contest, which will last only one week. It's gonna be a breeze! All I want from you is some cute ideas by October 23rd (it's not much time, so you'll have to think quick!) of what to paint on miniature canvases for a boutique I'm going to be working at (Lord willing of course, given this fibro) on the 2nd of November. They can be themed, seasonal, random, or abstract, but any ideas would help. The person with my favorite idea wins an abstract painting created just for you, with whichever colors or feel to it that you would like. Or rather than an abstract, you may choose the painting below instead. So game on my friends, game on! =0)

"Under the Starry Sky So Blue"     5" x 7"     Acrylic on Museum Quality Claybord

Friday, October 18, 2013

Wow, Talk About a Quick Turn-Around! Let's Hope This Lasts!

My Momma and I on our Vacation, on the Wharf in Monterey about to enjoy the most amazing food EVER at Fisherman's Grotto. So, so good!
Oh how beautiful are Your works, my Lord, from the depths of the seas to the heights of the heavens - Your Glory is in all that we see!
 Wow, if ever there was a tremendous turn-around in only a few days, boy did I ever experience it! I can't thank you enough from the very bottom of my heart how very thankful I am for all the prayers, well-wishes and words of encouragement - we hit rock bottom but didn't end up battered and broken this time. No, this time God got us through it much more smoothly than last year, and even though another storm may yet still be on the horizon for us, as winter hasn't even hit yet, we're learning how to attack things head on rather than be the one's without a plan.

How beautiful the Wharf is in the Evening. I LOVE the crisp white coloring on the boats, and the way the reflect so beautifully on the water.
I wish with so much of my being that I could say it was cutting out Gluten that saved us, but alas, I am most definitely, without a doubt, NOT Gluten Intolerant. Not that I really ever thought I was, but we wanted to do the Gluten Cleanse for many reason, first and foremost because I know that people really DO have tremendous issues as a result of eating Gluten, and secondly because my niece is actually one of them. For her, she noticed in a week changes taking place in her body, and by week 4 she was feeling pretty great. As for me, even after 5 weeks of following the rules to the T I found not even an ounce less of pain or discomfort, and I had no intestinal problems to start with that weren't directly caused by my meds so there was really nothing to fix there.

I'm loving this new red hair-color on me even if it was supposed to be blonde. It brings out the red in my eyes and I'm not sure whether to go even lighter and blonde (since I've been a bleach white blonde naturally most of my life) or if I should go red again, whether of the same tone or even richer. Any thoughts?
What worked for me was a bit strange to my doctors, and it took them some time to agree to it, and honestly, a very desperate and absolutely honest to goodness breakdown by me in one of their offices over the fact that even with all the work we had done over the year, the bio-feedback, the Physical Therapy, the psychology and psychiatry and acupuncture and breathing exercises, stretches, hot baths, heating pads, just about every trick in the book, including Tiger Balm and Capsacin (ouch! that stuff hurts!), everything was wiped away in an instant, in a perfect storm of emotions, rain, discontinuation of acupuncture and it was back to the ER for me, feeling pain that I hope none of you will ever have to feel. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy it was so bad. But what we did was adjust one med, one we used exclusively only during the winter last year and will again cut off during the spring, or so I assume, and we made it go from a "take as you need and only if you're dying from pain" type of med to a regular, 3 times a day med, and it worked wonders on my body in as little as 24 hours. Literally, one full day of full time use at regular intervals and I went from writhing in pain to being able to manage myself a little bit more and more each and every day. We brought Gluten back in and found not one extra ounce of pain - no change at all. It was the medicine, through and through. Crazy right?

And we took some measures of our own on this trip, like buying this grabber for one and what I believe is a Walnut Wood Cane, so I can pretend to be Quite Distinguished... I only got this shot of the grabber, but I'm sure we'll be seeing some with me and the cane in the months to come! Lol!
But I thank God that my Doctors took aggressive measures for me - they even are going so far as to not only reinstate acupuncture for me, but I get to go weekly for a while in November and I am just oozing with gratitude for that!

See?! See, that's me, "Oozing with Gratitude!"  =0)
We, my mother and I that is, had planned a trip months ago to go to Monterey for a few days, and thought for sure that two weeks before the trip was due that there was no way on earth we could do it. I was in such a bad place physically and we didn't know what to do other than pray and hope for the best. Luckily, or rather, in God's PERFECT TIMING, my Drs. made those changes to my meds and so we decided that with just us two gals and a wheel chair we could try to make this work. I stopped my Gluten Free diet the day before the trip so as not to get a false positive because of the extra activity, and I felt great. It's crazy to me that I actually felt better bringing wheat back into my diet than I ever did taking it out. I'm sure glad I tried it though just in case it might have worked, because I don't want to rule any options of being free from this pain out, but it just wasn't in God's cards for me I suppose. I know for a fact that God has a plan for me in this suffering - nothing we go through hasn't gone through God first, and I am positive that at this point in time God wants us to struggle through this pain, even if that doesn't make sense to anyone else. I do want to be like Christ in His suffering, and this is just one way to bring me closer to Him and to understand Him even more. And of course, I still have plans to try many more tests, food and other-wise, to try in the months to come just to see what might work, though I'm struggling on deciding on which one to do next, considering all the yummy holidays coming up... Hmmm... I'll have to give this some serious thought, that's for sure!

And here's my mom, playing with her little Hermit Crab friend she named "Hermie." Quite original, huh? Haha! Oh, but how I love the way my mom can just let loose and let the child in her come out as she explores the world in ways that even children would admire. She is a true adventurer, through and through, and a wonderful mother. I am truly blessed!
Well, I just wanted to thank you all so very much - every prayer, every word of encouragement along the way, every single act of kindness from you all have overwhelmed me in the most blessed of ways. I feel so blessed to be your friend, so blessed to have you in my life, and I pray that in some way I can help you every bit as much as you helped me. I praise my God for you, and for what He has done in my life. Even through all the darkness I've felt in these past months and years, you have helped to remind me that God is always there for me, which means their is always hope, always Light to drown out the darkness, and always hope if one is willing to find it

