The Artful Life
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Life Notes From + For Those Who Live + Desire To Experience An Artful Life

Updated: Nov 28

All the time, I'm pinning photos. When a photo gives me an emotion, I save it. I know there is something there in that gut reaction that I experienced in that moment when I saw those eyes that was meant to be interpreted in some way.

This is how I felt when I was scrolling through black + white portraits and saw the photo of a man...his eyes so full of experience, wrinkles so full of wisdom, and a knowing endurance and persistence that was to be respected.

My heart took an extra beat and I immediately saved his image not knowing how he would play into a future piece of art.

I wanted to create an image for Christmas/Winter and didn't want to go with the Santa aesthetic I had created in the past.

I felt like a combination of, Old man Winter, Father Time, and A Christmas Carol so I began to lay down paint.

The idea and combination of magical meanings began to converge....A clock ticking away, layers of transparent glazes, glints of light, marks, and more to discover built in to the brushstrokes. It all began to take shape.

Icy moments in a wind blowing through the painting created a magical, even mystical, atmosphere that sets up the warmth in the eyes of this man.

There is meaningful movement in this piece.

This piece speaks to the ending of a year, a moment in time...celebrating it, but letting it well as the infinite possibilities a new year, a new season, a new moment can bring.

"Olde Winter" nods to knowing and experiencing things deeply, and is an image I was blessed to create.

*A Print Pre-Order sale is going on beginning

Monday, November, 28th thru December 4th

Please go here for details and to secure your print at this special pre-order price.

The Original Painting of "Olde Winter" is also available....Here

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Winter is coming. Just step outside, take in a deep may decide that Winter is actually here.

My family always had hummingbird feeders up in the Summer. We dislike the idea of taking them down in late September, but know that we must because the hummingbirds must go wherever they go before the freeze.

I was taking my feeders down a few weeks ago and had this thought...

The warmth is leaving. The comfort of the sun will soon be masked by gray days only giving us peeks at it's brilliance to keep us going.

I see Summer collecting in bubbles of light and moving on?

For our own good, we (much like the Hummingbirds) must change with the seasons.

They move on as we move inside.

We aren't designed for this atmosphere, at least, I'm not

In this painting, "The Holdout", a loving, but forceful, soul is saying..."it's time to go...for your own good, it's time to go"


sometimes, we are stubborn and settled in because it's familiar and there is sustenance here.

Have you ever stayed too long?

In a job, a relationship, a friendship?

Have you been stuck too long in a mindset, unhealthy habits, a lifestyle?

I am blessed to have carefully curated people in my life whose wisdom comes from above and their grounding is strong and true. They communicate in love, they have my best interests at heart, and care more about where I'm going than where I am. This has been a catalyst for growth as I've moved from one season to another.

I am blessed to have a Husband who is that person, and a small group of women who are those people. One of those women, I've know since the age of 14.

When I'm tempted to stay too long in the familiar, when I get my heels dug in, when I get comfortable and a bit stubborn, when I am "The Holdout", they help me move.

I thank God for my people.



*"The Holdout" is an original mixed media oil painting by Tina Lawver and is available for purchase.

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So, here we are the finale of this little 4 part series that began with the "6 words that changed my art forever"

"Paint the opposite of your pain"

That directive not only changed my art, but changed my heart.

I was coming off of a very difficult situation that sprung from a misunderstanding that was taken a bit too far. Without going into it, I removed myself from it in an effort to allow it to die, but it was kept alive by others. The pain from it was so deep and, as I spoke in the previous entries, pain leaves a residue of lies that I was unintentionally entertaining. If you've ever experienced this, and I believe many of you have, it can be excruciating to deal with when there is literally no resolution in sight. It was affecting everything from sleep to creating, even dealing with family and friends. Even sharing it here, I'm sensing ickiness in my spirit.

That's when my journey really began in putting out into the world the opposite of the pain I felt.

In feeling demonized, I began painting images that edify.

In experiencing rejection, I began creating images that reflected bonds and togetherness

In really getting to the roots of why this one incident brought me down so low, I began creating paintings depicting beauty, nobility, worthiness, magical moments, life giving moments,...saving any photograph that lifted my spirits and creating vision boards with them.

I collected colors, sheens, and materials that even on their own had a message that I could use in a piece.

What I didn't realize that what I was doing at the time was I was surrounding myself with messages that ministered right back to me and the unexpected thing that happened was that in speaking healing over myself, others were being spoken over as well as I shared my artful response to an impossible situation.

There is a special piece that was created during this season where everything that I've spoken about in this series has a part to play in how it was finished.

This piece is pictured here and is entitled "Nobility"

This was created as a "hero" image.

Not what I think of when I see a raven.

I had the experience of being up close and personal with several ravens standing near the South rim of the Grand Canyon one time.

I was annoyed by their scavenging, how they would eat anything and follow us around without concern for their proximity to us. They were kind of dirty and lowly to me, but as someone who really finds beauty in birds and an artist who birds are a favorite subject, my first impressions of a raven was not awesome.

But first impressions aren't actually what's true. Are they?

Conclusions can be made with very little information and those conclusions can lead to destruction.

(going back to conclusions made about me)

In using what had been spoken over my art and changing my focus, I put it into practice in painting. I began researching interesting facts about ravens.

Here are a few...

  • Ravens are highly intelligent

  • they are skillful hunters

  • they can mimic human voices

  • they can thrive almost anywhere

  • they have the ability to remember faces

I've also been inspired by the story in 1 Kings 17:2-16 where ravens were used by God to feed Elijah. That lead to the painting "Receiving the Assignment" celebrating the moment a lowly, often demonized being was used for a higher purpose.

The moment a seemingly lowly creature received an assignment by God himself. I painted head lifted high, shoulders back, worthiness, a glow, an anointing. It's an image that depicts a calling and a determination to finish his assignment well.

"Receiving the Assignment" (right) was painted 2 years prior to "Nobility" (below)

The difference in process and skill are remarkable, but the message is much the same.

Because of what has been gained in the process of painting the opposite of my pain, I'm a better visual communicator.

I really find it interesting that I am grateful for those painful moments.

Because of what that phrase, "Paint the opposite of your pain", impressed upon me as an artist, I will forever push through my own pain, gleaning from it what is valuable and discarding what is untrue. I will strive to respond and not react.

I pray we battle the lies that cause the hesitation that keeps us from making that first mark. (Part 2)

Somebody out there needs you to do it. I pray we engage in the process keeping the win and the why in mind, knowing that this piece will speak life to someone we may not have even met or may never meet and that it will be a lasting reminder to them that keeps them in process. (Part 3)


Let's seek to finish each piece well in the most excellent way allowing our past experiences, be they painful or wonderful, to inform the collection of marks and brushstrokes as we go along the way.



If you are reading this and this spoke to you, please feel free to reach out to me here .

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