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Monday, February 8, 2016


Motivation Monday

Balance Beam
Balance your check book
Balancing Act
Out of Balance

Just what is Balance?
and how do I achieve it?

We've all seen the scales of justice.
The bar across, with three chains on each side holding a disk.
If you add something to one side,
you have to add something to the other side to make it balance.

If you add too much to one side 
it will come crashing down and the other side will fly up and out of control.

Our lives are like that set of scales.

We keep adding more to our days, our weeks, our months, until we also crash out of control.

I can always tell when my life is getting out of balance.
I start thinking of escaping to the beach.
I am on a year long quest to bring more balance into my life.
I have gotten very out of balance over the last year,
and it will take some time to make the adjustments needed to get back in balance.
  1. I'm tackling losing much of the weight I've gained during the same time frame.
  2. I'm bringing order into my home and studio through organization.
  3. I'm working on improving my spirituality.
  4. I've set out a plan on where and how I want to improve my art.
Those are 4 different areas where at times I've allowed one or more of them to be the main focus of my life.
Achieving balance is tricky.
To achieve balance is almost paying more attention to what you don't put on the scales, than what you do put on.
I get out of balance when I allow any area to take center stage for too long.  Yes, I would rather paint than just about anything else, but I also like to eat, sleep (sort of), have clean clothes and sheets, and be able to walk through my house without tripping or being infected with something.  I like to know how much money is in my checking account, and where I need to spend that money.
So, I spent a day or so thinking deeply about and writing down what was important to me, goals I would need to achieve those things, and then things I would need to do daily to achieve the goals.  
It took some time.
All things worth doing take time.
But, I am almost mid February and I have made some new habits, (I hope) and I am well on my way to achieving more balance in my life.
 ( This was a redo of a painting I did as I tried to achieve more balance in it.  Balance is a critical part of art also.)

Sometimes, we are running so fast,
we don't realize we have one foot nailed to the floor.
We are running a great pace,
but we will never get anywhere. 
Take a step back and look at your life.
As Stephen Covey says,
Stop sawing and sharpen the saw.
His 7 Habits for Highly Effective People
was life changing for me about 35 years ago,
and yet I have recently abandoned what I learned from him.
He puts things so clearly and makes so much sense.

I tried to get a link for you, but as usual I am having weather here in Kentucky, and when we have weather, my internet goes haywire.
I'm hoping I'll be able to post this.
Go to Amazon and search Stephen Covey,
or 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
I'm sure you'll find it,
I'm not sharing mine.
Have a great Motivated Monday.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Is She Thinking Flowers

If She's Thinking Flowers
for Valentines Day,

I got ya covered.

And they'll last a very long time

Head on over to my Available Paintings section
Click HERE to view available paintings.

There's lots to look at there
and I'm always adding more.

if your significant other wants to learn how to paint,
I got your back on that one to.

Click HERE to view my online painting course.

 Always watchin out for you! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Only Right Way?

Is There Only ONE RIGHT Way?

I think the answer to that is NO!
how could there be so many types of art?

Water Color
Charcoal pastel
Colored pencils
And the list goes on and on . . .

Then we have:
Still life

Almost everyone has heard the story about Vincent Van Gogh, and how he only sold one painting in his life time and that was to a family member.  Today, however, the most any of us commonfolk can hope for is a poster or print of his.  

Impressionism was not highly thought of when it began, and today it is loved and favored.

A great online art friend of mine, (we've never actually met face to face), Meredith Adler wrote a wonderful blog post about this very subject.  Click HERE to read it and view her collage of her 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.   

I'm not suggesting you should ignore every "rule" in the world of painting, but what I am saying is it is a good idea to learn the rules and then play around and figure out how to break them.

Playing in the paint is pretty important for every artist to figure out what works, what they like, how to create, and so many other elements of painting. 

The most important thing for an artist to learn, (in my opinion) is to learn how to see.  Look deeply at things.  Take note of color, shadows, highlights, perspective and how things fit together.  Is it dynamic or is it dull and lifeless?  Are there reflections that create shadows?  Is that color warm or cool?  Why do those colors look so great together (get out the color wheel)?  Learn to see better, and your art will improve, regardless of how you create it.

