Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rebel With a Cause

Have you ever wondered what you'd name yourself if you got to choose? I'd choose Lila. It's a strong, old-fashioned Southern name. I was fortunate in that I got to grow up around a mom who was always questioning the way things were done. She always encouraged me to be who I was created to be. Mom was "Sandy" to her peers and "Ida Mae" to her family in Mississippi. I loved it! It showed me that if you didn't like something very much, you could change it.

Who says life has to be the way it appears to be? At least ask the questions. What makes me unique? What does God have in store for me? How can I serve others with joy? These questions matter.

Journey on, my friend,

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A New Time

It's been exciting to sell some of my art. I've never taken myself as a "serious artist" but more as someone who just enjoys a little serendipity in my life.

I've painted some new gals lately that are fun.

I'm moving more out of the marketing arena of it (though I haven't really done a lot of that) to just doing it for fun. I'll probably start selling more of my originals instead of selling prints or plaques. I'm also starting some different types of painting with collage, mixed media (acrylics, inks, textures, etc.) that will be interesting and inspiring for me.

Why the change, you may ask? I simply don't have time to market my work. If Hallmark wants to call me tomorrow and beg to have some of my girls for cards, well, okay. :) Otherwise, I'm just doing art for fun and enjoying some R & R from a day of work.

I only have one more class to go to finish my Nursing Facility Administrator's Licensing requirements. I'll begin it in January. One thousand intern hours - check. Four LTCA classes - check. State and National exams to be completed after this next class.

God has given me a heart for the elderly and I believe he has prepared me for this task. So, while I'll continue painting, I may be closed more than open during Artwalk. I won't be generating a lot of plaques or cards or any of the other things I've enjoyed for the last year. As my daddy used to say, "It's time to buckle down." (I never knew entirely what that entailed but it sounds a little scary.

Pray for me as I get busy doing what I am preparing myself to do. Pray also that I keep a painting or two in my heart - - if not on my easel.

On to the next chapter,

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Serenity Now

This past weekend I used my Sabbath (Saturday) to clean my studio and begin putting office furniture together in my studio. (Not exactly the way to honor Sabbath! I now know!!)

Consequently when Vann and I walked that night I felt no serenity. In fact I just sat down on the bleachers at the track where we walk and allowed my spirit to catch up with myself. I listened for God.

As my sweet husband walked the track, I paid attention to the night noises, the wind against my face and any discernment from the Holy Spirit. God has always spoken to me through order, his beauty, creation, etc.

We walked back to the house and I knew what I needed to do. I needed to make the surroundings in my studio more serene. I have a lot of things that inspire me in there and extra color takes away from the calm. I knew right then I needed to find a new home for the adorable chairs and maybe the table.

Vann listened intently. (He has been down this road with me a time or two or twenty.) He told me to do what I needed to do but that if I got rid of the table, I'd most likely be looking for another table soon. True.

So, with that in mind, I'm going to let the chairs go. They were second hand to me and have served a great purpose, but like Ingrid said in Uptown Girls to Molly Gunn,
"Downsize, Molly.
Find your center."

Too much of a good thing is not a good thing.

So, if you know of anyone who wants some really cute chairs, let me know. I only need to get enough for them so that I can buy more used chairs. :)

I plan to be in my studio during Artwalk this coming Thursday night if you'd like to see them. 1133 Cockerell Galleries - Suite 213.

Serenely seeking,

Friday, November 5, 2010

Christmas Open House

It's About Time, the lovely shop of old and new finds on South 14th and Albany Street in Abilene is having their Christmas Open House tomorrow. They always do a fabulous job of decorating for the holidays and showcasing their new items.

Some of their new items include some of my new art plaques (smile). I stopped by for a peek this afternoon and was so delighted to see them on their wall.

The store looks fabulous with more serendipity and love and magic packed in there than should be possible. Ah, but these gals know how to pack the punch when it comes to beautifying things and making a heart sing.

One of my favorite collages has a saying by Cindy Petters on it. "When something isn't right, throw a little love at it." What great advice!

I finished this little lady this week. "Why say "yes" when you can squeal "oo la la!" She makes me smile. She's always looking for a way to improve on life by sprinkling fun and joy wherever she goes. She's got a lime green background. The photo quality of these isn't great. They were taken with my iphone.

