December 20, 2012

Holy Ground

I was recently commissioned to paint a piece for Blake and Kelly Bourland. They are a sweet couple at our church and one we go back years with (Kelly was Erin's grand big sis in Tri-Delt). I was honored to do such a special piece for them. It is a painting of the Chapel at Bonne Terre where the Bourland's were married. Bonne Terre is an Inn in Nesbit MS. Such a beautiful place The painting is in the shape of the chapel door and is constructed of pine. The word Bonne Terre literally means "good ground". In an area full of tough clay, there are many areas with fertile farmland. Much of the fertility of this area comes from flooding from the Mississippi River, leaving rich deposits it has carried downstream. Ground goes from poor to good by an overflowing deposit of minerals. In a greater yet similar fashion, poor ground becomes holy in the same overflowing deposit of God's presence and love.

Marriage is a holy union. A covenant before God and men that reflects God's glory to the world (marriage was the first institution created by God, the church came later). As Blake and Kelly stood before God that day and committed vows to each other, God was there and God was pleased. They literally were standing on Holy Ground. Their marriage continues to be a reflection to those around them of God's love.

"Holy Ground"

Merry Christmas! May you each experience God's presence this Advent season as we see God's ultimate act of overflowing love...sending Jesus to be our Emmanuel, God with us, who takes away the sins of the world. May we long for the eternal Holy Ground, Heaven.

September 28, 2012

Muddy Waters

Friends of ours (Art and Charlotte Hullender) hosted an art show to raise money for their adoption. I was honored to submit this piece for the show. It is titled "Muddy Waters" and ties in many themes that I have been thinking on lately regarding Memphis. I have always wanted to do something to capture the riverfront, Memphis Blues and "M bridge". I purposely created a silhouette effect with the Memphis Queen Riverboat, Hernando Desoto Bridge ("M bridge") and grassy bank and wanted to magnify the Mississippi River. I have been researching industrial rustic design some lately and this seemed to fit a bit of all these thoughts. The title is after the Mississippi River (The Muddy Mississippi) and blues legend Muddy Waters. Hope you all enjoy. It was fun to paint something to capture this great city...Memphis.

"Muddy Waters"

July 30, 2012

Morning Hay Field

I painted this recently as a wedding gift for some friends. I wanted to capture the feeling of a hay field on a July summer morning. It was my first go at it.

"Morning Hay Field"

July 8, 2012


On Memorial Day, our family visited some friends who had purchased one of my paintings. I had forgotten about painting it for them, as it was just before traveling to Ethiopia and life accelerating with Naomi's adoption. We walked in and saw it on their mantle. I was humbled. I am thankful for people who would want to put something I paint in their home. It was just weird to see and humbling to know that something I was not pursuing for years, has now become a blessing to others. I also attached a picture of "Lighted Path" from the Harvill's home. It was one of the first commission pieces I did. Both family's choice of decor enhances the paintings, not the other way around!

"Cold Barn #4"

"Lighted Path"

Recent Work

I wanted to post a couple of recent paintings. The first was a commission piece for some family friends "Porter's Path". This may have been the most complicated painting I have ever done. The walking path took a while to get right with angles. It is a painting based off of a photo (shown below) from a walk the Porter's took back in February. I added some color of a fall scene to bring some coordinating colors  to match their beautiful new home. It was a blessing to do for them. The second is #6 in the "Red Door" series. I had long wanted to paint one of the "Red Door" series on wood plank. The wood pallet and frame are hand made of cedar. I have enjoy working with wood in the actual construction of the pallet but also in how the paint applies to it. In subtle ways it can be shaped differently. It is challenging as using a pallet knife with thick impasto gel makes for some uneven strokes (the planks are offset a minor amount). This does provide a different effect. "Red Door #6" is being consigned at Epiphany Salon downtown Memphis. It was part of their grand opening show. If interested in purchasing it, simply contact the Epiphany Salon or myself. Hope you enjoy the recent updates.

Original Photo from the Porter's

"Porter's Path"

"Red Door #6" (for sale)

April 12, 2012

"Light and Life"...Saint Mary's Fundraiser

I was honored to submit a painting for a fundraiser at Saint Mary's School (Olivia's school). In thinking through what to do, I started with 2 ideas...First to involve something that involves Olivia since she attends school there and secondly, something that reflects Saint Mary's mantra "Light and Life". With summer upon us, I have also been reflecting on doing more in my "30A" series. It all began to tie together.

Some of my favorite times with Olivia have been at the beaches around 30A. This is also a place that to me and our family brings out much light and life. Vacations, especially at the beach are filled with joyful laughter in the bright sun and are the height of family fun for us.

I wanted to capture beach houses resting upon a shore. I had painted a similar scheme before for the art show and was one painting that I connected with. There were some changes on this painting, slightly with color and the houses. This painting was also something I painted with Olivia earlier this month...sort of. With my torn achilles, I am confined to painting on the floor while in my cast. Looking for creative ways to spend time with the kids, I decided to paint some with Olivia one day. We did a similar work up with her flare!

In many ways this reflects Olivia to us....a wonderful daughter full of Light and Life. Hope the winning bidder enjoys such a special painting to us. We are blessed by Saint Mary's and excited to give back a piece of our family.

                                                                   Liv At Easter

                                                         "Beside the Sea" #3 in 30A series

March 27, 2012


The past few months have been a whirlwind. We traveled to Ethiopia in December to meet our new daughter Naomi, appeared in front of their court and legally became parents again. The days were long, but finally in March we traveled back to Ethiopia to get her forever. We have been "cocooning" (intentionally quietening our lives and staying close to home while she attaches to us as parents). Throughout this process, God has showed us so much about his love for us and the Gospel has entrenched itself deeper in our hearts. I have taken off a few months from painting other than a couple of Christmas gifts due to being so busy. I tore my achilles and had surgery 2 weeks ago. I am immobile and have been getting cabin fever. I was physically unable to paint until a few days ago. I lay in the floor instead of using my easel and stool. Nevertheless, it has helped keep me sane while waiting to get the cast off. I am doing a painting for St. Mary's School fundraiser. I have decided to paint a beach series as I head into summer. More will come after I finish it, but am excited to be creating again.

Here is a pic of Naomi. She will be 3 in May. It has been a blessing to paint things for people as part of our adoption fundraising process. The art show in November went well.