Chickadee take two, Smoky Mountain Rise


I’ve been working on a couple of new paintings. The one above is “Chickadee with a Pine Cone.” Real original name, I know. This was a personal project. I really enjoyed painting the original chickadee for my art class. I wanted to push myself and I knew this pine cone would push me in new ways. I found my reference photo on a website called Paint My Photo – taken by Rodney Campbell. You can see the reference photo here. This is a popular photo but I still wanted to test my skills. I wanted to see if I could control my strokes in two areas, the feathers and the pine needles. I wanted the feather strokes to look less uniform and I wanted the pine needles to look more like the needles and not flicks of a paint brush. I’m pleased with the outcome in both areas. The pine cone was the most intense painting I’ve done in a while. It took careful attention to the shadows to make the detail pop like I wanted it to. In the end, I couldn’t be more pleased with the effort! (7×9;Painted on 140# cold press watercolor paper with Windsor Newton and Cotman Watercolors and a tiny bit of opaque white watercolor.)


The painting above is titled “Smoky Mountain Rise”. I have wanted for some time to paint a piece honoring those who lost so much during the wildfires in Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains. I grew up just north of this area, in the foothills of mountains that make up the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. When I first started painting, the Smoky Mountains were some of the first landscapes I attempted to paint. The wash of paint seems like such a simple thing to accomplish but in the end, it’s much harder to get it perfectly like I would like for it to be. This is my 2nd painting of this subject and I may try it one more time to fix a few things that I would have liked to have done differently. But overall, I’m pleased with this one too! (9×12; Painted on 140# cold press watercolor paper with Windsor Newton and Cotman Watercolors)


Chickadees, Eagles & Churches


For longer than I care to divulge, I have been making notecards. Back in the beginning, I had pen and ink sketches printed on simple card stock. Now, those sketches along with my watercolor prints are being jazzed up with printed mats and colorful cards. I have several old and new designs that have recently been added to my Etsy store. Some of my originals – Isaiah Eagle, Bandy’s Chapel, and See Rock City – are back with newer looks. While new additions – Shine, Leaning Post, and Chickadee on a Pine Branch – give a punch of color and depth to my card lineup.

The cool thing about these notecards is that they are generic. The inside has a white mat and you can write whatever sentiment you want. Happy Birthday, Get Well, Thank You, or just Missing You.

Oh, No! 20 days, really?

Has it really been 20 days since my last blog post? Oh my….


We have a lot to catch up on! I’m jumping right in the deep end, with book news! Please Don’t Ask Me to Leave went on pre-sale today for ebooks.

In other book news, I’m working on the cover for Cynthia Roemer’s book, Under This Same Sky. I will be making a second and third draft tonight and tomorrow for her, but we are already off to a great start!


I am thoroughly loving the watercolor classes that I’m teaching each week. Lately we’ve explored our mixing skills by limiting our palette to 3-5 colors. All three of the above painting were done in this manner. We had a blast and I’m looking forward to seeing what they choose to work on in the next couple of weeks. I’ll be starting a new class soon, so if you are in the North Nashville area, drop me a line if you’d like information about it.

Before I leave this topic, I want to give a shout out to Lindsay at The Frugal Crafter. Our class has loved watching her YouTube videos to guide us through some of these projects.


Lastly, before I go, I wanted to share one milestone with you. Today I dropped off one of my pen and ink sketches to be professionally scanned. This is the first artwork that I have ever had scanned to have prints made. I’ve had a lot of positive feedback on my sketch of the Pinta replica that we visited in Kentucky last fall. I will be adding the Hebrews 6:13 scripture to the scan when I get it back next week. After that, you will find prints available in my Etsy store!

Hope you have a blessed day!

Great Joy! Bible Journaling Template

This week is a busy week and it is only Wednesday. I hope yours is not as busy, but I hope it is as productive as mine has been so far. I started off this week with a cleaning mission. I have to confess that our bonus room has become a hoarding stash of crafts, fabrics and other miscellaneous items. So Saturday, I started the decluttering and disposing of my hoard. By Sunday evening, I had made a ton of progress and had sorted out 6 bags of trash and a heap of recycling. But after all that work, I needed a creative break. Let’s face it, I needed an excuse to quit cleaning!


