Bible Art Inspiration

Good news! I’ve added two Bible Page Floral demos in my Seattle online painting course. If you love the Bible like I do, integrating it into your creativity makes the artwork extra-meaningful.

I start with a canvas of Proverbs 31 because I love the strong, hard-working woman described in that chapter of the Bible. I especially love that she has strength and dignity, or honour — something I strive after every day.

Oil Painting Timelapse of White Flowers

It’s my first YouTube video, y’all!

1. I painted all that with transparents and I am now adding opaques to my palette. But, I still use most of the transparents mixed with white for the next phase.

2. If you are wondering how I do it, or want me to slow down, view my online painting course offerings where I give you step by step instructions, lots of full-length demos and downloads so you can paint easier!

Take Better Pictures of Your Kids

Upgrade your iPhone camera with a Canon Rebel and a 50mm lens (used in this photo)

Upgrade your iPhone camera with a Canon Rebel and a 50mm lens (used in this photo)

I ran a family photography business for 6 years. I loved the kids and beautiful families - especially when it was beautiful outside. Here’s a couple things I learned:

When outside, take pictures in the morning or the evening. Put the sun behind the child. The camera is almost facing the sun, but at an angle. The face can photograph dark with the sun behind the head, so use a soft fill flash or a small reflector. This will also create an eye sparkle.

When inside, photograph near a large window and don’t use the flash at all.

You can use songs, toys or a sibling to entertain your child so she doesn’t feel like she’s being controlled.

Get Close, Get Low

Photography is about perspective. You want to be eye level, and with little kids, that means getting really low to photograph them. You can eliminate distracting backgrounds by just getting closer to your child when you photograph her.

Sneak, Cheat and Bribe

Sneak your shots when she’s playing so she won’t feel coerced. She does not need to be smiling and looking at the camera to be cute!

Bribe older kids with a treat after they cooperate with your little photo shoot. Better yet, photograph them enjoying the treat!

Cheat a little by bringing your photo into photoshop or a photo editing app to brighten up your colors and lighten up the whites.

Take better pictures of your kids

Get Your Joy Back!


Today is the first day of spring. The first day of sunshine and flowers and joy, right? Well, maybe not. After a long winter of dark skies, icy sidewalks and viruses; it doesn’t always feel like spring in our minds. Sometimes we just can’t shake the blues, mild-depression or just grumpiness that we feel.

In my 40’s, I feared the pits of depression. I worried about and fell victim to the long bouts of gloom. But, now I have a better perspective on sadness and, as a result, I’m more joyful than I’ve ever been.

Here’s how I get my joy back

“Succulents” 10x10 oil on canvas

“Succulents” 10x10 oil on canvas

  1. Stop looking at people

    I’m not talking about people-watching at the mall. I’m talking about how we focus on people for approval, how we criticize people, how we compare ourselves to others. When I look up to Jesus (and this takes intentionality and time), the cloud lifts.

    • Turn off social media for a couple days

    • Turn off depressing news and tv shows

  2. Start looking at God

    My son graduated from high school early and got a great internship in Silicon Valley very far from home. I always said I wouldn’t be the sad empty-nester, finding solace in Netflix and a bag of chips, but sometimes, I am exactly that.

    • Spend 15 minutes a day in an easy devotional book like Ephesians by Joyce Meyer

    • Put beautiful, positive reminders of God’s goodness on your phone and computer with my free downloads.

      Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. — Ephesians 1:2

  3. Wait for it

    Waiting on the Lord sounds about as fun at waiting at a broken stop light. But the word “wait” is actually a synonym of hope. And hope isn’t an arbitrary emotion, it is the result of deciding to believe that God is good and that He will reward us when we seek Him. One of the rewards He gives out is . . . wait for it . . . JOY!

    • Believe that God is good

    • Give the gray cloud a little time to lift

      The Lord is good,
          a refuge in times of trouble.
      He cares for those who trust in him,

      — Nahum 1:7

A little art therapy could do the trick. Paint the city of flowers in my new online painting course, Paint Easier: Seattle

Save Money on Art Supplies

I’ve already wasted money on the wrong supplies, why should you? Here are some money-saving tips for artists:

Paint with a Friend

You can share art supplies if you paint with a friend. And she will encourage you to keep painting!

Repurpose a Canvas

Wipe a bad painting, wait for it to dry and then gesso it. I don’t throw canvases away, I just use them over again! Also Michaels can have up to 75% off canvases!

Save money on art supplies, oil painting for beginners

Save Unused Paint

Use a Sta-wet palette to keep excess paint from drying. Also, Gamblin’s 1980 student grade oil paints are almost as good as the pro stuff.

Save Money on the Brush

The best way to save money on your brush is by cleaning it well. Take care of your brush and only.

Save Money by Repurposing Odorless Thinner

Let odorless thinner sit overnight and then you can pour the clean top layer into a clean jar.

Use Michael’s Coupon

I don’t buy much at Michaels, but when I do I always have them scan my coupon app.

Buy the Right Supplies the First Time

Taking an online course will keep you from wasting precious time, money and art supplies on trial and error. I provide a minimalist supply list with links to the best stuff to get you painting in an orderly sequence that is not only enjoyable, it ensures a successful painting!

5 Rookie Artist Mistakes

5 Rookie Artist Mistakes

Find out the 5 common mistakes beginner artists make and how to correct them so your paintings are loose, colorful and correct! Oil painting lesson for beginners