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nashville tennessee

Do you fear missing out?

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Do you fear missing out?

Every mom I’ve talked to expresses this same fear – that they might miss something in their child’s life. With the craziness of life and all there is to think about, it can be really hard to be in the moment and just enjoy your kids.

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Saturday in the Studio

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Saturday in the Studio

Children's Art Activity

This month I hosted a Back-to-School painting party for moms and kids to bring their backpacks, TOMS, or school supplies to decorate.  

It's part of a new series of events called Saturday in the Studio, which will take place on the first Saturday of the month in my private live/work studio in the South Main arts district. It's open to anyone who joins my email newsletter.

 

The results were amazing. I was absolutely in love with Callie’s hand-painted TOMS. This girl’s going to have the coolest kicks in school, no doubt.

 

Callie, putting us all to shame

 

Among the guests who attended was my friend Julie, who is the assistant curator at the Dixon, and her adorable two-year-old daughter Marie.

 

Marie used her superb painting skills to create this abstract piece.

 

Marie, the early years

 

It’s a privelage for me to help moms and their children celebrate their relationships and make memories. That’s the mission of my creative enterprise and the fuel behind my work.

 

I remember how important it was for me to have parents who supported and fostered my creativity, so I love helping others do the same.

 

Back-to-School Painting Party

 

After the activity, I took the girls back into my studio to show them where I work. As a young girl who dreamed of one day being a full-time artist, it would have meant a lot to actually visit a working artist’s studio and paint with her.

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"I had tears in my eyes"

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"I had tears in my eyes"

Tread

I’m in the business of making people cry.  

Tears of joy, that is, when they see the finished portrait of their child.

 

It’s a moment my collectors have anticipated for months. They’ve seen the study, but it never does justice to the finished piece. There’s just something about standing in front of a painting of your child that brings out an overflow of emotions. Moms tell me it’s an experience they’ll never forget.

 

Each portrait is a testament of love between a mother and a child. Each portrait honors that love and celebrates the relationship. I'm honored to tell one such a story – the story of Tread and Hart.

 

 

 

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A Heartfelt Mission

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A Heartfelt Mission

Charcoal portrait of children

Jasmine Johnson and her portrait  

Thirteen-year-old Jasmine just started her freshman year of high school. Jasmine is bright and friendly. The never-met-a-stranger type. She's quick to assume leadership roles and because she loves to help people, she dreams of one day becoming a lawyer or counselor.

 

 

Jasmine lives alone with her mom, and has a distant relationship with her dad. She often wonders why he doesn’t want to spend time with her, despite her efforts to get to know him.

 

My mom and I have had the privilege of mentoring Jasmine through Streets Ministries.

 

Thanks to the goodness of God, Streets has become a surrogate family to Jasmine and countless other kids, providing support, encouragement, and help to meet their needs. My prayer for her is first that she will know Jesus as her Lord, but also that she would have the same opportunities for a good life that I have had. I want her to know her life has meaning and that her dreams and aspirations matter.

 

Jasmine’s story is a on-going reminder of how much children need stable homes.

 

Families are under attack today. The traditional family unit is being undermined, and as a result families are falling apart. It’s not hard to see the devastating affects this has had on children and society as a whole. Personally, watching my parents split when I was in college was one the hardest things I have ever been through. I know that many people come from similar or worse circumstances, and it breaks my heart.

 

That’s why is my artistic mission to help families celebrate their relationships by honoring their children. This is a heartfelt mission and I one that I deeply believe in. The way I accomplish this mission –through custom oil and charcoal portraits that celebrate the individuality of a child- is totally unique. Nothing quite honors a child like a portrait.

 

I believe that families are the bedrock of society and the best place for children to find love, acceptance and security. My job is the help parents express their love for their children and to help children know they are unconditionally valued and accepted.

 

It's for this reason that I'm partnering with Streets to honor kids like Jasmine through my art. I will complete a series of portraits to donate to the families of select kids and raise awareness of the need in our community to help these children. Because their futures are ours.

 

 

 

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Haynes' Story

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Haynes' Story

Children's Portraits in Oil

Recently I began a portrait commission of Haynes Kiser. I painted his older brother, Tread, a couple of years ago. It was amazing how to see how much he’s changed since then.  

Oil portrait of child

 

Their mom, Hart, was explaining to me the difference in the personalities of her boys. Tread is the typicall older brother- sweet, calm, compliant. Haynes is rambunctious and gregarious. Tread rolls his eyes at his brother’s antics, often miming “this guy’s crazy” behind his back.

 

Doing what he does best

 

Like a lot of young boys, Haynes loves to play outside. I tried taking his picture sitting down in various locations, but I found he was his most natural self when running around, kicking the ball, and just plain having fun.

 

Hart and her mother both agreed the portrait study was “so him.” Hart said it looked like he was “on the go,” which is perfect for Haynes.

 

Oil portrait of child

 

Like his brother, Haynes is wearing a simple linen shirt and khaki shorts- nice, but not too formal. Very appropriate for a boy who loves to run around outdoors.

 

What is so beautiful about the Kiser Boys, and what I'm so inspired by, is their beautiful, almost-white, blond hair and tan skin.

 

Haynes was very sweet and easy to work with, despite his inability to sit still for very long. And I got the impression that if he had it his way, the portrait would be of him on his trampoline. Perfect for him but not so inspiring for me as an artist.

 

DSC_0322

 

I fell in love Haynes’ lively spirit. He wasn’t at all upset to have his pictures taken, but was relieved when he got to change back into his t-shirt and gym shorts.

 

Haynes told me about the bucket list he was working on for school. Among the items checked off was eating a hamburger for the first time. He excitedly reported that he’ll get $50(!!) for completing the list.

 

Hart has told me in the past how much her portrait means to her. From our time together, I know how deeply she loves her boys. I’m so excited to help her celebrate Haynes and gift her another gift that she will treasure.

 

 

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