Sunday, January 4, 2015

"So Soon, Lord?"

Grieving Angel
"So Soon, Lord?"
30" x 40"
In Contemporary black frame
After I found a stunning photo of this cemetery statue, I came upon several more in other places, some more artistically carved than others, and even one that had no wings at all!  She called to me to be painted and enjoyed by more people.  My sketched under-painting was done with a light purple paint, and I haven't done an angel in purples since my gray/purple/blue Key West angel titled, "I Will Remember You".  Somehow the purple seemed to suit her grief, so that's how she developed under my brushes.
I have no idea which statue was the original and which ones copies.  But I took artistic license with my version, and hope that she emanates the true grief any of us feels when a beloved's life is cut short, or who dies with purposes not completed.
Even though we can rejoice that the Lord promises us that He has numbered all the days of our lives, and has known and loved us since before we were created in our mothers' wombs, and He knows when even a tiny sparrow falls to the ground, the deep grief we must go through when someone leaves us is no less real for that knowledge.  We can take comfort in the anticipation of eternal reunion with those we love, but when someone we love dies, our remaining days on earth can seem like an eternity, too...
In all of your griefs, may the God of All Comfort hold you close to His loving heart in His safe, protective arms.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Joy's Angel

A dear friend found a photo on Facebook of an angel that she really connected with and I got permission from the photographer to use it as inspiration for a painting.... a surprise gift for my friend!

                                                            Joy's Angel

As Joy and I spoke about how she felt she related to this angel statue, I began to pray about how to manifest her feelings in the painting.  First thing, the metal bird had to go!  She needed a dove to symbolize Holy Spirit right there with her through everything, on her shoulder, speaking to her and holding her steady through all of life's storms.  She also needed to be coming forth from those dark stormy places into light and freedom.  I changed the statue to let her hair fly free on the lit side, and to be tightly controlled on the shadowed side.  I also softened the face and made her more serene.  Often, God names my paintings and my angel pieces.  All I had for this one was the 'working title' of "Joy's Angel".  It was after Joy received her and hung her in her bedroom that the name came forth:  Hadasseh.  Holy Spirit gave me a lot of words of knowledge for Joy as I painted, and prophetic words, too!  The name He gave her for her special painting also holds a very intimate word of encouragement to my dear friend.  This is the kind of ministry that deeply excites me and makes me feel fulfilled as an artist and handmaiden of our Lord Jesus.

Keeper of Cherished Memories

It has been a very long time since I posted here.  My lack of geekhood has kept me out of my blogs until now.  I finally got far enough in to reset my password so that I CAN update you on what is happening in my art life.  Thank God!

                                           Keeper of Cherished Memories

This is a painting I was inspired to create from a headshot of an angel statue that had become completely engulfed in vines.  Her 'wings' are formed from imagined headstones behind her, and she appears as if she could very well be alive instead of a statue.  Most people wouldn't sit with a branch upon their heads, I suppose.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy her.

Saturday, August 4, 2012





As I continue to paint angels from photo references and from my imagination, skin tones that intrigue me are those that are more than human, or different than human.... You may have noticed my statue pieces are rarely "gray", but golds or blues or purples, etc.  So, please don't think that I see African skin tones as oranges and sepias, ok?  This huge, looming masculine warrior is intentionally in other-than-human colors.  He came solely out of my imagination and inspiration from Holy Spirit. 

A dear friend said that he reminded him of Mister T from the old show, "The A-Team" and how he would glower ferociously and say, "I pity the fool!" 

This angel is definitely supposed to represent a guardian angel, and his protection of the weak would be absolute.  He is a front-line kind of angel, ready for anything the enemies could bring on, so his name is Vanguard, which means the first battalian of warriors engaging the enemy armies.  He doesn't just hang out waiting for a fight, he charges out to get the enemy!