More to come!
With a twinkle in my eye,

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's About Time

I've most likely mentioned the wonderful store ("It's About Time") on South 14th and Albany Street before on my blog. When I was running our bed and breakfast, Journey's Inn, I had purchased many of the furnishings from this wonderful store. In fact, when the creative juices are dry, I head over there. It's food for the soul. Not only are the furnishings wonderful, but so are the owners. Delightful ladies!

I'm thrilled that they are going to carry some of my art. I'll be taking over some plaques mid week and am working on some mugs and totes to deliver soon, too. Gifts just in time for Christmas!

Today, my gratitude cup is overflowing. I'm thankful for a husband and best friend who supports me in this wild and wacky journey. I'm thankful for children that are beautiful inside and out. I'm thankful for the breeze that gently blows. I'm thankful for those plump pigeons outside my studio window as I write this. I'm thankful for the beautiful sun that shines. I'm thankful for the filling time of worship and praise this morning with our church family. I'm thankful for friends who support, lead and counsel along the way. I'm thankful for my God who is ever showing me more of himself through his beauty, his people and his word.

How many ways can I say, "thankful"?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Time to Make the Donuts.

I really do, with all sincerity love my job. I believe that God has uniquely fitted me to the aging field. I get up in the morning and truly look forward to the day. I enjoy the residents I serve and the staff I serve alongside.

Some mornings I admit that I feel like the guy on the old Dunkin' Donuts commercial.
When his alarm went off at 3 or 4 a.m. he would get up, bleary eyed and declare, "It's time to make the donuts."

Sometimes this body feels the same way when my alarm goes off. But lately I'll go to bed with more ideas than I can shake a stick at for what I want to do the next day at work or with my art. By the time the evening rolls around after work, the creative energy seems to be spent.

Busy-ness of the day seems to blind my heart with each 'to do' task. I am meeting more and more people who are looking for a wonderful place where their loved one will not only survive but thrive. I believe I work at such a place, so it gives me great joy to share with them about it.

But at the end of the day... hoo-eee!

I remember commenting to my husband when we were in our 20's that I didn't understand why people in their 50's didn't seem to volunteer with the youth ministry or anything else much. Now? I get it. They (we) are tired. Yep. Bone tired.

It is my prayer that God uses me during the day with others and refreshes my spirit through art and being with my husband in the evening. This allows me to replenish my juices so I can "make the donuts" the next day.

Willing to make the donuts,

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Day After The Day

Yesterday was homecoming and our youngest daughter, Caroline was on homecoming court. It was such an honor to be a part of this experience with her. She was beautiful inside and out, as always. (I hope to post some pictures soon.)

I had planned to be in North Carolina with some old and dear friends for some much needed R & R this weekend and postponed my trip because my baby girl was being honored! Vann had also planned to be out of town but got an earlier arrival back so that he could escort her. What a precious daddy and husband he is.

So, Friday was recognition in chapel for the homecoming court, lunch and the Queen's Tea. It was all perfectly delightful. Yesterday was the morning homecoming parade, another chapel with recognition for Caroline, lunch and then the homecoming game. Another wonderful day to remember.

I came home afterwards and sat in my recliner and don't think I moved until I went upstairs to go to bed. I was exhausted. I kept trying to figure out why I was so tired. Caroline was the one with the busy schedule. Not me. She was the one who woke up at 3 a.m. to coordinate the parade that she was helping to co-lead. Not me. She was the one who went from one event to the next showing graciousness and a beautiful character. Not me. I was just the supporting cast.

But, today as I've fought the blues, I've begun to realize that I was with Caroline through all of it. I was feeling every elation, every emotion that she was feeling. . . real or imagined.

Isn't that the way it is when you are a mom? So, today, I'm sitting with these feelings (and fatigue), trying to not have all the answers . . . today. . . and allowing myself to just be. Us introverted souls need time for quiet reflection so that we can embrace the world again. I'm sure tomorrow the joy will return when I get another good night's sleep. My spirit is just weary.

Yesterday Vann was with Care and as they were heading to the homecoming court, he witnessed her speaking with a student who might be considered "one of the least of these." Caroline in her usual big-hearted fashion called them by name and asked how they were doing. This student told her he voted for her. She's our Queen of Hearts.

Am I proud? I know the correct answer is, "Of course I am." But truth be known, I'm really more just incredibly thankful that God has placed these amazing children in our lives.

