Tag Archives: paintings

Freshly Painted

I finished a very random, colorful, spunky (not my style usually) sort of painting. It was messy (literally, my hands were caked with paint). Want to know the secret to this fun texture? I used toilet paper rolls for the big circles and bubble wrap for the smaller circles. Thank you Pinterest for the toilet paper roll idea and the birthday party art class for the bubble wrap idea. It was one of those paintings in which I had no set goal in mind as far as placement of colors or circles. Purely spontaneous. I thought it deserved a title, so I set out to make one.

DSCN1811 8×10

I am really bad with titles. I even struggle with titles for my blog most often. This painting was no exception. My initial thought was “Candy buttons.” Have you ever tried those candies? Little clumps of sugar on paper:


You lick the back of the paper until the droplet falls off. It is like mastering an art really–too much saliva and you get a soggy paper mess that stains your hands; and too little saliva means you eat the paper and it does not taste good. I remember first being introduced to Candy Buttons when I was in the fourth grade. We were on a family vacation and stopped into a huge candy store in Chicago. I thought they were the coolest thing! I did not see them again until I was a college graduate shopping at Hobby Lobby for painting supplies.

“Oh wow! Candy Buttons!!!” I remember being so excited that I bought a few bags. Spontaneous. Then I bought more with the purpose of sharing my candy joy with the kids at the after-school street church I volunteered for on Thursday evenings. As I demonstrated the process of how to eat them, I was a bit timid about how the kids would react. Their faces were priceless. So eager to try this new candy. We rationed out all the Candy Buttons within minutes.


Something about this painting also reminds me of cotton candy ice cream (which is one of my favorites, probably because I can actually taste the flavor.) Almost all other flavors, besides chocolate, taste like vanilla to me. That gets bland. Cotton candy ice cream has a taste of its own. It is unique. And it leaves your tongue blue.

cotton candy exhibit b

I think this painting creates a fun theme, but felt stuck in the “candy box” of boring titles. I thought of all these bright-colored and fruity flavored candies coming together: Skittles, Nerds, Starbursts, Gummie Bears (plus the Candy Buttons and cotton candy flavor) and my title said what I was thinking: Candy Fusion. 🙂

Not all my canvases get titles, but it is an interesting process when they do get titles. I am finding that abstract art often does not need a title. Maybe that is me being too practical. “It is not a painting of anything,” I often say; “Anything” meaning concrete form. And yet, how is it that art at museums have the best fitting titles on abstract pieces that leave you looking deeper into the canvas in search of how the title was formed? It is as if the title should grasp in one profound statement, the essence of the work and still leave a window of opportunity for the mind to expand upon. I don’t think like this. I find that I sit stumped…at a loss for being able to group words together.

And yet other times, the title is what inspires the painting:

DSCN1774Fire and Ice (16×20)

Then there are those that I just leave as No Title:

DSCN1791 8×10

DSCN1804 11×14

DSCN1779 16×20

I am currently working on my smaller canvases for the month of June’s display at Beans-n-Cream. But I also have big ideas forming in my mind for my BIG canvases!! I am excited and can’t wait to get started on a few of those as well. In brainstorming, I realized that I need to branch out by creating or trying new abstract techniques. It is a challenge; I think that is why as silly as Candy Fusion may seem…it was different and I enjoyed trying something new.

I entered an “art moment in thought” while at my grandparent’s house. It caused me to stop and really question my motive for painting. When I first started painting, I painted gifts. Gift giving is my passion; it brings me sincere joy and my beginning paintings reflected this. I think over the past year, I have lost sight of that until now. I may not be painting with a specific person in mind, but I get to share my paintings with you here on my blog; to those who dine at Beans-n-Cream or the art show in Yellow Springs. I looked at the painting I did for my grandparents and I resolved that I can still paint like that–with thoughts of gift giving and joy. I was given a gift…to paint…and share my story. That brings me sincere joy. And that is why I will keep painting. 🙂

More to come…


Filed under Paintings

Possibilities Endless

Possibilities. It is what makes you stop and marvel at the tiny flowers emerging from the cracks in the sidewalk. How is it that they grow?


