Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lists of Blessings, New Paintings and More

I would love to write on here more... but lately I've been spending most of my time painting, which is what I'm supposed to be doing! However, a brief update is long overdue.

First of all, I should mention that for the past week or so, I've been greatly encouraged and inspired by a little book my mother sent me for my birthday, called One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. The book talks about how to experience joy, and a full life, regardless of your circumstances. The key is in finding gratitude for all of God's gifts, both big and small, in your everyday life. So the author took up a dare, to record a list of one thousand "God-gifts". Her writing style is beautiful; as my mom said, she "paints with words." And, as a result of reading this book, I've begun to deliberately slow down my mad rush -- taking time to enjoy the little things, and to give thanks. I've also started a list of my own... today's additions:

Perfume of full-bloom hyacinths by the hundreds
- Smiling pansies along the pathway
- Wearing flip flops, ridding warm body of sweatshirt and soaking in the sun... in February. :-)

After a day like today, who could be ungrateful, after all?? It was a high of 78. I spent the morning plein air painting at the Dallas Arboretum, enjoying in the way that only an artist can the full beds of hyacinths and pansies in all of their glory. Here is a picture of just a tiny fraction of what I was surrounded by... I'll show the painting soon. It still needs a couple little adjustments (I had to stop sooner than expected, thanks to some little mites that decided to form a parade up my pant leg).

Other painting projects... well, these all seem so unrelated to one another, but that has been my working method as of late.

I recently completed (er--tentatively completed) a new self portrait. I began this painting last week when Steve and I got dressed up for a Valentine's Day photo shoot, and I decided, "Hey, why shouldn't an artist dress up for her own portrait?" I managed not to get any paint on my clothes. The painting is titled, "Self Portrait with Red Lipstick." I never wear lipstick - in fact, I hate it. But I will admit that it does look good. :-)

"Self Portrait with Red Lipstick" - 20"x16" - oil on linen

I need to get a better photo of it -- AND I still might make some small changes -- but this will do for now.

One more painting I did just for fun... I've been meaning to set up this scenario for a while and finally made it happen. My dog, Bella, was curious about a new studio pal, a plaster bust that my painting student dubbed "Houdini" (after the sculptor, Houdin). Here is the painting, "Getting Acquainted." Bella sat for much of the painting, thanks to a tempting treat sitting on top of Houdini's head.

"Getting Acquainted" - 11"x14" - oil on linen panel

I will have much more new work coming out in the next few weeks, in preparation for a group exhibition at Weiler House Fine Art Gallery. The show opening is on March 24 from 5-9. More details to come!


  1. The self portrait is stunning and "Getting Acquainted " is great - you've been busy! I too, have been reading Ann VosKamp's book for the past few months and it is life changing, isn't it?!

  2. Thank you, Julia! And yes, it is life changing although change is never easy. :-)

  3. The red lipstick is great. I love both these paintings, Anna...I love looking at them, and thinking about you painting all day. It's so right that you should, appreciating and showing other people the beautiful things in the world. :-)


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