It's crazy how sometimes the light is even more beautiful when surrounded by darkness, don't you agree?
I noticed over the weekend with my mom, as she pushed me around and as we encountered little obstacles here and there because I still can't walk very well and am still very weak, that she's been struggling to see the reason in all of this, and it was actually rather fun to be able to share with her the things God has shown me and grown in me and my family because of these overwhelming hardships we've faced in the last four years, but most expressly this last year. God brought me and my role of a mother from that selfish place that so many mother's experience when they have their first child and finally get hit smack dab in the middle of their face that their life really is no longer their own - no selfishness allowed from here on out when little ones are involved. Not only do you have to give up your sleep, but even every waking hour is spent feeding, clothing, diapering or potty training, raising up a tiny little human being into a good and helpful member of society. You spend your days reading, playing, and honestly sometimes just trying to escape from your child for one moment just to use the restroom in peace, though we all know that's a joke! And then there's the guilt involved in it all - am I spending too much time on myself, am I raising them right, am I teaching them the values and ideals I want them to learn. Can I please just have one hour of peace and quiet just to myself, where I'm not flooded with thoughts about my children or with tasks to do, but where I can experience true peace and rest?!

Speaking of children, we went to Monterey a few months ago to this very same beach and finding anemones and urchins was rather difficult. Apparently over that time they've been rather busy, breeding like rabbits! Every rock was COVERED with them - in fact, it was a little gross to be honest, but amazing all the same.
I felt like I lived for nap times - they were what made or broke my attitude each day, and what determined whether my husband found when he came home - either sweet little miss 50's in her fine linens and with dinner piping hot on the table, or the HULK. All too often he found the second, I'm embarrased to say, but it's true. And you know what it took to change me and the way I viewed my days and this all too precious, all too short time with my sweet and hyper little babes? It took God slamming me on my back in utter agony so that I was literally FORCED in every way to slow down and smell the roses (or more often than not, the sweet smell of baby powder as it unsuccessfully tries to mask the odor of whatever my child ate the day before because my word - did it smell wretched!!!). But yeah, Praise be to God for knowing exactly what it would take to bring me from resenting my children and all the time they were stealing from me and becoming a mother who looked forward to each fleeting moment I could get with them because I barely ever got to see them anymore. Sure gave me a HUGE reality check there, and honestly, the way that my pain has shaped the way I love and treasure and even just see my family, there is no way on earth I would EVER give that up, and I mean EVER!

There was a HUGE fire across the bay, and yet even through the thick smoke and destruction there was a beauty to it that everyone who saw it with us could not deny. Powerful, Unstoppable, Beautiful.

It's helped grow my husband and I as well, shifting our relationship from bickering over trivial matters to coming together in tears and crying out to God for mercy. It got God in the center, and even though there are parts of the UGLY in me that I wish my husband had never seen, and that his entire family had never seen, parts so disturbing that I cringe to even think of them, even though our relationships will never be the same, at least for mine and my husbands I am grateful for that in ways you could never understand. Before he understood or believed what was going on in my body was very real and every bit as painful as I claimed, which is one of the greatest difficulties people with this very REAL auto-immune disorder face every day, I have to say we just weren't being very gracious with each other - and neither of us was blame free in it. But now, now that we've been through this journey together, not only does he seem to view me as his Princess to save and I see him as my Knight in Shining Armor, but God is more in the center of US than He ever has been before, and I would never give that up for all the world as well.

This was something else that had grown over the few months since we had last been here - the kelp and seaweed shot up like crazy - some of those strands were an easy 20 foot length - I wish we could have measured them for sure. Much like the growth in our own lives - we can both see it and we know it's there, but it's immeasurable and only God alone knows how much growth has really taken place.
And these are just a few things God has done in our lives - I can't wait to see the impact this will make on us and those around us throughout the years. We've been blessed by friends who we will never ever be able to repay, and we are learning to accept that, hard as it is, because that's just how things have to be. We've seen our friends and family growing in God, being like Christ to us in our suffering, helping us pick up the pieces of our shattered lives and home, bringing us food, cleaning our home, watching our children, and just being THERE for us when we need them, and it's just amazing and beautiful to behold. We're spending more time trying to teach our children about God and who He is and what beautiful things He's done in our lives, though there's always room for improvement there, and I certainly don't claim to have all these things out to a tee. I just am so thankful for the way God has used this to slow us down by force so that we can see what truly matters - the eternal over the present, and all our relationships over our free time. It's incredible what God can show you if you're willing to listen, and I eagerly await with still a little fear and trepidation what He has to show me in the future, in order to change me and shape me into who He wants me to be.

I LOVE finding beauty in the unexpected!
I hope and pray that there is something in this again VERY LONG POST that speaks to you, and if you ever want to talk, please, feel free to leave a comment or follow the link under "About Me" to leave me an email. Honestly, I'm not sure that I can even help, but I CAN listen if that's what you need, so the offer stands. I hope you are finding your own sweet little moments of bliss in your life, and that God will continue to show Himself to you in new and exciting ways. As for me, I think I'll try to get in a brushstroke or two before the boys awake, if I get the chance. God bless you, my friends, and thank you ever so much for your continued prayers and support in this rather strange journey in the life of this tortured little artist. Take care!

One more look at the sea in all it's splendor before we go - the waves were crashing hard that day and the pounding of them upon the rocks filled the air with awe and wonder at the power behind them - a power and strength that pales in comparison to it's Creator, Christ our Lord. How I wish I could paint even a fraction of the beauty that God makes every day, but it is certainly enough to just be gifted enough to witness it in person. How great is OUR GOD!

Good-bye for now! Until next year, Monterey! We had such a fun trip, despite the wheelchairs and late starts due to my pain and my fibro, but I'm just so overjoyed at the fact we were even able to go that I can't complain at all. What a blast we had - thank you so much for your prayers that surely helped allow us to enjoy this trip, let alone even go on it. I really needed that!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

"Whispers of Fall Dancing in the Wind" - An Abstract Painting by Melissa Adams

"Whispers of Fall Dancing in the Wind"   4" x 4"     Acrylic on Gessoboard

Well hello there, my long lost friends - those of you who I hope still remember who I am! I'm so sorry for having gone missing for so long on here, but things have gotten rather intense over here medically speaking and I just now am regaining the strength I need to even just sit up on my own in the morning (still not there yet) let alone sit up for long periods of time to paint. I've missed it so much more than I ever thought I would and I am just dying to truly get back to the easel!

