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Monday, June 14, 2021

Baby's Adventure

This is one of my personal favorites. I wanted to create a world of  adventure for my grandbaby Isaac. In reality he was sitting in my office chair in his pajamas when I took the photo I used for this painting. I wanted him to take his little stuffed lemur LaLa for a naptime dream trip in the boat. The teddy bear and duck did not want them to head out alone, so they hopped in at the last minute.  

 

Monday, August 10, 2020

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Bird in a clay pot


Bird on Clay Pot
11x14 oil on canvas

Startled

" Startled" Oil on Canvas 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Roxie



Roxie was a tiny little pup so she needed to be painted on a tiny little canvas. These small paintings take about as much time to paint as a larger one, so I try not to do them very often. If you will notice that tea bag... it is one of the small teabags that you would use to make a single cup. - 

But Roxie was a tea cup pup.


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Mootsie In The Sunlight


Oil Painting Dog Portrait, Boxer
Oil Portrait of a Boxer Dog

This is my latest painting still on the easel. Her name is Mootise and she is a Boxer. Boxers have very thin skin on their ears and hers were all ablaze in the sunlight this particular day, they also have very short, thin soft fur. This is especially true on their chest, where in many older Boxers often the pink skin underneath is visible. I think I captured the soul of this dog for under her sparse white fur you can see the glow of her heart. She was a gentle beauty and faithful watch dog. Note how the camera picks up different back ground colors with both photos of this painting, All the colors are there, reds, greens and yellows, but they will show up in different amounts based on the lighting in the room

Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Power of Coffee







People generally get over the thought that they are an "adult" around age  twenty five. I am sixty three and it crosses my mind (more often than I care to admit) how wonderful it is to NOT be a kid. There is absolutely nothing that says adulthood as completely as grinding your own beans and holding a cup of hot, dark Army grade coffee in your arthritic hands. Ahh. So good to be able to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, and call it what you want, a cup of brew, a cup of  Joe, black magic or, well, coffee. Part of the reason I did not enjoy being a kid was that I did not understand the power and the language of adults. The old saying "Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely" is so true. Parents cannot comprehend even the simplest powers they weld, one of which is the power of words. Why all the rumblings about language and power and breakfast? Well, my Open Meal was cooking on the stove, and  as I held my up of coffee  I reflected on my childhood.  I added lots of sugar and poured  a few generous tablespoons of milk, straight out of a can of evaporated milk, to my bowl of Open Meal- because after all, monkey see monkey do. That is the way it was served when I was a child at home, living with the monkeys of my childhood.  Although I require cream in my coffee, the milk for my Open Meal HAS to be out of a can: this is a childish tradition that cannot be broken. My adult addition to my Open Meal was that I was adding fresh raspberries from my garden. Freedom to choose. That is what I crave. Freedom, bound in tradition, with a helmet on for safety, and 911 on standby. 

              What might you ask is Open Meal? It took me a while to figure that one out too, because one cold morning  when still just a preschooler I got up, and sat on the heater vent for a while to warm up -pulled my on socks and went to the breakfast table where mother was serving "it."  In my most "Oliver"  voice I said..... "Please mum, may I have my Open meal?" She said, bluntly, "No"  "What?" I gasped  "No Open Meal? Was there a problem?" (I am sure I did not articulate all of that. I think I must have just looked sorta dumb founded.) She said bluntly, "It is not Open Meal." The silence that followed was eerie. My stomach rumbled, the dog barked, it thundered. It was a mystery and a western shoot out all rolled up in one cold dawn. Okay, here is the cruelty of it all, the thing that I now know as an adult, - she was standing there with a cup of coffee. Let that sink in people. She had coffee.