As always,

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Today was such a gift. Though, so was yesterday...and the day before...and the day before. I've been toying with the idea of getting my art "out there." I have a friend who is going to help me do that. For a long time I drug my feet.

Our daughter, Caroline said, "Mom, are you afraid you are going to fail?" I thought about that a long time - - yet another one of my procrastination measures. tee hee.

As I thought about it, I realized I wasn't afraid I was going to fail. I was afraid I might succeed.

A new friend shared with me a Nelson Mandela quote today that really spoke to me.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. You were born to manifest the glory of God that is within you. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Wow. As I've reflected on this and other thoughts I've come to realize that not working to excel in what are God given gifts is in fact a big way to dishonor God.

I've been very drawn to birds and nests all my life, but even more so lately. I've been drawn to bird's cages and free birds. We are born free birds. But in the midst of life, we quietly, complacently allow ourselves to be locked in a little cage. Oh, sure, we have to follow rules, laws, etc. But sometimes we lose our true self in the cage.

Today I was at It's About Time, my favorite store in Abilene, and got this pretty little necklace by Jo Carol Spurlock. She does such a fantastic job on these little nests. I love what the medallion says, too..."fly."

Well, okay, then.

I will.

How about you?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

No Regrets

One of our residents stopped in my office today to chat. She's in her 90's. A perfectly lovely lady. Her family has shared with me that she can be a hand-full.

Anyway, as we were enjoying a lovely chat she shared that she had some regrets especially about some things when she was raising her children. She told me that she regretted to this day that she had not allowed her daughter to go to the University of Texas where she had wanted to go. She realizes now the reason she wouldn't let her go was silly.

She then went on to say that one of her daughters wanted her bridesmaids to wear hats in her wedding but she thought it was tacky and wouldn't hear of it. She now regrets making a fuss over it as it was her daughter's wedding.

I asked her if she had told her daughters about these regrets. She said she hadn't. I encouraged her to share with them what she had shared with me. She said they would be visiting soon and thought she would tell them.

We just do the best we can with the tools we are given at the time, don't we? Sometimes it's not very good and other times we do alright. But, how important to apologize and ask forgiveness when we recognize our shortcomings.

I'm thankful for the conversation I was able to share with this beautiful lady today. I'm thankful that God placed me in a place to get lessons from those older than me all the time. (I think he knew I was a slow learner and needed a lot of guidance. smile)

I don't want to ever look back with regrets, either. I've done some pretty bone-headed things, for sure. Let's take care of what we can with regrets from the past and then move on.

Movin' on,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Live Juicy

Here is another painting with a Sark expression. Sometimes the people who inspire the paintings are an amalgam of several different people. I painted this cute little lady without realizing she has a lot of our Activities Director in her. (I work in a retirement living community.) Renee lives juicy. She wears fun clothing and is always wanting to try something new. One of her children's friends told her she dressed like a French artist. She really does.

Why say, "yes" when you can squeal, "oooo la la?"

Monday, August 30, 2010

Isn't it Wiggy?

I just love made up words! But then again, isn't EVERY word a made up word? Sark is an artist extraordinaire and a unique individual. She comes up with some very wiggy words. (smile)

What does wiggy mean? I don't know. What do you think it means? It's a happy word, though. Of this, I feel certain. tee hee!

I've named this cute gal Zinnia. Her hair is tousled like a zinnia going in a lot of different directions. Her clothing is subdued, but then she pops out with something like, "Isn't it wiggy?" Zinnia makes me smile. I hope she makes you smile, too.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Blind People Don't Like to Skydive

If you first see this, you may think it a bit irreverent until you learn the joke was told by a blind person.

“Blind People Don’t Like to Skydive”

I heard Jody Urquhart at a conference on laughter

in the workplace. She shared this saying with a

deadpan expression and there wasn’t a dry eye in

the house! Everyone laughed!! She went on to say that a blind friend

of hers had shared this joke. If we can’t laugh

at ourselves, we’ve lost the game of life.

Collage by


dba Lila’s Journey

Lighten up,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I love the sayings our daughters come up with. Our daughter Caroline often talks about friends she knows and loves, then says, "What a lamb." I love that! I love that she is so affirming of her friends and others. It's because of Sweet Caroline that I painted this lovely Lamb.

I aspire to be a lamb. Willingly following my good shepherd - - you know the one who laid his life down for his sheep? He's worth following.

