Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"Pure Power" - A Landscape Painting of a Waterfall in Yosemite

"Pure Power"     8" x 10"      Acrylic on Canvas with Painted Wrapped Edges
CLICK HERE to BUY NOW from my Daily Paintworks Gallery

I painted this a few days ago and meant to get it up on the blog yesterday but just never got the chance to do so. Such is life. =) But here it is and it's one of my new favorites, and my hubby's too! It's from our trip to Yosemite in 2011, and is one of the many gorgeous waterfalls we were blessed to see on that trip. They were so full that year - sometimes you don't get so lucky and the falls are pretty weak if the rainy season didn't go very well that year. Ahhh, but in 2011 it had rained like crazy and the raw power behind the falls was so incredibly majestic and awe-inspiring to behold. We just stared at them forever!

Today I'm feeling pretty lucky to have the wonderful chance to be able to paint today, though that doesn't mean I'm free from having any appointments. My pain just isn't very well managed right now, if you haven't been able to tell from the fact that I've barely even been capable of painting much lately. But I'm really hoping that after today my doctor and I will make some big strides in the right direction with managing all this raging pain. One exciting thing I've found in this process is a wonderful video on Amazon prime on using Tai-Chi as meditation for healing, where you simply clear your mind and do breathing exercises, much like the Bradley method for childbirth. It's incredible so far! Knocked this girl right here out cold twice, and considering how hard it is for me to find sleep, it was a wonderful thing for me to experience. This is going to be on my daily watchlist for sure!

Oh man, I seriously cannot believe that this month is over in two days! Where have I been...? Oh yeah, curled up on the couch in pain. Whatever. =P Anyways, have you made sure to like my page and tell me on my Facebook wall that you want to enter my contest to win one of three ACEOS complete with a frame card? Because if you don't tell me you want to enter this month's contest then I don't have you down for it. And there are going to be three winners this month, which is even more awesome because that means you have an even greater chance of winning!

But you know what the very best part is, one that is quite unexpected for me? Because I had been planning to paint so many more ACEO's this month than I was able to because of my fibro, if you win and there isn't one I've made that you really like for your home, then you get to commission your very own one from me, which means it will match your house PERFECTLY!!! There are a few restrictions of course as to the subject matter, but not to worry, I'll let you know what they are when you win. SO GO ON, CLICK HERE, LIKE MY PAGE AND THEN TELL ME THAT YOU WANT TO ENTER THIS MONTH'S CONTEST!!! It's so easy even my mom can do it! Lol! =D Sorry mom... =P Anyways, good luck to all of you! I hope you're having a great day out there! =D

Monday, February 25, 2013

My Very First Bid on a Painting! So exciting!

I got my very 1st bid on one of my paintings at DPW!!! It's this one here:

"Around the Edges"


I actually squealed with joy a little (okay, okay, a lot! Lol!) when I read the email that announced my very first bidder ever, and I couldn't wait to tell Tyler and the rest of you out there as well! I'm so excited! =D  And I actually feel like a real artist right now - woo-hoo! Lol!

It's such a great feeling doing a bid for some reason. I like how even if at times you don't make as much as you'd like to make, at least the people who buy it end up getting a fantastic deal in the end, and there's always a chance you can make even more. And I also like how this actually helps make my art more accessible to just about everyone, so this is just one more way for me to try.

Speaking of that, I'm hoping to be working on my FAA site as soon as possible so I can start selling prints soon. I was hoping to have it up weeks ago, but have been in far too much pain to do much of anything other than cope lately, as I'm sure you've heard far too much about if you've been following my blog. Sorry 'bout that! =) But maybe things will start looking up soon as the weather warms up. I can't wait for summer at this point!!!

Well, like I said before, if you want to check out this particular bid, here's the link to my bidding pool. =)  It's only at $35 right now, and comes framed and ready to hang! Such a great deal! And bidding ends in just a little over two more days, so there's still time if you like this one. Oh, and I have a lot of other paintings on auction right now as well, as part of my slow attempt at a studio-clean up. =)

Hope you're having a good morning so far (or that you had a good day today =0)  ) and I will try to post my newest painting ASAP. Just gotta make the post. I like this one too. And so does Ty - - A LOT! He actually just asked me why I haven't posted it yet, all disappointed like. I love it when Ty is so interested in my art, it makes me smile inside and out.swd@ =)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

He Restores My Soul - How God Has Used Psalm 23 to Get Me Through These Last Few Months

When I first started feeling this ridiculously deep level of pain in my life, I knew in my heart it was time to study some scriptures that I knew would be a lifeline to me when all I could do was lie curled in a ball or as stiff as can be because I couldn't even move from the intensity of the hurt all over me, and in me emotionally as well. So I looked up Psalm 23, because in some part of me I knew that God wanted those words to hold me up when I couldn't do it myself.

