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Eating at the Kids’ Table

Posted in Family, inspiration, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 24, 2017 by sebland

imageWhen I was a little girl, our family always gathered for Thanksgiving at Uncle Frank and Aunt Ila’s house. They were my father’s uncle and aunt and had this big old house up on a hill near my Granny’s. I remember one year we had 32 friends and family there for dinner. All the kids ate at card tables set up throughout the house. We loved eating together because no adults were watching us, so if we laughed until we snorted soda pop out through our noses, or played jokes on one another, nobody noticed. Those were wonderful fun filled memories.

Now I am one of the elders, and this year my daughter had lots of family for dinner. Since I can choose where I sit, I happily sat at the Kids’ table with three of my grandchildren and their grandfather. The fourth is a father now, and lives too far away to be with us. These other three “kids” are all grown with lives of their own and it’s a rare treat to be with them. These same babies that I fed and changed and loved through the years made time to come and share their lives with me and their Papaw. What a joy it was to hear their stories, laugh with them and feel the love surrounding us. My thankfulness extends to their parents, who make these holidays special for our family. Sitting around that table, missing those who couldn’t be there, my heart was full. Keeping  the family traditions takes work, planning and dedication. I’m so grateful to be a part of this endless circle of love. I hope you had a happy day also.

And A Little Child Shall Lead Them

Posted in art, inspiration, Painting, Pastels, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 17, 2017 by sebland

imageI will confess that watching the evening news tends to be depressing. Headlines like: “worst case of child abuse in history,” “officials caught in sexual abuse ,” “forest fires destroy hundreds of homes” can burn into my brain. One can get caught up in man’s inhumanity to man. And then out of nowhere I will see a little one  extend a helping hand to an old person, or observe how much delight  can be found in jumping in a mud puddle, and I realize that hope is born anew.  The little guy in Sunday school who can’t sit still but is always ready with a hug  and a kiss, the neighbor’s grandchild who wants to come and visit, these are the things that gives me hope. When I look for a subject to paint, I see strength and wisdom in the old, but joy, hope and love in the young. I hope you like AnaLin. The little pastel painting in available online:

That Perfect Moment

Posted in art, How to Paint, inspiration, mountains, Pastels, Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 16, 2017 by sebland

imageI have an artist friend who comes to visit not nearly often enough. Months, even years go by between our get togethers, but when she comes we immediately fall into a pattern of sharing ideas, supplies, techniques and interests. It’s as though we lived next door to each other. Today we sat down together, delighted with our ideas and chose pastels to play with. She shares my love for the Oregon coastline. Having been there in July, she invited me to paint from her photograph . It was a perfect  moment, just  before dark, when the moon was already up, smiling down on the sunset glow.  Not only did she capture a moment in time, I realized  our painting together was also perfect. Don’t forget to treasure those moments with your friends also.  This little painting is available at

A Fresh Start

Posted in art, How to Paint, inspiration, Painting, Pastels, Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 18, 2017 by sebland

imageOne of life’s richest blessings is the sure knowledge that each morning will give us a chance at a fresh start. There’s something so special about a cup of coffee and a sunrise off your deck. I’m learning to appreciate the wide array of colors and the ease of working with pastels. I think for the next few weeks I’ll try to capture some of the glorious sunrises off my deck, and remember that every new day is a chance to begin again. Hope you feel that promise too! By the way this little 8 x 10 pastel is available here:


A Little at a Time

Posted in Acrylics, art, How to Paint, inspiration, Painting, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 17, 2017 by sebland

One of the most valuable exercises I’ve ever learned was how to grid. If you can draw and draw well, you are fortunate. For the rest of us, this little technique can take you places you never thought you’d go. It helps you to paint in proportion, and it’s almost like working a jigsaw puzzle. I’ve taken a 4 x 6 inch postcard and made a 4 x 6 foot painting using this technique. It’s simply done: find a print or photo you like, divide it into small squares, say one inch squares. My reference photo was 8 x 10, which I divided into one inch squares. My canvas was 16 x 20. I used a ruler to divide my canvas into two inch squares.  I numbered each square across and assigned letters on the left margins on both my reference photo and my canvas. I then started to replicate square by square, i.e., A9 would be dark orange, A7 might be cream colored. Paint the easy squares first and save the more complicated squares until you get comfortable with the process. As you move along, the images seem to magically make sense. When you finish all the squares, voila, you’ve reproduced a work you never thought you could do, one inch at a time.  I hope you’ll try this technique. Obviously this painting is not for sale. It’s not my original work, but it was a great learning tool!