  Speaking of reflections.
This was a practice I did several years ago of some old metal cups.
They are very reflective and I was trying to see how to get, not only the shadows the cups created but also the reflections on each other.  First I divided a large sheet of paper into 4 quadrants, then I set up three of the metal cups in the primary colors.  I had a light I could move around to get the shadows to move as well as the reflections.  I learned a lot about my subjects and how they interacted, but I also learned how to see them more correctly.  I also learned about the perspective, especially of the stacked cups and the laying down cup.

as you can see,
there really is no right way to paint.
Just what is right for you!

 Fresh Pickins
is exactly that.
I picked these flowers from my garden
and I this is one of the many paintings I did using them as modules.

16" x 12" acrylic on canvas paper.
I really feels like fabric but it comes on a pad of paper.
It will come rolled up in a tube.

$95 + $5 shipping

If you want to learn how to paint from the ground up, and learn those many art concepts and then be able to break them, as well as paint two super fun paintings, click HERE to view my online beginning painting course.


Monday, February 1, 2016

I Am Worth It!

I AM Worth It! 
Motivation Monday
This year I am making a number of life style changes
I began with this thought.
I am worth it.
I am worth the time it will take.
I am worth the effort.
I am worth the struggle.
I am worth being dedicated.
I am worth it all.
I will be writing a motivational post every Monday.
I currently am working on
Weight loss
Muscle tone
Improving my art
Growing my business
and most importantly,
Feeding my spirit.
  On the business realm,
This painting went to its forever home last week.
Thank you so much Meredith.
This painting was part of a 30 paintings in 30 days challenge
I did a year or so ago.
Since I shut down my website and don't have all my work listed anywhere else, yet, 
she had to really search hard to find it.
I am so grateful!
On the weight loss front,
I've been participating in an 8-week online challenge with my daughter-in-law Angela.
The first several weeks we were on vacation and I was not very successful in the weight loss.  I did get my exercise in daily, so that was a plus, but it would have been easy to just chuck it and continue on with my old habits.  
We report our weight loss on Monday morning,
so when I stepped on the scale this morning,
I almost held my breath.
a decent weight loss for all my hard work.
4 1/2 lbs gone for a total of 7 so far.
On the organization front,
I laid out a plan for the year of purging
 a different room every month. 
I started with the room that needs the most help
and usually gets the least,
our bedroom.
I went through every drawer, my armoire and my closet
and I purged all sorts of stuff.
I have lots of catch all surfaces in my room,
and they are all clean, 
right now.
I'm working on forming new habits to keep it that way.
I'm telling you all this,
for the one thing that is critical in forming new habits,
and making life style changes is
So now you know!
Post in the comments things you are working on changing.
We'll be your support group.
Check back in next Monday,
for more motivation. 
Sign up to enter to win a free painting.
I give one away every month.
Scroll back up to the top, and on the right hand side is a box to enter your email address.  If you've already done it, you don't need to do it again.  You're in!
I have added a new tab on my blog on available paintings and I am adding more all the time. 
Click HERE to see my online painting course
painting with acrylics 101.
Thanks for stopping in and have a great day. 

Friday, January 29, 2016



I am choosing as my theme word for 2016

You, guessed it,


Courage to change,
Courage to improve.
Courage to feel.
Courage to hope.
Courage to let loose.
Courage to be happy.

2016 brought many changes.
Change is usually pretty uncomfortable, 
but often necessary.

I closed my gallery.
The two boys we had living with us are no longer here.
I am uneasy politically in my world.
I must loose weight.
I want to de-clutter and organize my home.

As I looked over my list of changes that had to be made,
I started getting ideas of how to do it.

I have made spread sheets,
joined a support group,
and laid out goals and deadlines for how I want to make changes.

It takes courage to change.
It takes courage to stick with the change process.
It takes courage to admit that maybe
 I wasn't right in past endeavors.  

I will need Courage in all the ways I'm changing in 2016.

I have taken a bit of a sabbatical for the last month as Jim and I took a trip to the unsunny sunshine state.  That didn't work out to well. 
After closing the gallery, I had lots of "stuff" to bring home and then I had to find new homes for it in my home.  That is mostly done now, and it is amazing, after I finished organizing the last section, I felt my spirit lift and I knew I was ready to paint again.  My studio was quite the mess, but once I got it under control, BOOM, the urge to paint returned. 