Here's my painting all set up on it's easel in our home. It's my feeble attempt at cheering up our house AND showcasing my painting at the same time, all while creating a little "Fall Moment" filled with joy in the Living Room. I'm a sucker for Burlap and Pine-cones - there's even more scattered throughout the house, including places like the fireplace and Levi's shelf - I mean the pine-cones of course... I mean, they're just so incredibly cute and festive - you gotta love them!

So I guess it's been a whole month now since I suffered a massive, and I mean MASSIVE "throw-me-on-my-back - no longer able to take care of myself or the kids - walkin' like the Tin Man - using the wheelchair around the house - being taken care of like an invalid" type of flare. It's left me and my whole family reeling from the weight of it all, and we're finally, by the grace of God, finding our way back into the land of the living rather than the "just surviving." It feels like everything I've learned, all my pain management techniques and bio-feedback, all the breathing, relaxing, stretching and everything I've learned over this last year was just wiped away in one fell swoop of God's hand and made useless due to one tiny rainy weather system and a few other elements that all stacked up at once and took us down HARD. We hit rock bottom again, just like last winter, and I sobbed like a little child who lost their favorite toy at the reality that everything I feared, everything I tried to tell myself wouldn't happen again DID INDEED HAPPEN, and it happened so quickly we barely had time to react.

So there I was, struggling to breathe, to move, to live, to exist and to just try and get in a measly 5 minutes of play with my dear sweet little boys, just as if we never left last winter behind us last year. I was in a bad way, so much so that my mom, my sweet ever self-sacrificial mom, gave up every moment she could to be with us and try to help us through it, watching the boys, making dinner, cleaning the house, helping Ty get in some precious moments of work actually AT the office. And Ty's mom and dad just started watching the boys again for us as well, with Karla giving up two whole days to devote to them entirely so Ty can get in even more time at work - which I must admit as a mother is both incredibly wonderful and terribly painful for me. It's just so hard to watch my sweet little boys being taken from my home into anothers, even sweet loving "Gaga", to be raised by someone other than myself. It hurts and that's all there is to it. I feel for all you working mom's out there - you guys are amazing, facing the pain and the dilemma each and every work day in order to make ends meet and have a home for your family - you amaze me!

And it's not just me who's been struggling with all this - it's been hard for everyone I love, trust me! My sister and her awesome teenage daughter, Willow, have been essential in my new trial at a Gluten Free lifestyle. Going Gluten Free saved Willow's adolescense in so many ways - she was constantly suffering from excruciating pain in her hips and her wrists and one day my sister decided to see if there was any way it was possibly linked to Gluten, and by golly, getting Willow off it solved EVERYTHING! It's definitely an avenue to explore, that's for sure, though it doesn't work for everyone. 

Right now I miss my boys so much, the two little ones and the 6'1" one as well. I've been having the strangest symptoms lately as well of such overwhelming fatigue that it feels like I'm a narcoleptic or something at times. I've spilled far too many coffees, breakfasts, and even bowls of ice-cream into my lap because of it, as like a toddler, I fall asleep quite uncontrollably while I'm eating. I sleep insane hours - no joke, sleeping consistently 18-20 hours so many days out of the week that it unnerves me and seems so unnatural. It's actually quite scary at times, and it can be hard for Ty to rouse me awake - yet another chore for that poor over-worked man to have on his plate. For better or worse, though, and I don't even know if we've seen the worst of it yet, but he sure has borne far more than most men have had to in this department. Yet we ALL have our own forms of BAD. This auto-immune disorder just happens to be ours, and it's a toughy. And we don't even have it as bad as others do, if you want to start comparing, but I have to say this still isn't easy by any means. It will be by God's grace alone that we will get through this winter, and all the winters after that. But still, I find myself facing the wind and the rain and all the storms in my life, be they emotional, physical or literal, that are sure to come our way with a sick feeling in my gut, terror and fear gripping me, and a broken, wavering heart. How do we do this? Is this our life - forever?

After all, we weren't sure that this winter would even be that bad. Well, everyone else wasn't, though I can't say the same for myself. For some reason, no matter how hard I tried to deny it, I just couldn't shake the certainty that even though we had come so far, that a huge flare of pain was coming, coming hard and fast and every bit as bad as it was before. And so, when it hit us I felt instantly crushed. It was a Wednesday, and I had a very dear and amazing friend over, one of those kinds of friends that you pray for all your life and praise the Lord for finally bringing them to you. Those steadfast, through the muck and real-life "this is me, with my guard down and what you see is what you get" types of girls that loves you despite all of that. Oh, she's a keeper alright. In fact, all my dearest friends are and I love them for that! I can't even begin to tell you how much it was worth every moment in those seven full years of praying to have those type of steadfast women of faith like that in my life, but I am so very grateful for them! If you don't have friends like this - don't lose hope my friends, just pray without ceasing and have faith that God will bring them to you in his timing, and He will. Like I said, it took 7 years, but it was worth every second of that wait!

Anyways, I had a dear friend over, and as it seems to happen whenever a little friend of the boys' comes over, my boys acted like I fed them spoonfuls of sugar topped with coffee that morning, and I started getting more exhausted than is usual for me. It was that scary kind of tired, the type that leads down avenues of pain I'd rather not visit. So I called Tyler soon after she left and he immediately came home to my aid, as I was huffing and puffing just by walking around the house. He took over the boys and I lay down and tried to regain my strength. That Friday we had a girls night at my home, (oh how it was amazing to see all the faces I have missed so much over this last year!!!) and Tyler, my knight in shining armor, literally did everything to make it happen so I didn't have to move a muscle. How I convinced that man to marry me I still haven't figured out, but it puzzles me every day! Anyways, after a mix up that night with my Doc we ended up heading to the ER to pick up a mixed up prescription and they could immediately see I wasn't doing so well. They gave me some Valium and Dilaudid and sent me home. From that point on, my exhaustion exploded - I quite literally slept 3 days straight, other than taking small moments to eat or use the washroom or give the boys a kiss and whisper that I love them... =) Unfortunately a few days later we ended up back in the ER merely because the pain became unbearable, and it required getting a shot this time, which helped a ton, and from that point on I started working hard with all my Drs. to figure out what was causing such a ridiculously hard flare.

