Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Happy Holly

Happy Holly___11x14 oil on linen__a commission for Act I Gallery
A few days ago I posted a happy dog sketch. It was the last drawing I did for my I sketched upside down so she could watch it happen while laying in bed....Mom passed away on Sept 12....
Well that happy dog sketch was from a photo of this dog, Holly.
Holly's family sent me some pics to paint from...I usually play around with several views, combining them for an original view. I showed them "mom's sketch" and asked if I could keep it (for sentimental reasons), and then painted this as their final commission. I thought of my mom, all the while I worked on Holly...remembering how much my mom loved me to paint animals, and loved to watch me work...I will miss that!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bird- Dove Sketch in Blue

Little Blue Dove
#13 in the Birdseed Project
My mom's funeral was yesterday.
Special  "thank yous" go out to the amazing friends who came....and to my beautiful great niece and nephew who spoke, and their mom, my niece, Tracie, who put together a slide show tribute that made us all laugh, and then stopped the Priest while he spoke. Tracie stopped Father Pedro (pronounced with the proper Spanish "short e"), and corrected him when he kept pronouncing the family name that way! Our name sounds like PEEEE-dro, but is spelled like Father "Pedro"'s name!....I have never been to a funeral where someone said "NOPE, NO, UH, uh, STOP!" while the priest talked! She said, "sorry, Father Pedro, but our name is pronounced PEEE-dro!"
I then added that , just for today, he would be known as Father "PEEE-dro".
My mom would have loved the loud, irreverent laughter at her funeral!!
At the graveside, my sister, Mary had arranged for a symbolic release of doves.
BIRDS! Beautiful and white, symbolizing my mother's release from the bonds of this physical life, and accompanied by three other doves, suggesting God, The Father, Son, and Spirit. They flew off and away to their home! (We learned it was to Cedar Park, Texas, not really heaven, but close!)
ALL OF LIFE is sweet and symbolic...
I am thankful.
2nd from right, I am joined by 4 of my 6 siblings... 
My sister, Mary is at my right
The 4 white doves circled us for a few minutes and headed for heaven...aka Cedar Park :)
THANK YOU, Ashton Vaughan, for the photos!
Please read yesterday's post for a story about my mom,
The Birdseed Project will continue... and now I have the final chapter for the book that will come out in Spring...
TAX DEDUCTIBLE donations (instead of flowers!) can be made here, but please designate Birdseed Project on the envelope
Make check payable to Threefold Cord Ministries and mail it to
them at P.O. Box 540591, Omaha, NE 68154.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy Dog For Mom

Happy Dog ...My last drawing for mom
I drew this at mom's bedside. Holding the photo and pad upside down so she could see it right side up...She LOVED when I drew upside down for her! She would just marvel! And for a short moment I could "pretend" to have some sort of edge over her!...We laughed and smiled at each other a LOT. She always wanted me to "draw more animals!", so how fitting that the last art I ever drew for her is a HAPPY, laughing dog!
On Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, The Lord came for mom!
He also said YES to three BIG prayers I had been pestering Him with for about 6 years:
1. That she would be READY to go, and not in pain.
2. That she would be in her own comfortable room, and NOT in a hospital.
3. That I would be WITH HER when she left us.
I shouldn't be amazed that God can do such wonders, but I am humbled that He made this so personal to me....T H A N K  Y O U   SWEET L O R D
Below is a short excerpt from the tribute (Obituary) I wrote for the funeral announcement.
The Birdseed Project will continue... and now I have the final chapter for the book that will come out in Spring...
TAX DEDUCTIBLE donations (instead of flowers!) can be made here, but please designate Birdseed Project on the envelope
 Make check payable to Threefold Cord Ministries and mail it to
Threefold Cord Ministries, P.O. Box 540591, Omaha, NE 68154.
My Mom (Doreen Westaway Pedro) had enduring ears to hear sorrows, but knew when to tell you to “snap out of it”. And if her discipline was hard, she quickly restored and mended the wounds…usually with a comment to make you laugh through the tears.
Mom insisted on FUN. Laughter, or else!…she had more fun than any of us ... Wherever she went, people NOTICED her, because a spark of laughter would rush in with her, and she would look you in the eye, so you knew you were included in the fun. People felt special around “mom”, so they liked her a lot. 
Mom circa 1942...                      ... and 2007 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Beautiful Place

A Beautiful Place___6x12 oil on canvas panel___Commission
This is a companion piece to yesterday's post. This is the farm where yesterday's couple celebrated their wedding!
Of course I jumped on the opportunity to paint another farm....I will always be on the lookout for another farm, and hope to have one of my own some day!
Spent the weekend on the Texas Coast with artist Robin Cheers.
The south Texas skies have been amazing...if you like heat and solid humidity, this is the place to be right now! we dodged rain but got a lot of painting done. Tomorrow I will start to post some studies...till then, go look at Robin's!

Monday, September 09, 2013

First Stroll

First Stroll__10 x 8 oil on linen___A commission for Up Against the Wall Gallery, Tennessee

I usually paint whatever I feel like painting, but occasionally I get asked to do something "on purpose". This couple was married at the family farm place in the beautiful hills of Tennessee. The reception was there, too, and they sent a lovely photo of their first stroll across the footpath. I just shipped it to them today, with a second painting of the farm for their parents...I will post that one tomorrow.

Sunday, September 01, 2013


Coach__12x16 oil on paper
This began as a sketch, as I experimented with a new, special "oil paper"...I kept trying things with this new  (to me) surface, and after toying with putting it on, taking it off,  and making "oil changes", it ended up as a "painting"! do I mount this so that I don't have to frame it in glass? Your thoughts?