So I set out to memorizing the words of that verse, each and every one of them. I read them over and over each and every day, trying to remember just one line more until I knew each and every word. It's not a very long Psalm, so it's not like it's a big feat or anything, but I'm not so great at memorizing even though I wish I were, and I just really felt that I needed to memorize it in whole. And it just so happened God wanted to use all of it to speak to me at different times throughout the months to follow, and I hold to each and every promise in it.

There came a point in memorizing Psalm 23 when it started changing for me. I was beginning to get in such great pain that it was as if at least 3 layers of skin had been shaved off my body with a ragged blade and like a dog was literally gnawing on my hips, on my bones; gnawing with his teeth ever so violently! It was when my pain was raw and biting, dull and aching, piercing, fierce and unrelenting. Honestly, it still is, though I've been given some tools to help curb it's effects on me now. It was a time when I was feeling so much more pain on top of this, the type that's actually indescribable for me, and then to top it off I couldn't move when I woke up in the mornings - sometimes for 3 hours. I've had FAR too many mornings where I've woken up feeling like a quadrapeligic for a few hours (and trust me, only a few short hours is long enough! I can't imagine a lifetime of it, though it saddens me to think of it.) where no matter how hard I tried, I could only move my fingers and my toes. I'm still going through this, though it takes less time to manage it (I think I recently had an hours tops, most days it's down to 15 -30 minutes, which is hugely great!). But when these verse changed for me were during this time back in the deep of winter where no matter how hard I screamed at my muscles to move, they just wouldn't listen and I would just sob and cry in terror on my bed for hours on end, trying to scream to Tyler down in the living room below to come help me, but with him unable to hear me through the closed door and fan, and the little boys and music playing all about him as well. Those hours were so terrifying and horrible - they were like hell for me. I'd scream for help, but no one could hear me. I would try to scream harder, but I was so weak that honestly, my scream really was only a weak wimper. I would shout at my arms to move even a little bit, so that I could slowly get them to the headboard to knock on it so Ty might at least hear that, but nothing. It was in those hellish hours that God's sweet voice would calm me down and get me through it. He taught me to move past the point of simply memorizing scripture and thinking about it through the day to the point of meditating upon it, and letting it envelope my senses and my soul.

So it was in those excruciatingly long and horrifying hours, where I was all alone with no hope of salvation from even my own husband who was yet a simple yell away, it was then that the Lord opened up these verses to me anew and I heard them much like this:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want...

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want...

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures... Hmm, in green pastures.

Softly now. He makes me lie down in green pastures. Even softer still, imagining the tall blades of grass sweeping tenderly across my face in the gentle breeze, with the warm rays of sunlight drifting slowly over me and warming my body and my soul, it's light brilliant yet so pleasant on that warm spring day. The trees are gently swaying and the leaves are softly humming their little crinkling song...

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. Hmm... Yes. Green Pastures, I repeat with a smile on my face.

He leads me beside quiet waters. Beside. Quiet. Waters. I hear the stream beside me, the water trickling and dancing over the pebbles, as it sings it's own tender melodies as the drops and gallons drift along their course. The sweet symphony of noises all around me coupled with the sounds of the green meadow that envelope me form this harmonious whole, so pleasing to behold and so fulfilling to your heart that you want to stay in this moment forever. For me, I see the mountains hemming me in as well, their slopes lined with trees gently swaying in the breeze, adding to the symphony of sweet yet gentle noises that breathe their songs into me.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for You are with me.

YOU are with me. Yes... You are with me.

I just sit with the truth of it all for awhile, soaking in it's promise in the best way that I could. YOU, the God of the Universe, are with me. You are with me.

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You annoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You annoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.   ~Psalm 23 (NIV)

Amen. Let it be - let it sink down into the deepest part of your soul and may the Lord let you lie down in green pastures and lead you beside quiet waters, that HE will restore your soul today. Let those words flow over you and through you today and always, and may you find comfort in His Almighty Arms!