We've taken leaps and bounds in my care since then, starting on working up some flare plans for everything from mild to severe flares like this one, but I'm still finding it hard to make a plan for something so completely debilitating. I mean, I can measure how bad I'm doing by whether or not I can handle even the simple task of painting or walking around the house without a walker, the first of which is known as a wonderful form of therapy in so many ways. But it's been weeks since I've been able to handle sitting up long enough to even paint a little bit, let alone hold the paintbrush and get out my supplies. Perhaps I should Google how to paint while laying down like Frida Kahlo did most of her life due to her horrible accident when she was young, but then again, that's most likely a recipe for disaster in a household with two little boys constantly running around getting their fingers around every single thing in it. Perhaps that's not such a great idea after all... But slowly, like last year, and with the help of many wonderful souls, we'll get through this winter to face a beautiful spring. I know in all my heart that God will get us through this - after all this is His good and perfect plan for our lives, and God simply doesn't make mistakes nor does He pick up the pieces like a confused parent, trying to make the most of what's left. God not only allowed this for my life, He filtered it and planned it specifically for me and my family because He knew we could use it to help us grow and mature in Him, and eventually He will use it for great things some day, even if I never do get to see them here on earth.

Wow, I'm sorry for going on and on like that for so long, I've just had so very much on my mind, on my heart and on my plate, and I feel like it's been ages since I last checked in with you on here. It's so therapeutic to write things out and share them with others, though I imagine that it might bore some of you (if not all of you) to death at times. But that's alright, not boring you to death, that is. I just meant there's always that handy-dandy little scroll bar to help cut to the chase of the matter and skip through all the type to see the pictures. For those who truly enjoy to listen, I thank you from the depths of my being - you have no idea how much it means to me to have such sweet and loyal followers of my art, and to those who don't, I want to thank you as well. I love all my readers, even if you don't really care so much about the words and just want to see the work! I feel blessed either way!!! So I'll leave with this - this last picture that was taken not too long before my major flare hit this Fall, and it's just happy little me, all covered in paints in the middle of the night after having poured myself into creating quite a pile of art and a wonderful mess of beautiful abstracts. I do believe abstracts are my joy-finders - they are so random and lovely and make me smile nearly every single time I do them, so perhaps I should try doing them more often! Trust me, if I can get up some more regular posts this month, I'll be sharing each one of them with you that I made that night. Oooh, and I have a new contest for this month as well, though I honestly haven't decided what it should be yet. I should hope to have it up by tomorrow, Lord willing, so stay tuned because this may just be your lucky month. =0)   Either way, it will be an easy one to participate in, so it's worth doing if you have even only a minute of your time to spare. Well, I hope to talk to you soon, my dear friends! May God bless you this day!  =)

Little Missy Messy Hands  =0)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

"Where the Red Ferns Grow" - A Landscape Painting of Fall in Detroit

Finally, I'm getting back into my groove with these Virtual Paintouts! I've missed doing them so very much, and so this month I made sure to do something for it, even if I couldn't post it til the end of the challenge. Here's what I found on my trip to Detroit, which as usual for these challenges, was surprisingly gorgeous! I came upon this pristine meadow of red ferns with the most stunningly red tree I've ever ventured upon and I was just stopped speechless in my tracks. It was a no-brainer for me - this shot was screaming to be painted, don't you agree?

"Where the Red Ferns Grow"     5" x 7"     Acrylic on Archival Canvas Board
This was one of those rare jewels to work on, where each stroke made me more and more excited to see it as a finished work. It's always such a treat when you stumble upon scenes like this. Definitely makes me feel all the more ready for the beauty of fall! I hope your weekend has been a good one - mine's been rather... Interesting, I suppose. Haha, oh man, does interesting ever mean good anymore? Oh well. Such is the life of a fibromyalgic.  =/ We could use prayer - we could ALWAYS use prayer, because the pain is mounting along with my fear of another horrible winter ahead of us. I don't mean to sound melodramatic, but trying to stay positive is so much easier said than done... At least I know that with the grace of God we can get through whatever is sent our way, even if that means He has to carry us all the way through. Quite literally in my case, too! Hahaha! Oh, it feels good to laugh when you're scared, doesn't it? Makes things feel a bit less serious and puts you a bit more at ease. Laughing is really quite good for the soul. Plus, it helps you burn calories too, so that's an added plus!  =0)

Oh, by the way, I have my winner for last months contest, and it's LINDA NASH!!! So Linda, whenever you have the time, why don't you drop me a Facebook message and let me know what images and phrases you would like for your Notecards, or if you'd like I can pick the images for you, and I will get to work on putting that all together.

This month, oh man, I am so stinkin' excited about this month's challenge! Okay, so we're doing something different and totally awesome, and I couldn't be more excited about what it will be! We're going to do a PHOTO CONTEST! The winner of the contest will win a free painting done by me of the photograph that they submit, memorializing a special moment in time so that it can be treasured forever! So, if you want to enter to win this fabulous prize, you may submit any photograph of just about any subject you want, so long as you have personally taken the photo, and at the end of the month I will chose my favorite photo to put down in paint. I'M SO EXCITED!!!

The only exceptions and regulations I have are that you MUST be the author of the shot, you must fill out the form at the bottom of this page to release any images you submit for my use so I can actually use them, and I just really would prefer no nudes or anything that most people would deem inappropriate or gross. Other than that, I think most things are a go. Does that make any sense? Basically, I'm looking for something beautiful, eye-catching and memorable, so try to remember that as you look through your images. So if you're interested, just FOLLOW THIS LINK to my email and send me your favorite images (up to 5 total are allowed by each person) along with the release form below, and if you're lucky you'll get to see it recreated in paint! And who knows? If I find myself with too many good ones to choose from I may have to paint more than one... That means there's chance to see your favorite photo recreated with paint, and a chance at multiple winners - that sounds pretty amazing to me!!!  =D

So if you'd like to participate, go ahead and copy this image release form into your email, fill it out, and send in your top pics (nice pun, huh?!):


For valuable consideration received, I grant to Melissa Adams the irrevocable and unrestricted right to use and publish this photograph for editorial, trade, advertising, and any other purpose and in any manner and medium; and to alter and composite the same without restriction and without my inspection or approval. I hereby release Melissa Adams from all claims and liability relating to said photographs.