               Her cheeks held the rosy glow of a campfire cook, and in spite of the fact that she was only 5 foot 2 inches; to me she was a giant, standing there tall, and warm, and geared up with caffeine, ready for the rodeo. I, bless my small pea pickin' heart, was standing there shivering in my nightgown without any knowledge of the fact that the best part of waking up was Folgers in my cup. I just wanted my Open Meal. How was I going to get my breakfast if they changed the name for it over night? I looked around the table at my four siblings, all with a big bowl of Open Meal right in front of them and I knew, perhaps for the first time in my life, the meaning of the words... no help at all. Was there really no Open Meal left? Had they gotten it all? I glanced around and checked the clock on the wall to see if I had really slept that late but that was just another testimony of my in-adequateness. I could not tell time. 

              By faith, I went ahead, climbed up in the chair, and sat there. My Mother, as if speaking to someone deaf mouthed the words slowly." It is OAT MEAL. "  She spat the T out as if it was distasteful. If you have ever seen a dog tilt his head to one side I am sure I did a pretty good rendition. If I could have articulated it, I am sure I would have said, "What the heck is an OAT?" I knew what "Open" meant and to my preschool brain, Open Meal made more sense. After all, listen close everyone reading this because I want you to think about it. She OPENED the little tub of "it" and poured "it" in a pot with water and then OPENED the pot and spooned it in my bowl every morning. I was okay with thinking it was Open meal. "O- A-T -meal" she calmly and deliberately stated again. I nodded, she gave me a bowl, I ate. She could call it whatever she wanted. At the ripe old age of 63, I still call it Open Meal. 

Image result for the best part of waking up




 



 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Pouting Pretty


You might recognize this painting. I posted it a few years ago and was never happy with it so I continue to work on it. The problem is, I know this kid very well, she is growing up so fast. I wanted to capture her attitude. This kid at the age I took this photo could pout no matter how beautiful the world around her was. She loves the gardens and animals, so I put her in her element.
I can paint  a strangers kids and get it right in a jiff.
It is harder when you love someone.
I still see things I want to tweet and adjust.


Monday, September 17, 2018

Anne's Daughter


This young lady's mom fell in love with the photograph that is seen on top of my easel; but there was a problem with the quality of the shot. Although it was a cute photo there is the issue of black hair next to a black shirt next to black pants. I decided to keep this one very loose and artsy. It was, after all a portrait that would be given as a gift to a young women, not a formal dining room exhibition. We discussed cropping it to just the head of the girl and dog, but that did not feel "right." The whole pose  was so  much of what made this moment so precious. It turned out fabulous, and goes to show, in art, and in life, what you think might be a problem actually produces the most creative unusual results.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Belle and Sadie

The mother of these pups wanted a painting of them together. The problem was she did not have any good photos of them together. After she sent me over two dozen photos I finally said I would come to her home and take a photo, and she said that would be great, they would bark and growl for a while but would settle down. I am a bit afraid of dogs and did not want to do that under those circumstances. So she continued to email me photos of what she could get, after looking for common poses and themes I choose to merge two photos together where  they both had on a little costume. It ended up being a great adorable painting.... of the two of them together.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Toby

The client wanted me to paint something so she could  remember Toby, and her request was simple.       " I want a painting that makes me smile when I look at it.. and I want a blue background. " She wanted something large- and she settled on a 24 x 24.  In the photos she sent me Toby was a calm and peaceful looking doggy. I wanted to have his eyes be the focal point .. and his big ole beautiful nose tilted to look like he was curious what his owner was doing.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Bristow Boys



I was so delighted to paint this portrait for this family. I knew these kids mom when she was about this age herself! I really believe that familiarity of years of knowledge with the family, helps so much in getting a great painting. One of these boys looks just like his uncle! Oh how I love this one!

First Gallop in Spring


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

It's a Dog's Day

I was out at the  Wake Forest Historical Museum enjoying  Plein-Air painting "The Old Well" landmark one summer morning when Allen came by walking his dog Frankie. Apparently this is their neighborhood and hang out, and the go to place to walk on beautiful days. It seemed natural to add them into the painting I was working on and I appreciate Allen letting me take some photo references to use as well. I tried to capture the peacefulness and sunlight as well as  the relationship between Allen and Frankie. It was also nice to be able to put them in the surroundings that they are both familiar with. I decided to call this painting "It's a Dog's Day" because of the relationship between the man and his dog. Clearly when this dog is around ... the day belongs to him!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Three Dog Day



I enjoyed painting this for a client who wanted all three dogs but not three paintings. She is giving this painting to one of her children as a Christmas gift.