Just Some Random Mindless Doodling & A Tip =)

This may look silly to you, but  I've rediscovered a lost love of mine recently - random and totally mindless doodling! Somehow I forgot all about this wonderful form of art, and I fell in love all over again during my first class at the Chronic Pain Clinic. I've never been one to sit still for more than two seconds or even keep my mouth quiet for very long either, and so to keep myself sane and somewhat stationary during class while I listened (and I DO listen mind you!) I doodled. I've done it since I was young - some of my favorite ideas I've ever created are nestled away amongst my high school and college notebooks, waiting to be found again one day. Seriously, some of them are definite keepers - they seem to cry out from the pages like they are just waiting to be made into something more grand than a lonely little sidenote on a lined piece of college-rule paper. In fact, I think that this little owl might need to be made into something a little more grand, though he may need a little love first. But yeah, I like this one.. It could be a painting, right?

Okay, back on subject silly.... So freeing and fun is this little "sport" of mindless doodling that I think I'm hooked all over again. It makes me want to buy yet ANOTHER special little journal just so I always have something with me. Back in middle school I had an amazingly talented friend who was an artist and who doodled all the time. And when I say doodled, boy did this girl ever doodle. She doodled everything imaginable, including the names of all of our friends into meaningful word art that perfectly described each person. I'm still dying to try that someday - I'll just have to add it to the list... =)

I'll have to post some of my figure sketches from class soon if I get the chance - they're not that amazing - you have to remember, I was really listening, but even more I was trying to make sure my teachers knew I was listening, so I had to start and stop mid stride so often I'd lose momentum. But still, they were fun and I'll be doing them for the next few weeks until this course is over.

MY TIP FOR THE DAY - How to still do art even when you don't really have time for it
If it's at all possible for you, I highly suggest trying to keep a small journal of any kind that you can record all your random thoughts and ideas for future works in it throughout the day wherever you are. It only takes a second or two (okay, maybe like 3 minutes or something...) to draw out and write down your ideas before they are forgotten and lost forever. I am always forgetting things so I have many of these artistic journals - my scheduler, a random notebook by my bed, my pain class notebook and every other school notebook or assignment, and of course, various actual FOR REAL sketchbooks.

The notebook by the bed though is a BIGGIE for me!!! It's so great to be able to have a journal beside you in arms reach, especially when you have random thoughts pop up in your head right as you're starting to drift off, whether it's just something everyday and boring like remembering an appointment you've forgotten about, or if it's something more creative and exciting like establishing the entire layout for your next new masterpiece or coming up with a killer idea for a new series. Can you see why I love having a journal by my bed every night and why this can be one of your greatest tools as an artist?! Ooh, and if you're not sold yet, it's also great for trying to capture the fleeting beauty of a dream you just had so you can try to recreate it as a work of art. But just don't forget something to write and draw with, or oh man, will you be frustrated at 4am!

So anyways, another thing you can do if you're more of a painter is you can find a simple little journal and a little set of paints (watercolor, guache or acrylic work amazingly well, and you don't even need any fancy cigar-box sets to hold them in, plus they dry super duper fast - though I have to admit, those cigar-box easels are pretty awesome and I totally want to outfit the one my mother-in-law Karla gave me soon so I can have one too - I mean, come on, they fit on a trypod so you don't even have to hold it! How awesome is that?! But if you need to be a bit more frugal, why not go with a Tupperware box for your paints and brushes or a Ziplock baggie or pencil tote like the ones in elementary school for your pencils, or even an old pill bottle filled with water so you can bring it with you just in case there's no water around - you know, reuse, reduce, recycle....  =) You may think I'm on a little too much pain meds, but trust me, the empty pill bottle actually works perfectly! It's because you can use the cap to pour a small amount of clean water in it to dab on your brush and then use the actual bottle for cleaning your brush between colors, and the best part is it doesn't leak! An old frosting tub works fantastic too! Or you could just save up and buy one of those cute little water color sets with the palette and water pocket built right in... =0)

So if you are feeling up to starting to try to get some more creative time in during your busy life, then look no further - a little art journal just might be the perfect thing for you. I know my mom even suggested that I myself do more drawing the other day anyways, so you'll actually probably be seeing some of my own works up here in a while - whether doodles, sketches, or true drawings with full detail I'm not sure, but I know drawing is going to start happening in this house a whole lot more often now, and all because my class rekindled this little fire in me for that. Gotta love it! It's just so random! 