Now, I know this form might sound a little weird and a bit overboard, but in this day and age you can never be too safe. I just want to make sure to protect me and my family, not to mention all the other photographers and artists I hear about who have found their images being used by any number of individuals without an ounce of say in the matter. That's just no fun for anyone! So just to be safe, if you don't mind filling this out and sending this form along with your photos I would really appreciate it. You should be able to just copy and paste it into your email. And if you'd like your name added to my mailing list, let me know on that last line, okay? I'm planning on having some special surprises eventually for those who sign up for that, so I would highly suggest it! Otherwise, your info won't be used for a single thing other than being your signature and release for the photos you submit.

Which brings up another point... I don't know if you caught that, but you may submit as many as 5 photos for this contest, which means you'll have to narrow it down your favorites (super hard to do given the unlimited amount of digital photos we all have stacking up on our hard drives). But still, this should give you plenty of chances to win! And don't forget to think outside the box on this - I love abstracts as well, so the sky's the limit!

So, if you're up to the challenge, I would absolutely love it if you would join along with me and share your ideas of what would make a beautiful, eye-catching and memorable painting. I'll be sure to share my top picks along the way and at the end of the month I'll announce my winner. Oh wow, I seriously CANNOT WAIT to see what you come up with!!! =D

Saturday, August 24, 2013

"Straight Up Falling" - An Expressionist Painting of the Falls in Yosemite

"Straight Up Falling"     2.5" x 3.5"     Acrylic on Canvas Paper (ACEO)

Here's another one of my expressionistic paintings of the falls in Yosemite. I think I could paint hundreds upon thousands of works based on that amazing place, that is if I ever had that much time... And if there were any way at all that our family could swing living there and that I could land a job being their Artist in Residence, oh man, would I ever be all over that!!! Man, how amazing would that be?! To live in that gorgeous park, or almost ANY State Park for that matter, and to get paid to paint on location, do demos, and sit in the lobby and paint in front of visitors - WOW! What a dream come true that would be! Shoot, I would love even just living CLOSE to a place like that! There's something just so special and inspiring about the fresh alpine air, full of pine and dew and wildflowers, that makes an artist's blood boil with excitement. I'm getting excited just thinking about it! =0)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

"Purple Falls" - An Expressionistic Painting of the Falls in Yosemite

"Purple Falls"     2.5" x 3.5"     Acrylic on Canvas Paper (ACEO)
Well hello there! Today's painting has an interesting little story to it. It is the second attempt at an expressionistic painting that was commissioned by my winner of one of my contests, Sea. I don't know if you remember it, but the first one ended up rather pink, and it wasn't until it had sat on my shelf for awhile that I realized what I created, while lovely in my own opinion, wasn't exactly what she had asked for. The color pallette ended up more along the green and pink scale rather than purple, blue and green.

Luckily I realized all that before sending it out, and even though it was a bit embarrassing, I had to make sure she truly liked it first before I sent it overseas. I was right - the painting wasn't quite what she was hoping for, so I gladly offered to try my hand at it again, wanting to make sure that what she ended up with would be something she would truly treasure. So here it is, my second and very joyous attempt to get things right.  =0)

And you know, even though it was humbling to admit my own error, I'm glad I brought it up to her and not the other way around. It's never fun finding out you didn't please your clients, so if you have the opportunity to make sure they like it beforehand, I strongly recommend it. And now because of all this I  have an extra little painting to sell. If you're interested, here it is:

"Path to Power"     2.5" x 3.5"     Acrylic on Canvas Paper (ACEO)

As for the pretty little purple one at the top of this post, well it will shortly make it's way across the ocean and to her door. How cool is that?! I'm super excited, more than you can imagine, at knowing that my work will be owned internationally. That's AMAZING!!! It's just about one of the coolest things you can hope for with your art, or at least that's how I feel about it. =D

And as for the process behind this work, well, I challenged myself to be more free and loose with both my strokes and my use of color than I was in the first one, and honestly I was really surprised at how difficult that was. I guess working small does come with some restraints after all! No using big brushes here... Hahaha! No, no, no... And the teeny-tiny ones didn't work either, which was even more shocking. What ended up working best was a size 3 round. It allowed me to make small yet overstated brushstrokes and to create a feeling that was more expressionistic in nature than my first attempt.

And now I'm off to work on one of my other commissioned pieces by one of my first winners. Thank God she's a good friend of mine and is being rather patient, because I would be in a mess of trouble if not. It's just taking a bit longer than normal. But luckily I found my sweet spot with it and am on a roll. I can't wait to post it when it's done - her idea was awesome and while it's a difficult painting for me, it's turning out beautifully. Well, I suppose I should let you be the judge of that, but hey, a girl can like her own work, right? Oh I sure hope so...! =0)  Well, take care my friends. As for me, I'm off to paint! =D

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"Calla Lily" - A Floral Painting of a Calla Lily

"Calla Lily"     4" x 5"     Acrylic on Archival Canvas Board

I realized the other day that I never did repost this painting after fixing my signature so that it wasn't so glaringly obvious. Here's how it looked before:

Big improvement, right?! I can thank my Ty for that - he's always so honest and straightforward about my work, and I love him for it, even if it hurts at times. But he was totally right on this one, the signature was too bold and took away from the overall look of the painting by creating a fight over the spotlight. The Lily won in the end, and I think you'll agree it looks a ton better for it. And I think I'm getting better with my editing too - the top one is a more real to life version of the painting than the first one, so I'm happy as a clam over here! =D

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

WORK IN PROGRESS - Watercolor Painting "Silhouetted Shadows"

WORK IN PROGRESS - "Silhouetted Shadows"

Here's a little watercolor work that I started while waiting between my appointments the other day. I was absolutely entranced by the delicate silhouetted shadows of the leaves of the bush next to me, balanced harmoniously with the shimmering, clamoring leaves of the trees above. It was just begging to be painted. But for some reason, my plein air version just doesn't quite do it for me, and now that I'm back in the studio I don't exactly know what to do with it. So, that's where you come in. Any ideas on what I might be able to do to make this painting feel more complete? I was thinking perhaps a baby blueish colored wash dripping down from the top, perhaps adding salts to make the results more fun and interesting and well, just downright cool. I love salted watercolors. And salted toffees. And salted caramels. And mochas. And Hot Chocolates. And, well, any form of salted candy/chocolate/drink etc. Awww man! Now I'm HUNGRY! Oops... Anyways, I'd love to hear from you any ideas you might have. And I thank you in advance for your help!!! =D

Monday, August 12, 2013

"Night Lights" - A Whimsical Garden Painting

"Night Lights"     2.5" x 3.5"     Acrylic on Canvas Paper (ACEO)

This sweet little painting was actually started en plein air, as funny as that might seem, back at the cabin in Montana this summer. They have some beautiful rows of lavender blossoms that were absolutely breathtaking lining the outer walls, and I just couldn't resist them. Who can?

