Thursday, December 27, 2012

Starry Nights Over Pulaski

Here's the painting we'll be working from tonight at the Cardin Warehouse in Pulaski, TN from 6-9 pm.   Hope to see you there. 

It's been a really great year~!

Over the last couple of months I have been fortunate to paint several commissions.  I was also asked to come up with a Van Gogh looking painting for a class this Thursday night (tonight) in Pulaski at the Cardin Warehouse.  These have all stretched me a bit out of my comfort zone.  I realized as I was painting each one that this is one of the things I love so much about art.  Though my closest friends would probably say I "whined" a bit while stressing over "will they like it",  the truth is I love the stretching it brings.
This reminds me of last spring when I was training to climb Mt. LaConte in Gatlinburg.  The first time I climbed the steep and long boat ramp near my home, I found it very difficult.  Within no time I could climb it multiple times and really fast with long strides.  The training I did prepared me to be able to really enjoy what I could not have even done a few months earlier.
I find painting and creating art to be very similar.  The more I try something new .... something I haven't previously attempted, the more I enjoy it and the better I become.
I just read something from Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson's blog that I loved.  She asked: "When was the last time you did something for the first time?"
Many of you know that a year ago I hit a mile stone in birthdays and I decided it will be my best decade ever.  Now one year later, I can tell you it has been awesome.  From para sailing, climbing Mt. LaConte, traveling in Europe (part of the time spent alone), painting in several maximum security prisons and even more important meeting so many new artists who inspire me constantly.  The best part of this year has been getting to enjoy sharing my life with such an awesome family both biological and chosen.  What a year it's been~! Look out next year~! Here I come~!   LOL 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Timothy's Gift

It's late Wednesday night and we're all pretty tired, but I couldn't go to sleep before sending a quick note to let you all know how this tour of 19 prisons is going.
I think what I experienced this morning in a prison chapel may have been one of the most moving services I've ever been in.  I now get why Jesus told us to visit those in prison.  As affected as the people here appeared to be, it could not come close to what is happening to us doing the presenting.  The grattitude from the inmates is overwhelming.  None of them are forced to come to see us perform.  It's totally their choice.  I was told today by one of the chaplains that he had a lot of people who wanted to come but there wasn't enough room in the chapel.  He said the next time we might want to schedule two programs.  
We have been treated with the utmost respect and overwhelming grattitude.  It's so much different because they don't expect such amazing talent as we are bringing to them.  When our team sings it's fabulous even for me who is used to hearing the very best while living in Nashville.  It sounds so good because this team actually is some of the best in the south...not just Nashville.  And let me tell ya, they don't hold back.  I would pay to see them sing and play.   When Melody picks up her saxaphone and Jacob his guitar.  It's like the best you could ever hope to hear. 
This morning as we were serving communion, one of those attending took his bread, went back to his seat and knelt to his knees where he stayed for a very long time.  When I noticed he was holding a cane to balance he wiped the tears from his cheeks ..... so did I. 
The appreciative looks and hand shakes were all the thanks we needed.  But it wasn't all they gave.  Over and over they clapped, sang and gave us standing ovations. 
My husband ended a book he wrote by saying he hoped Jesus would approve of his writings. too Shelton.  I hope He is pleased with the love and compassion we felt today for so many who feel so forgotten.  I know my Shelton is smilin'.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Timothy's gift

 I'm so excited to be leaving for a prison tour tomorrow with Ron Miller's awesome group of musicians.  Ron  asked that I paint an angel and tell the brief story of how the first of these paintings began.  I get to paint in 19 different prisons and leave the painting at each one for them to hang in their chapels.  Please pray not just for our safety on this "road trip" but that we leave them with the assurance that God loves them and can cover anything they may have done.  When I learned that the suicide rate is highest during this time of year (while those of us with families are celebrating) I was thrilled to do whatever I can to encourage them not to give up.  Please pray that these often forgotten men and women see something in us that gives them hope for their future.  

I will be posting updates as often as I can during this 11 day tour.  If I don't respond to you quickly, please know that we expect to be crazy busy between driving to each location as well as setting up before the performance.  

I take a bit of each of you with me since your painting with me has done much to give me the courage to think that just maybe I can be used for His purpose by painting the story I believe he has already painted on my heart.
Love to each one of you,  Laine

If you'd like to know more about this program you can go to: 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tori's Christmas Angel

This is one of several Christmas paintings to choose from in tomorrow's painting workshop at Buds and Brushes in Pulaski, TN.  The date is Dec. 4, 2012 and the time is 6 to 9 pm.  It's not too late to register.  Just e-mail, face book or give me a call to reserve your place.  Though this painting is a bit of a challenge for a beginner, I will have four others to choose from.  Hope to see you there~!