Well anyways, I hope you're having a good time out there, that this post made sense (I am so tired I've literally been typing with only one eye open the ENTIRE time. For reals.), and that maybe today you will be extra inspired to go out and make something beautiful in this world. Good night my friends! And good morning to those of you across the world reading my blog - I love you all so much! God bless! =D

Friday, February 22, 2013

"Study of a Pinecone" - A Nature and Still Life Painting

"Study of a Pinecone"     5" x 7"     Acrylic and Canvas Panel

CLICK HERE to BUY NOW from my Daily Paintworks Gallery
I believe it was about 3 and a half years ago since I found one of my personally favorite and most influential artists and bloggers, Suzanne Berry. Her blogging style and art have made a huge impact on my own art and focus, as well as how I view the art world, and I've just really enjoyed reading about her life over the last few years. I loved that her blog wasn't' just this list of paintings she's done, but it was a sneak peak into her life as an artist, how she works in her studio and the joys and hardships she's gone through over the years - both artistically and personally. It's a great read with beautiful paintings  - what more could you want?!   =)

So her friend, Diana Moses Botkin actually came up with a monthly challenge between her and a select group of friends (oh how I wish I could be a part of that group!!!) that challenge each other with a new idea each month (they get to each pick on rotation - so cool!) that they only have a short time to create. Some of the challenges are ridiculously hard based on the amount of skills and creativity required to complete them in the time allotted, and some are quite a bit easier, but the challenge for January of 2011 was perfect for me. All you had to do was paint anything starting with the letters "pi," and so I decided to do it on my own with them just for the fun of it (Well... Really, I just all on my own after they posted what their challenge for that month had been. Lol!).

Sharman Owings came up with the idea, and to see all the actual posts from the Moses Botkin Challenge for that month on Suzanne's blog go ahead and click here. It was a simple challenge in one way, but in another it was hard narrowing down what to do. Either way, it was extremely fun considering all the possibilities you could come up with, and how varied the results would be when all was said and done.

So what'd I pick? Well, if you haven't figured it out quite yet my "pi" word was pinecones. I picked pinecones, because for one, they're scattered all over my home as decorations (especially now that both Levi and Owen see them as toys, and have been since they first saw them, which makes them even more scattered) and secondly, I just plain like pinecones  - they remind me of the forest and mountains, and the beauty of the wilderness. So I decided to try a quick, painterly sketch and gave myself the added quest of having to complete it in no more than 30 minutes, from start to finish, including getting your paints out and everything. It was crazy! That's one sure-fire way to make sure that every stroke matters!

I had a blast with that challenge and love seeing what they come up with each month. Maybe someday if I get the courage up I can even ask them if I can join their group, but until then I'll continue painting from the sidelines and just admiring all that they do. =)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"The Eye in the Deep" - An Animal Painting of an Octopus

"The Eye in the Deep"      4" x 5"     Acrylic on Canvas Panel

Just a few months after Levi first came home from the hospital (I think he was 4-5 months at that time and was still only around 6lbs) I tried my very first hand at daily painting, though my goal was a rather modest one - just one week. If I could get through just one week I would be so very proud of what I'd done. And so I worked small -really, really small. In fact, this was definitely my biggest work that whole week, and it's tiny. But when the end of the week came I had such a huge sense of satisfaction. I had completed my goal, and taken one step towards something I longed for deep within my being, and it felt FANTASTIC!!! =)

So, I'm thinking it's time for me to make yet another small goal again. I am a small goal type of girl anyways, so it makes sense. I mean, tell me to paint a single painting every single day for a whole year, and you've lost me. I'd love to do it, but there's no way on earth. But tell me to break it down piece by piece, and accomplish the little things, first one month, then two, then three and so on, checking off little marks on my calendar one by one, and then all of a sudden I'm there and I'm so, so happy about it!

But lately I feel like I'm in this constant state of letting people down. Letting myself down, my family, my friends, my God, even my fellow bloggers... With all my heart I want to be there completely for everyone, but I'm hardly even there for myself. And to top it all off I have this goal of wanting to paint every day, to reach this ridiculous yet wonderful goal of becoming a true daily painter, with the hopes that in some way God will use it in my life and in those around me. But my pain is bad - it's sooo, sooo bad lately (probably due to the rain, especially after all that emotional upheaval I hinted at before) and it's so hard getting myself back into it. I said a few days ago that I would be starting this daily painting up again - that the starfish painting was my new start. But it wasn't. But ya know, oh well. I'll just keep trying again and again and again if I have to. So here's my new goal: To finish or post 5 new works soon. Just 5. And just soon. No time frame. No failure involved. Just five simple paintings, and then I'll move on from there. =D I'm excited, and I know with God's faithful help it will lead to more. So may God bless you and may you have a wonderful day, and I really hope to see you all soon! =)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Sea Star" - An Ocean Wildlife Nature Painting of a Starfish

"Sea Star"     2.5" x 3.5"     Acrylic on Acrylic Paper (ACEO)

Example of What the Frame Card Looks Like Unframed - Comes with an Envelope as Well =)

It feels like ages since my last real blog post, you know, one complete with a finished painting and all, and I can't tell you enough how much my heart has been aching to paint and write and really just catch up with you all out there. I miss you! And I miss painting and feeling that amazing sense of release at creating something beautiful all the way to completion - there's not many things in the world that feel better than that for an artist.

