Category: Family

A New Creation

Christmas is coming and FAST!!!!  If you’re anything like me at all, you may still have some shopping to do!  I want to take this opportunity to tell you about what is going on at Society6 this week!  Lots of different sales are happening, but the one I want to post about is that you can take $5.00 off anything in my Society6 store and get FREE worldwide shipping all the rest of this week!

Click on this link…

This link is your key to savings on Christmas gifts and you don’t have to leave your house at all!  Unless you just want to!  And by all means do!

Blessings to you all during this crazy Christmas season!



I used to think of myself as a “weenie”, but since my late husband’s battle with cancer and subsequent death, I now feel like a tough old broad.

I came home early from NOLA after Mardi Gras because one of my soul sisters was dying from cancer and I wanted to be by her side and be able to say goodbye and I am soooooo thankful I listened to my heart and hurried home.  I was able to talk with her while she still recognized me and I was privileged to be with her as she passed from this earthly life to her eternal home.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Lisa and the fact that she is now in heaven with my husband.

Just three weeks later, my precious forever friends, Robby and Staci lost their 18-year-old son in a tragic wreck.  I remember being at the hospital when Robert Andrew Russell was born and to get the call that he had died nearly did me in.  I felt so helpless.  There was nothing I could do.  My husband had been their pastor since Robby and Staci were in high school, before they were married and had children.  But Paul was dead and gone.  However, Robby spoke to me about Paul being in heaven for their son.  Those words did make me smile.  Paul went first so he could be there to greet Lisa and Andrew!  Andrew was like a son to us and like a little brother to my boys.  He was a hilarious kid but was sharp as a tack, brilliant, fearless and loved people.  I loved talking to him.  His sweet girlfriend, Colbie, was also killed in the wreck.  Colbie was a beautiful soul.  I had gotten to know her over the year that she and Andrew had been dating and she came to church with him.  What a loss.  To lose a spouse or a parent is a horrible thing.  But to lose a child is altogether different, I’m sure of it.

Not much painting has gone on except for one in particular that I will not post.  It started out as a commission for Andrew’s grandmother, for her office, but when Andrew was killed, the painting morphed into a remembrance piece that has gone home with his parents.  I will paint another one for his sweet grandmother, who is grieving also.

I have a lot of commissions to work on, but have not been working on them.  Instead, I went back to New Orleans.  It is my place of refuge.  I attended Jazzfest while I was there.  I saw some great bands, saw a very special friend and had a great time but mostly just wanted to be with my family and did not get enough of that.  Now that I have returned home, I must settle down and get a nursing job to pay my bills and get serious about my art again.  I have visions of what I want to paint swimming around in my head!  My sons got me a GIANT easel for Mother’s Day so I am ready to put it to good use soon!

I miss my husband and my friends every single day.  I mourn with the families of my friends.  I worry about my boys, who are grown men, but who are struggling every day with all of this loss in such a short time.  But I must say this… Not once, not even one time, has God failed any of us.  All three of our families have placed our trust in Jesus Christ to see us through this time.  And He has been with each of us every single step of the way.  Just when one of us feels like we are going to totally lose it, God swoops in and scoops us up in His arms and carries us through the hard times.  We are all there for each other.  Our friends have literally saved our lives over and over again.  I have never given or received so many hugs in my whole life.  We are bonded by our grief, but we are also bonded by our trust in God that life will go on and He will be with us and we can praise Him in the midst of the storm.

I hope to be able to post more pictures of artwork soon.  That is my goal.  Until then, prayers for my friends and family would be appreciated.

In His service and love,


…to miss New Orleans?  I do!  I have just returned from a much needed trip to visit close family in New Orleans, LA.  I painted again for the first time since my husband passed away in December of 2013.  I had not been able to pick up a brush or even go into my art room.  I began to wonder if painting was just something that God had let me have during his illness to get me through and if it would ever come back.  But while I was in the Crescent City, I felt the strong urge to run get a huge canvas!  Fortunately, I had my wonderful Golden acrylics with me just on the off chance that I might feel inspired.  And inspired I was!!!!

I was there during the season of Mardi Gras and after and there was so much eye candy (and none of it obscene!) that I just had to paint!!!!  I had taken an art class from Flora Bowley online last fall while my husband was on hospice but I had not ever tried her technique out on canvas.  So I just plunged in and ended up with a painting that I am rather pleased with!

36 x 36 acrylic

Mardi Gras 2014

But honestly, the painting is not the best of my trip.  Seeing my family… being with my cousins, aunt and uncle and my little smaller cousins, who call me Aunt Susan out of respect, was the best thing in the world!  I had not been down to see them since Hurricane Katrina due to nursing school, getting my nursing career off the ground and then my husband’s illness.  I needed to see them!

I needed that time snuggling on the couch with Patricia!

Me and Patricia

Me and my snuggle bunny, Patricia!

I needed the time being “schooled” in current music by Katie Beth!

Me and Katie Beth

My music educator, Katie Beth!

I needed to see the “blackrobats” with Amelie and Charles the 4th!

Me, Amelie and Charles IV

Me, Charles IV and Amelie at Jackson Square!

I needed to see my uncle, who I had not seen since my cousin Charles’ wedding!  Charles is “my person” who I look to for guidance and I have always felt a special bond with him since he was born.


Me and my person, Charles

I needed “sister” time with my cousins Jennifer and Amy!



Jennifer and me!

My beautiful cousin Amy!

My beautiful cousin, Amy!

I needed to spend some good quality time with my Aunt “Dorty”.

And I didn’t know it, but I needed to go to a Mardi Gras ball!  But that is all secret society information and I cannot tell you anything about it!


Krewe of Comus parade!

My aunt’s apartment sits right on St. Charles at the corner of Washington and I spent many hours watching parades go by from her awesome sun porch.


Beads literally came in the window!  The parades were especially gorgeous at night!  On Fat Tuesday, we were downtown at a secret club experiencing the coldest Mardi Gras on record but it didn’t damper the fun!  Cold and rainy weather didn’t bother me one bit!  And it was great to have on my Old Gringo boots instead of my heels that I wore to the ball!

I can’t begin to express how good it feels to be “back” as far as painting goes.  But it feels even better to begin to feel ALIVE again!  I am going right back to New Orleans at the end of April for Jazzfest and I cannot wait!  Carlos Santana, Robert Plant and Eric Clapton are the headliners the weekend I will be there, along with a plethora of other music genres and bands, not to mention the cuisine!


Yeah, I’ll be hanging out with a bunch of hippies and the like, but I’ll fit right in.  I love music as an art form as much as I love painting, so I’ll be right in my element.

As always, if you are interested in a painting, feel free to email me at and we can talk.  I’m working on several commissions right now and I’m finally happy again, while I’m painting.

I know I have a long way to go in the grieving process, but art is therapy.  The best therapy for me.  It heals me as I do it and I feel like I’m honoring my precious husband by doing what he loved seeing me do (because it made me happy..).  Thats the kind of person he was.

Blessings to you all this spring!

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