Today was a day of possibilities. Two more doors opened this summer for my paintings. They are set for late summer, but it gives me time to work on the bigger canvases. (And big as in 48×36 sizes!!) My paintings will also be in Beans-n-Cream the month of June. That sounds far off, but considering that tomorrow is May 1st, it only gives me the rest of the month to finish my fresh batch of canvases. 🙂

Similar to coming out of a long winter…the ideas for what to paint have just been frozen in my mind. A few weeks ago, I looked at last year’s art show pictures and wondered how it was that I had so many ideas. I remember them just flowing and I would go from one painting to the next. Then I just experienced this lull. This writer’s block in art form.

Now that possibilities have begun to open, the ideas for paintings are beginning to blossom through the cracks in the sidewalk. They are small, but they are rooted in thankfulness for yet more opportunities to share my passion and my paintings. Best part is, I get to paint…all summer long.

“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” ~Mr. Rogers


Filed under Paintings

Trying my take at the Blame Game

I just recopied off a page for my volunteer application…for the third time. Getting a bit annoyed, I am thinking–“Why can’t I just hold the pen and write legibly?” Even writing slow, my handwriting struggles. I could try to blame the lines; I am not one to buy a college ruled notebook. I prefer sticky-notes, letting my handwriting fill the whole square. I could try to blame the pen. But it is a Pilot pen…it writes so smoothly. I could try to blame my hands. Seems most probable, except that I would be blaming God for the condition of my hands. My cramping, curling, numb, weak, slow, shaky hands.

I saw a turtle crossing the road today on my drive home. No joke. I was just as shocked as you are! It did not seem in any hurry to get from one side to another either. Just a stroll across the lane! I tell my mom about the turtle when I get home. “Did it make it across okay?” Her first comment after my story. I said that I figured so…there were no cars in the left lane where it was slowly crossing. I know turtles don’t have thoughts like this–but what if they did? What if they sat down and wrote a blog about how slow they walked–how annoying or inconvenient it feels. Or would they share about how special they are–they may not be fast, but they have a hard shell where they can completely disappear on moments notice of harm. It was designed just for them.

I could sit here and play the blame game. But I ask myself, is it worth the effort? Or can I see uniqueness in these hands…the blessings that I can still use my hands even though they give me challenges continually during the day? It might take some hard thinking…but one blessing comes to mind: I can still paint. God designed that just for me…and I love sharing the blessings with you.

More to come…



Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Random


I was not very hungry, but decided I should eat something. Seems like most Sunday evenings a bowl of cereal does indeed suffice for dinner. I did not want cereal, but something. I remembered I had avocados in the refrigerator. An avocado with sea salt. My cousin really is a genius. She recommended the combination. Simply delicious! I usually don’t have a hard time cutting the avocados or getting the contents out, but today was different. At one point, the avocado flies out of my hand and rolls down the countertop. If I was bowling, I could have claimed a strike. My avocado landed precisely in a cup full of water in the sink. Soggy avocado. At least the outside was, but the inside was still good. Fresh. Sprinkled Drowned with sea salt. Ripe olive-green.

I have been thinking about the color green lately. Now that the winter days are almost over, I can see highlights of green starting to grow in the grass. Nothing huge, but there is green. It is not fully brown like it once was. Spring is green. Growth, new life.


Green is a blend, a mixture of strong blue and soft yellow. It’s personalities resemble both primary colors. Green is energizing…green is active. Green is for everyday purposes: “Ready,” “Go.” You cannot just sit and watch a garden toil on its own…you must work the soil. Planting, weeding, watering, yielding the crops.  It is culture, deed, tasteful, nurturing, becoming.


Yet green is passive. It “fills in the spaces,” like a floral arrangement. It is not claiming glory as the rest of the flowers in their boldness, and yet without the filled green–it would blemish. I often find myself relating to this green…the background green. I am not the bold green, a natural-born leader. I lead behind a leader. I love the background details…the things that seem insignificant, yet I notice them. Green is pastoral, harmonious, tranquil.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.

Psalm 23:1-3 ESV


Green is everywhere. What do you see in the color green?


Filed under Paintings, Random, Uncategorized

Blessings from bruises.

Because I am on blood thinners, my bruises seem to be taking their precious time in healing. Right now, I have a lot of combination of colors…most are still dark purple or blue on my stomach. When I looked in the mirror this morning after my shot, I remarked out loud to myself, “That looks like a seahorse.” Yep, a seahorse…like finding shapes in the clouds. 🙂 On the right side of my stomach, a little heart was formed when two bruises came together. It was then I started thinking of my bruises–the ones on my stomach that go unnoticed to the massive bruise on my right arm where the IV was placed on the outer part of my palm. It extends a good two inches of brownish-red to below my outer wrist. Very obvious and not very pretty, unless I am wearing a sweater or beads.