Monday, January 1, 2018

First Gallop In The Spring

I am much to old to run, gallop or even trot. However, I see myself in this painting. The colors, the sky the grasses. I see freedom to pursue and love for the open plains. No saddle, no owner, no limits. Not running away, but running towards a great new slap-dashingly pallet knife world. Giddy up, what amazing words, no matter what your age. Giddy up.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Achilles

I always ask my clients to send me as many photos as they have so I can get to know the dog and the owner. Usually I like to get 25 or so, that way I can see the dog's personality and the relationship that the dog and the owner has. I am so glad I used that method with this painting. This dog, in every photo, was staring poignantly at his owner. Such a devoted look and expression!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Anne and Her Dogs


8x10 Oil Study

This is a quick little study I did one Saturday afternoon.  I took this photo when I came to  a clients home to capture shots of her dogs in order to paint some large individual portraits. I got home and could not sit still until I got the paints out and dabbled. I took about 150 photos and this was one of the few times that the dogs actually got still. I thought it was precious. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Big Brother


When the mother of these children sent me this photo and asked me to paint it as a portrait I was absolutely tickled pink. Pink as this baby's cheeks. The photo had a really big white glare spot on the top of the boys head from the camera flash and it was a bit faded. I absolutely love painting children, and rarely does someone send me an old photo that has a baby and child who both have a pleasant expression. - plus the lighting - oh I could go on.  Fast forward to " They grow up way too fast" his little boy is 18 now and his little sister is half his age so she is about 9.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Wedding Dog

This little pup was supposed to be in his owners wedding, but at a young age he ate something and got very sick. A family member asked me to do a painting of  him so he could be present at the wedding.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Guarding The Gate

This is Rita, she is a soldiers dog, her owner is in the United States Marines. She guards the gate at home, alert, waiting, protecting.... just like her owner guards his country. It was a honor to paint Rita, the soldiers wife says Rita has some health issues and may not be at the gate when he returns this time from deployment.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Dolly

This is Dolly with her first water fowl catch on the beaches of NC.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Bodies First Swan

I tried to capture the solemn moment a young boy has when he has his first successful hunt. This was painted from a photo of my young nephew.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Boy and His Dog

I normally do not crop things so tight, but this client wanted a very small painting and in order to get all the expression of  her grandson as well as the cuteness of the dog on a very small canvas you have to be able to work with the composition. She loved it. I loved it- so we are all happy.- My husband loved it too so that was just bonus points.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Night Watchman


This is painting I worked on recently  to study Rembrandt's style.  Rembrandt painted The Night Watch in 1642 and it is known as one of his most famous paintings. It is also been recognized as one of Rembrandt’s most debatable and controversial works of art. -
Painted it in the middle of a green canvas

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Rebekah

I wanted to paint a Portrait of my granddaughter that would depict her personality. She use to tote that old rusty watering can all over my yard and consistently through out her life has shown a love for flowers and animals. One thing about this child though, she loves what she loves and she equally shows great discontent for what she doesn't. I wanted to paint a whimsical portrait that captured all of that. It can be sunny, with lambs, roses and butterflies, but this child will not be too happy with that fence and the rose thorns.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

This week I decided to add some of my earlier projects to my blog.
It started out innocently enough as I scanned old newspaper articles and posted them.
Then as I was writing this blog post, I realized this mural has so much more significance for today than I first realized. 
and then I got on my high horse.


1996...was the year of the mural. 
220 years earlier July 4th, 1776 ---
this happened:  
The colonies signed the declaration of Independence.
Freedom.


