Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Painting a Day - Day 17

I am LATE!  I did not even make the midnight cut off for the official end of the 17th of September! So I am frustrated, but I did make a piece of art.  It is done, it is just tardy.

I have created a goldfinch for day 17.  When I was around the age of 12 or 13 (a painfully awkward season in my life, when I was embarrassed about everything) my family took a trip westward.  Now when my dad took a trip back then, he would pick a general direction, figure up how much money he had to spend, drive in the decided direction and when he was half way through the money, he would turn around and come home.  Now there may have been more planning involved than that but that was the way he described his trip planning to his preteen daughter.

On our journey we traveled through Iowa.  I don't recall much of Iowa.  Lots of corn fields.  But we did stop in a little town that had a gift store that was full of corn souvenirs and Iowa themed knickknacks.  I picked out a necklace with a pewter pendant which had an enamel goldfinch on it.  I had decided sometime before that goldfinches were my favorite birds.  Probably because of an art kit I had received for Christmas which had been a paint-able goldfinch model.  Anyway, I knew that the goldfinch was the state bird of Iowa but for some reason when I was discussing the necklace with my parents I called it the state bird of Ohio. Now Ohio and Indiana have their state birds in common.  They both chose the cardinal.  Not that this matters.  My twelve year old brain managed to get the words Iowa and Ohio mixed up.  Never the less, my dad got such a kick out of my mistake that he teased me about it all the way to Nebraska and back to Indiana.  And even to this day, if you ask him about goldfinches, he will tell you they are the state bird of Ohio and get this silly grin on his face.

Well, this little goldfinch is not the state bird of Ohio.  But it is for sale for $17.  If you would like to buy it, please email me at The first person I hear from can purchase it.  Thanks so much for following me as I create this series.  Your comments are also welcome.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Painting a Day - Day 16

When I see pictures of elephants, I feel sad.  This goes along with what I talked about yesterday and thinking about what the purpose of my art is, which I want it to be about creating beauty.  Elephants are beautiful in a wild, awe inspiring way.  They are strange in their form, not familiar like animals that look like deer or horses or cats or dog.  Those kinds of animals are relate-able  So if I see a gazelle, it reminds me of a deer which are familiar to me.  But when I see an elephant it is almost other worldly, exotic and strange.  And so beautiful when they are in action, moving swifter than their bulky forms would hint they were capable of.

So why am I sad? Elephants are disappearing.  I read an article in Smithsonian Magazine a couple months ago and it made me realize there really could be a day when Africa is empty of this majestic and iconic animal.  And it is all because of the evil and greed of man. That is why I am sad. Because the elephant should be an image of God's creativity and majesty.  Instead it is a symbol of the depravity of which people are capable.

I painted a picture of this elephant family, that even though it makes me sad, represents love, which I believe elephants feel. God did make them and He gave them a capacity for affection, joy and grief which is so close to human beings it stirs our hearts and minds.  This elephant picture represents the love of a parent and child and it represents God's love which is all around us.

This painting is available for $16.  It is 5 x 7 on watercolor paper.  If you are interested in it please email me at

Thanks again for following my art.  Today I was cutting it close as it is 10 til Midnight as I write these words. But I made it.  And if you know anyone who might enjoy this picture, please share it with them!

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Painting a Day - Day 15

I've been thinking a lot about this project. In fact, I think about it all day long.  What is the purpose of it? Does it have a message?  What am I trying to say?  I know there are artists that use their art to protest an injustice or to challenge social mores or to comment on an injustice or a pervasive mentality. I wonder if my art should carry that kind of weight. But I can't help myself. I like to make pretty pictures.  I had a professor say tell me I was really good at making pretty pictures very quickly. Then he said I need to work some more on my paintings.  That really perplexed me.  Wasn't it enough to make something beautiful? Apparently he wanted me to wrestle with the painting.  I felt like I had already won.

As I was thinking on all of this I recalled a Bible verse "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."  Philippians 4:8.I want to think about the beautiful things in life. There are injustices and dark and terrible deeds perpetrated by human beings on each other and other living things.  And it makes my heart freeze.  But to only know about these things is not enough. I have to be strong enough to face them and push against them. The only way I can is if I have hope.  Beauty can create hope in our hearts. It gives us a reason to fight. It is beauty that causes us to see the injustice and darkness for what it is - a twisting of what we were meant to be.  Beauty reminds us of all the good that can be and should be.