For the past week I’ve had a verse on my mind. I don’t remember when I jotted it down, but it’s been in my planner for a while and I ran across it last week. Philemon 1:7 – “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.I also have little sketches in my planner and I had one for a mason jar. So budda bing, budda boom, I put them together in this cute little piece of work. I adore drawing these little art deco looking flowers. They remind me of dogwood blossoms, but with more petals than just four. So I colored them pink in honor of my favorite color of dogwood blossom. The love banner is also pink, because I LOVE pink. LOL. The whole piece came together quickly. After refining it Monday , I traced it into my journaling Bible last night after finishing (mostly) my cleaning mission. It was my reward for all the hard work I have done cleaning that room!

It has been my unofficial resolution this year to let go of the judgemental nature I can sometimes have (wait, I’m surely not talking about myself, am I?) and focus on being an encouragement to others instead. It all started last fall with a sermon that smacked me in the face and I haven’t been able to let go of it. It still smacks me and I am trying to work through the pain and see what it is that God want me to do. It’s hard for me, and I’m hoping this little bit of joy in my Bible will keep spurring me onward.

So, why is my resolution unofficial, you might ask. Because if it was an official resolution, I’d resent the fact that I was failing in keeping it and that resentment would lead me away from doing anything and that is not the path I want to travel…so, it is unofficial, no pressure, just JOY.

BTW, if you would like a template to add this cute art to your journaling Bible or to make bookmarks, it’s available here in my Etsy store.

Original Watercolor Snow Scenes

Last week I held my last watercolor class for my students. Our church hosts drawing and watercolor classes. My dear friend Bill Walls, a fine watercolorist himself, asked me to help by guiding our students who have finished the basic class and are moving on to what we call the “advanced” class. It’s not really advanced, it’s just more so than the basic class. Anyway, rambling on as I like to do, my class ended by beginning their final painting and I urged them to have a “show-worthy” painting by the beginning of the new year. While they were sketching and laying down their first washes, I painted 2 mini snow scenes. They are roughly 4×6 paintings that I drew quickly and painted loosely.

I bought simple cream mats and mounted each painting on a green cardstock sheet. The horizontal painting has a trimmed edge while the vertical painting has a torn edge. Both are available in my Etsy shop for $20 each.

If you are interested in learning to draw or paint, and are in the North Nashville/Madison/Goodlettsville/Whites Creek area, we would love to have you come join our classes. We have a new Beginners class starting in November as well as a new “Advanced” class. Each class will meet on Saturdays from 9-11 at Northside Church of Christ and are free. The beginning class has all supplies provided for you. The advanced class has a supply list of items you will need. It will be discussed at the first meeting. Come join us!

My Bible Journaling Journey

IMG_0912.JPGBack in the spring I got all excited about Bible Journaling. It had all the artsy crafts aspects that I loved and promised to get me in the Word. So I jumped in with both feet and after lots of positive encouragement, I began offering templates in my Etsy store.

Then life happened. Summer started, church activities stole my free time and there’s that small renovation in the children’s area that needs new murals, and there went my Bible Journaling plans.

Now enter fall. I think this year for the first time I truly understand why I really love fall. It’s because the madness ends. Being married to a professional Boy Scout, fall hails the end of summer camp. Being a mom, fall rushes in the school year and the beginning of structured life again. As a children’s ministry worker, it means that Bible camp and VBS have ended, new teachers are in place for the fall quarter, and calm is returning. Fall is my time to take a deep breathe and let life settle back into place.

It’s during this peaceful calm that I start getting the bug…the crafty bug. It’s always with me but when I have time to breathe, that longing inside of me awakes and is followed by trips to the art store to buy watercolor paper, new brushes and a tube or two of paint. Designs start flitting through my mind and those daily scripture readings start turning into imagined art. So, while I still mull over what my next design will be, take a trip over to my Etsy store and see what’s already there.

Happy Fall Y’all!