But I figure, bruises are temporal. They should (I hope) start to turn their greenish-yellow healing colors in the next few weeks before slowly fading back to my pale skin color–then just disappear altogether. I know you may think this is strange, but if anyone else is an organized, planner-ahead person…well, then I just really can’t explain why I thrive on this sort of activity–but, yes, I already have my Valentine cards/gifts set out to write and get ready to mail in the next week or so. Crazy, I know. I think it came about strong this year, due to the paintings I have been putting together for the coffee shop. Or maybe reading some verses in I John, or the sermon last week at church, or watching a few chic flicks on the recovery days. Not sure. As I was finishing up my paintings yesterday for Beans-n-Cream, I could not help but do one more 8×10 painting as thoughts of love, red, purples, bruises and blessings came to mind.


Somehow all these thoughts made me stop and think of the real Love that has been shown. Mercy and grace were given by blood and bruises: Jesus, dying for the sins of the world that we might know God and know His Love.

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5, NKJV

It is not even February yet, but it makes Valentine’s Day so much more anticipated…and I think that is why I anticipate it–because it is like Easter (i.e. Saying “He Lives” more than once a year!); the holiday means so much more when you think of it every day. How can I love my family, neighbors, strangers in the way that God has shown His Love to me? It has been in my thoughts and prayers as I want to show that kind of Love…and bless others who have so richly blessed me. Fail on days I will (human nature), but God’s Love remains. And that is what matters. ❤

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Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Books and Movies, Family Times, Paintings, Random, Uncategorized

Back to paintings…

I have been finishing some paintings these past few weeks…here and there amidst everything and pretty much finished just in time before tomorrow. There are some details left, but I am going to procrastinate the rest of this week on that part and feel just fine in doing so. 😀 However, I am highly anticipating what is coming up after this week and wanted to share a bit of exciting news. The month of February will be full of art! If you are in the area, my paintings will be in two different places: a coffee shop and a library. Yeah, you read that right–A LIBRARY!!! 😀

Xenia Community Library displays local artists’ work on the second floor in the hallway. My paintings will be on display there for the month starting February 4th (actually that is the day I will be hanging them…so starting February 5th). Displayed are some of my personal ones as well as a few from the art show in August. But just the fact that they are in a library is so cool! Books and art! Just add a cup of coffee or tea and it is like a free museum. 😉

My paintings will also be at the coffee shop, Beans-n-Cream, in Cedarville again. I painted some new canvases themed with spring, love, flowers, bright colors, and fun. I incorporated different media (silk flowers, buttons, book pages) in the paintings as well, as I am trying new techniques and styles. Like my Dad always said when we were ordering pizza: “Expand your horizons.” (I always just wanted cheese. Then I realized I was missing out! Add the veggies!!!) 😀

I am getting very excited for these two avenues as they approach quickly! Just getting back into painting has been exciting too! It had been too long.

Here are a few paintings that will be at Beans-n-Cream:






Now that the paintings are set, I am ready for this week though my thoughts have been anxious (especially today). Not fearful, just nervous I guess. Like I can’t sit still, because I am trying to get a few more things done before tomorrow. But I should just take a bit to sit and be still…so I am remembering Zephaniah 3:17 (italics emphasized),

The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

Tomorrow starts very early…please pray for safety as we travel down to Cincinnati and thank you for already praying for the surgery and doctors. I will not be taking my computer with me this time, but if anything comes up or I stay long, I will get a post in somehow.

Thank you for your continued prayers, love, encouragement, Bible verses and letters. They mean so much.



Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Hospital Trips, Paintings

I have decided.

Hi everyone. Just wanted to give you a quick note this morning before I head out for the day. I have to go down to the Liberty Children’s campus (about an hour drive) to get some lab work done and then my MRI is at 4pm. So this will be another long day, but needs to be done. I actually fall soundly asleep during my MRI’s so I really can just look forward to a few hours nap. 🙂

I have made my decision about whether or not to have the surgery to remove the clot/see if a stent is needed. I really struggled with my decision. My darkest fear is being put to sleep…bad experience from the last surgery to place my medi-port in caused this. I talked with my family Saturday night and was really honest with them. I think too I was still not understanding how the anatomy and procedure works, so I got a more clear understanding on that as well. But I still had to decide.

