December 21, 2015

Warm Gingerbread

Last evening I finished two original gingerbread themed paintings.  They are available at Dutchland Galleries.  They are both on 8x10" canvas and come in beautiful complimentary frames.  This duo would look great in your cozy kitchen side-by-side as the hills match up together.  You can reach the gallery at 800-760-7175 for details.  Prints also available at Fine Art America.

Gingerbread Cottage

Gingerbread Barn

Vintage Framed Gingerbread Star Barn 
Now available in my Etsy Store at the link below.

December 19, 2015

I Heart Snowmen

I recently finished a few winter paintings, each featuring snowmen.  They are available at Dutchland Galleries (Phone # 800-760-7175) located in the Kitchen Kettle Village in Lancaster County.  If you are still looking for a special gift, consider artwork for the art lover in your life.  They ship worldwide.

Star Barn Skaters - Framed 16x20" Original Painting

Winter Welcome - Framed 16x20" Original Painting

Barnyard Friends - Framed 8x10" Original Painting - SOLD

I also took the snowman theme and did some decorating for Christmas.  Here are a few photos of the snowmen (including some handmade and hand-painted) that I used in my decor.

Thanks for stopping by.  Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

October 30, 2015

Driving Lessons

October has been a busy month for my family.  I am finally learning to relax during our daughter's driving lessons as she is working on fulfilling her required hours.  It has been a fun time of growth for her and us as well. Vanessa kept her job from the summer and works every opportunity she can.  She has learned a lot from her job and is developing her skills as a picture framer.  We think it's pretty cool that she gets to frame my paintings at work.  We were also able to take a much-needed fall weekend vacation in Wellsboro.  Thankfully, I have been able to keep up with my goal of a painting a week and have had the privilege of creating one for the Good Samaritan Shelter's auction fundraiser (The Star Barn).  Sometimes I put a hint of our life happenings into my paintings, so it was fun to include some old cars in my painting, "Leaf Day" to serve as a memory of Vanessa's driving lessons. 

Each of the paintings are available as prints at Fine Art America (see link above).  

Meadow Moon (original sold)

Hillside Barns (original sold)

Leaf Day (original sold)

Winter Fun (original sold)

Winter Mill (original available at Dutchland Galleries)

The Star Barn - Fundraiser for Good Samaritan Auction (sold)

September 29, 2015

Wouldn't It Be Easier If We Could Just Text God? / A Few Fall Paintings

We all have those friends that we send random texts to.  We converse and then it trails off and then we pick up the conversation again on another day.  As I was texting a friend last night, it hit me that those random texts are very similar to my conversations with God.  I can be doing something and I am reminded to stop and pray for someone or something. Then, I go until God puts someone else on my mind or He wants me to slow down and spend time with Him.

I believe that God speaks to us when we read the Bible and we can speak to Him through prayer. When I face a difficult decision and don't know what to do I usually pray and then make the best choice I can.  To be honest, I wish that I could just text God and ask him, "What do you want me to do about this, or should I go this way or that way?"  Instead, I tend to worry about it and try to figure everything out on my own, when I should really go to Him first and give it over to Him.  What I really need to do is slow down and wait for God. The fact is, sometimes we don't have all the answers when we really want them RIGHT NOW!  I think He allows this so that we can learn to trust Him.

If we could text God about the things that are most concerning to us,  He would probably send these texts back to us, "I Love You," "I Want to Be Your Friend," "Slow Down," "I Have A Bigger Plan In Mind For This and For Your Life," "Give It To Me," "Trust Me," "Follow Me," "Just Live This Day," "I Will Provide," "I Will Protect You," "I Have Tomorrow in My Hands,"  "I've Got This!," "I Will Do What's Best."  If we spend time listening to Him every day, then I believe when crunch time comes, we will be ready to make good choices when the need arises and He will ultimately direct our steps.   Most importantly, Jesus wants to have a personal relationship with us.  One in which we can talk to Him and Him with us, just like texting between friends.

To learn more about having a relationship with God, check out the following link:

I also wanted to share a few of my recent original fall paintings.  Although most of the originals are sold, you can still purchase prints of these at the fineartamerica link at the top of my blog.

Autumn Afternoon (original sold)

Roadside Stand (original sold)

Rising Moon (original sold)

Autumn Memories (original sold)

Country Cabin - Original available at

Autumn Garden (original sold)

(originals sold)

Apple Cider Mill (original sold)

July 10, 2015

My "Philosophy" on Art

Did you ever want to "pick the brain" of an artist?  Today I want to share my philosophy on art, so that you can see the real inner me.  I'm also sharing a few of my fun pieces from the past for you to enjoy.

 I always got good grades in college, but I'll admit that when I listened to my philosophy prof's first session, my reaction was, "Huh? ... What?"  I had nooo clue what he was talking about.   I ended up either dropping out of that class or barely passing it because I just didn't get it.

At our house we have a saying that we used a lot over the years.  "You are going to eat it, and you are going to like it" or "you are going to do it, and you are going to like it."  Of course we always laughed when we said it, but it worked for us and helped our family to appreciate the simple things in life.  It also rings true for my outlook on art. 

Some artists have long philosophical explanations on why and how they create art.  That's fine, but I'm just not that complicated.

I like the simple things in life. 

So now when you look at a piece of my art, you will understand why I paint folk art scenes in country settings.  Yes, art is therapeutic, it's creative, and there are many reasons to enjoy it's process.   For me though,  "I do it because I like it." I share pieces for fund raisers because I like helping people."  It's just that simple.

