Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Thoughts

Christmas is so beautiful, so special.  I suppose that is why it is one of the strongest memories for most people and can be a very painful time for those suffering in some way, especially with grief. This year I know several people who have lost a loved one this past year and my heart and prayers go out to them.

 I have spent every Christmas Eve my entire life at my parent's house.   My husband calls it a Norman Rockwell Christmas.  We sing carols around the piano and read the bible story. Presents are packed under the tree with a very impressive train that goes around it. Many of the ornaments on the tree are intricate wooden ornaments made by my dad.  We all have them hanging on our own family trees too. My loving and generous parents make it a very memorable time for me, my siblings and their families and my children.  Every year, my dad takes a family picture of everyone together.  He has always been a photography buff.  He also is famous for his incredible fudge that he gives away to everyone and anyone my parents know.  The last few years have been different, though.  My husband now takes the family photos because of my dad's degenerative eye disease which has left him legally blind. This year, my brother and his daughter made the fudge and my dad said he doesn't remember making  it. He doesn't remember a lot of things.  He has actually been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  Our Christmas is now different.  I miss my dad's input.  He loved it so.  He still sings the 12 days of Christmas with all the men in the family as they have every year since I was married 27 years ago.  He actually remembers the words pretty well. We all work together to keep alive the traditions we enjoy and it is working okay.  We all are learning to be a little less selfish and a lot more grateful.  In certain ways my mom is alone now and that makes my heart hurt.  But the sadness I feel at Christmas is mixed with a thankfulness and joy of all the wonderful Christmases I am so very blessed to have enjoyed.

Relationships are the real gifts and the memories we make with others are the ribbons they are wrapped in.  

Sunday, December 21, 2014


A time to set aside my pencil, computer, and paintbrushes and celebrate with my family this most blessed time of year.  Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Sketch

I wanted to try something I have never done before--using graphite on rough gesso.  It was obviously harder to control but I like the texture for these scenes.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

New Projects

I was very busy today with research for a new book I am working on.  I spent some time in a library within a museum--heavenly.  Then I had a phone call with someone that is an important part of the research.  Tomorrow it is time to write.  I also almost finished a couple of Christmas drawings for promos.  One of my goals before Christmas is to finish several promotional pieces and then have my portfolio critiqued before I revamp my website in January.

So many new ideas floating around...

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Art and Alzheimer

I had the opportunity to visit an Alzheimer daycare this week.  One of the clients there used to be an art teacher.  He comes to the daycare for others to care for him but he also comes to do what he has done for years...teach art.  When I came in, he and three other people were painting with watercolors and using markers.  It was remarkable to me.  Each person was very carefully and thoughtfully painting their pictures, and they were beautiful.  One was flowers, another leaves, a Christmas tree scene.  The art teacher had drawn a tree with hearts using markers.  The line work was gorgeous.  It was so amazing to see people who have lost so much of their abilities in their thought processing, still able to create things from somewhere that Alzheimer can't reach. The essence of who they are is there inside and in the process of creating something we get a glimpse of an area that only God can really see now.  It also reminded me that each one of these people are no less valuable today than when they were 5 or 25 or 35.  They are just as precious to God now as they were the day they were born.    

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Thanksgiving Book For Children

How Many Days To America by Eve Bunting is a beautifully written picture book for Thanksgiving.  I read the story to a group of fourth graders and they were enthralled.  It is told from the little boy's point of view and the words and illustrations fit hand in hand like a glove.  A book I will be adding to my collection this fall.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Illustration Promotional

Now that I finished the last illustrations for the book, I have had time to create a fall promotional.  When my kids were little, we took all four of them to a pumpkin patch every fall. They picked out a pumpkin they could carry and we took them home and painted them. Sometimes they even added hats and wigs.  We had so much fun every year.  I never outgrow pumpkin painting! I hope they never do either.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Frederick was one of my favorite picture books growing up. I actually think of it quite often because I relate with Frederick so much.  While all the other mice are busy doing important jobs, Frederick stores up words and colors.  No one sees any validity to what he spends his time doing.  Even Frederick doubts the importance of his creative tasks.  Then, when winter strikes and all the food the other mice have stored is eaten and gone, the days are filled with grey and misery. Frederick then shares all the words and colors he has stored and gives something that fills their souls and hearts.
Yes, I love that story!   (previous blog)

Monday, September 29, 2014


Very fitting for this situation--being forced to create a whole new blog--Embrace The Change, even though at first it is VERY uncomfortable...and I might mention time consuming!!!

New Blog

Google did something totally irrational and as far as I can tell totally unfix-able!  My account was merged with my daughters and none of her or my log in passwords, etc work so I can no longer access the blog I have had for two years.  Just a little frustrating!!!

So... I am starting a new one.  I will keep the old one up for awhile because all the promos I just sent out have that blog address as well as my website and everything else.  Ugh!  Here a little, there a little, I will be reconstructing my blog.