Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Harvest Decor for the first-timers

AAHhhhh! My first fall season in my own home. You start to realize how hard it is to create something.... out of nothing!  When you start out, holiday decor isn't right there in your home.  So, a quick trip to the grocery store, and some creative revamping, and I have my Harvest mantle.

Here is my fireplace, it had been sealed off well
before I moved in. So instead of firewood
I have used the opening as a
"picture frame"
I don't have many decorations specifically for the fall season. So, instead I rummaged through my collection of keepsakes, and used them to create the fall atmosphere.

My wedding motifs was all things vintage, and birds. So I used my sweet little birdhouse
full of good wedding memories

My fall art piece -courtesy of my sweet husband. The paint is still wet!

This collection from Shakespeare is over 200 years old!

Something you may not know, I worked construction up until a couple months ago, this book of Shakespeare's collected works was given to me from one of our clients.
The birds were handed down to me from my great-great grandmother
And the candlesticks are handmade from Jonathan's grandfather
a wonderful wood worker


THE DATE IS SET!!!  October 23rd is the "Grand-Opening Event" for gallery 202. If you are in or near Franklin Tennessee, stop by and visit this gorgeous gallery, and say hello to Jonathan and I! Times will be from 10-5pm. See you there!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Busy Weekend!

Wow!  It is officially fall! I have spent the first part of my day today redecorating the front yard to look more festive. Such fun!

It has been a few days since I posted, due to a busy weekend. Last weekend Jonathan and I had a wedding to photograph [one of the numerous talents my husband hides well]. Such a sweet couple! Congratulations to Brooke and Daemon, married Sept. 26th, 2010. Brooke's mother did a wonderful job pulling together a beautiful wedding atmosphere. Here are a couple pictures from their sweet ceremony:

The beautiful bride surrounded by her closest friends

The Maid of Honor and the Best Man

The most adorable little Ring bearer EVER!!

off to the honeymoon!!
Sorry, no more pictures until the bride has seen them all.

After a wonderful wedding, Jonathan and I took my little brother, and his girlfriend up to the Smokey Mountains to walk the "Cove" at night. We have so many memories from that night, and my legs are still reminding me!

The bucks in the field were originally so preoccupied fighting
one another, that they didn't realize how close we  had gotten to get to them.

Such a beautiful landscape!

Me, Isaac and Emily

I am happy to be back, and with all of you again. Jonathan is painting away back in his studio, which means, new painting coming soon!!

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Today was a very interesting turn of events. In the process of typing my blog for the day, sirens began to sound, and looking out the window, smoke permeated the neighborhood where I live. Jonathan and I walked down the street to find a home in smolders, fire extruding from the roof. It was a sad sight to see a neighbors home destroyed to fire.
After all of that, if was hard to refocus for the day. But now, that the fire trucks, and the media drama has all passed, I can share with you the day, up to that point!

My "office chair"

This is where you will find me, when I am at my computer. Why choose a stuffy desk and chair when you can have the option of working in comfort?  I sit here with my little puppy Amber at my side and... well... in part, I share with you all!

Here is Jonathan at work on his latest piece of beauty!

A far from professional shot of the "big picture" the messy artists lair!

Jonathan's paint table, and another treasure stowed away hidden from the publics eyes
yet another hidden treasure... Open the laundry area, and you'll find this! Waiting to be given a home.

His "free-time" pleasure paint. Hmmm wonder who that is?! :)

And last but not least...................................

Amber says hi! And thanks for stopping in. Please come visit again, as I love to have people to play with!

From- Art, an Ameteur Collector's View

Had to share this post I found from a very sweet writer, on her emotional response to art, and the soul! Thanks to Karen Walrond for allowing me to share!

