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Linger, Late Bloomer, Linger

  Late Bloomer   In the eighties, my mom read me a book that really spoke to me. I still have “Leo the Late Bloomer" and have read it to my son countless times. Leo is a lion who doesn't immediately catch on to things, but, at the end, when his parents stop...

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Rooted Vagabond

"Pass Christian Heron" 15x 30, oil on canvas. Available She’s not here anymore but oh, when she was. We planted twenty eight pots of bamboo in the hope and firm belief that it will grow tall and wild, a large sprawling green fence between our backyard and the train...

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Old school mix tape

Takin it back to the old school Cause I’m an old fool  Who’s so cool No, it’s not downtown Covington on New Year’s eve pre-covid where the Hopkins sisters, among the oldest people in the bar and tired of not knowing any of the music, have decided to request and then...

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Half the Battle

    Most Mondays, especially after painting at a wedding or two over the weekend, I like to reset-- think about the work I want to do for the week, take frequent walks, and make lists. Today, I started scrolling though paintings from a couple years ago, and I...

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Day 31. You do not have to be good.

, "Another Beginning" 12x12, oil on canvas  This morning’s weather is a bit sad. The rain isn’t pounding, not threatening. Just a little grating, making soft piles of red mud in the backyard as I watch through the window. This is the thought I keep having: how is it...

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Day 30. Amounting to Something

"Breath of Blue" 16x20, oil on canvas I painted this one almost simultaneously with yesterday’s. I had them side by side on the easel and went back and forth between the two.  I wasn’t sure exactly where I was going with this one. I didn’t know if the bird would...

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Day 29. Orange you glad you went to Target

"Bird's View" 16x20, oil on canvas I went to Target to look for a mirror to hang in my bathroom. Sometimes when I pass by the home decor section, I do this snobby thing where I turn my nose up at all the mass produced art. But this time there was a print of a bright...

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Day 28. Rule Breaker

"Follow you anywhere" 11x14, oil on canvas I’ve talked a good bit about “rules” this month-- namely, that I’m working on breaking some of my more rigid ones. Hi, my name is Denise and for all my all natural, spiritual, mantra-saying, kale-eating, yoga-doing, wild hair...

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Day 27. Lessons from Flowers

"Still Remains" 16x16, oil on canvas On day 27, I’ve treated myself to flowers-- a whole bouquet of them. Just like the short life of flowers, this 31 is approaching its end. And just like flowers, I like to think that even when it’s over, there’s some important...

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Day 26. Colors

"In Search Of" 6x6, oil on canvas Had to try the killdeer again-- this time on a slightly bigger surface. I tried to put more color in the “white” stripes this go round.  I had a professor in college who told us never to use pure white and never to use pure black. To...

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Day 25. Finish Line

"Make Haste" 4x4, oil on canvas Rounding the corner. Nearing the end. Drawing to a close. Wrapping it up. Sometimes the last mile is the hardest. Sometimes it is the best.  My husband and I went on a long run yesterday, something we don’t get to do together very...

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Day 24. The Blues

"The Blues" 4x4, oil on canvas Bluebirds might just be one of my favorite backyard visitors. Sometimes you get just a flash of that bright blue, sometimes almost purple, of their feathers next to the burnt orange of their chests. That little flash of color from the...

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Day 23. On starting over

"Back Again" 6x6, oil on canvas Is it even January if I don’t paint a cardinal or two? I can’t believe I’ve even held out this long.  This guy started off with some seriously thick paint. You’d think I’d be great at an image I’ve painted over a hundred times, that it...

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Day 22. Take Two

  I had a therapist once who told me-- one thing about parenting is that if something doesn’t work, you can just try again tomorrow. You can change strategies and all is not lost. We were talking about sleep training an infant, but it applies to a whole lot more....

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Day 20. Figuring it out

"Figure it Out" 16x20, oil on canvas   Twenty down, eleven to go.  Today’s painting is my second round of yesterday’s. I used the same reference, but I was conscious to make the figure bigger on the canvas this time. I added stripes to the foreground and strokes...

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Day 19. Birds of the Air

"Bird Lady" 16x20, oil on canvas, $540.00 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? When I started my painting practice yesterday,...

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Day 18. The Blues

"Feeling Blue" 6x6, oil on canvas Today’s painting is a red-breasted nuthatch on a bit of a downward trajectory. He’s looking up though. He’s quite literally hanging in there. I will apologize in advance that my annual 31 in 31 always coincides with a Saints playoff...

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Day 17. Black and Gold

"Up Close" 4x4, oil on canvas $85.00 Not necessarily intentional but my second go at this goldfinch, and I realize I've chosen a bird that is essentially black and gold for the Saints playoff weekend.  In a couple hours, my husband and I will head to the dome, our...

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Day 16. Big Hopes

"Big Hopes" 4x4, oil on canvas $135.00 My first very tiny painting of the month. Truth be told, I’m running out of room. Sometimes I wonder if small paintings “count.” I wonder if simple images matter.  And then, just like that, I read a poem from one of the 31 group...

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Day 15. Half

"Halved" 6x6, oil on canvas $135.00 I had this half of an oversized avocado sitting in a tupperware in my fridge. I had eaten the other half a couple days before. I’m not sure why, but it called to me.  I’ve not done many still lifes before. My setup may have been...

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Day 14. Rules

"Head in the Clouds" 6x6, oil on canvas, $135.00 Kingfisher number two. I didn’t draw this one first. I just started from the bottom of the canvas with my favorite palette knife and worked my way up, stacking the shapes that make up the body on top of one another....

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Day 13. Brighter Tomorrows

"Biding Time" 6x6, oil on canvas, $135.00 I painted a kingfisher (with a brush if you can imagine!) during my very first daily painting challenge nearly seven years ago. Back then it was just a mere 30 in 30 (because I did it in April). My friend had asked me to paint...

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Day 12. Chatter

"Quiet the Chatter" 12x12, oil on canvas, $360 I wanted to try yesterday’s image on a larger canvas. Today’s painting is 12x12 as compared to yesterday’s 6x6. Double the size, I painted it in about half the time.  The strokes are looser and there are fewer of them. I...

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Day 11. Advice to a friend who paints

  "Consider" 6x6, oil on canvas $135.00  I did a little series of figure paintings not too long ago and wanted to do a few more this month. I got some advice once about painting and about writing-- paint the painting you’d want to own; write the book you want to...

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Day 10. The Other Side

"The Other Side" 16x20, oil on canvas $540.00 For each day so far, I've started with two canvases on my easel. Usually I flip the image for the second canvas. This time, I didn't flip the same image, but rather continued it onto the second canvas. This tree is further...

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Day 9. Heading Home Again

"Heading Home Again" 16x20, oil on canvas $540.00 A while ago, I wrote about a teacher I had in junior high who required us to memorize poems-- it was one of the greatest and most long-lasting gifts. At the end of that post, I reflected that, given how much it had...

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Day 8. Yes!

"In the Stillness" 6x6, oil on canvas, $135.00    After yesterday’s “no” painting, I wanted to consider my “yes’s”. What do my “no’s” open me up to?  I started today’s painting with a canvas full of yes. The “yes’s” are fewer and more deliberate than the “no’s.”...

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Day 7. Thank God for Art

"Space Between" 6x6, oil on canvas I try to stay at least one day ahead with my paintings and my blog posts. That way, when life inevitably throws a curve ball, I'm prepared and can still get all 31 paintings in during the month. I wrote the post below before the...

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