Now, before I go off into my tangent of where I'm at in my heart right now, I just wanted to remind you out there that February is already just about halfway over, which means that time is ticking away for you all to enter this months contest! And this is an easy one! All you have to do to be entered to win one of my original ACEOs like the one shown above (complete with FREE shipping, a Frame Card and it's own Envelope so that it's ready to frame or give away as a gift if you choose to) is to LIKE MY FACEBOOK FAN PAGE and let me know you want to enter simply by WRITING SO ON MY FAN PAGE WALL. Yup. That's it folks. It's really doesn't get much more simple than that!!!! Sooooo.... Here's the link to my fan page, so that if you are interested in being one of the THREE WINNERS this month, all you have to do is CLICK HERE and you're one third of the way done already! Woo-hoo!!! =D

I have to admit I'm really disappointed with myself this month so far. My hopes for this year were to create 365 paintings, regardless of how I felt or what was going on, (I mean, to a degree anyways - more than anything my hope was to just catch up when life was bad but to not have to miss too many days in a row so that the task of catching up wouldn't be so daunting), but after having missed as many days as I did this month, I feel so lost and I can't see how I could possibly catch up. I had so much momentum going for me, so much so that even my husband was excited about it, and he's a hard guy to get excited about stuff like that, let me tell ya! Lol!

My heart has been so heavy lately with the pain and setbacks and anger and all the emotions that come along with having come so far and then seeing it all ripped away in an instance because of a few mindless words that caused an intensely painful and debilitating flare. My doctors said I'm literally a textbook example of just how much words truly CAN and DO hurt you, and how much emotions play a role on your physical well-being. I've been an emotional wreck lately, and my poor, darling husband has had his hands full with me and my sense of failure as a person, and as an artist, as a mother, a friend, a daughter, and as a daughter of God. This flare has been so painful, and has given me this immense feeling of loss that's almost indescribable. I feel like I've lost everything, and have struggled with immense feelings of worthlessness in every facet of my life, even towards God.

Tyler caught me off guard today with something he said about this though, and I am really grateful for his wisdom and just straight up patience with me of late. I've been broken so badly lately that like I said I even feel like I have no worth in God's eyes. The reason for this is pretty straight forward - God created me to be a mother of my two boys, a daughter to my sweet mother and in-laws, a wife to my husband, and a friend and servant to all those I know, friends, family, and acquaintances alike. He especially has created me with a heart and a desire to serve Him in every way I can, which I was doing through our middle school ministry for which I have a great passion for the girls who are struggling so much to find themselves as they are just now learning to break from the molds their parents have put them in and find who they truly are as independent beings. God even created me with this unbelievably strong desire and passion to paint, to make a career of it, and to use it as a potential ministry when or if the time for that arises. But I'm failing so miserably at all these things. I'm not a mother. I barely get to play or hang out with my kids, let alone teach them the important things in life, like how to be patient and loving and gentle, as well as the other things like how to count and spell and write their names, or even walk for that matter. I can barely do anything with them. And my role as a wife is wretched at this point. My friends, God bless them abundantly for all they do, are doing a far better job of that for me than I am, by cleaning and cooking and helping out with the boys. I don't know what we would do without them, or without my family who have also taken on that role for me. I am forever indebted to them, and the saddest part for me is that there is no way on earth I will ever be capable of repaying them for what they've all sacrificed for me and my family, and so instead all I do is pray for them. And now even my painting, as little and insignificant as it may seem to some, although it's huge to me, has been impossible for me to do lately. My hope and prayer is to get back to the place where I am able to take over all these roles fully again, and there is hope in me that someday I will, but there is also such a great and overwhelming fear that it's not God's will for me to take on all these things again, EVER.