Oops! I just noticed Lambie is a little crooked in her frame. Ah well, what a lamb!

I am a sheep and he is the shepherd,


Thursday, July 29, 2010


When I was growing up our breakfast table looked out on the flower garden with the bird bath in our back yard. My parent's designed the house with the breakfast nook to have the big window view of the yard. It was at that table that I learned about the different birds, their habits, their songs and of course their names.

Of all the beautiful birds we witnessed through the years, I remember my mom telling me the little wren was her favorite. I always wondered why. It was so - -brown. It wasn't vivid like the cardinal or blue jay.

But, now, I think I too favor the wren. I love it's jaunty little tail feathers. While he is unassuming, his markings are beautiful. When I watch them I see their over confidence. They always have a beautiful song on their heart.

If you are interested in this little wren, you can reach me at

With a song in my heart,

Friday, July 23, 2010


Don't we all need to be coaxed a little from time to time? Or sometimes, I need a shove! ha!

I love Dance, Darlin' because she is sheepishly standing by the wall, afraid to get out on the dance floor of life. But, we are telling her it's not only okay to get out there on that dance floor, we're encouraging her to give it all she's got!

I have Dance, Darlin' on my desk at work as I need to remember it's okay to not be afraid, but to just get out there.


Saturday, July 17, 2010


This little wren is singing his heart out. He is painted on canvas with acrylic. He is small, probably 1 1/2 x 3". He is available in a print for $10.00 plus shipping and handling.


Sunday, July 11, 2010


I had such fun painting Hope. She has a wide eyed innocence that speaks of a faith in the future. She has possibilities of goodness swirling around her. She is painted on canvas in acrylics. I've placed her in this little gold ornate frame with and then nestled in this beautiful little box with damask fabric and a clear lid - - tied with a cream colored wire ribbon. This little lady is only $35.00 plus shipping and handling. Other frames and packaging may be available.


Monday, July 5, 2010


I love painting roses and nests! I guess it's because I love roses and nests so much. Plus, they are just fun to paint! This painting is on canvas and painted in acrylics. I love how the little eggs are nestled down in the nest, protected from harm.

This painting is available in print by e-mailing me at


Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I love her attitude! The words are saying, "Sure. Whatever." But what she is thinking is, "Are you kidding me?"

This painting is done on canvas with acrylic. I caught the glare in this picture a bit. The upper right hand corner really isn't that much lighter.

Prints are available by e-mailing me at


Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Meow and the world meows with you.
Hiss and You hiss alone.

Truer words were never spoken...however with friends sometimes it's o.k. to hiss. With friends, whining is not an option - except when it is.

A lady commissioned this painting with this saying and I love it! I once again caught the glare in this photo. Sorry! It's available in print. E-mail me if you are interested in ordering one.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lots Happening!

Last week was a week of wheeeeeee! Monday night our oldest daughter, Katie Lea, went to Walmart at 10:30 p.m. in the midst of a torrential thunderstorm and inadvertently turned into a drainage ditch instead of the entrance to Walmart. Hey, in Abilene during a thunderstorm, they look about the same. A picture is worth a thousand words, so here's 1001 words...

We are thankful she and Caroline (our youngest) thought it was a good idea to turn off her engine immediately and that her car is repairable. We're also thankful that both our girls are okay.

Last week also ended the two plus years I've had Journey's Inn, our B & B. It was a great ride and I'm so thankful for all the people I got to know. I'm also thankful that God gave me the chance to try something outside my realm of possibilities and to succeed. But for now, we'll be renting this cute little guest house to a young couple who are transitioning and preparing to move to Chile as missionaries. It will be a blessing to them and they'll be a blessing to us. Onward and upward!

Our youngest daughter, Caroline, returned from China a couple of weeks ago after a business internship. She had such a rich time and came back even more open to the possibilities of God.

Katie Lea is preparing to go to UT (Texas) the beginning of August to get her master's degree in Advertising. This should go well with her undergrad degree in Graphic Design. She's enjoyed getting things ready for her apartment. She even recovered a couch. Pretty fantastic looking. She turned a traditional sofa into a modern looking sofa. Amazing.

