Mural Painting at the Vineyard Church

The Vineyard Church here in Springfield, MO wanted a mural for their children’s ministry, and I am always looking for ways to use my art as ministry since that is my gifting.

Josh, one of the pastors, wanted a tree with the fruit of the spirit. In the New Living Translation (NLT) Bible, Galatians 5:18-25 says “But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”

I was actually inspired from the Harry Potter movie series.

After looking at some pictures of the “Black Family Tree,” I sketched up this drawing.

I brought the mural painting supplies and kept them in a closet at the church while I worked. I used pencils, ruler, willow charcoal, eraser, paint brushes, Velspar house paint samples, acrylic paint (Winsor & Newton Galleria: Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre, Mars Black, Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue, and Pale Umber. Golden: Cadmium Red Medium Hue and Burnt Sienna. Liquitex Basics: Raw Sienna. Liquitex: Raw Umber. Grumbacher Academy: Titanium White and Burnt Sienna), brushes, soap, latex gloves, paper towels, palette knife, plastic cups, baking pans, palette paper, painters, Masters Hand Soap, a tarp, ladder, and diaper bag.

I drew up the top and bottom borders with a ruler and pencil.  The projector I use sometimes was too small to cover such a large area. So, I just freehanded the mural using willow charcoal.


I then printed out copies of the sketch and used inktense pencils to decide the color scheme for the mural.

I used Velspar house paint samples from Lowes to paint all of the mural except for the scenes with the people, which I used acrylic paint. It took three to five coats of the house paint for some colors to cover the wall.

A couple of my artsy/artist friends Kara, Lindsay, and Stashia came to help me paint while our kids had a playdate (now that’s multitasking at its finest). And of course M jumped in a bit to help paint as well.

E loved the scene depicting self-control. She kept pointing to the cupcake saying “cupcake” and then pretend eating it with her pincher fingers and making “mmm” noises.

M and our daughter E would go with me most days and sometimes my friend Lacy from Gallery Gal would also meet me because she was painting the Lord’s Prayer on another wall. It took me about three months to complete (going about three times a week for roughly one hour each session).

Hopefully this mural will not only make the space more fun and enjoyable for the kids, but it will also make it easy for them to learn the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.


Family Life Illustration Series

I completed the “Family Life Illustration” series using Inktense pencils, Micron ink pens, and Canson Illustration 11×14″ 150lb art pad. There are 15 illustrations in the series (that is how many pieces of paper were in the art pad) of my current family life and inspirations for 2016-2017.

This work is narrative in content and uses color in a monochromatic way accentuating one part of each drawing. These fun and quirky illustrations are a reflection of the current joy and activities I was able to experience through starting a family with a newborn through toddler. Each piece has its own story, blog post, and details.

















15 Illustrations: Easter Picnic at St. Andrews

I am working with Inktense pencils, Micron ink pens, and Canson Illustration 11×14″ 150lb art pad to create 15 illustrations (that is how many pieces of paper are in the art pad) of my current family life and inspirations.

Derwent-Inktense-Pencil-12-350 IMG_2299

This work is narrative in content and uses color in a monochromatic way accentuating one part of each drawing. These fun and quirky illustrations are a reflection of the current joy and activities I have been experiencing.

“Easter Picnic at St. Andrews” was something we did back in March that really stuck in my mind. It was a gorgeous day, sunny and warm. St. Andrews Church has an amazing family program and hosted this really fun and laid back picnic and Easter egg hunt the Saturday before Easter. We went to this event and actually brought a picnic lunch – though we realized once there that the “picnic” was more like pick up some food after the egg hunt. We found a table and enjoyed our picnic fully.

I used Inktense pencil Spring Green for the color. This drawing was a bit of a challenge to chose what color and where to put it. I’m not fully convinced I made the right decision on either front, but it’s done now.


Some of my favorite details are the stone and pebble pathway leading to the church, the Easter egg basket and bench,

img_9407 img_9405

my make believe patterned skirt, our fun picnic food and flowers, M and E’s portraits,

img_9410 img_9411 img_9412

our family portrait,


and the church windows and architecture.


The inspiration for this drawing:




Paintings for Livada: Romania Hillside

When I was on the missions trip with Grace Church serving the Livada Orphan Care ministry in Romania, the beauty of the country inspired me. I had the idea that when I got home to Arkansas I could paint these Romanian scenes and donate the paintings to Livada to raise money for orphan sponsorship.

Târgu-Mureș was hilly, which made for excellent scenic views. I connected specifically with these scenes (the houses and trees on the hills with the mountains behind them) as pastoral scenes (minus the lamb/goat). These are such peaceful scenes for me because the houses represent people’s lives. I like the idea that there are people that live on the hillside in the country – that they wake up every day to the big sky (possibilities), mountains (stability), and trees (life/growth/change). Just looking out of the car window, I experienced the beauty of God many times while in Romania.

IMG_2528 IMG_2614 Romania Day 7 (77)

Image to Paint

9. Romania Hillside

Charcoal Sketch on Canvas

9. Romania Hillside Sketch

Painting Sketch (1st Coat)

romania romania hillside

Painting Sketch (2nd Coat)


Final Painting

Romania romania hillside final

What is it Like? The Process and Experience of Creating Art

How can I describe what it is like creating art?
4 3

Well, there are a lot of art quotes about it – here are a few.

Art Quotes

  • “When it is working, you completely go into another place, you’re tapping into things that are totally universal, completely beyond your ego and your own self. That’s what it’s all about.” ~Keith Haring
  •  “The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.” ~Robert Henri
  •  “Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.” ~André Gide
  •  “Art will remain the most astonishing activity of mankind born out of struggle between wisdom and madness, between dream and reality in our mind.” ~Magdalena Abakanowicz
  •  “The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.” ~Auguste Rodin

What can I compare creating art to? 

> creating art is a process

> through that process there is an experience

> through that experience there are internal elements that happen – thoughts, emotions, desires, feelings, and reactions that are all just like… a personal experience.

I would like to compare creating art with the personal. Whatever your personal experience of thoughts, feelings, and emotion. Experiences that cause your heart to leap or break. The times that you are so focused and controlled and in control, of certainty. These are the similarities of the artist in their studio.

And for some, the comparison could be the adrenaline of taking risks or the anxious waiting for the arrival of long awaited news. For others it could look like moments of parenting, family, or the intimacy of a relationship. It could be similar to feelings or desires of success at work or school or a project. It could be compared to some of the intense drain and restlessness of being homeless or feeling alone. An extreme comparison can be the heartaches of suffering, disease, and death.

The artist holds the ability to access the experience, whether it is their reality, a memory, or an imagination of it. I think because of this, the artist can at times be viewed in the negative as “just being dramatic,” simply reproducing the “real” experience or in worst cases, emotionally parasitic. There seems to be little sympathy or joy alongside the artist because of these negative views.

However, I think it is important to remember that whether “real” or not, the artist is still experiencing while creating, and their experiences are their reality. Be kind to the artist(s) in your life.