Delicate and Radiant

Inspiration:  a vibrant little purple flower looking towards the sun.  Anyone know the name of this little beauty?

Watercolor, Pencil and Ink


My Aunt Chris shared some photos she had taken a while back while enjoying a visit to the MN Arboretum.  (She keeps me stocked with photos of colorful flowers, which I’m grateful to have for inspiration- especially during these flower-less months of winter and early spring.)  Her eye for color, texture and light help open my eyes to the morsels of beauty hidden in seemingly “ordinary” places.

Starry Eyed 

I am honored to be hosting my very first Sheboygan-area painting party in April for a group of ladies, who attend our area MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers*.)

“We are the Starry Eyed”- is this year’s MOPS theme.  Let’s be real, it’s more like, “the Bleary Eyed,” right?   Amid the joys and utter chaos of raising little ones, we have been encouraged to find opportunities for “wonder” in our everyday adventures with (or even without) our children!

Catching snowflakes, watching the rain, splashing in puddles, ditching the bedtime routine and star gazing instead- all of these activities force us to slow down and find beauty!  They allow us to tap into that inner, bright-eyed little person buried under relentless years of adulthood, to uncover someone who once saw beauty in the simplest of forms!  

I’m not the greatest at always remembering to STOP!  (I love a good project.) That’s why I’m grateful for the opportunity to paint and get to know some other “starry eyed” moms a little better.  C’mon April!

*MOPS is an international “mommy group,” that has meant a great deal to me over these past years! It is a place of love, support, encouragement, honesty and laughter- a place to breathe, reflect and connect with others moms!  For more information or to find a group near you, please visit www.mops.org

Bloom Where You’re Planted

“Enjoy Every Single Moment, The Good, The Bad, The Beautiful, The Ugly, The Inspiring, The Not-So-Glamorous Moments, and Thank God Through It All.” – Megan Matt

View original post: http://www.inspirationinpictures.com/enjoy-every-single-moment/

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…And if you cannot “enjoy” the moment you are in, simply embrace it.  

Sink deeply into each breath you take, weather they be shallow and labored or deep and refreshing.  

Feel the sting of hot tears on your cheeks and accept your pain- your loss.  

Allow a momentary giggle to transform into a blissful belly laugh- contagious and free.  

And if you are not moved either to tears or laughter today, simply find something to Thank God for.  (I’m told a smile will follow.)  

We have but one life- here’s to learning how to Bloom!

Rest & Restoration

Isaiah 40:28-31

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28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

 New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Grandpa Schoen’s Painting

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Grandpa Schoen’s painting hung proudly in my childhood home on Hickory Lane.  I walked passed it nearly every day.  When I would stop to take a deeper look, I would see the white picket fence first, with its cast shadows and perfectly proportioned, receding lines.   My eyes would then wander up the tree trunk and settle on the large branch of leaves (in the middle) before being drawn down to the peeking white house- the house where my Dad grew up.

I never met Grandpa; he died just before I was born.  Some stories, old photographs and this painting help me form a perception of who he was.  I’ve heard he was a spirited and tender-hearted man with a thirst for learning and discovery.  A creative spirit, who enjoyed classical music, art, baking bread… He was a man I never met, who indirectly played a significant role in who I am.  Today, I take a deeper look inside his painting to see if subtle clues lie within his brushstrokes – clues that can tell me more about who he was and maybe a piece of who I am too…

The leaves-  Each one formed by their own mark, each important to him.  I think he was someone who stopped to appreciate the little details, who marveled, took notice and enjoyed the small things in life…

The house (a mansion from what I hear)-  The painting has little to do with a “mansion” and more to do with the beauty surrounding it- the trees, the blue sky, the white picket fence, the people inside?  I think he might have been a man who loved HOME and knew it was more than a house (or mansion) to make one…

The foreground- a celebration of flickering light filtered through the rustling trees.  Nature’s dazzling dance of light and beauty, set to the music of a warm summer breeze…I imagine Grandpa delighting in nature’s imagery, preferring to live in the present than worrying himself about the future…

Yes, I wonder who he was.  I wonder what remnants remained of him in my Dad, which ones trickled down to me and even my children!  And then, I am struck at how hauntingly similar this reality is to that of my own children’s now that my Dad is gone.  They will hear stories, see pictures and celebrate his music.

One day though, like clues hidden inside Grandpa’s brushstrokes, I hope my children will stop to listen to the music Dad sang in between the notes- his breaths of love, kindness, warmth, compassion and integrity.  Those were some of the characteristics that shaped the songs he sang.  I hope my children will see me emulate these “Breaths” and “Brushstrokes” as I search for my own, unique assignment in this continued masterpiece, called life.

Homey Home

Inspiration:  Fall decorations on a warm-ish October day

Pen and Watercolor

Amazing what a few pumpkins, mums and a fall wreath can do to make a house feel more like home.  I was inspired this weekend to get out and enjoy some of this warmer weather before the snow begins to fall and I lose all motivation to go outside, let alone DRAW outside.  My two little assistants brought me a plethora of colorful leaves to help keep me inspired.  Enjoy!