I didn’t plan it this way, that I would give art for Christmas. It just so happened.

The first painting I did in Gina Brown’s workshop. The fact is, it’s at least half Gina’s. When finished someone remarked, Surely you are going to give that to his mother for Christmas! Of course I did.

It’s our grandson, Benjamin, almost 2 then, stomping around in the rain on the Fourth of July. His mother loved it. I loved that she loved it.

I’ve had the photo of the next painting in my files for a long time. It’s Junior, Nate’s dog since college… the baddest, worst, most headstrong, most lovable chocolate lab I ever had the angst and privilege of knowing. So many stories. He lived a long good life (with a very good master) and when he died this year I pulled out the photo and knew I’d paint in remembrance of a good ole brown dog.

Picasso said, the purpose of art is washing the daily dust off our souls. I believe it does just that. Looking at something interesting, tender, pretty, heartfelt, does that. Just looking at it takes us to a different place. Isn’t that why Instagram is so popular? It’s looking at pretty. It’s the reminder or the longing, the happy, the feeling when our hearts smile. That’s what I found out about giving art for Christmas; it made my heart smile.

the original photos