About this mural project
I painted this mural on a wall on a blank boring cinder -block wall in front of the library at an elementary school where the kids stood for a long period of time each day waiting to go to lunch and bathroom.  I transformed the space with color and tiny stories, painted a castle wall which consisted of a collection of story book themes, little mice, and story creatures as well as life size figures.  Jack In The Bean Stalk climbed a vine that went 12 foot up and over the door, and I painted a big window that you could look in and see a life size Grandfather reading to his grand kids. It was innocent,  colorful and professional and I donated the paint and all my time, it was 1996. The new kindergarten kids and parents each fall would turn the corner and look up to see the height of it for the first time and pause to talk and smile. 

The newspaper came and took a photo of me at the door of the library. I called this mural:                                   
   "Guarding Knowledge" 
Guarding books, ideas, thoughts and learning.
Yes
The guard I painted was guarding the door and back then every high school farmer kid had a gun rack in the cab of his truck on the school campus in the parking lot.
She had a gun, she also had a book.
But it was 1996 so no one was bothered that there was a guard at the library door, guarding the books, and our rights to them, our rights to protect and believe what we choose to believe. 


The mural stayed on the walls of that elementary school and looked as fresh as the day I painted it for twenty five years. One summer day the teachers called me in a panic to tell me that the new principal, fresh out of college, wanted the mural covered with a coat of  institution beige.  The teachers wanted me to intervene. I listened to their concerns and said  "Look, I am pleased the mural stayed on the wall as long as it did, but I will talk to her." I made an appointment with the small young principal to ask if there was anything I could do to the mural to please her. I did not mention "The Guard" and she did not either but I suspected that "The Guard" was the problem.  I volunteered to paint what ever she wanted. I volunteered to crate something, anything, for the children so they could experience art. 
 She said, " No, I don't want anything on the walls."
 I want to paint the walls beige.
 I said, "Okay." 

The books, ideas, thoughts, creativity and learning that the library represented 
are not protected now. 
There is no Guard.
She covered the colors. The stories and ideas.
The walls are institutional beige.
The school is a prison with no guards.


It is the opinion of this artist that "The Guards" are necessary, and some things need to be guarded. 


____________________________

Our children's minds should be guarded, they should be allowed freedom of thought, freedom to choose and follow a religion,  freedom from being taught by government institutions what to say, think, or do.
Freedom from "thought police" word laws,  research and internet censorship.
Freedom to know history as it was in truth, not as it is being rewritten with falsehoods.
Access to the news and events of today with facts only, not opinions. 





Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Friday, October 30, 2015


Giving Statement


In the early 1960’s an uncle who lived several states away had an affect on my understanding of art, and the human soul. He was a talented artist but after many years of heavy drug addiction, his artwork began to exhibit a convoluted desperation that only he understood. No one wanted his paintings but when I was in middle school, because I was already showing an interest in art, I ended up with one of his paintings when he died. It was a portrait of Jesus' face, and in-spite of having never met him, his story stayed with me. Now, I see each commission as an opportunity to look into anther human's soul and create something that would be a blessing. That is why beginning with my first mural that I painted in high school in my high school library I continue to donate energy towards painting murals in schools and working with troubled/addicted -teenagers, teaching them how to “do art” instead of drugs.

Through my work I have seen lives changed and drug addicts and cutters go on to go to college, get degrees in counseling and give back to the community.


Because all things are connected down here on earth as well as in heaven I also earned my Associate Divinity Degree, as well as served as a chaplain at Duke University hospital while earning my level one Chaplaincy degree.

The home I envision is one where teenagers come on Friday and Saturday night to play music, do art, and bond with grandparents and mentors, in the day hours small children come to see puppets and storytelling, as well as offering parenting classes and outreach to the community ....has yet come to fruition.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Caymen Islands: The Storm

I created this painting from a photo I took in the Grand Cayman Islands.  It was  the year 2008 and I had just completed my Associate Divinity Degree and a season of Chaplaincy at Duke Hospital. My husband wanted to go scuba diving with my son and I felt that it would be nice to join them for a little nine day rest. I was into whittling at that time and was sitting on my porch the day before we left for the Island whittling a walking stick, the blade slipped and cut my wrist. I received nine stitches. It should have been a warning to me, an omen of sorts. A slit wrist. I still have the scar.

