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10 Things Saving My Life Right Now

In my 40th year, I have discovered the joy of lists. I make them on my phone, on scraps of paper, in my sketchbook, and now, here on my blog. Here are ten small things making a big difference in my life right now.  1. The Lazy Genius Podcast. A new discovery for me....

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Imperfection + Persistence

Imperfection + Persistence

  This is a backwards “s” painting. I’ll explain. I’ve been having this memory playing on repeat in my mind recently. I was around six years old and reading a book with my dad. I don’t remember the book, only that it had one of those “This book belongs to” pages...

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Painting what I once most feared.

Painting what I once most feared.

 "Flew The Nest" 18x24, oil on canvas What do you call a cross between a daydream and a nightmare? Whatever the word is, I had a recurring one when I was a kid. I would often imagine that I had a very rare disease that unbeknownst to me made all my thoughts audible to...

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Day 31. Group Effort

"A lot going on in there" 16x20, oil on canvas   I had a good feeling about it, so before I went to bed last night, I snapped a photo of the bud on my orchid plant that looked most on the brink of blooming. By the morning, it had opened. I’m not going to...

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Day 30. Finish Lines

"Consider" 6x6, oil on canvas A 5k is 3.1 miles. I like to think of my January as a 5k, and if so, we’ve just crossed mile three and can sprint to the finish. Or laboriously drag ourselves with whatever energy we have left across the line.  I’m somewhere in between....

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Day 29. Connections

"Carry your heart" 4x4, oil on canvas I opened the gallery in October, and while I don’t ever have a line of folks waiting to get in every morning, I do have a few people trickle in every day. Oftentimes we’ll get to talking, and it will turn out that we’ve got...

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Day 28. Waiting on orchids.

"Waiting on the Orchids" 11x14, oil on paper If you’d looked at my high school drawings, you’d have seen a lot of ballpoint pen eyes. So. Many. Eyeballs.  My Aunt Catherine taught me to draw by teaching me the structure of the human face, and I could run my pencil...

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Day 27. Lessons.

"Who Knows What I'll Catch" 11x14, oil on paper I had not been in the classroom since 2012, which is the year the subject of today's painting was born. This past Tuesday I was invited to Pass Christian Middle School to do an art project with a group of fifth grade...

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Day 26. Both, and.

  "Mourn and Rejoice" 4x4, oil on canvas January is the longest month. All the others end as soon as they start. But January brings with it a daily painting, and that alone seems to extend it.  I looked at my nine year old yesterday, put both my hands on both his...

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Day 25. Room for all

, "Surprise Visitor" 4x4, oil on canvas The tufted titmouse. When I first started getting them in my yard in Covington I was elated. I’d never seen one up close before, and by sheer luck of whatever seed I’d picked at the gardening store down the road, there they...

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Day 24. Run this run.

, "A lot on my mind"  6x6, oil on canvas Here’s something that happens a lot on one of those guided runs I do: The coach says, “You may feel like picking up the pace. Sometimes it takes discipline not to go faster even when you you can. This is a recovery run. I want...

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Day 23. Sheer delight and gratitude

  "Sheer Delight" 11x14, acrylic on canvas I was working on my first ever painting assignment in college and as the professor made the rounds in the studio, she stopped at my easel and commented that she could tell I had been painting for quite some time. I was...

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Day 22. The inside on the outside

"Inside on the Outside" 6x6, oil on canvas One of the reasons I do the 31 in 31 every year is for the gifts. There are always little unexpected connections, joys and insights that pop up along the way. They come unannounced and without fanfare. They feel like...

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Day 21. Advice Givers

"Let it Soak in" 5x5, oil on canvas I was painting another one of my wilderness-haired women, trying to decide what kind of bird to put in the brush (still thinking about putting a brass band in there at some point). I usually go for the tiny and cute variety– little...

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Day 20. Nostalgia

"Nostalgia" 5x5, oil on canvas Today’s painting is an egret that I painted mostly with a brush but threw in a few palette knife strokes at the end just for kicks. Using the brush again feels pretty good. There’s a touch of excitement in it because the strokes are so...

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Day 19. I can relate

"Three's a Party" 4x4, oil on canvas I love body language. I like looking for curves and asymmetry. I like when bodies move like a wave. I’m not musical. I compare it to the people who constantly tell me they can’t draw a straight line with a ruler. My first impulse...

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Day 18. Something about context

"In Good Times and in Bad" 4x4, oil on canvas I tried something new. I brought a small 4x4 canvas with me to a wedding I was painting. I’d already prepped it with a magenta wash so it was ready.  Once I’d set up and was waiting for the reception to start, I did a...

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Day 17. When your horse dies…

9x12, oil on paper Another little work on paper, this time with the lines from the poem I mentioned in day 5. Not a whole lot to say about it or much else at the moment. I painted at late night weddings both last night and the night before, and, well, I’m just tired I...

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Day 16. Life is like a…

"My own font yard" 11x14, oil on canvas We were watching TV the other night eating those little Dove dark chocolates with the messages inside the wrapper. I opened mine to read something along the lines of, “Live with no regrets. It’s worth it” which I obviously and...

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Day 15. Respect

4x4, oil on canvas (can you help me think of a title?") Respect the run, Coach Bennett says. Is it going to be 100 degrees? Run before sun up or after sunset. Is your day crazy? Don’t plan for 20 miles. Respect the art practice. Am I feeling burned out? Don’t plan...

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Day 13. The song that entered your heart

"Thus Wilderness Bloomed There" 16x20, oil on paper For Christmas, I received the best gift. My uncle walked into my grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve morning with a very clearly tackle-box-shaped package. Ezra, our enthusiastic  fisherman, immediately thought it...

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Day 12. My own best coach.

"Adventurer" 9x12, oil on paper I opened my running app just to see if there were any new ones in the mix that I hadn’t done yet. Guess what popped up? The Worst Advice ever run, a lovely companion to the Best Advice Ever run that I’ve been applying to my 31 in 31. ...

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Day 11: Be a fan

: "Your biggest fan" 6x6, oil on canvas That was another of Coach Bennett’s running advice: be a fan of your sport. Go to games– high school, college, rec, professional. Join a park clean-up volunteer crew. Coach a kid’s team. Be a fan.  When I translate this to art...

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Day 9. Painting makes you a painter.

"Play the Pauses" 6x6, oil on canvas The next note from the “best advice ever” guided run with Coach Bennett was this: “Running makes you a runner, you don’t have to run everyday to be a runner everyday.” Let’s try it another way. Painting makes you a painter. You...

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Day 7: Don’t worry, I’ll get there. Eventually

"Ponder" 10x10, oil on canvas I have these leggings that are too tight, but what they lack in comfort they make up for in pockets. I chose those this morning for the pockets.  I can slide a caseless phone in the side pocket and because the pants are tight, it doesn’t...

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Day 6. If not that, then what?

, "Break in the Rhythm" 6x6, oil on canvas Yesterday I opened my app for a morning guided run and there was a new one available. It really stood out to me because for this 31 in 31 I’ve been thinking a lot about advice and trying to share some of the best I’ve gotten...

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Day 5. Of course they were.

"Resurrection" 4x4, oil on canvas I love goldfinches for two main reasons. 1: yellow. 2: Mary Oliver and her poem “Invitation” that I’ve posted here about a hundred times so I’ll spare you this one time on this one blog post.  So imagine my delight to find another...

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