Our son, Serge, is busy preparing for his wedding. His fiance, Esperance, will be a beautiful bride and wife. I'm so thankful they found each other. Their marriage will be one that will honor God. We will add another daughter! Katie Lea, Caroline and I get to wear Imishananas for the wedding. Apparently in Rwandan culture, the more curves you have, the more beautiful you are. That's great. I'll be STUNNING! :)

Add Image
Last week I also changed studios. This one is much more spacious and faces south. No more west sun in the afternoons. I also have a view of the pigeons. Some would say pigeons are like rats. What if they are the rats of the bird genre...they're still birds. I took this photo sitting at my desk. This is Violet.
I will post pictures of the studio soon. Until then, let's focus on our blessings instead of hardships and realize they are often one and the same.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I love painting and photographing doors. There is something that about doors that begs the question, "What is behind the door?"

However on this one, I'm reminded of the door where Jesus stands...the doorway to our hearts. Behold, I stand at the door and knock.

What is on the inside of the door your heart? What is on the inside of the door to my heart? I'm opening the door to let him in.

This painting is on acrylic canvas but is also available in a print. Order two today.

Welcome, Lord,

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I wish I could say there was some deep spiritual message behind "Yes Sir Ree", but there's not. Tee hee! She just randomly popped in my head and I started painting her. When I was a young teen we used to exclaim, "Yes sir ree, Joe Bob Buckwheat!" It was just a fun little thing to say.

Like all of my paintings, this one is available in a print. You can contact me at for more information. Prints are only $15.00 plus shipping and handling.

Just say yes!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I am learning to just BE. Through meditation and prayer and being alone with my thoughts I am learning to listen for God. What is amazing in this process is that as "busy" as I am, my mind is slowing down and I'm not as busy as I was when my mind was so active.

I made this painting/collage when I was just beginning the process of "be-ing." It was funny when I painted her I wondered why I cocked her head this certain odd angle. Then, when I placed the bird was on her shoulder, it made sense. It's as if the little bird has something to say to her.

That's the same way it is with God and us. If we allow ourselves the opportunity to "be", he will speak, guide, comfort and share his love with us. Oh, to abide in the dwelling place of the most high God. I want to


Wednesday, May 26, 2010


West Texas has been especially beautiful this spring. Thank you, Father! In the five plus years we've been here, I've never seen the flowers look as vivid as they have lately. While the bluebonnets are fading now, they certainly were vivid.

I took the bluebonnet and yellow flowers photos at the Abilene Airport. All that beauty and sky...Wow! I took the photo of the tree and buttercups in our next door neighbor's yard. I remember as a Kindergarten student playing in the field of buttercups with friends and gently putting the flowers up to our chins to make a "pollen beard." We'd giggle with glee as we'd check out each other's yellow beards.

Don't you know God planned that and takes delight in children (and all of us enjoying his beautiful nature?

Our Father certainly shows off his glory. I'm so thankful he does. It's through his beautiful nature that I so often catch a glimpse of him and his wonders. It's through the vast splendor to the intricate details of his handiwork that I'm reminded how much he loves me.


Thursday, May 20, 2010


This is a painting/collage I've completed. It makes me smile. The little girl is extending her arms up to the tree as if to magically mandate, "Grow, by golly!"

The larger girl is embracing the possibility to grow so much so that she is even eating the leaves. A saying by e.e. cummings is at the bottom that says, "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." That's for sure!

I have prints of this and have them for sale. You can contact me at if you are interested.

Let's Grow!

Friday, May 14, 2010


I am so excited about Serge and Esperance's wedding. Serge is our "adopted son" from Rwanda, for those of you just tuning in. He's not legally adopted, but rather adopted by our heart strings. Serge graduated from Abilene Christian University and is now getting his graduate degree there. His connection with ACU is how we got to know him.

Now, Serge is in love with Esperance and they are getting married July 24th. He asked me if I wanted to wear an African dress for the wedding and I said, YOU BET! Katie Lea and Caroline are both wearing African dresses for the wedding. I hope I look as beautiful as Shannon (Lair) in the photo below. That's Shannon and Serge at Serge's brother's wedding a year ago.

Esperance (Espe as we call her) is a love. She is from Congo and goes to school in Abilene, too. She is beautiful, kind and is a lovely Christian young lady. She will be a beautiful bride. I'm so excited for the wedding and even more so for the life Serge and Espe will enjoy together.

God is faithful,

Saturday, May 8, 2010


It seems like too many times I enter a situation by saying (or thinking) I can't (won't, shouldn't couldn't...) But what if I said "what if" instead? That would certainly give me more opportunities to explore the unexpected, unexplored and other possibilities that maybe, just maybe God is opening for me.