If you are in need of some protection today, or perhaps need encouragement that God does really send help, I hope that this angel painting will bring you comfort and hope.  Scripture tells us that "the angels of the Lord encamp round about those that fear His Name."  So, if you feel surrounded by enemies that you can see, be assured that you are also surrounded by those invisible ones who will fight on your behalf!  Call on the Name of the Lord!  He is with you and His angels are, too. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012



Acrylic on canvas

24" x 18"

Two posts in one day after so many months!  I'm sorry, but it would be a shame to overlook this angel painting done from a black and white photo close-up of a gorgeous statue.  This blog site is only for the angels and not for all the other kinds of paintings I do. 

She seems to me sort of a cross between a living being and a bas-relief.  Perhaps she will share some of her serenity with you.  :-)



Acrylic and gold foil on canvas


Although I have hundreds of photographs of angel statuary, and often go through them to see if there is one among them that calls my name requesting to be painted, there are very, very few male angels among them.  And there are even fewer male warrior angels among them.  I want to paint male angel warrior angels, so I find this frustrating.  Holy Spirit asked me to just go ahead and paint some!  Ummm, with no references at all?  Yes, just paint.  I LOVE to "just paint"!  So, here is one angel portrait I've completed, whose name is Undefeatable.  The styling was influenced by the graphic novel characters we were recently painting for an event at the gallery, in case you wonder about his colors. But then, who really knows what colors angels may be, right?

It's a reassuring concept that one's guardian angel could not be defeated in battle.  I hope you like him.  If you do, I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

First Watch Over the Mississippi

First Watch Over the Mississippi

SOLD - Commissioned

36" x 24"
Acrylic on canvas

One of my earlier angel paintings found a home with a dear friend of ours in North Carolina where we used to live, and her daughter-in-law asked me if I would paint an angel for her to go over their fireplace.  She picked a palette that she loved from some of my other paintings, and asked for an angel in the sky however I saw fit to create her.

My first attempt was posted while in process on my Facebook page for Sarah Paints, and as it was forming, it became clear to me that this young wife and mother didn't need even the naked back of an angel in her living room!  So, that one is still in process at my studio for someone else, and I began again.

The "First Watch" includes the evening hours past dusk into the darkness of night, and this lovely angel is sweeping over the fire-orange sunset-lit autumn trees along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, guarding and blessing God's creation and creatures.

I hope she will bring blessings into my friends' home and a smile to your face!  If you would like to commission me to create a painting for you, please contact me.

First Watch Over the Mississippi will soon be available as prints and note cards.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Our Little Angel

Maddie with Wings
(Our Little Angel)

I love endearments.  I think they make the person you love feel even more special.  Recently I remembered that my Dad called me "Little Bit" when I was small.  It made me feel precious.  And "Precious" is what our Gran called all of her grandchildren, me included.

Maddie is a little over a year old now, and most often, both of her parents call her "Maddie Bug".  Cute, huh?  Anyway, I've not thought of her as "our little angel", even though I knew that after they visited when she was 10 months old I just HAD to paint her as a cherub.  I used for a reference photo a picture of her seated on a 12' trampoline, looking at a leaf.

The painting is 24"x24" and is done in oils.  I had to really scramble to get it done and dried before shipping it off to California in time for Christmas!  It was a success, as both our daughter and our son-in-law cried over it!!!  They had no idea I was painting Maddie, and their response to it made me extra happy.  Plus, I got to smile for over a month as I painted her.  It made me feel almost as if she were still here with us on the east coast.  California is a very long way away from Virginia....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Makeda Mekelle

Makeda Mekelle
(Beautiful, Who Is Like God)

18" x 24"
Oil on Linen with gold foil


Also available as prints and note cards.

One of my 'friends' on Facebook is a wonderful artist and photographer named Gisela Hammer.  She graciously allowed me to paint a small child that she had photographed.  In her picture, this little girl is in ragged clothes.  The filthy shirt was so torn that there were no shoulders.  She was holding a staff, and stood smiling in front of a rock wall.

