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Blessing for when things don’t go as planned

  Tell me about that person, again? The one whose life unfolded exactly as they’d hoped and planned it would? The one who by doing all the right and warranted and acceptable things, got exactly what she’d expected? No really, if she exists, please tell me about...

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On the seven hundredth day…

 I do a painting a day every January to set the tone for my year, establish strong creative habits, and to make sure I prioritize my art which, over the years, has become synonymous with prioritizing myself. But when February (finally) came, as it always does, life...

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Day 31. Blessing for the Seeker

"Seeking, Striving, in it with all my Heart" 48x48in oil on canvas “I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.” -Vincent Van Gogh This is the part where I stare at the blinking cursor on my screen. Because there’s a jumble of thoughts, of what I could...

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Day 30. Ride the waves

"Circling Back" 8x8 oil on canvas If you aren’t a painter, let me describe the typical process for you. 1. An idea! 2. A decent start with the first few marks of the piece. 3. Looks like trash. 4. Looks like the most glorious things you or anyone else has ever created...

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Day 29. Probably had been for quite some time.

"Expanded Horizons" 10x10 oil on canvas This bird has been my mind all month, but I’ve resisted the urge to do 31 paintings of her. I’ve seen several since the start of the month: on a drive where she flew over me for at least a mile and I had to force myself to focus...

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Day 28. For A New Beginning

"Courage Kindled" 6x6 oil on canvas Today’s painting did not come swiftly or easily. I scratched off more of it than I added. But, in the end, I really think this is the painting that wanted to be brought to the surface. This is the one that took all that scraping off...

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Day 27. The bird is coming from inside the house.

"Breakthrough" 6x6 oil on canvas Today’s painting started off just as the egret, but I placed it too far to the top of the canvas which in turn made the whole thing just beg for a figure. And the stripes? Those are an experiment. Let me know what you think?  I can’t...

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Day 26. Easy to miss

"Morning Walk" 8x8, oil on canvas I’m looking at my line up of paintings from the month, and if there’s a “which one is not like the others,” it’s this one. I started a folder on my phone called “morning walks” just in case I ever wanted to refer back to some little...

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Day 25. Go far, go together

"Go Together" 8x8, oil on canvas “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together”.-African Proverb Another bouquet, another day to reflect on what it means to be part of a community. The group of artists creating with me this month (in all the...

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Day 23. Nostalgia

"Nostalgic" 6x6, oil on canvas This past September, I went to Mobile, AL to visit a dear college friend. We walked around Spring Hill College campus reminiscing about our years there. We toured the entirely new art building and found some relics from the past– the...

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Day 22. You do not have to be good.

"Family of Things" 6x6, oil on canvas Every time I do a 31 in 31 there comes a point where I hit a wall. I question work I once adored. I worry that, contrary to the stacks of paintings that have already collected and which stand firmly in evidence of my ability to...

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Day 21. Leaning in, looking.

"Lean In" 6x6, oil on canvas “The temple bell stops But the sound keeps coming out of the flowers” ― Matsuo Bashō Back when the pandemic first hit, and we realized “two weeks” had been a laughable prediction by people who had no reference for what an actual timeline...

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Day 20. Our endless and proper work

"Pay Attention" 4x4, oil on canvas “To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” –Mary Oliver Twenty days in, and I’m still not sure I’ve found that rhythm yet. If not now, then when? Guess I’ll keep trucking along. I bought a protractor and compass set at...

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Day 18. Not Alone

"You're Not Alone" 6x6, oil on canvas I had a lot of fun with this one, working as much with the background shapes and colors as I did with the birds. I didn’t have it in mind exactly, but after I painted it, I was listening to a playlist I’ve been adding to for three...

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Day 17. Contrasts

"For Now" 8x8, oil on canvas This month I keep turning to flowers when I’m not sure what comes next. They are the perfect playground for texture and color. They are a relief from studying the exact shape and form of something because they need not be precise.  My...

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Day 16. Remembering what it’s all for

"Where the Wind Takes Me" 8x8, oil on canvas Another day, another painting that I thought was going one way and then decided it should go  another. It’s always the faces that feel the scariest to paint over. But then I remember what all this is for: experimenting,...

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Day 15. What’s covered up

"Exposed" 8x8, oil on canvas So many of my paintings this month have involved erasing– often an element that I initially really liked. In writing they call it "killing your darlings." In today’s painting, I experimented with drips, letting my thinned out paint run...

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Day 14. Ritual

"Feeling it Out" 4x4 oil on canvas I have been a little overwhelmed lately. Not by painting per se. Painting is how I handle overwhelm. But sometimes there’s nothing better than taking color to a tiny, almost insignificant canvas and seeing what happens.  No thunder...

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Day 13. Connection

"On Top of the World" 4x4 oil on canvas Today I decided to bring back the bluebird that I erased in yesterday’s painting. I wasn’t sure where I was going with it (is that the theme of this month?), but I placed it in the center of the canvas rather than at the bottom,...

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Day 12. This I know in my bones…

"New Season" 10x10 oil on canvas Today’s painting is a rework of an old one. It never felt quite right. At least a decade ago, when I was a teacher in New Orleans, I went to an art educators conference and attended a session with renowned artist James Michalopoulos....

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Day 11. Not much to offer

"I See You" 8x8 oil on canvas Another collection of florals on a day where the impermanence of life feels especially vivid, especially incomprehensible. I have a friend who is suffering deeply right now.  I don’t have much to say about this one other than taking my...

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Day 10. What I like best about daily painting

"Figuring it Out" 5x5 oil on canvas A little hummingbird on day 10 while I think about what comes next. I used some linseed oil to thin down the paint a bit. Even though I still painted most of it with my knife, I didn’t pile the paint on thick as is my normal...

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Day 9. Making it up as I go

"Inspiration Visits" 6x6 oil on canvas This is my attempt to put some of my day 7 flowers on a figure. Sometimes for the faces I use a reference photo, usually from pinterest. And sometimes, I just make up the face entirely, which is what I did today.  I don’t usually...

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Day 8. On being sketchy

"Always on my Mind" 4x4 oil on canvas This 31, unlike all my previous ones, I have kept a sketchbook. I don’t pull it out every day, but when I do, I try to work out some ideas for paintings I’d like to do instead of just going straight for the oil paint on canvas...

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Day 7. Because

"Just Because" 8x8 oil on canvas In the past, when stuck, I would paint a small bird on a small canvas. But now I turn to slightly larger canvases of flowers. Because you don’t have to get their shapes just right. There are no eyeballs that if misplaced will throw the...

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Day 6. More than one thing can bloom.

"Look Within" 4x4 oil on canvas I went running this morning in search of my heron. Turns out maybe she doesn’t live in the same exact spot every day. She moves. I keep waiting for her to fly up out of the ditch where we first met. I keep waiting to be surprised again...

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Day 5. Daily painting: What’s worst is best

"Comfortable Ground" 4x4 oil on canvas When I started this month, I thought perhaps all my paintings would be of great blue herons in some form. There was the one that appeared to me on my run, rising like a promise of places yet to be traveled. And then I filled my...

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Day 4. Some blossoming, some wilting

"Here for all of it" 6x6, oil on canvas I painted those flowers on day 3 because the first two attempts at other subjects were a disaster, and I somehow find flowers to be reliable (you can check out my reel below if you are interested in the part of instagram that...

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