We arrived in Belize and took an egg beater airplane over to the Island. I was not comfortable on that small plane, it did not help that one of the fifteen passengers on the plane was a man who talked loudly and had great knowledge about the way little planes operate and the likely chance we would all die.

 The Island was beautiful and the water was clear and an exotic green. There were pineapples and coconuts all ready for picking. It was just like the brochures depicted... except when when I walked around the corner to the street  behind the resort. It was then I discovered it was more like a set from a Western Movie, not a modern set, a set made in  the 50's.  The water front hotels were painted beautifully, but behind the façade the rest of the town consisted of  things propped up and in shambles.

We stayed in one of the best resorts on the island and decided not to complain about the fact that there was no hot water ,after we mentioned it one time and realized the maid did not speak English. Then the power kept cutting off, sometimes for hours. I watched the news and discovered it was not the approaching Typhoon that caused the power to go off, it was that the Island had not paid their part of the  power bill. Belize was mad at that little island. That was okay. The Island was stunning and charming. The little village behind the resort had some nice little vendors and we were amazed to discover there were no flies. None. You could eat outside and never see one. I asked the locals  why there were no flies and they said... ( okay, this is the truth- I kid you not) ....that the flies would be in on Thursday. I pondered that greatly in my heart, and also wondered if I missed something in the translation.

My husband and son gleefully charted their scuba course and took off on the boat early the first morning while the clouds gathered over the horizon and the news reports mentioned that hurricane/tropical storm Arthur was heading for shore. We, the maids and I, listened to the wind whistle and battened down the hatches. I nodded my head at them a lot and tried to communicate "Are we going to die?" They cheerfully nodded back. Yes, Yes, we are all going to die.


 We had experienced three days with flickering lights, cold showers, winds and threats of  rain, yet the guys managed to get in two days of Scuba before the resort took on the look of Gilligan's Island. Both days I wandered the island during the day and in the afternoon I stood on this dock, the one that is depicted in this painting, and watched the ominous evening clouds roll in, wondering if the guys would make it back to land. They came back glowing with joy. Apparently you can not tell there is a hurricane when you are under water. Keep that in mind the next time you are under water, you never know what is happening in the sky.

On Thursday, the heavy rain bands came through and during a moment of eerie calm we ambled back over to the little "one street town" to get a bite to eat. The flies were everywhere. Everywhere. I was amazed that they actually did come in on Thursday, - like- "It's Thursday, time to go onto town for the Blue Plate special!" My amazement at the uniqueness of each of God's creatures, and the knowledge of the natives concerning such things was profound.  I found out later that flies come in with the first rain, not on Thursdays.

                        * I felt like the flies deserved a paragraph all of their own.




The worst of Arthur lasted 24 hours, when he had finished ripping every coconut and banana off of the trees on the Grand Cayman Islands the flickering TV news report said that tropical storm Alma  was brewing in the emerald green waters off the shores of the island. In  Southern terms she was "over yonder close by" and chasing Arthur like a hussy; since I did not  know what dysfunctional relationship they had I decided not to hang around to meet her. I was concerned that in "Act Number Three"  Arthur and Alma would spawn a little demon storm named Alvin. At that time I did not have a smart phone so we walked in the rain to a little sketchy internet cafe and looked at our emails to contact our airlines and cut the trip short. As I typed all my personal information into a twenty year old dirty computer, on a keyboard with half the letters worn off, all my usual fears of internet hacking or someone stealing my credit card numbers were miraculously non existent.  The next morning I got back on the little egg beater plane in the pelting rain with high winds and low visibility and I was not afraid. I was heading home.


