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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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Day 5. Fresh Eyes

"Stop and Smell" 16x16, oil on canvas  We watched Pixar’s Soul last night. My favorite part was the little ordinary objects 22 stores in Joe’s pocket-- a spool of thread, a pizza crust. How delighted she was by the ordinary. How frustrated I have been lately with the...

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Day 4. In this together

"Time to Linger" 12x12, oil on canvas Still working in pairs and loving what has transpired. I like flipping the image on the second canvas and working the composition from the other direction. I used two more wooden  stretcher keys in this one-- still not sure if...

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Day 3. Crack in Everything

"How the Light Gets in"  12x12, oil on canvas When you buy canvas, it sometimes comes with these little pieces of wood-- stretcher keys. They are there to strengthen the canvas if it begins to sag. Never having had a need for them before, I typically throw them away. ...

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Day 1. 31 in 1?

"Slow Down" 16x20, oil on canvas For someone who slings paint around just to enjoy the drips, blobs and imperfections, I am often hopelessly neurotic. I take our puppy out every ten minutes for fear she will have an accident. As for my human children, I am not the...

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Piece of the Continent

"Piece of the Continent, Part of the Main" 24x30, oil on canvas I got the title for this painting from something I learned when I was thirteen. My seventh grade reading teacher had a couch in her classroom-- a throne individual students got to spend class in as a...

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From the breath of babes.

I’m reading this book called “Think Like a Monk” by Jay Shetty. He describes an encounter I keep thinking about: One day at the Ashram, Shetty sees a child no more than ten years old teaching a group of five year olds. When he asks the child what he’s doing, the child...

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“Walking Peace”

  About a month ago I painted live at a gala for St. Tammany Parish Hospital Foundation. They had asked me to do an abstract-- something I love but had not done in quite some time. The morning of the event, I took to my easel to try to work out what kind of painting I...

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Studio in the Woods

  "Maybe our world will grow kinder eventually Maybe the desire to make something beautiful      is the piece of God that is inside each of us" --"Franz Marc's Blue Horses" by Mary Oliver     My first art lesson was in a small second...

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Fail Early and Often

I’m sitting on a row of raised seats in a small hallway looking through a large, glassless window at a group of kids kicking and punching into the air.  “Repeat after me!” a booming voice demands.  “Failure!” it says. A chorus follows: “Failure!” “Is my friend!” and...

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It’s Worth Celebrating

Since I’ve been painting less and less at weddings and events, I’ve changed the model for my at-home painting. This marks the third month in a row that I’ve put out a small series of paintings on my website. It’s a change and sometimes a challenge, but I firmly...

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Celebrate

I used to spend nearly every weekend celebrating someone’s wedding. I’d paint, and they’d dance. I’d mix colors, and they’d clink glasses. I’d watch happy couples dance and relatives tilt their heads to the side as they looked on and smiled.  Most of the weddings I...

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