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A Blessing for Rest

I’ve been into blessings lately. Not the #blessed variety of social media where pictures of wealth, health, or beauty read like advertisements for some magical and exclusive elixir that feels just out of reach. I mean the kind we confer on one another as if to say:...

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Why I came around to art prints

I was an original-only holdout for quite some time. I equated art print with what you can buy at Hobby Lobby or Home Goods. And then my artist friend, Gretchen, sold the original of a watercolor I loved and wanted before I could grab it from her site, so I bought and...

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The 31 in 31 is coming! (sort of!)

How it all started... It’s 2013 and I’m having dinner with my best friend at our current favorite restaurant in New Orleans. I had recently told my therapist that I want to be an artist. Like, for a job. To my surprise she didn’t laugh or, as the next door neighbor...

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Artist, Enneagram, Bird.

Artist, Enneagram, Bird.

On a long drive last month, my sister introduced me to the enneagram, which my brother had introduced to her. Ask my husband, and he will tell you that the Hopkins siblings are an intense bunch. We do not do or take things lightly. This is no exception. If you are not...

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Places.

Places.

I named this painting “The Places We Will Go” because I was thinking of my youngest and our early bike rides together. The countless ones with him in the seat or trailer attached to my bike, then his own shaky, training wheels ones, the even shakier sans training...

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How long does it take to make a painting?

How long does it take to make a painting?

  That’s the number one question I get from people. How long does it take, they yearn to know, as though the painting’s worth is in its hours of toil. I’ve been thinking about it, and I’ve got a follow up question– What does it matter? There’s this story about Picasso...

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Why (and how) I’m breaking up with instagram

I started selling art nearly a decade ago, and back then the classic buzzwords were facebook and blog. Instagram was like a pretty foreign exchange student at a middle school, and we all wanted to sit at her lunch table even if we weren’t exactly sure how to...

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Leap (step) of Faith.

Leap (step) of Faith.

"Leap of Faith" 30x40, oil on canvas I named “Leap of Faith” before I painted it, and I realize now that the figure is less leaping and more just walking. Strolling even. But one foot in front of the other down some uncertain path, how often does that feel like nose...

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Painting in a series and what it taught me

Painting in a series and what it taught me

I have always painted in series. When one subject or idea strikes the proverbial gold, I keep digging. But not in some organized, focused way. I flit from this to that. Some series have lasted years, others hours, and I tend not to focus on just one series at a time. ...

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Start small

Start small

We were sitting on the second story porch of a cabin built into the side of a hill looking down at a one-day-past-ten year old casting his fly rod into a catch and release pond. The mountain air was a relief to our tired Mississippi lungs used to breathing in only...

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Let it take the time it takes.

Let it take the time it takes.

In May, my husband and I made two years of marriage. I was painting at two weddings in New Orleans so we decided to stay there an extra night to celebrate. It was Memorial Day weekend and the crowded streets and busy restaurants proved less than relaxing for my...

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Break the rules before you (un)learn them.

Break the rules before you (un)learn them.

If you were once one of my art students, you can preemptively put your finger underneath your jaw and apply a little pressure– just to keep it in place for what I’m about to say.  Most days lately, I go into the studio without a plan or a sketch. Without so much as a...

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A whole decade of loving you.

A whole decade of loving you.

It wasn’t easy, the way you came into the world. I started labor on a Saturday afternoon. You were born at 8:03pm that Monday. Your dark, straight black hair covered your entire head and even came over your ears a little. They put you on my chest and I wept. The truth...

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A Softer Place to Land

A Softer Place to Land

I was looking through an old journal recently, skimming it for inspiration. What kind of inspiration I was looking for, I’m not sure, but even though I’m not a very consistent journal keeper, I always know I can go back and find some insight you can only get by...

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Fresh Air.

Fresh Air.

“Sometimes I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed.” ― Mary Oliver, Evidence: Poems   I like painting at weddings. I like performing. I like mixing paint and spreading it on a surface with a knife, and I like what doing it so often has done to my ego–...

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I got lost looking at the peacocks.

I got lost looking at the peacocks.

"Leaves a Trail Behind Her" 36x48, oil on canvas I wrote about how I got the title for this painting on instagram back in October. I told the story of how when I was a kid, okay not just a kid, a young adult too, my Dad used to say quite often, "Oh that Denise, she...

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My favorite art book: let’s discuss!

My favorite art book: let’s discuss!

Art and Fear was published in 1993. I was twelve years old, and very busy decorating my latest journal with collages of teen heart throbs I’d cut out from drugstore magazines. I wanted to be a talk show host when I grew up. I knew two artists– my mom’s brother and her...

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Draw the line.

Draw the line.

What’s something you like that a lot of other people don’t? I was asked this question in an interview recently. It took me a minute, but I landed on cutting the grass. There’s so much I like about it– the smell, the exercise, the heat, the music pouring into my ears...

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Watchless.

Watchless.

  “Today” by Mary Oliver  Today I’m flying low and I’m not saying a word. I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.   The world goes on as it must, the bees in the garden rumbling a little, the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten. And so forth.   But I’m...

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Think like an artist

Think like an artist

  Introduction to Poetry BY BILLY COLLINS I ask them to take a poem and hold it up to the light like a color slide or press an ear against its hive. I say drop a mouse into a poem and watch him probe his way out, or walk inside the poem’s room and feel the walls...

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It’s Just Paint…

It’s Just Paint…

Have you ever had this experience? Someone says something that doesn’t immediately invoke any particularly strong feelings, but then it visits and revisits you constantly? Someone left a thoughtful comment on one of my instagram posts the other day. About my painting...

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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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