I never got the chance to finish the painting while we were there, but I'm actually glad for that, as when I got home with it I just started to play around and ended up coming up with this delightful little scene to go with it. I've always had a fascination with Snails, Inch Worms and Fireflies (who doesn't, right?) and I thought it would be fun to make a scene lit by them, similar in a way to how the Baroque painters, whom I absolutely adore, used to light their scenes with a single candle or oil lamp in order to create intensity in their works. I've always wanted to paint like them, and even though this isn't exactly even remotely like their work, I love the fun little flair it added to this piece. I hope you like it too!

It looks absolutely AMAZING in it's black frame, with the white matting adding an extra pop to the colors of the piece. It's sure to delight young and young of heart alike, so if you're interested in buying this adorable and original work of art, email me and let me know! Or you can buy it from my Daily Paintworks Gallery as well.  Well, I hope you have a great one today. Take care!  =D

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Contest Winner for July is Announced, as well as the New Contest for August!!!

"The Light in the Willow"     5" x 7"     Acrylic on Museum Quality Claybord
 Regular purchase price is $90. This sale lasts until the 17th
email me if interested in purchasing this piece

Whew! FINALLY!!!!

So my winner for last months contest (where we got a whopping 31 entries!) was Suzanne Berry! Congratulations my friend!!! I have to admit I always feel a bit odd if one of my friends wins, even though the method I use is completely random and safe, using the random number generator, so there's no way for me to fix it or anything, but I always worry about what it might look like to others. But you know, it doesn't really matter what others may think I suppose, I'm just happy that so many people played along this month and that a truly great artist will now be the proud(?) owner of my art. =D Yay, Suzanne, I'm so happy you won and I can't wait to see which painting you pick! I really appreciate the amount of comments you left on here too - it always feels so good to have people comment back on your work. Well, I'll be in contact with you over which paintings you can choose from, okay. =0)  And I also really want to say a special thank you to everyone who participated this month - you made me feel so very, very loved (so much more than you could ever possibly imagine!) and I just adored being able to read each and every comment you all wrote. So thank you all so very, very much!!! You're awesome!!!!

Well, this month's contest is the same as last month - anyone who comments on any of my new posts during this month, whether on here or on my Facebook Fan Page - will get a shot to win the prize. You will get one point for every post you comment on, so you can truly wrack up a ton of points by the end of the month if you stay an active commentator on my blog or my fan page, and especially if you do both. I love hearing from you all, as I've said before, and it's so much fun to hear your thoughts on everything, including how I can improve. So good luck my friends! And just so you know, you can start commenting today on any post made from the 1st of August until the 31st, so if you're interested in winning this one, go ahead and hop to it! =0) And did I mention you can win more than once? So if you're an art lover or a friend of one and want to try to win another prize on here or hoping to win your first, feel free to play along! =D

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Busy, busy, busy... =P

My dear friends, I haven't forgotten about you! We have been a bit more busy these last few days than I anticipated and I need a little more time tallying up all the participants in last months contest and in deciding exactly which paintings to have available for that winner to chose from. So if you'll bear with me I will be posting our winner and our new contest for this month as soon as I possibly can - though honestly it may be a few days. I will try my hardest to get it done more quickly than that, but sometimes life is a bit busy and this week just happens to be one of the busier ones.

I hope you are doing well though and I can't wait to be talking to you after I get these next few posts up. Ooh, plus I have two new paintings I'm pretty excited about - sweet little ACEOs that are sure to bring a smile to your face. Or so I hope! Haha, well, have a great Saturday and I hope to be seeing you soon!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Path to Power" - A Landscape Painting of Yosemite

"Path to Power"     2.5" x 3.5"     Acrylic on Canvas Paper
SOLD/Not For Sale

Today's painting was made for Sea Dean, one of my three winners from last month's contest. She chose as her prize for me to create an ACEO painting made in the colors and style of my painting "El Capitan." I figured if she liked that particular painting so much then I ought to try creating a painting from a different part of Yosemite for her, to give her almost a painted tour of the park. That probably sounds silly, but she lives overseas as it is, and I don't know if she's ever had the chance to come visit the states. That's why I thought it'd be fun to give her another glimpse of one of the most beautiful parks in the world over. Sea's a painter too, and hosts a rather entertaining page on Facebook for both artists and art lovers alike called "Get Your Art Out There." I would have provided the link to it but it's a closed group so I don't think I can. But if you look it up and want to join, all you have to do is type the name into the search bar on Facebook and let Sea know you want it. It's that easy!  =)

I wanted to shout out a quick reminder that today is the last day to enter to win a painting for this month. All you have to do is comment on this or any other post from the month of July, 2013. I have to say it's my easiest contest yet! So go ahead, you never do know if you might be one of the lucky ones! And congratulations again Sea. This pretty little piece will be on it's way over the oceans and to your door as soon as possible. I so love giving my works a new home - and to send one over-seas is absolutely thrilling!

Well, take care of yourselves my friends! And stay tuned - there are still more new paintings to come this week. I'm finally back in my groove, trying to get all the works out that were promised before my rather unexpected surgery. But it's starting to come together, thank the LORD, and with each new work I finish the more excited I get over being able to eventually jump into one of my own art projects that's been brewing in my mind for some weeks now! I can't wait to begin! Lucky for me though, I've loved all the commissions too and sadly I think I'll miss them once I get over this wave of them. But still, it's a win-win for me, no matter how you look at it.