June 27, 2015

A Knack For Design

I grew up in a family of artists.  No, not the visual kind, but rather musicians.  Both my parents were professional musicians.  My father taught music in the public school for over 40 years and was an accomplished violinist.  He also played a plethora of other instruments quite well and used his talents in church and community settings.  My mother is a vocalist and music teacher and still uses her talents in many ways.  There was never a dull moment growing up our large family of 7 children.  I was the only girl among 6 brothers.  Wow!  That was an experience in itself.   Our family was naturally centered around music.   We each played several instruments and sang.   The typical weekend was booked with singing and instrumental engagements in churches, nursing homes, banquets, etc.

Since we had inherited our parents abilities, you would think we would naturally all turn out to be musicians today.  Although several of my brothers are still active in music, I chose to take another path.  I knew that I wanted to be an artist since early childhood.  While my family used music stands to hold their music, I used mine as an easel for my canvas.  I asked my parents for art lessons, and they signed me up for several local art classes that taught oils, charcoal drawing and pen and ink.  When I first entered college I thought I would major in music, since that was what I grew up knowing, until, I sat in a music seminar and the speaker made this comment.  "If  you cannot eat, drink and sleep music, then you should not do this." After that seminar I discovered that the only thing I could "eat, drink and sleep" was art.   The college didn't offer an art major, so I took the few art courses they had as electives while there.   When I look back, I realize that I took the long way around to becoming an artist, but I never gave up in the pursuit of practicing my passion.  Although I was unable to chase my passion of art through school, in a sense it chased me and I am where I am supposed to be today, because I didn't give up on my dream.  It also created endurance in me.

As parents, we want the best for our children.  We want them to experience many things so that they discover their talents.  However, I think the best way of helping your child discover their passion is to listen to them.  What do they talk about most?  What do they enjoy doing with their free time?  As a parent I wanted to make sure that I gave my daughter, Vanessa  the opportunity to discover what her God given abilities were.  After trying her hand at painting, I could see that she had talent, but I noticed that it just wasn't "her thing."  She informed me that she had a love/hate relationship with art when she was in grade school.  She liked the creative process, but never cared to be forced to create the same thing that everyone else around her was making in art class.

Vanessa, First Grade

Entering 12th Grade

When Vanessa reached high school she was already pursing her passion during study hall without our knowledge.  Every chance she had, she would pull out a piece of notebook paper and start creating designs.  We didn't know she was doing this until the end of 10th grade when we found her notebook full of designs, each one done by hand.  

Her first design in 8th grade

A sampling of Vanessa's designs.

A few of her finished designs on art paper ready for printing.

I'm not sure how Vanessa will choose to use her designing ability, but I think the lesson here is to listen to your children and to give them many opportunities to explore and discover what they both like and dislike until they find what they are passionate about. 

June 14, 2015

Sunflower Love & A Sneak Peak of My Daughter's Art

I just finished a new 16x20" painting titled, "Sunflower Love".  It will be available at Dutchland Galleries this week.  I also wanted to give you a sneak peak of my daughter, Vanessa's designs.  I will share more about her unique hand-drawn geometric designs in an upcoming post.

"Sunflower Love" Original Painting

A sample of Vanessa's Hand-Drawn Designs

June 10, 2015

Firefly Lake Painting

With summertime in mind, I recently finished a new painting, titled "Firefly Lake."  The original is available at Dutchland Galleries located in the Kitchen Kettle Village.  You can also contact them through their website at for more information.  If you are interested in prints of this painting, they are available in several different sizes through Fine Art America.    Here is the link for the prints.  I hope you enjoy your summer!

May 26, 2015

Dinner on the Deck

  We recently refinished our backyard deck by replacing some of the boards and a much-needed fresh coat or two of stain.

Carl did the prep work and I did the painting, of course.  We make a great team!

Here is the pond and garden surrounding our deck.  The pond is right off the edge of the deck and this photo is what it looks like later in the season when all the sweet potato vines are full-grown.  We also have a japanese maple tree where the curly willow twigs used to be.  

It took a lot of patience this year to get the pond back into shape as we faced several challenges from the rough winter.  We had to replace the waterfall box, the filter, and all the piping due to freezing & cracking problems and then the loss of many fish from a pesky blue heron.  All the trees behind our pond were also lost due to severe weather and they will have to be cut down this spring, but we are happy to say that we are finally on our way to getting things back into shape.  Our neighbor was kind to offer us some beautiful flowering shade plants that they wanted to get rid of and they are starting to grow.  (Thanks, Lester & Lois!  You are a blessing!)  The challenges we faced with the pond this year were only the tip of the iceberg.  We faced several other challenges that seemed overwhelming.  Everything seemed to come at us at once.  However, we were reminded that we can trust God, one obstacle at a time and one day at a time and that He will take care of us.  He showed us his care through different people in our lives.  For this we are so thankful!

Yesterday, we decided to have dinner on the deck.  It was a beautiful day and it was nice to finally hear the tranquil sounds of the pond running again!

We had kabobs and twice-baked potatoes.  Yum!  We made the kabobs with chicken, zucchini and mushrooms, loaded them with BBQ sauce and cooked them on low heat for 20 mins.  In retrospect, they could have used some pineapple chunks or tomatoes for added color, but they were DELICIOUS!  We also made a few kabobs with the leftover chicken pieces, to add a little more meat to each of our plates.

I also had a chance to finish some small paintings this past week.  Here are the pics of them.  A few of them are still available in my etsy store.  You can see them at this link.