It's His choice - it's His choice to put me in pain so we can learn to love and serve despite it. Some people like to say Satan is attacking me, and I've been guilty of saying the same - that he's attacking me and our family like crazy, because my hardships are just the tip of the ice-burg of what's been going on in our homes lately. But really, I'm learning it's not Satan. Yes, he may be the one physically doing it, MAYBE. But it's God who allows all things, who when Job was tested ALLOWED Satan to take on that role of testing him in order to prove to Satan himself just how wrong he was to assume that Job only loved God because God had given him a charmed life. But God, in His love and ultimate knowledge is the one who allows these things to happen in order to grow us and change us into the person He wants us to be. So somehow, somehow in the midst of all this ridiculousness and loss on my end, I have to find out how to actually BE a mom, and a wife, and a friend, and a sister and daughter and servant and... Well, the list can just go on forever. But I also have to learn how to stop wallowing in this stupid entangling self-pity and ask God to pick me up off the floor and teach me to become this NEW person He WANTS me to be. This is and has always been His hope for my life. It's always been His plan for me. It's not just some hardship to overcome or some difficulty to endure for a time, it's God's PERFECT PLAN for my life. Oh Lord, help me to accept this, but not only to just accept it, but to grow into a beautifully broken testament of your unfailing love.

May the Potter's hands be with you today as well, molding you into the perfectly flawed creation that He has always desired you to be. Have you ever noticed how sometimes the flawed works of art are the most beautiful? Maybe it's just me, but I have. I love those works that while they are beautiful, they aren't perfect and they're that way because it's how their creator intended them to be. It's not so great when it's unintentional flaws, but when they are there because their creator was pleased with them that way, oh how much more desirable and interesting and beautiful those works become in my eyes. Really, it's quite the sight to behold. And you know, if you didn't know they were there, you would have thought it a beautifully intentional perfection in the work, and not a flaw at all. So my prayer for myself and for you today is this: that you will know that sometimes God wants the flaws, that He desires them in you. But don't get me wrong, He wants you to work on getting them worked out, but in HIS way and with HIS help and in HIS timing. And you know, sometimes He says no. "NO, I want that there, just like that, even though it's not perfect." For some things are put in our lives that are less than savory, and their intentions by Him are to make us more pure and useful and more lovely than ever before.

"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor. 12:7-10)

I love you all, and I'm sorry if my painting posts end up being a little patchy at times, and if my pouring out of my heart becomes too real, too raw and too emotional for you. My goals are to truly be a daily painter, to post as often as my body and my heart will allow, and to let you see the real me, the me that God created me to be, right out there with no pretty ties or cover-up to make it look better, but with flaws and all so you can know that you too don't need to try to be some perfect human being, because honestly, it's just not gonna happen. So I ask in return that you please won't give up on me when things go badly for me and a week or so may go by between paintings and posts, or if I say something that offends you. I am just trying to be honest with you, and to use the voice that the good Lord gave me. I will be back Lord willing, as often as I can posting my attempts at daily painting as long and as often as I am able. =)  Today hopefully marks the restart of my daily painting journey once again, and I hope that you are still up for joining me on this rather interesting ride. I also hope you're having a fantastic day and I want to thank you for listening once again to my rather epically long posts - we might as well face the fact that I'm a rambler... Always have been, always will be. =D Lol! Well, have a good one, my friends! I hope to see you all tomorrow. =)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sneak peek of A New 5" x 7" Painting

Right now I'm working on another small painting, though I've been feeling so crummy I only get about 15 minutes tops a day IF THAT to even work on anything. Honestly, I've been in so much pain and we've all been so miserable over here because of it that this night owl family has been going to bed at 9pm and just doing our best to survive. I seriously can't wait for this silly flare to go away!!! I was doing so good before too!

I so just want to be able to play with my kids again, start cleaning again, and start painting regularly again. It hurts my heart to have gotten so far along in my recovery and then to lose it all in an instant. Yay for fibro and other annoying diseases and conditions like this, right? Oh well. At least I got a start on this one painting and am going to get back to work on it right now during Levi's nap and while Daddy is at the store with Owen. Hoping I can finish it tonight so I don't go crazy and all... LOL! Haha, oh man, I don't know... But here's a sneak peak of the sky for another of my misty mountain paintings... Needs a little more work, but we'll see how it turns out today, or tomorrow, or the next... =)

I know it's not very exciting or anything, but I just wanted to put something up here for the sake of myself, and it feels very good seeing something, even something this small, done. =) Hope you're having a good day and that you too can accomplish something today of worth, no matter how small. =D

UPDATE: Well, this painting got scratched! It's crazy how much your mood actually affects your work, and honestly, if you couldn't tell by the tone of my voice, I just wasn't having such a great day. Sorry to dump my sorrows on you - I'm sure you have plenty of your own without me adding to them. But at the very least something was learned that day. Don't paint on a favorite painting if you're in a bad mood, because you really might ruin it. Luckily, this was just a start for a work and nothing more, so I don't have to feel too guilty about washing it over with paint. But yeah, it's good to know that when I paint grumpily, it really shows in my work. I'm not sure if it was Bob Ross or Jerry Yarnell who said never to paint angrily unless you want it to show up in your work, but whoever it was, well, they hit the nail on the head! Have a good one my friends! =0)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Priming My Canvases