There have been other times I gazed upon a person, usually a child, and felt that God gave me His heart and His eyes to see that one, fully loved, fully healed, fully blessed and protected as only our Heavenly Father could do.  That's how it was when I saw this precious little girl.  I saw past the earthly to her true self, her highly esteemed position in Abba's kingdom, and created from her present image an eternal angel.  I "redeemed" her torn T-shirt, stitched in an African gold necklace, and replaced her staff with a golden angelic trumpet.  I hope when you look on this painting, your heart swells.  I hope that you will look on the lowly and the ragged with God's heart and God's eyes, and be filled with His love for them.  He loves you the same way, you know.

Matthew 18:3
And Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 19:14
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Mark 9:37
“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in My Name welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me does not welcome Me but the One Who sent Me.”

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Heavenly Playmates - Aaron

Heavenly Playmates - Aaron

6" x 6" Acrylic on canvas


I painted three small cherubs during our 10-10-10 Event at Olde Towne Art in October of 2010.  Two of them immediately sold, leaving Toby by himself.  When I recently finished a very large painting, I decided that Toby needed a playmate, and painted this little cherub who is also from a statue in the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA.  

When I find cherubs in cemeteries, I often wonder if the artist was commissioned to sculpt a likeness of the child who is buried there as an angel.  In my imagination I like to think that the Lord sends down a friendly spirit to bring a child who leaves this earth to be with Him in heaven, so cherubs like these have a special place in my heart.  But whether children are escorted by angels who look like other children or whether they are solid, reassuring grown-up looking angels, or whether Jesus Himself appears to take them in His loving arms, who really knows?  For me, there's enough room in the divine mystery for any and all answers, as long as in the end they are with God.

As Jesus arose to heaven (Luke 24:51), so shall those who love Him (2 Cor. 5:1 and Revelation 11:12, which says:  Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here."  And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Breath of Peace

Breath of Peace

36" x 24"
Acrylic on gallery wrapped linen


Also available as prints and note cards.

For an upcoming gallery show entitled, "Black, White and One" I chose this statue's serene face, and aside from black and white I have used only Pthalo Green.  Often during the process I move the painting out of my studio so that I can walk a distance from it and study what still needs to be done, since as you most likely know, I pray and paint as I feel God directs me.  While standing and praying, about half way through her creation, another artist came and looked with me and said in an awe-filled whisper, "She's breathing!"

John 14:27:  Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 20:21-22:  Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you!  As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you."  And with that He breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit."

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Servant Heart

Servant Heart

18" x 24"
Oil on canvas


Also available as prints and note cards.

Boy, did I make a mistake with the description of this one!  This lovely child angel is a baptismal font, however, she is NOT in Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Olde Towne Portsmouth.  Dean Burgess graciously gave me a whole stack of photos of various angel statuary he had kept for years, and I misunderstood him to say that this statue was part of Trinity.  When I took a part time position there, I asked him to remind me where this precious child is.  He showed me that "Elizabeth", a young woman angel, is the baptismal font there, and he has no idea where my precious angel child stands.  Sorry that I misled you!  It was definitely unintentional.

The marble of the shell she holds is almost translucent and the quality of light fascinated me.  So, for the painting, I decided to imbue the implied water with a sacred reflective light of its own.  I hope you find meaning in this image.  She gladdens my heart!

I couldn't choose between so many wonderful scriptures about servants and so I've included quite a few here.  Perhaps one will be especially meaningful to you!

2 Samuel 7:29:  Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, Sovereign LORD, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever.”

1 Kings 8:23:  and said: “LORD, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.

Deuteronomy 3:24:  “Sovereign LORD, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do?

Joshua 22:5:  But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

1 Samuel 3:9:  So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’”

1 Samuel 25:41:  She bowed down with her face to the ground and said, “I am your servant and am ready to serve you and wash the feet of my lord’s servants.”

Psalm 4:3:  Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.

Psalm 34:22:  The LORD will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Psalm 86:4:  Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.

Psalm 103:21:  Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.