I will refrain from telling you the details of our flight home. Suffice it to know it was a rough plane trip and the lady beside me had to use the little bitty barf bag. We landed in Texas to take a connecting flight home. I came really close to kissing the Texas tarmac.  That tarmac was melting hot and nasty- but really -yeah, I was ready to bow down to the earth and French kiss it, I loved that Texas Tarmac and still think fondly of it.

I got my stitches removed the following week. 

So enjoy the painting. I will not go back for more photos.


Friday, July 17, 2015

Falls Lake Dam Fisherman

Pleinair Painting of a Man Fishing
Today I went out  to enjoy the fresh air and friends. It is very hot outside right now and everyone wants to leave after a few hours except me. I could stay all day. This man was kind enough to stand relatively still for us. I think we made him kind of nervous after he figured out that we were painting him. But he was a good sport about it.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

 T. Angelique offers her talents in the community. Her first mural was painted on the library wall at her high school. She has completed five very large murals within the Public School System and as well as one for a local Christian School. In 2012 she worked with several local teens to design and paint a 20' x 60' outdoor community mural. Her purpose in doing this was to teach teens to give back to society and create something beautiful for a local Drug Rehabilitation Home. She has also obtained a Chaplaincy Degree at Duke University Hospital, an Associate of Divinity degree from Southeastern Seminary and nonprofit status for Hosanna Covenant Ministries -"Art for Transforming." 

After opening her own home to three wayward teens ( who were not her own) and successfully seeing them recover from drug addiction,cutting, and self destructive attitudes her wildest dream is for her nonprofit to open an art home for troubled teens where teens can learn to play the fiddle, paint, do theater, talk and laugh. Where old ladies sit on the porch, and teach teens to sew costumes, or knit and crochet, and grandpas teach how to wood work, carve and garden. To teach troubled teens to do art, instead of drugs- and to cook quiche not meth. In the early 1960’s an uncle who lived several states away had an effect on her understanding of art, and the human soul. He was a talented artist but after many years of heavy drug addiction, his artwork began to exhibit a convoluted desperation that only he understood. When he died she was given one of his paintings, a portrait of Jesus' face, and in-spite of having never met her uncle, his story, no matter how useless to anyone else, made an impact for others.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Quick Vignette of My Mother in law

One day last year I took my camera over to my Mother In Law's home to take some photos of her. She got her hat, and a book, and placed a beautiful vase of roses on the table beside her and posed. She grows the nicest  roses  so that was a great set up. Time passes and I have been wanting to get around to doing a painting of one of her poses but have not had time. So late one night I decided to just do a little head shot study and  paint a little 11 x 14 study of  her. When I got  to this point I liked it and decided not to change a thing. I gave it to her for Mothers Day and she loved it.I think sometime soon I will try to paint the whole scene.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Harkers Island Fish Trip


Saint Lucia


 A Catholic School wanted me to paint St Lucia for a festival they are having. They sent me the picture and I called back. "Do I have to paint the eyes in the bowl?" Yes, they said, " St Lucia was was an innocent girl killed for her faith and her eyes were poked out, so that was her "offering, or sacrifice." At first I was a little creeped out, but then I thought of all the places in the world- today- where Christians - young children- are being killed, maimed, & held in prisons for their faith. Although this young women lived many years ago in today's modern world there are other ways in which people sacrifice their life for the life of another, Police Officers, Moms and Dads, Firemen, the Military.  Scripture says " Greater love has no man than this- that he would lay down His life for His "friends." God intends for us  to love others before ourselves. We are called to love those who are different from us, to love those who do not believe what we believe, to be merciful and kind. God is love.
This is painted on 1/4 inch wood and cut out, the back is painted gold and I created a prop for it in the back so it could be set on a table with poinsettias around it  
I decided to show 2 photos because the one with the white back ground ( which is from where I sat the painting in my white shadow box ) does not show that it is a wood cut out. I included of the photo of the painting  on the easel so you could see that it is not on a canvas. 

Monday, November 10, 2014