I love this What If painting. She looks so contemplative and open to the bubbling possibilities that are surrounding her.

Have you ever seen someone and immediately sized them up? I have, I am ashamed to say. I saw this individual last week and immediately sized him up in my mind. It wasn't bad mind you, but how limiting! A few days later I had the opportunity to have a conversation with him and boy, what I wrong about him. My sizing up scale scored a big fat ZERO.

What if I went into life wide open to the possibilities of the day? I think that would be pleasing to God...and more fulfilling to me, too.

What if?

Monday, March 22, 2010

I Wanted to be a Hippie


I remember going to my first Beatles movie at 6 years old (Hard Days Night) with a friend who was 8 years old and was "ga ga" for the Beatles - - especially Paul. The fascination went past this 6 year old girl.

I remember the late 60's. The girls had long, straight hair and talked of love, peace and wore flowers in their hair. Bell bottom jeans and prairie dresses and peace signs were the norm. Woodstock. "Free Love." But, I was still too young to actually be a hippie. (For that I'm sure my parents were grateful.) Peter Max was a gifted artist of the 60's who used a lot of colors and psychedelic images. Even though I mainly watched the 60's from a innocent girl's eyes, it impacted me nonetheless.

With the 60's use of happy colors and flowers on my mind, I used paint layering to create "I Wanted to Be a Hippie." It was a fun work and a style I'll most likely return to.

My hippie name is...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Escaped Propriety

I love this painting, if I do say so myself (my mom used to say that!) This painting is 10 inches by 20 inches and is on 3/4 inch canvas. The technique used on this painting is layering. The gold metallic paint introduces a new dimension that is interesting on the fabric.

A fabric with a sheen and vertical pattern to the fabric was attached to the canvas board. Acrylic paint was applied all over in block fashion. Paint, dry, glossy varnish medium applied. Repeat 2 - 3 more times. The swirls were added on top of the blocks to create a visual display that is ordered, yet free. Hence the name, "Escaped Propriety."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Meet Cadence

Cadence is the smallest girl painting I have done thus far. She is on a 4" x 4 1/2" x 1- 1/4" canvas. The technique I used for Cadence is different that what I've used for any of the other girls, too. I used a lot of scraping, layers and emphasized the imperfections. After all, we are all imperfectly perfect. Aren't we?

Cadence's story is that she has worked at the Library for a number of years logging books and barely paying attention to others. Her world is books. When she leaves work she goes home to surround herself with yet more books. A perfect evening for her is reading on an antique fainting sofa she inherited from her grandmother. She secretly wishes she she were a little more outgoing, however, this is who she is. What is on her lip, you ask? Why, chocolate, of course!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Andrews Sisters, Tino Rossi and More!

Yesterday as Caroline and I drove around we listened to Tino Rossi, a French singer. The music was made from an LP from the 1930's and made into a CD. Caroline said, "Interesting music, Mom."

Here is Tino Rossi singing in Spanish, "Besame Mucho." (Kiss me a lot)

It is interesting music. It takes me back to my childhood. I'd love to invite you to join me for the stroll.

Before I was born, my mom was an independent 20 year old woman from a wee little town in Mississippi finding her way in the big ole city of Birmingham, Alabama. She got a job and rented a room in downtown Birmingham from Money and Mac McFarland. Money and Mac lived in an old rambling Victorian house with a sprawling veranda and a back porch used to shell beans.

After Mom and Dad were married and had my brother and me, we would visit Money and Mac on Christmas Eve or Easter. Mac would tell how we couldn't go in their basement as there were alligators down there. Mac had lost a finger in an industrial accident years before, but he always told us one the alligators had bitten it off. We had to wonder.

Every now and then my brother would go exploring upstairs to the bedrooms. The whole house was filled with antiques (I guess largely because Money and Mac were old!)

At Christmas time we'd visit them and they would have an LP playing on their old Victrola. Either the Andrews Sisters, Tino Rossi or some other mellowed singing voices would fill their wonderful old home. Mac would take Money in his arms and dance with her around their grand living room. Then my Daddy would take Mom in his arms and join them. I felt as if I was witnessing a wonderful magical spell. If I dare moved...or breathed... the magic could dissipate and like a bubble would pop and be forever gone.

So, yes, I enjoy listening to vintage music as I'm taken back to some wonderful memories of my childhood.