Yay!!! I totally got to prime some of my canvases yesterday, and got to put down a test layer for a commission I am working on as well, which is a thumbprint wedding tree! I am sooo, so excited about that one, as it's more graphic in nature, and am in the process of trying to figure out what surface the ink adheres to the best. I thought it would work on straight plain canvas the best, but it turns out it doesn't. And then I tried regular colored paint which led to no smudges at all! So now I just have to make sure if regular white acrylic paint works best, or if white gesso will. My guess is the acrylic paint, but we'll see soon enough. =) 

But yeah, so I got to prime canvases like I said which is one of my very favorite things to do ever! I just love the mindlessness of this process, and since I most often use Burnt Sienna as my color of choice, I love it when that color shows through while I paint, lending to a rich, warm painting in the end as well. So beautiful! I've tried so many approaches to painting, like painting each portion at a time with no underpainting first, and found that all too often I got frustrated with all the little tiny specks of white that would randomly appear throughout my work in the end. It was sooo frustrating! And I also hated how I had to be so careful when applying the paint during the entire process, because rather than start with the entire painting and build up each and every layer as I went along, I had to be super careful not to accidentally mess up the border lines of what I had painted before since I would complete parts of the painting in sections. So when I discovered this method of priming the canvas first after watching some amazing TV painting shows, and then building slowly up from there I knew it was the right one for me! Basically, I compiled a few different artist's methods in order to get to this one that I adore, and only on rare occasions do I ever do something different. Someday I want to try this with portraits, where you paint it first in grey and silver-ish tones, and then let those show through as the shadows later. Seriously, I can't wait! But until then, I hope you have a great day and hope to be posting my paintings again daily as soon as I get a little better from this flare - it's just taking it out of me like crazy. =( But I really loved having something to show for each day and can't wait to get back to that. Well, have a good one! =)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

"Chilean Palms" - A Landscape Painting from February's Virtual Paintout

"Chilean Palms"     6" x 6"     Acrylic on Museum Quality Claybord
BUY NOW from my Daily Paintworks Gallery

This is my second submission for February's Virtual Paintout in Valparaiso, Chile. I just loved the way the sun was bursting forth over the hillside, lighting these palms in such a glorious manner - it was one of those images that as soon as I saw it I knew it was just begging to be painted!

I thought it was cute that when Tyler came home and saw this for the first time he thought it'd be the perfect habitat for some dinosaurs, and Levi agreed. So maybe someday I'll have to add some dinosaurs into it, for their sakes, though for now I'll just keep it as it is. =)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

"On the Rocks - Valparaiso, Chile" (ACEO) - A Landscape Painting for the Virtual Paintout

"On the Rocks - Valparaiso, Chile" (ACEO)     2.5" x 3.5"     Acrylic on Acrylic Paper
Not For Sale

So for this month's Virtual Paintout we are traveling to Valparaiso Chile and I have to be quite honest, it's a bit sad driving through the streets there. There is just sooo much intense poverty everywhere that it's completely overwhelming, like when we went (in real life, mind you) to the dumps in Mexico where people had literally built their houses not only on the dump, but purely from materials from the dump as well. It's so... Well, there are no words really to describe it. It's just beyond sad. How can we all want and want and get and get and yet never get enough even though we have so, so much, when there are people living like that who are truly and honestly grateful for EVERY SINGLE THING they have. It's disturbing really. And I'm as guilty as the next, if not more so, because I have one of those "Never Quite Satisfied" personalities, and I hate it with all my heart. It makes me wonder if maybe God wants to teach me more about contentment this year, because it seems that everything He's been pushing me towards has at least a little to do with that. I suppose I'll find out soon, that's for sure!

So I'm not sure if I can quite suck it up and do an honest portrayal of the poverty in Valparaiso, though I wish I could. I just don't think I'm quite good enough to get the message across yet. Perhaps I shall try later in the month or some other time in my life, but for now I searched for beauty amidst all the wreckage I saw, and I found this beautiful little sunlit cliff, all rocky and jagged and covered with trees and brush. It was quite tranquil and gorgeous really, and so I decided that it would be my little refuge from the rest of what I saw there. I'm sure there are some quite beautiful places in Valparaiso if you know where to look, and perhaps I had only ventured through the poorest part of town, but I did find this and a few other natural beauties that I will probably attempt to paint later this month as I continue to embark upon this challenge of daily painting, or as close to daily as I can get. =)

I do hope that you are having a good one today, that you are able to truly see each and every thing that you have to be grateful for (as I myself am working on!), and I hope to talk to you soon! God bless!