As I got in bed, I made a list of pros and cons and did some thinking. In the morning while I was doing my devotions God kept bringing me back to Psalm 4:8, “In peace, I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” I looked at my list of pros and cons. If I truly did have more pros than cons, and if the fear was the only thing holding me back…I figured that was pretty lame. God gave me an overwhelming peace about my decision. Through the course of the day–discussing more things with my family…calling my sister and thinking of things ahead, I see now that this is a good thing. There are many positive aspects of doing the surgery and so being now at peace, I am ready.

I do not have a date yet, but it will most likely be at the end of this week. I will keep you all posted. Thank you for your prayers this weekend about my decision. Please continue to pray for my family as this is a lot for them too and quite frankly–we are exhausted.

May all your expectations be frustrated.
May all your plans be thwarted.
May all your desires be withered into nothingness.
That you may experience the powerlessness and the poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God the Father, the Son and the Spirit.

*Prayer over Henri Nouwen by mentor.

More to come…


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Family Times, Hospital Trips

More Art on the Lawn Photos!

Hello all!

I hope your Sunday was a pleasant day whether you worked or you rested. I rested!!! I pretty much just got nothing done! I tried to upload some pictures on here yesterday and ended up falling asleep again on the couch! I guess I needed it. Yesterday was a nice time to reflect on Saturday’s events with my family and discuss future possibilities. This really was a huge event for me…such an open door to step through and see where it leads. It is exciting, and all so new–I have more things to learn about in different areas that are in the making. Currently, I do not have any paintings displayed at any other locations. There are several good possibilities for later events, so  I will be sure to keep every one updated of the where and when details as time goes on. So if that interests you, just keep checking occasionally for new posts concerning this matter. They would be referenced under the paintings archive. 🙂

And finally for today… more pictures!!!

This was the front left side of my booth. The story board shares a bit of my story and highlights of my past ten years of living with NF2.

My family was present, but this is the only picture I got with a family member. 🙂

My booth was right off the sidewalk! Just perfect!!

And as promised–a few of my favorites!!!

Call me a cat l0ver, but this is one of my ultimate favorites!

Thanks to my sister for the idea of putting the word “HOPE” instead of flowers! 🙂

The day after I finished this painting, a cardinal flew past my windshield on my way to work. I was passing through a wooded area, just a beautiful setting and a big surprise! It was special…my first sight of one since the move here!!

I like the simplicity of this set and the color blends. It started out as a place to use my extra paints. Then the idea formed in my head! Notice any patterns?? 🙂

And this is a true representation of my brushstroke style and the abstract painting that I just love! The contrast from light to different shades of dark with the green spot as the middle focus. I didn’t plan it that way, but that is just how it turned out. 🙂 It was a really fun painting! I was painting in my normal fashion–when my concentration was disrupted by a splatter of blue paint; I went in for the curve like motion and my force was too strong! I saw a whole blob fly in the air (literally) and land across the room on the floor. LOL. Whoops!! 😉

Lastly, another peacock! It is quite a bit bigger than the one I painted for my sister a year ago. I used sort of the same format, but different style of the feathers and facial features. My favorite part of this painting (or on peacocks in general) is their mohawk feathers on their head! 😀

Thanks for taking the time to see my pictures! I hope you enjoy them, because each one was fun to paint and create. As you view my work, remember that all things are possible with God! He shows it to me time and time again with every new painting I paint. I would have never in my wildest dreams see myself doing something like this. And yet, here I am. 🙂 I am so excited to see where this leads…and lots to pray about in the mean time! Have a great day everyone!

More to come…


Filed under Family Times, Paintings

Art as a language.

Have you heard the phrase that when people are fluent in a language, they dream it? If art is a language, then I am fluent in it. 🙂 The last few weeks, I have been painting in my dreams! I can see the colors and feel myself doing brushstroke techniques…blending and creating. Considering this week’s schedule, I guess the lack of sleep and all those hours in the basement were rewarded today!!

