Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Live so that when you are gone, it will have mattered.

Italian Bistro 

Finezza is not only one of my favorite restaurants in Nashville.
 It is my favorite Italian restaurant. Our family just loves the ambiance, the food is delicious and not to mention they have the BEST tiramisu ever ! 

Finezza soon also became the setting for one of my most memorable pieces of art that I'll probably ever work on. As the owner showed me what needed restoring on the art piece, a tree carved out of wood ,hand painted, and placed to cover the office door. She asked me if I had heard of Janet March ,she was the original artist.The name sounded familiar ,but no. The owner then said she might sound familiar because Janet a local Nashville artist had been murdered by her husband.

Suddenly this art project became more important. I had to stop and ask myself would Janet want me painting on her art. My first thought, yes. If this was my art piece seen by so many people each week and it no longer looked it's best I could only hope that someone would come along and restore it for me. This piece of art was a bit of her, a piece of Janet's legacy. Intrigued I went home that night and looked up Janet March since I'd be working on her art I felt like I need to know more about her. Sadly there is more about her murder than her artwork, but I did learn that like me she was also an illustrator of childrens books.
 (Insert goosebumps here)  

So as I restored the tree over the next 2 days thinking of Janet, hoping to honor her memory and art by restoring the tree to as close to it's original state as possible. Cleaning it first then set to work mixing the colors to match her original choices. I went to work gently painting over the scuffs marks and damage, trying to follow along her original strokes. Giving her tree new life, then varnishing the piece to protect the restoration and the art piece she had once poured herself into. It was a truly humbling experience.  


 nicked and damaged by the previous owner
 when they  attached a menu holder to the front of Janet's Art piece.
When the trim around the tree had been painted the white paint had gotten onto the tree from top to bottom. 

All cleaned up looking much brighter and restored
after some cleaning, touch up paint and tlc. 

"The back"
Even the backside had been scuffed up overtime and needed to some love.
 After completing the tree The owner shared this quote with me which was quite poignant after the project I had just completed. Her Nana's gift of words "Live so that when you are gone, it will have mattered." and asked if I could paint it over her desk it's the first thing you see when you enter the office just past the tree.

"Live so that when you are gone ,it will have mattered."
I never knew Janet ,but I'll never forget her. Nor will I ever forget Nana's words of wisdom and try to work harder at living a life that will have mattered. 
So come see Janet's tree, have some lunch or dinner and be sure to eat a piece of that amazing tiramisu !

If you'd like to check out some of my original art you can find me
here at

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Prayer books, Plans and big news !

My First Book of Prayers 
Here is a little peek at my new books !
I'm so excited about them.
Here is each book and one page from that book.
 The hard part of this post was just picking one page !
They have been so successful they've been hard to come by so
I'm placing an order through my publisher. For my customers, family and friends.

Even more exciting, a little store you may have heard of it ? Sam's club is picking up my next series of prayer books ! Those will be out next Easter !  I've just completed the art work for those and I'll be sharing more about that  later, but for now take a look and let me know if you'd like a set of books  or one of these !
Jesus Loves Me

Let There be Peace on Earth

The Lord is Good To Me 
Let us be content

Trust In The Lord 

"Children obey your parents. For this pleases the Lord."
Colossians 3:20
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men"
Luke 2:14
Al Things Great and Small 

Jesus was humbly laid in a manger of wood.

Each book is an 8x8 padded board book.
7.00 per book or 25.00 for the complete set.

If you'd like to order just email me
with the title of the book you want or the entire set.
I'll be placing the order this week !

On a personal note I am so grateful for this opportunity, most days I still can't wrap my brain around it. The little characters in these books are all inspired by the families and children in my own life. Including the ones I've met and fallen in love with half way around the world in Africa. I can't tell you how humbling it is to sit and illustrate these books. 9 years ago I was an unhappy insurance clerk who barely believed. Today I BELIEVE through and through ,and not just because of the books. God didn't have to do this for me, but for whatever reason he chose me ,and I am grateful. There are lots of other artist even better ones, but he chose me ? I could have never dreamed this up on my own ,let alone achieve it.

All I know is God has a plan for each and every one of us. You too are chosen. Just chose to believe in him.
Over the last 9 years as I've come to know God he has shown me that I can make all the plans I want ,but he'd rather me spend my time getting to know him, so he can use me in his plan. 

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

I'll be placing the order for the books this week and thank you !