Archive for Acrylics

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:

Moody Musings

Posted in Acrylics, art, How to Paint, inspiration, Painting with tags , , , , on September 16, 2017 by sebland

imageIf you are a creative person you are going to experience moody days. Somebody cut you down, hurt your feelings, said something unfair, maybe unknowingly, and there you are, down in the dumps. I don’t know about you, but for me, it definitely affects my creativity. Like a child, I sulk, I withdraw, and suddenly self confidence disappears. To make art requires a certain amount of optimism: maybe this time I’ll make something good, or true, or beautiful. Over and over I tell myself and my students, when you are down, the only way to go is up. If your paintings are muddy, try drawing, or cutting and pasting, or even pouring the paint to see what happens when the colors run together. This little piece began on such a day. I was hurt by a comment a friend made. I wasn’t going to paint at all, but decided to pour some paints on the paper when slowly some figures emerged. Fascinated, I got out my gold acrylics and embellished them. I saw pilgrims walking along, the mother evidently pregnant. I called it “EXODUS” and proudly framed it. The moral to this little story is, just show up. Paint a while and if nothing happens paint some more. If you want to make art, you’ll just keep painting until you do. I promise!

Still Waiting

Posted in Acrylics, art, How to Paint, inspiration, Painting with tags , , , , , , on September 9, 2017 by sebland

BROKEN WING - WAITING STILL LOW RESSometimes if we’re lucky, good things happen. A couple of years ago I fell and broke my arm. In desperation I did a series with my left hand, called “Broken  Wing Series.” I’m pretty sure I posted this back then, and I apologize for bringing it up again. The reason I do is because like you, I need reminding that where we are today is not necessarily where we’ll be tomorrow. We may be discouraged or down in the dumps, but the morrow may yield better results.  Be  kind to that artist within.  Cut yourself some slack. Take a break.  Show up tomorrow with a fresh attitude. You may surprise yourself with some really good work and won’t that be fine!

Little Grains of Sand

Posted in Acrylics, art, Painting with tags , , , , , on September 3, 2017 by sebland

imageI believe at some point all of us have asked the question: “What difference does it make?” Maybe someone disagreed with that great idea you had. Or the opinion you just expressed was shouted down. There’s a lot of that going around. A writer may have just gotten the rejection slip on the novel that took months to write. Your dearest friend didn’t like the color of the sky on the painting you just finished. Like a deflated balloon, poof! You’ve been shot down. I believe that only those who never try will not share that experience. If you want to smell the sweet smell of success, you must surely inhale your share of failures. Just as little grains of sand wash out to sea, so also are they carried back in with the tide. And they make a difference. Maybe they become an island or a sandbar, or a castle for a happy child to build. Those little grains of sand have no idea which crab might build a house among them, but they have a reason for being. So do you. Whether you are growing okra or zucchini to share with your neighbors or teaching Sunday School, buying groceries for a neighbor or making a beautiful piece of art, your time and talents make the world a brighter place. Try to remember that. You are here for a reason. In some way, every day, you do make a difference . Enjoy that thought!

The Voices We Hear

Posted in Acrylics, art, How to Paint, Painting, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 2, 2017 by sebland

image.jpegI am very sad to confess that despite painting for twenty years, I still worship at the feet of the God of Not Good Enough. Over and over I advise my students to trust their instincts, to listen to the positive thoughts encouraging them and to ignore others who throw out discouraging words. That is good advice and I wish I’d committed it to memory. I ran across this painting recently and I thought, “Wow!” “What happened to this one?” Then I remembered. I was in a dark place and someone made a remark that enforced my doubts. I reacted quickly and painted over this. Granted the painting that replaced it was a very nice one, and I’m proud of it. I may have never thought of this one if I hadn’t browsed through old photographs. For some reason when it popped up I regretted my decision to lose it. It might have been a really neat piece. Instead it fell victim to the NGE monster. I let my lack of self confidence make my decision for me. I hope that doesn’t happen to you. Whatever you are painting, singing, writing, thinking, it’s yours! It has value! Give yourself permission to appreciate your own work! It has value because it is yours! Don’t let someone else set your value. You are you and there is nobody else like you. That the plan. Own it.

An Attitude of Gratitude

Posted in Acrylics, art, Painting, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 1, 2017 by sebland

image.jpegHurricane Harvey has moved on and is now dealing misery to those folks over east of us. We on the dry side are wiping our brows, happy to have dodged the bullet. Many of our friends and loved ones are not so fortunate. Recovery will be a long time coming. We read stories of terrible losses, rescues, neighbor helping neighbor, and amazing deeds of courage. The stories coming out of the storm zone tell of unselfish acts of people of all races, colors, sexual orientations  and    faiths laying  aside their differences to help one another. .What is so amazing to me is that so many  of those who have lost so much are able to express their gratitude. They are grateful despite loss of homes, cars, treasures they have worked hard for. Still they find reasons to be grateful. Maybe we need to do the same. Grateful that another day will dawn. Grateful for loved ones still near us. Grateful for the clean fresh air we breathe. Just grateful!


Posted in Acrylics, art, Painting with tags , , , , , , , on August 30, 2017 by sebland

imageThe storm has moved on, the sun is shining, and for most of us life will go back to normal. For all those unfortunate people affected by Hurricane Harvey, it will be a long tough struggle. For days we’ve been glued to the television screen, hoping and praying for loved ones and being amazed at the force of nature. Who would believe more than four feet of rain over a few days time? We’ve wept along with friends whose homes are so badly damaged they may never return. We’ve seen favorite vacation spots blown away and we’ve wondered would it ever end. What has been noted over and over, though, is the kindness, the sharing, the rescues and offers of food and shelter for people of all races and religions.

My son was in danger for a while, and we’ve been relieved to hear they are o.k., but I can’t help thinking of all those who are not all right. I’m seeing a wonderful outpouring of generosity from all over the country, and somehow I know our people will survive. They’ll do whatever it takes to help one another dry out, pick up and start again. Because that’s what we do. God bless us, every one!

Peace Be Still

Posted in Acrylics, art, Painting with tags , , , , on August 29, 2017 by sebland

Water is so refreshing. Standing on the shore smelling the salty air, feeling the spray hit your face, ah! There’s nothing like it! But muddy boiling flood waters in your home? Not so nice! I’ve been heart broken for friends and family in Houston this week, fighting desperately to protect home and pets from the rage that is Hurricane Harvey. I’m helpless to do anything from 200 miles away and the news reports are sickening. I lived in Houston for forty years, and I have many friends and family there. For that reason I want to do something to help. I’m putting “Peace Be Still” up for raffle. Every penny I raise goes to the Salvation Army. On October 1, I’ll draw a name and the lucky winner walks away with one of my favorite paintings. Tickets are $10, and there’s no limit to the number of tickets you can buy. Please join me in helping our neighbors in Houston!

When the Storms of Life are Raging, Stand by Me

Posted in art, Painting with tags , , , on August 28, 2017 by sebland


Hurricane Harvey has been hanging over Texas for three days and the devastation is unbelievable! We here in the Hill Country have had a lot of rain, but folks east of here are in real distress. We’ve been glued to the television and praying continually for those who’ve lost everything in this disaster. Nature can be merciless. To all our loved ones and friends , our prayers and love surround you. Be safe!

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