Let’s just say today was AMAZING!!! What a neat experience to be part of the Art on the Lawn Festival in Yellow Springs! I met so many nice people and some of my friends came too! It was a long day though! Starting out the event with only a few hours of sleep is not ideal, but I am planning on catching up on sleep tomorrow. Anyway, the day was a grand time! Kicked off the event by twisting my ankle in a hole incognito by the grass as I was walking to the registration table. No harm done…only grass stained pants! My family was there to help set up, which I think they did a superb job!! (Kudos!!!) During the day, most conversations were giving information…most people have never heard of the disease before. I had a story board there with some pictures to explain some of my story, which helped a lot to understand about the genetics and why I have the disease. Because a portion of my proceeds are going to be sent to The Children’s Tumor Foundation, they were able to send us flyers for more readings. I think we passed out all but two! I was amazed though at the occasional conversations with people who are either cancer surviors or knew someone who struggled from other benign tumors or even NF1. To think that these diseases are so different and yet there is a common ground. We understand each other. 🙂

Today just could not have been any better! I raised over a hundred dollars for The Children’s Tumor Foundation! Thank you everyone who contributed! God even blessed the day with super dark, rainy clouds that never poured! Only a few sprinkles! And to end the day, some of our family friends were there to help take down…which was a blessing, because I think by that time we all were pretty much exhausted! I even fell asleep at the dinner table! LOL. My favorite part of the day was sharing all the excitement with my family. They deserved it just as much as me. Although they would deny that–but I would not be doing this without their ideas, support, prayers and encouragement!

I was asked a few times today what inspires my paintings. Truly a good question! The only answer I can say is that this is a gift that God has given to me. I love to encourage people. And now I have a new passion to share my story, think of others above myself, stretch myself beyond what I think I am capable of doing, and have fun in the process. Today I was called an artist. As an artist, I am still not sure where this leads but I would love to be part of something like this again!! Right now, I just look forward to things getting back to normal for a few days: Back to normal sleeping schedules; back to one cup of coffee a day (not three!); back to normal work hours; and back to writing blog posts more frequently.  🙂 Speaking of which–I am starting to fall asleep. Time for rest! More to come…


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Family Times, Funny Stories, Paintings

You’re Invited!!

Wow. This Saturday couldn’t come any faster! And with a loaded week of doctor appointments, work, a football game 🙂 and the finishing touches of paints and details for the display of my booth…sleeping in my MRI today has never felt so good!!! Yep, these summer months just seemed to fly right on by!!! My last MRI was in April. Things were stable, so the decision was to go another three months with no treatments of any sort and let my leg continue to heal from the blood clot. I am doing well for the most part. Some days I feel the tightness and pressure from the tumors more than others, but God always gives the grace needed to continue on. I must admit that standing on my feet all day long while painting and drinking lots of caffeine is not very normal, so I will look forward to more normality next week.

There are a few things on my list that I need to discuss with doctors about on Thursday. My mom and I go down for a full day of appointments with different doctors. I also have a hearing test on Thursday morning.

Usually during a week like this–full of doctor appointments–I often get nervous. Since I don’t know the results of my MRI, my mind starts to wander…thinking of all the different things that could be showing on the scans. I get frustrated when I go to the appointments and hear that nothing has changed on the scans. Don’t get me wrong, that is great news! But when side affects continue to change–more weakness, more difficulties in hearing, more pain spasms, more achy nerves, more fatigue…if I go Thursday and hear “No change”–I might be upset. But see this is all nonsense to think this way. I have no idea of the scan results and no control over it, so why worry about it? Bad habit I suppose.

To ease my bad habit, I honestly have been too busy these past few weeks and especially this weekend to even think about my doctor appointments. I have too much on my “to do” list for Saturday. I am so thankful for my family helping me…not only with different suggestions for paintings, but also ideas for my display and logo, getting supplies, steering clear of my messes in the basement, encouraging me when I am burnt out, and for planning on being there to help all day during the festival! One thing that is for sure–if I ever do another event like this, I will (1) have all the supplies such as tables and a canopy, (2) have one experience under my belt for reference of things that went well and things that did not, and (3) I will remember the cause/effect of procrastination and not go in that direction! Overall, it has been a great learning experience! I even painted different styles and experimented with different themes, textures and colors. 🙂 Not to mention sizes! Some paintings are almost as big as me (and wider!)

Thus, I would like to formally invite you to this Saturday’s events!

What a great opportunity to represent my paintings, my passion and what God has done in my life! I am so excited!! Check back early next week for a few pictures of my favorite paintings and stories of Saturday’s event!


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Family Times, Hospital Trips, Paintings