I hope you are having a great day out there and I hope that in some way you might be able to carve out some time for yourself to spend creating something yourself - that it would be a time of refreshing both your body and your soul, and that in the end whatever you create is absolutely beautiful, even if only to you. Hey, I have plenty of those! Haha. But yeah, it just feels so wonderful to pour your heart into something real and at the end be able to hold something you've made in your hands. There are few things better than that! Well, have a wonderful day and God bless!

Monday, July 29, 2013

"Winter Perch" - A Miniature Owl Painting from the "Snowy Owl in Miniature" Series

"Winter Perch"     2" x 2"     Acrylic on Canvas

Oh man, I've been going crazy trying to get everything back on track lately with all my commissions right now, and I'm finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Things are moving along rather nicely and I only have a few more piece left to finish. I have the feeling that this weeks postal shipment is going to be a big one. Oh what fun! I am truly sorry for any of you who may be waiting on a painting right now. Please know I am working diligently to finish each and every piece as soon as possible and to get them shipped and on their way to you in no time. That silly emergency surgery of mine sure caused me a lot of grief this time, and I am just beside myself with worry over upsetting any of my clients. I just didn't have the time for this surgery to happen, but the body gets what the body wants and I'm left with picking up the pieces and hoping I haven't upset or offended anybody with my tardiness. Hopefully there will be at the very least a touch of grace extended to me considering my unexpected medical adventure this month. Trust me, it wasn't any fun and I would have MUCH rather have been painting if you ask me. So if you are waiting on a work, please rest assured that I am up and running (or rather, painting) again and I will be getting your work to you as soon as it's finished. I'm going to be updating everyone throughout the week on exactly where I'm at, and I'll be in touch soon if I haven't been already.

Featured above is the third painting in my "Snowy Owl in Miniature" series that was commissioned by a very sweet and patient friend. She wanted it to be snowing in each and every scene, and for this last one she wanted to have an owl sitting upon a fence post resting his wings for a moment. This little collection has been quite a joy to create and as you can imagine I really liked creating this little series simply based on the fact that it's about owls. Here below is the final finished series (at least finished for now - I may make a few more just for the fun of it) all together at last. Enjoy!

If you ever want to commission your own paintings in miniature of your pets or favorite kind of animal, or really of just about anything you'd like, please email me and let me know. I'd be more than happy to work on something with you and you'll be amazed at what an impact something so little can have in a room. They come complete with a miniature easel (with either a light pine finish or a black painted finish) and they come with a rather miniature price as well of $25 each. And the best part is that they fit just about anywhere you could want and they make the most amazing and thoughtful gifts. So like I said, if you'd like your very own miniature masterpiece, feel free to email me with what you would like and we'll work out all the details from there.

As a side-note, I have to admit that I'm having a blast getting to work on so many different projects right now! It's incredible! I hope that you are having as great a time as I'm having, or even more, and that you have a wonderfully productive day as well. God bless and happy creating my friend! =D

Sunday, July 28, 2013

"The Anatomy of Me: A Self Portrait" - Whimsical Painting

"The Anatomy of Me:  A Self Portrait"     8" x 10"     Acrylic on Gessobord

Detail of Owl from "The Anatomy of Me:  A Self Portrait"

Detail from Under the Sea from "The Anatomy of Me:  A Self Portrait"
 Not For Sale
But, if you'd like to see my available works or purchase a different painting, 
please go to the tab above labeled "Gallery of Available Works" and email me.

This is a self portrait that I've been working on for some time and that should have actually been done the week of my surgery. I know it's not a portrait in the traditional sense, but it's a peek into my life, my loves, and my passions and what is here on this canvas is truer to my heart than any painting of my physical appearance ever could have been. There are pieces of this that you won't quite understand, but that's part of the beauty of it in my opinion. And some of it is easy to explain. The lantern, for instance, represents my love of camping and spending time outdoors. The whale and ocean scene represent Monterey and the Aquarium, where many of our most special memories for our family have been formed, and will hopefully be revisited very soon. After all, we still need to make up for that botched summer vacation and we still have a few weeks left to try. =)  The owl is there because, well, I just absolutely LOVE owls, and same with the octopus. By the way, the octopus is stylized because when I was younger that's how I used to draw them for my friends, per their requests, and I wanted that aspect of my life to be shown here. There are so many more details with such deeper meanings than this, the tree, the pearl, the starry night sky, the clouds and the waves crashing upon the rocks - each and every element has its place in my heart and a reason for existing in this little world I created with paint and canvas. I wish I could share them all with you, but a girl has to keep a little mystery and intrigue about her, dontcha think?

All in all I really love the way this turned out in the end - I was scared there for a moment, not sure if I could get across exactly what I was going for, but I really do enjoy the way it turned out and it was quite the challenge for me to work on as well. My favorite part of it, well, other than the hidden meanings of course, was in putting so many pieces together into the one whole, with so many small and intricate details laced throughout it, and I honestly can't wait to do something similar to this on a much larger scale, even if I have no clue as to what I would actually do it of. Can you imagine how much I could fit into a scene as large as 48" x 60" if I actually did something like this? I mean, this painting here is only an 8"x10" - not my smallest work for sure, but still pretty small in comparison. Working on something so large would be utterly amazing - and perhaps a deal overwhelming - for me to undertake, but still, SOMEDAY...

Yes, someday I would absolutely love to do a really epic and involved piece, with details that just suck you in for minutes on end until you find yourself lost in it. I've always adored works like that by other artists - it's one of the most amazing aspects of art to me really - to lose one's self in it. But first I have to get over the fear of painting on and potentially ruining such as expensive as a large canvas. I just want to make sure that what I do is perfectly defined and drawn out long before I ever put paintbrush to palette near a canvas of that size. In a way it's silly, really, because I could always rework it until I really like it, but I still struggle with that fear as much as if it were a dog with his jaws clenched relentlessly around my ankle, unshakable and completely ferocious. Why I can't shake it, or when I will, I can't really say. But I sure do hope it's soon!