Psalm 134:1:  A song of ascents. Praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD who minister by night in the house of the LORD.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Angel of Victory

Angel of Victory

18" x 36" acrylic on canvas


The references for this angel painting came from some of my photographs taken in Richmond, VA, in the Hollywood Cemetery. One of my favorite things about the old statues is the absolute serenity so often masterfully carved into their stances and facial expressions.  When I was younger I did a lot of stone carving, so I'm especially impressed with these artisans of days past.  The actual statue portrays a younger angel, more like a girl really.  This painting is intended to express the successful warrior angel whose task has been completed and the loved one safely removed from all of life's peril and suffering to heaven's realm of peace and joy.

A praise song from my early days of walking with Christ proclaims:

In the Name of Jesus, in the Name of Jesus,
We have the victory.
In the Name of Jesus, in the Name of Jesus,
Demons will have to flee.
In the Name of Jesus, Jesus, we have the victory!

Psalm 34:7
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and he delivers them.

1 Corinthians 15:54-56 (NIV)
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true:  "Death has been swallowed up in victory."

"Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?"

May you have victory in this life and know rescue from every kind of harm and evil by your Savior, Jesus Christ!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Pure Heart

Pure Heart

24" x 20"

Oil on canvas, heavy gold frame


Also available as prints and note cards.

So, what helps when we are grieving?  Do funerals help people get through the loss of a loved one?  Does solitude; or  do wakes filled with stories of the loved one's foibles and antics?  Does time really heal?

I've known people who get memorial tattoos which are basically portraits they carry lifelong on their bodies.  Some monied people start foundations or build libraries titled with the name of the beloved person who died.

Most of us carry on with a limp and a heavy heart, going through our days sometimes well and sometimes ... not.  The weight of the loss does change over time, but does that simply mean our thoughts become distracted by all the obligations that fill our days?  Does time really heal?

Ministers at graveside services often still use the old timeworn words, "in the sure and certain hope of resurrection," and this is meaningful to me.  One of the reasons that I scour cemeteries for angel monuments and paint them is this.  They are a reminder of the hope of the resurrection.  So that in loss, when we are at our weakest and most vulnerable, we can look up to heaven and smile; gaze on a cemetery angel or a painting of one, and smile, knowing that our loved one has passed from our sight, but that we will be reunited one day.

I'm guessing that when a child dies, this is the hardest time to carry the weight of grief. I am thankful that is not a grief I have known, but my heart goes out to those who have.  This cherub is one of several I have painted so far, and I'm not sure whether this is a "he" or a "she".  A century ago both genders wore hairstyles like this.  Choose what seems best to you.  I'm going with "her" here.  I love the gentleness of her expression, and the sweet innocence of her prayerfulness.  Who could deny prayers coming from such a one as this?  Certainly a loving Father God will answer these prayers.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."  Matthew 5:8

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and  blameless in His sight.  In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will - to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves."     Ephesians 1:3-6

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Beautiful Mizrahi

Beautiful Mizrahi

20" x 16"
Acrylic on canvas


Also available as prints and note cards.

As an artist, I am always fascinated by unusual uses of color and brilliant displays.  Sometimes I see runway models and print models with fabulous splashes of color and it inspires me to paint.  Although I could not use the vivid blues and turquoise of the make-up artist's work, which was what first attracted me, I turned a close-up image of her face and hands into a dancing angel with falcon wings and eyelashes.  I let her wings exhibit the fabulous colors.  And when I stood [transfixed, I admit it] before the finished painting, I was clueless as to what to name her.  Friends on the internet helped me with many lovely suggestions.  After reading about the Mizrahi dance, music and cultural/social movement, that had to be it! It fit perfectly; but even that name simply wasn't exuberant enough, so she became Beautiful Mizrahi.  I hope you will search online for Mizrahi music and listen.  It will bless you!

Zephaniah 3:17 (Amplified version)
The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a mighty One, a Savior - Who saves!  He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing.  ... and somewhere it says: and dance over you with joy!  I figure if our Lord dances over His people with joy, the angels will all join in!