You know, I never did see Money or Mac's basement. Mom told me after I was an adult that she thinks Mac may have had a still down there.


Saturday, January 23, 2010


I've known Dixie. Of course growing up in Birmingham, Alabama (said with a sassy, southern accent), I would have known some Dixies. Their names may not have all been Dixie, but...

Dixie is a true Southern Belle. She adores Dolly Parton, rhinestones and her boyfriend of seven years. She absolutely loves roller blading.

My studio is going to be open for Artwalk on Thursday, February 11th at Cockerell Galleries in downtown Abilene. I hope you'll stop by to see me and meet Dixie and the other girls.

Nothing would make me happier,

Monday, January 18, 2010

Painted Chest

I love getting great things at a garage sale for a song. This was a chest with great bones. It was painted white. I jazzed it up with some colorful drawers that I white washed and then added metallic gold paint to the legs. Some new hardware and voila! A fun chest that holds all sorts of needful things. tee hee...

I have this chest right inside my art studio as you go in. It's a fun little piece.

Feeling jazzy,

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Meet Liz

I have had the most restorative time at my studio lately. I've been painting ladies' faces and have quite a wall of them now. I'm not sure why I've chosen to paint women's faces, other than you can tell so much about a woman by her eyes.

This is Liz. She is aging quicker than she'd like but wants to be authentic. Liz is letting her hair gray naturally. Her adoring husband assures he she's more beautiful than the day he married her. Liz is a blessed woman.

Some new friends came into my studio tonight and commented on the ladies I had been painting. I heard, "Oh, Ellie is like me!" Or, "I can relate to Audra." They each have a story. That affirmation was just what I needed. Thank you, Lord.

That's the beautiful thing about people. There is common ground with everyone when we take the time to explore it.

Authentically blessed,

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Carter Blue

My friend, Roxanne has the most "preciousest" granddaughter, Carter. I enjoyed an evening of painting with Roxanne and Carter last month. Carter saw the picture I had painted of this lady and asked me why I had painted her before I had even met her.

Carter told me that my painting was like her because of the blond hair but she didn't understand why she had blue on her face.

Hence, the name Carter Blue.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I'd Like to Introduce You to Channing

Channing was birthed a couple of months ago on canvas. She was in my mind so I hurried up to my Blue Heaven to allow her to be born. She is strong, passionate-yet quiet, insightful and goes to sleep listening to Norah Jones.

She prefers jeans and t-shirts but looks gorgeous in a simple black dress. She has a tattoo of a Chinese symbol on her shoulder. She likes being mysterious.

Channing, meet everyone,

Friday, January 1, 2010

Going Gray

I finished the book, Going Gray by Anne Kreamer. It was full of insights and practical "research."

In it she quotes, "Andrew Weil's take in his recent book Healthy Aging is similar: "If aging is written into the laws of the universe, then acceptance of it must be a prerequisite for doing it in a graceful way. Yet nonacceptance of aging seems to be the rule in our society, not the exception. A great many people try to deny its reality and progress. " His ultimate conclusion is that to deny aging is to deny ourselves access to a deeply nourishing experience. "Because aging reminds us of our own mortality, it can be a primary stimulus to spiritual awakening and growth."

In response to Andrew Weil's writing, Anne Kreamer writes, "Bingo! My whole experience hasn't been just about letting my hair grow in it's natural gray. It's been about growing up and pardon the touchy-feely cliche - - continuing to evolve as a person. By insisting on having hair that looked like it did when I was thirty and thirty-five, I think I really had been forfeiting one of the most important tools for optimal aging - - that is facing it squarely, accepting it incrementally I think that each year, as my hair becomes whiter, I will be a little more ready to celebrate the good things about my "here and now." I have every intention of avoiding the frail, frightened, old-lady stereotype - - to remain as fit and curious as possible - - but I am no longer afraid to show my true age. It's simple. I'm proud of what I've done, the years I've lived, how far I've come. I'm happier going through each day on the sidewalk, in sotres and restaurants, at parties - - being as honest as I can be about who I really am.

She's letting herself go. I'm trying, anyhow. Letting go of false fronts and mass-market expectations. Letting go for me is all about - - self-help alert - - finding myself."

Well said, Anne. After reading this book, I'm no longer just begrudgingly letting my hair go to it's natural color, I'm actually looking forward to it.

Gray today,