Do you ever struggle with fears like this? Or even better, have you ever overcome a fear that is similar to this one in some way? I'd love to hear from you, whether it's about something you've already dealt with or are still dealing with. God tells us to not be afraid - that the only thing worthy of fear is He himself. It makes sense - as He holds us securely in His hands and I know He's given me these gifts to use them, refine them, and to harness them to help out others, including my own family. I hate not being able to let go of my fears, my worries and my anxiety. I haven't been more aware of how much of a worrier I am than at my Doctors appointment this week. No, nothing was wrong - no losing of an organ this time! Instead, I'm actually participating in a Bio-Feedback program at the Chronic Pain Center, and while I was there with my Ty, we worked on breathing exercises. Apparently most people breathe slowly, deeply and with consistent timing. Most people also only take between 8 to 12 breaths a minute. Tyler definitely fits into this category. Me however? Oh no! Not me. I breathe so shallowly, quickly and inconsistently that Ty felt like he was going to hyperventilate during one of the tests where I was working on slowing down my breaths. I can't imagine how quickly he'd pass out if he had to breathe at my speed. After all, I take somewhere around 19 breaths a minute right now, which for a person without chronic pain is rather crazy, and for a person with chronic pain it's actually pretty normal. It's crazy how much stress, chronic pain and anxiety change the way your body actually functions on a regular basis. I can't even get close to breathing as slowly as Tyler right now - it's going to take months before then!

Well, it's in moments of awareness like this that open my eyes to how much I am truly unable to let go of my fears or worries no matter what they're about. Even in my art - my go-to "stress reducer" that helps me unwind and close out the rest of the world. Well, at least knowing all this will help me to come to the place where I can actually produce change in my life, I just wish the change was already here. And I imagine this might sound silly to some of you, but I wonder if it would help me to glaze a large canvas right off the bat just so the stark whiteness of it can no longer stare me so harshly in the face? It's worth a shot. And I imagine that just sitting down and drawing something out - facing my fear head on and attacking it before it permanently cripples me - perhaps that would help. I'll let you know what works if I ever do tackle the really gigantic canvases. They just look so amazing, don't you think?

It's getting late and I should probably let you go. I hope you have a wonderful day and hey, if you can you should try to stay tuned this week - I have a few more finished works that I'll be posting up here shortly and I'd love to be able to share them with you. They're little tiny ones too! In the meantime, take care of yourself, okay? God bless!

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Truly Inspirational Speach about Making Good Art, No Matter What Kind of Art You Make

This is the most AMAZING and inspirational video I've seen in a long time. It was posted originally on my friend and fellow artist Crystal Cook's blog, and I just can't help but re-post it here because of its sheer genius. For any artists, authors or thinkers of the imaginative realms anywhere, I strongly suggest you take a minute, or 20, to listen to this video. You won't regret it one bit - in fact, I think you will find yourself greatly inspired to take your art to new heights. And by art I mean all realms - writing, painting, printmaking, architecture, dance, music, seriously, whatever type of art you make. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did (by the way, sorry the screen size is so small, but if you click full screen it's perfectly large enough there, so I recommend viewing it that way):


So good, right?! Thank you Crystal for the amazing link! I am so inspired to start truly letting my own voice be heard, no matter how naked and vulnerable it makes me feel. I feel like I've been trying to play it safe, afraid to let people see all that is inside me, and even though I know it will take some time for me to truly let my voice be seen even more in my art, I want to start working towards that all the more right now. It's hard to break down all the walls and let people see what lies inside. Sometimes it's really hard to just let your true self be seen. But this girl wants to break down those walls, to hang posters that tell me I can at least pretend to be Wise AND Successful - that I already AM a Master Artist, even though I know I'm nowhere near that, just so I can start acting like it. Perhaps by thinking this way it will change the way I view my art as well as how I view myself, and I'll start making decisions and making art that I never would have made in this timid, shy and unsure state I'm in. How about you? Does this video make you feel inspired or make you want to try something different? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. Plus, any comments on here count towards being entered in this months contest of a free painting, and free stuff is always good, dontcha think? Take care my friend, and have a wonderfully inspired day making GOOD ART!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"Sweet Bubbling Waters" - Abstract Photography

"Sweet Bubbling Waters"
Flathead Lake, Montana
Taken June 25th, 2013
Prints Available Upon Request Via Email

Flathead Lake in Montana hosts sweet bubbling waters so clean and pure and sparkling that it seems as if it's been ripped right out of a fairytale. The colors of the pebbles were so beautifully colorful that I could hardly believe my eyes, and I just couldn't resist sorting through them to find the most beautiful ones of all. It was nearly impossible, since all of them looked like the ones above... When I make a book of my photographic journeys, which I truly hope to do some day, this one will certainly make the cut!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Some Photos from Our Trip to Montana a Few Weeks Ago

Today I just thought I'd post some pics from our trip to Montana a few weeks ago. I have to say, for me, that vacation took the prize for being worst vacation EVER - including the time we went without power during those horrible storms a few years back where we were stuck in a cabin for days with 13 people - talk about feeling cramped and dirty. Yup. It even beat that. But even though the flu took no pity on us, we did have a wonderful last day that I will treasure forever. I think the whole fiasco was worth it even just for that one day for me. It was just me and Ty and our boys out at the beach, and it was spectacular! See for yourself:

This boat was just so gorgeous against a background of blue. I can't wait to paint this!
BIG SKY Country indeed!
Levi giving Owen some loves here - how he loves his best friend!
My littlest love bug   =D

Me and my love - I can't wait to steal away with him and the boys to Monterey to make even more beautiful memories with just the four of us. It's hard to believe we've never been on a vacation with just us before, and I think it's far overdue! Now if I could just stop losing organs so we can actually attempt it... =0)
I was absolutely captivated by the way the water kept sweeping and swirling over the gorgeous and colorful rocks that lined the shores of Flathead Lake. I have so many shots similar to this one, where the rippling water made abstract designs that were just breathtaking, and I can't wait to show you more of them, but for now I need to take a little break from editing. And much like the lovely red boat, this one is also calling my name, begging to be painted. It almost looks painted already in my opinion, and I can't wait to see what it looks like as a print. I think what I like most of all is the little ghost rock in this one. It's so cute! =0)

For once I'm actually really enjoying editing my pictures from our trips, so hopefully I'll have some more edits to show you. Normally it's something I both look forward to and dread, but this time, perhaps since we were all so sick that we barely took any pictures, well this time it's been so much fun. Like I said, if I get the chance I'll be adding more up here, and you can be sure to see some of them turned into paintings as well. That red boat is just calling my name, don't you think? =D

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