About seven years ago, my husband and I were invited to my friend Josette's house for dinner.  It was the second time I'd been to her home, and I couldn't wait to go:  her home was just so soulful.  It wasn't a very large house -- downright tiny, by Texas standards -- but it was decorated so beautifully; and, most importantly, it was teeming with some of the most beautiful art I'd ever seen.
We arrived that night, and soon after we were given our first glass of wine, I asked Josette if I could snoop around a bit.
"Of course," she said.  "I'll come with you."
We went from room to room, and she showed me some of her favourite pieces, and I told her which were mine.  Finally, I sighed.
"Josette," I said wistfully, "how the hell do you do it?"
"Do what?" she asked.
"Find so much beautiful art!" I said.  "Like, how do you know what to buy?"
"Well," she said, "I tell you what I do:  every time I travel, either for work or on vacation, I always pick up a piece of art.  Sometimes, I look up a local gallery, other times, I just pick up a piece done by a street artist.  Even other times, I just walk into a gift shop.  So the result is that a few of these pieces are expensive, but a lot of them aren't.  My only rules  are that I only buy original pieces, and I only buy what I love."
"But how do you know what's going to go with your furniture?  In a particular room?" I persisted.
"I don't," she said calmly.  "But I've learned that as long as I buy what I love, it's naturally going to fit in my home."
I thought about what she said that day, and decided that from that day on, I was going to copy her.  I was going to make art my souvenir when I traveled, and I was only going to buy what I loved.
I've stayed pretty close to this resolution, and as a result, my house is now full of art (resulting in my husband at one point begging me to take up cocaine instead of art collecting, since he was sure it would be a lot cheaper.  I think he's just miserly).  There are a couple of pieces that are of some value, but there are many pieces which were extremely inexpensive.  Some of the pieces are very abstract, others look like antiques (but are not), and still others look very figurative.  I'm sure on a lot of levels, the art that is in our home makes absolutely no sense.  But the upshot is that the art in our home is very personal, and feels very much like our family.
It makes our home, dare I say, soulful.
With my relatively recent passion for art, of course, came an another obsession with art blogs - especially since now, with the recession, the chance of my traveling anywhere, much less buying souvenirs, has shrunk to nearly nil.  Happily, there are several beautiful blogs out there by some amazing artists, and the following remain permanent fixutres in my feed reader:
Journal of Marieke Berghuis -- The pages of the art journal by an art studen living in Paris. Really beautiful abstract work.
Woolgathering -- Elizabeth Perry's website is probably the first art blog I ever started following, years ago, and it remains a pretty consistent addiction.  Elizabeth blogs the little things, resulting in an intimate look at her daily life.
Penelope Illustration -- A beautiful blog, featuring the work of illustrator Penelope Dullaghan.  Bonus:  she just had a baby!
And so, my question to you is twofold:  do you collect art, and if so, do you have an "art collecting philosophy"?  Extra points:  Any art blogs you'd love to share?

Karen is a writer and photographer living in Houston, Texas.  Read/see more about her at Chookooloonks


Good morning Friends!

Post #1 of the day... Though I must warn you, I have found myself in the mood to write, thus I have numbered this post, to prepare my readers for more.

 News beacon!!!!!~~~

We have gift certificates! ALL in preparation for Christmas! If you're anything like me, you'll wait until last minute for any Christmas shopping, and pull your hair out Christmas Eve struggling to find that unique gift for someone you love. I always end up either going with a gift card, or finding myself embarassed handing out a generic gift... But this year, what about art???  Some may not be prepared for an entire painting, but there are SO many other options! How about a personalized sketch? You can even keep the digital image of your sketch, to reproduce your your own personalized greeting cards. SO MANY unique gifts, and all in a small certificate. This kind of gift certificate is FAR from generic I must say!

Anyway, sharing out exciting news with you my friends, spread the word for me! And enjoy some sketches!
A girl at a wedding Jonathan was photographing


Our friend Jenny

Jonathan's named him the Climber
he's forgotten his name =)

Joe Caldwell

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Enjoy a Rainy Day!

Today was a blissfully slow day. The minutes crept by softly, gently, all at their leisure, and the wonderful thing about this was: I could relish every moment! So much of our time is consumed so quickly, before we know it, we’re rushing to make ends meet, so we can lay our heads down for a rushed sleep, and repeat the process the next day. But today, aaahhhh, today was a SLOW day! I woke up and leisurely [though not without some hint of guilt] made my way to the kitchen to cook Jonathan’s breakfast [Lord knows that an artists’ brain MUST BE FED!]. Yummy, fresh hashbrowns, orange juice, applesauce, and Amber begging to sample taste! We talked over breakfast, and my senses began to rush with a list of things to do. I got up, ran to my “office chair”, and then… It rained. Rain has a way of calming my nerves. It has a way of settling things that seem to be drifting. So, I settled in, and read for a little while then I went to work. And each time I looked up at the clock, I found it was offering even more time to enjoy myself. Yes, I am now in that season! I enjoy every moment I invest in work at home.
                It is an envied pleasure, to work at something you love. One I envied in many people. But now, I am finding myself favored of the Lord, and enjoying every moment!

This painting by Jonathan just screams to me of a delicious, rainy day!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Take Off You Shoes, and Dive Right In!

Dive right into a world of inspiration!
Every weekend, Jonathan and I do our best to find what "fills" us. We employ ourselfs daily with creative tasks, that will drain the imaginative mind unless you find a frequent avenue to re-fill.

Our re-fueling:
Long, outdoor explorations. This means a hike, a long walk, a lot of pictures, and great conversation. Every nook and cranny of your town is filled with small, unknown adventures, waiting to be taken advantage of. Bend a couple rules, try something new, don't ever assume you won't enjoy it!
My lastest adventure consisted of breaking rules, as we walked down a blocked, deserted road, over grown with moss, and covered with leaves, the sign said "Do Not Enter", and for selfish reasons obviously!