Standing Tall

Posted in Acrylics, art, How to Paint, inspiration, Painting, Southwest, Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 6, 2017 by sebland

imageI’ve often thought when I see a tree standing alone, could a tree be lonely? When all the leaves have fallen off  and there’s nothing left but a dead branch or two,  does it feel the loss? Standing alone in the middle of a field, do memories of sweet green new growth make that tree yearn for days gone by? Or does that tree just bask  in the freedom to stand tall, feel the wind and the sun and rejoice in the knowing that despite it all, with roots reaching deep into the good earth,  the tree still stands. This painting is available on my new gallery site:

Learning to Paint a Wave

Posted in Acrylics, art, How to Paint, inspiration, Painting, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 5, 2017 by sebland


There’s an old saying that goes: “You can’t teach without learning.” I think that is true.

A while back I was teaching at a local crafts store and one of the students asked me how to paint a wave. Knowing that I had a lot to learn, I visited a number of instructional sites and found there really was a formula for how to paint that wave breaking. I won’t fill up your time with a step by step, but I will advise you to do a search and find some good how-to’s on line. This one came out pretty well, and my students enjoyed the exercise. So did it! So, if you want to learn something try teaching. There’s always more to art than you ever imaged! Just show up and you’ll find something new, all the time! Thank you, Lord, for the internet! By the way this painting is acrylic on watercolor paper and is available at my new gallery:



The Journey

Posted in Acrylics, art, How to Paint, inspiration, Painting, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 3, 2017 by sebland


It seems to me in all the chaos of this world, the differences of opinions, the way we deal with one another, that we have lost something very precious: our civility with one another. Though we come from many different directions and our skins are many colors, our faiths, or lack thereof may be oceans apart, still one fact remains. We are all on the same journey. No matter from whence we come, or where we end up, we will travel together. Wouldn’t it be nice if on your journey and my journey., we might walk together, pause a while, and become friends? That’s my wish for you today, my fellow sojourner. At the end of the day, we will face the end of the journey. Let it be in peace. “Sojourners” is available on my new web site:

When Chocolate Is Not Enough

Posted in Acrylics, art, How to Paint, inspiration, Painting, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 22, 2017 by sebland

imageDo you like chocolate? So do I, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate with nuts, chocolate with coconut, coffee mocha, chocolate ice cream, you name it, chocolate is my favorite vegetable! However, if I could never have another lemon crisp cookie, or strawberry shortcake, or a pineapple upside down cake, I would not be happy.  When I took an art marketing course I was told: “Your work is  all over the place. Find one medium and one subject and stick with it! Paint a cohesive body of work and stick with it.” Well, I’m sorry, but that does not work for me! I want to do seascapes, landscapes, still life, portraits and when I grow up, people! I want to play with oils, watercolors, pastels, acrylics, chalk and pen and ink. Being creative means to try all of it. For me it means trying to learn something new all the time. I enjoy getting comfortable with one subject and one medium. Then I want to move on.  If you like honing your skills with oils, go for it. If you find more excitement in exploration, go for that! In our classroom we  may study color theory for a while, then move on to drawing, or composition, or watercolor. The wondrous thing about what we do is, we learn! We explore, we make messes, and we learn. I hope you do that too!

Growing Old – Gracefully?

Posted in art, Painting, Pastels, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 4, 2017 by sebland

imageI’ve been told there are people who drift gracefully into old age. I won’t be one of those. It aggravates me deeply when I rise planning to do a dozen things and after half an hour my body says “How’s that working out for you?” The back aches, the knees grow weak, and I spend half the day resting up for the other half. I’m learning to paint portraits, something that has always intimidated me. I find as I look for images, I don’t seek out the youthful, pretty face. Although I admire healthy glowing skin and love the innocent face of my great grand baby, I want to paint the stories I see in every wrinkle, every lined face I paint. Why is that? I live in a neighborhood of mainly senior citizens. Most of us are retired and we adore the children who’ve moved into our church community, but it’s the friends who have been there, done that, that I hang out with. For one thing, we share experiences. Most of us have lost family, some have lost mates. A few unfortunates have buried a second spouse. Nevertheless, they go on. We laugh together, cry together, lift one another up when we fall, and we do fall. We have learned what is worth fighting for and what is not, we aren’t ashamed to call on one another when necessary, and we have learned to appreciate every sunrise, every loved one, and even every breath. Life is so precious. Go out and tell someone how much they mean to you. You’ll be glad you did.

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