I laid out a year long plan to de-clutter my home.  I am going to tackle one room a month. January had me doing my bedroom.  I can now happily say I have been through every drawer, armoire, and closet and thrown out things I haven't used in years.  I love to go in there now.  
It is wonderful to have your spirit lightened.

I wanted to lose weight, (doesn't everyone), and I was invited into a weight loss challenge group.  I am now exercising every day, keeping a food journal, counting calories, paying more attention to what I eat and trying to enjoy it more.
And I've even eliminated about 90% of the sugar in my normal diet.
Thanks to the encouragement from my group, and the dedication I summoned for this change, I am seeing moderate success.

I love to study the scriptures, but sadly had gotten out of the habit, so that was also on my list of lifestyle changes I needed to make.
Spirituality is very important to me so I devised a plan
and so far, I'm sticking to it.

Change is hard.

But we can do HARD things.

On this blog in the near future I will be posting new artwork,
new free painting lesson videos, and motivation Monday topics, some related to painting, some just related to life.

Hopefully you'll join in and
 pass what you find interesting along.  

Thanks for stopping by today.

Don't forget I give away a free painting every month.
  Click the button at the top right to get signed up. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

December Winner

December Winner
 and a Rescue

Gwen was the lucky winner of the December painting
 of an Osprey.   

 I took the photo for reference in Naples, FL.
Heading back there real soon.

I give away a painting every month,
so scroll back up to the top of this page
to the right and sign up to win the January painting.
If you've already signed up once,
you're in.

Now for the rescue.
I bought a set of wooden canisters from the 50's or 60's
at an auction a few months ago.
I brought them home and cleaned them up and then 
repainted them.

I gave them to my granddaughter Kelsie
for her hope chest.  She's a college student and has been collecting things for her own home for several years.

They look white but they're almost a taupe
and the little knobs on the top are white.
Then I added some chalk board stickers.
I think they are so cute.

Paint is the cheapest way to transform anything
and these wooden canisters went from barely wanted,
to really cute.

This was the vision

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


and lots of them.

I have not posted for a while
because I closed River Run Gallery over Christmas.

Getting all that artwork, supplies, books,
and lots of stuff home and a new studio set up
has taken more time than I expected.

I did a commission for Christmas
and didn't want to spoil the surprise,
so I didn't post it until now.

And now I just realized I didn't take a final photo of it.

  This painting is of two houses that are very important to the gentleman who commissioned them, but they are not side by side as shown.
At the end of every session I would text him and send him a photo of where I was in the painting.
After I sent him this one, we both felt it needed something in the top left corner, so I added a flock of geese.
But then forgot to take that last photo.
This painting is a 10" x 20" stretched canvas.

If you'd like a painting of your humble abode,
email me at

now I am trying to figure out where I go from here in my art career.
I am taking several weeks off 
so you won't hear from me for a while.

Then, I'll be back baby,
and I'll get all over it.

I have many plans for my art future,
some of which include promoting my online beginning painting course,
click here to see it.  

I have a great dressing table I'm finishing
and will be up for sale by the end of the month.

I've painted some small canvas pins  
I'll be showing soon. 

I'll be showing my online beginning painting course at a homeschool convention in Cincinnati during the end of March and 1st of April.

I also want to make more short beginning painting videos that will be on my facebook page for paintingwithacrylics101.

And I'll still be giving away a painting every month.

Speaking of which,
I'm getting ready to draw out a name
and when I do, I'll send you an email and you'll have 24 hours to contact me back.

So there's lots going on in my studio,
but for now,
I'm purging closets, drawers, rooms,
and then heading south the end of this week.

In case you haven't noticed,
I've added a page to this blog
of available paintings.

See you in the funny papers.  

About Me

My Photo
Ghent, Kentucky, United States
I'm a nature artist and I love to paint old barns, rivers and lakes, trees and fence rows. I work almost daily trying to improve my art and all that entails. I try to learn all I can from others and from the earth itself by being aware of all God has created and its beauty. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at You can also purchase through my gallery website at . Thank you so much for stopping by.