At the end of the road, it led us to the river, and there we climbed the rocks, and enjoyed the sound of the wind in the trees, and the water rushing by. This season will soon be over, and the wet chill of winter will set in. Enjoy your streams and the last hints of summers past while you can!

So choose today, to be inspired with the simple pleasures of what surrounds you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Anybody want to see a 16' mural?

 Monday was my fun adventure for the week. Jonathan and I took my little brother Isaac up to Maryville with us for the day, so he could help us install a mural. We had been waiting to install this huge painting on canvas for a long time now. You may wonder why it would take three strong men to install it... Well, it is 10' high by 16' wide, on a solid wooden frame! This painting is a beautiful interpretation of the "Tree of Life", people drove up to look at it as we were installing in, and knew immediately what it was supposed to be.

Jonathan and Isaac working hard
I participated in the event!
I can't imagine it being hard to see the look of pride in all of our faces in this last photo. By the end of the day, we had installed a timeless piece of art. We had participated in the erection of something special and unique! And by the end of the day, I watched my "little" [little as in age, though little he is definitely not!] brothers attitude about my husbands profession completely transform! The tall, athletic, sports enthusiast was taking pride in the mural which all who head up to the Smokey Mountains is bound to discover. I watched as Isaac was enlightened with the reality of hard work. Hard work isn't just the amount of weight you benched the morning before, or the hours invested in work outs. Hard work isn't contingent only on the sweat that you produce in the process. Hard work is what you invest absolutely ALL your resources into, faithfully, until it is completed with perfection. And hard work is investing your passions for years into a single vision, until it is completed. Isaac worked hard that day, he lifted a heavy weight, he perspired, work up an appetite, yet came away with much more respect, and realization of the importance of the diligent, sold-out, creative investment Jonathan has made into his career. 
Perspectives, and priorities must change in the minds of others in order to see respect given to those who truly earn it. Jonathan isn't a body builder, but Isaac saw the real fruit of Jonathan's labor, and saw that is was worth MUCH respect.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What is Art?

What is art? To me, it is the personal, visual expression of what is in ones heart, and mind. It is a  beautiful, timeless expression of history, history of the times, and of the person. Art isn't a pricey framed picture to be hung on a wall, but an expression and a testimony of your heart and desires. True art will express something deeper, something more beautiful. More than a simple picture, it's another world to enter into within your dreams.

Look at historys treasured artists, Monet, Rembrandt, Van Gogh,... What captures the attention of the artist's admirers? Why Picasso?

You have the mystical, intriguing portraits of Rembrandt, as well as his incredibly inspired biblical portrayals, for those who find inspiration in visual history, and for those who are fascinated in the lives of those who lived years ago, Rembrandt delights the soul of ones curiousity and imagination. Monet, who draws you into a world of beauty, dreams of spring picnics, surrounded by natures best. Van Gogh, and his movements, as if painting while dreaming. Picasso, which appeals to the pride of those who love to be different. Who love to think outside of the "natural".  All unique, all appealing to a persons heart and interests. A wall can reveal your whole personality and outlook on life. A painting can be an investment of joy, to be treasured for generations.

Thomas Kinkaid, a modern day artist, well known, why is he so loved? People are dreaming of different surroundings, of better beauty. To see comfort, quaint, beauty in a sea of warm color and seclusion, enables you to dream.

Where does your heart draw you? Do you allow your eyes to manifest your heart?  Art is an investment of unending personal satisfaction. Fill your walls with true art, representing you, and representing the heart of a man or woman poured out on a canvas, and fill your walls with meaning. Connecting to the inspiration of another and sharing it for years to come is a blessing to a household.

Few people walk into a home that is full of dreams, desires, and unique beauty. It is a lucky few, who understand and own the pleasures of a painting.

My husband speaks to my heart. And i am the lucky few to have a home full of beautiful expressions of my passions on my wall.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Finish line!

They are finished! Beautiful race horses painted for the Kentucky Derby fans. And also for the pleasure of Mrs. Merediths eyes.  Be blessed!

Today, Jonathan, my little brother, and I are headed to Maryville to install a huge mural he's had painted three years ago. It's being installed at Fine Art Connection, outside the building for all to see! Music, and art combined is a lovely thing!

Until later...

Much love to all my friends and family

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Post dedicatd to my friend Meredith!

Guess what?!  Jonathans doing two more paintings of the animals my friend Meredith adores. Infact, after this post, these paintings are being hidden away *cough* for protection purposes. So here's the beginning of a new series:

{We'll just call this one in progress: Meredith on her "high horse". }

And then...

A racer!

These are nearly finished, and I will post them soon, stay tuned!

God bless


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