So I will paint pretty pictures of kittens and children and horses and birds because they are beautiful and they remind me to have hope.

This painting, #15, is for sale for $15.  It is 5 x 7 and ready for framing.  If you would like to buy it, please email me at  Thank you so much for coming to see my art.  And please share it with someone who needs to see something pretty.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Painting a Day - Day 14

I have really struggled today.  So many negative thoughts racing around in my head today.  Will I be able to keep this up, doing a painting everyday?  Will I be able to do it and not neglect my other obligations?  Will I ever get over worrying about what other people think?  This is when the announcer stops and says "Tune in next week and find out!"

I realize fears are mostly just shadows that give us the willies but don't have any way to actually harm us.  I think I am just feeling overwhelmed with all of my day to day stuff and I will feel better in a few days.  I just have to make up my mind to keep going and not give into the fears in my head.

There I've decided.  There will be another painting posted tomorrow.  Unless I die and then I won't be worried about anything!

Speaking of fears. This mountain lion would strike fear into the heart of any one who might meet her.  I have lived in Indiana all my life and there haven't been mountains lions around here in years...depending on who you ask.  I hear the rumors and the stories of hearing eerie screams coming from the hollars in the dark of the night. The kind of sound that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end.  There may be a mountain lion out there deep in the woods.  I hope they stay out there because it makes me cringe to think they might come near.

This beautiful cougar is for sale for $14.  She is painted in watercolor on watercolor paper and is 5 x 7 in size. You can email me at if you would like to purchase her.  She would also make a great gift.  Or maybe you know someone who loves mountain lions, please share this with them.

Thanks for stopping to look at my art today.  Hope you can come again tomorrow to see what I paint next!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Painting a Day - Day 13

I had so much fun doing the textures in yesterday's tiger painting I wanted to try it again.  This time I went for strong contrast with the black and white of the panda and then the shadows created by the bamboo leaves behind him.  I don't use black too often and it was fun to see the pigment spread in interesting patterns over the wet areas of the watercolor paper. That is harder to see with lighter colors.

As it is day 13, this painting is for sale for $13.  Please email me at lauraparkhurstillustrator if you are interested in purchasing it.  The first person I hear from can buy it.  And if you don't feel inclined to purchase it for yourself, this panda would make a great gift.  Or maybe you know someone who would enjoy it.  Please share this post with that someone! Thanks for coming to see my artwork.  I am creating quite a collection in a very short time which is really exciting.  It has been a fun challenge fitting painting in a midst day to day life.

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Painting a Day - Day 12

After doing dogs and cats and horse, animals that a near to us on a daily basis, I thought I would do something more exotic.  Tigers have so much drama with their expression and their color.  I like the contrast of the tiger's coat with the yellow green of the grass and leaves.  And creating patterns with leaves, grasses and strips was fun. Even the water has a ripple in it.

I am learning so much about watercolor by painting a complete piece everyday.  I am learning how to build up the colors, to create depth and shadow and drama.

This 12th painting is for sale for $12.  It is on 5 x 7 watercolor paper, ready to frame.  If you are interested in purchasing it, please email me at  The first person I hear from can be the new owner of this beautiful tiger.

Thanks so much for stopping to see my art work.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Painting a Day - Day 11

Today we remember those who lost their lives when terrorists thought they could cripple America with a horrific, monumental act of terror.  For all of the faults America may have, we are still a strong and resilient people. Like this majestic bird which is our symbol, we can still soar on strong wings, reaching new heights. One of the most important things about art is that it can express our deepest emotions.  Today, emotions are stirred by memory and it hurts to remember but it is good to see the perseverance in our hearts.

I am posting this eagle in honor of those who lost their lives and those who lost their loved ones too soon on that terrible day in 2001.  As this is the 11th day of my challenge, it is available for $11.  If you are interested in purchasing it, please email me at  The first person to contact me will be able to buy it.

Thanks for coming to see my art today. I hope you can come by again tomorrow for my next creation.Please leave a comment if you are so inclined.