January 2013 Daily Painting Collage - Melissa Adams Art

Oh man, Leslie Saeta just showed me the coolest link for making SUPER easy photo collages that are ridiculously easy to customize! I wish I had know that before yesterday's post! Goodness gracious, that would have saved a TON of time!!! So the link if you are interested is: http://www.picmonkey.com/ and it's completely free. Yup. FREE! Oh how I love free stuff!!! =D

I love being able to see all my work at once and wish I had known about this site so much sooner because it is so helpful with photography as well. What a great way to show proof all at once! But this just makes me smile simply for the fact that I can see without a shadow of a doubt that I accomplished something real and tangible, I met my goal and have proven to myself that I have what it takes to be a daily painter. So, God willing and body permitting, I'll be creating a new work later today to add to my blog, and maybe even try to create an extra one just to make up for yesterday. We'll see. I doubt that will happen, but one can hope right?! I'll try to update you a little later on what's going on after I get my hubby to proofread it for me as he does with all my family posts, because there's a lot going on and it's just not so good health-wise for me. But oh well, at least I did this one wonderful thing (at least wonderful in my world!) and I can find joy in the fact that God brought me through it and I got to have a blast with Him along the way! =)

Oh, and don't forget to like my Facebook Fan Page and comment on my wall that you want to enter February's contest for one of 3 FREE ACEO's. Like I said before, I just love free stuff!!! Hope to see you all later! =D

Friday, February 1, 2013


So I used the random number generator today and guess what?! It chose number 13. So that means that our winner for my very first contest ever is bennett334!! I am so excited to finally be revealing the winner, (sorry that took so long today - we had a lot going on today, including acupuncture) and just so you all know I counted from the 1st person to sign up to follow my blog up to the 13th person. So, CONGRATULATIONS bennett334 and I hope you really enjoy the work that you pick for years to come!!! Go ahead and please email me  or contact me through Facebook with your contact information and which painting you would like. Thank you and congratulations again!

I just want to thank you ALL so, so much for following me and showing me so much love and support over the last month - you really have inspired me greatly and reaffirmed in me peace over choosing fine art as my career path. I struggled so much with feelings that I'm just not good enough, I have no future, no one will like my art, and this last month has really helped change that! I'm not sure that I will ever feel good enough, but I do feel I finally have a future in art, which is wonderful in and of itself.

So I ask that if you are willing, you will join with me and help me make this year amazing! I have so many fun and wonderful plans for me and you as well, with things as simple as starting to sell prints in the next few weeks so that I have options that allow just about anyone to purchase my art, to amazing giveaways and contests, one of which I am especially excited about over the next 11 months! So, invite a friend and let's embark upon this journey together! In the very least, you will be able to see some art that perhaps you like and that I hope and pray will bring joy to you as well as a smile to your face. And perhaps you will be one of the winners this year!

I will be announcing new contests for each month as they come out, and as I've said before, the one for February is simple. All you have to do is like my Facebook fan page and let me know you want to join this contest by writing so on my wall. There will be 3 winners, each of which will be gifted with an original ACEO (Art Cards Editions and Originals - a 2.5" x 3.5" painting, complete with Frame Card so it is easy to frame if you choose to). So good luck to you all and seriously, thank you for loving on me and for your continued encouragement throughout this process - I am far more grateful than I could ever possibly express to you! I love you guys!

Okay, so bennett334, here are your options:

  1. "Sunset on the Isle"
  2. "All That Glimmers..."
  3. "Trouble Counting Sheep"
  4. "The Scenic Route"
  5. "High of the Treetops"
  6. "Mint, Anyone?"
  7. "Patchwork"
  8. "Glimpses"
  9. "Frosted"
  10. "Marshmallow Frenzy"
  11. "Montana Sunset"
  12. "Under the Starry Sky So Blue"
  13. "The Strong Silent Typer"
  14. "Entangled"
  15. "Streams of Sunlight"
  16. "Don't Mind if I Do"
  17. "Calla Lily"
  18. "Around the Edges"
  19. "Beads of Dew"
  20. "Thermal Imaging"
  21. "Swirls of Copper"
  22. "Misty Mountains Majesty"
  23. "Rock Garden"
  24. "Strictly Ornamental"
  25. "Whisked Away"
  26. "Early Morning Wake-Up Call"
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