Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Christmas Churches #1

Hi!  Remember me??  
I can't remember a time when I've not posted anything new in over a month, but it's been a busy one!  As mentioned in my previous post, I helped my mom and dad move to The Woodlands!   In addition to settling them in, I've been busy as Santa's helper with some Christmas surprises!  Since I can't post those until after the holidays, I thought I'd re-post some of my favorite church sketches from over the years.  

I know Christmas is coming when I see the Christmas Tree up in front of The Woodlands United Methodist Church at the corner of Lake Front and Lake Woodlands Drive.  And since this is my home church, I thought it would be a good place to start this Christmas Churches series.   

 If you live in the area, more than likely you pass that corner on the way to Market Street and the Mall.... next time, slow down, take a deep breath and remember 
the Reason for the Season.  
Happy Birthday Jesus!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Another "blast from the past" as I get ready to hop on another plane!  Today, I've got a one-way ticket to Florida, where I'll help my mom and dad with the last of the packing details before the movers come on Friday and we drive "home" to The Woodlands!  I'm am beyond happy to welcome them to my town, but also a bit nostalgic about leaving the city I grew up in.   I can only imagine how they feel after 60 years of raising kids, a successful career in business and community and so many happy memories with so many friends in St. Pete.  

After leaving upstate New York in 1956, with a u-haul, 3 kids and a lot of faith for a bright future, this was our first house in St. Pete.   I lived here from the time I was two until five years old.  

"And where we love is Home.  
Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts....
the chain may lengthen but it never parts."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. -

Cheers to "new beginnings" for my Mom and Dad!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Salt Remedy

I put aside my pen & ink and watercolors this past week to do some murals for a new business in our community... Salt Remedy!  A natural approach, combined with thousands of years of the health benefits of salt,  bring relief to those that suffer from asthma, allergies, skin conditions and stress!  

"Salt Remedy" offers four different therapy rooms to fit your specific needs.  One room is a a private retreat, while the other three are for individuals or groups!  These three rooms are where I spent my time painting!
"Life" - 14' + 6' x 9'

The kids room , called "Life" offers a Himalayan Sea Salt Beach for kids to play in during their therapy sessions.  This bright and colorful beach scene will take you there!

"Salt"- 17' x 9'
The Group therapy room, called "Salt" is for adults... time for quiet meditation or reading in a relaxing, spa-like environment.  Just breathe and let the salt do it's cleansing work.  With only ambient lighting, you can drift away as you stare into the mountain scene beyond the Himalayan salt brick wall.

"Breathe" 12' x 9'

The Multi Purpose Room, "Breathe" is just that... imagine a place for your yoga class, or book club meeting to discuss the latest best seller.  This is the place to grab your friends and reserve this room  for a healthy and unique experience! 

Visit their website www.saltremedy.net to learn more!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Coll family home with a photo bomb!

I have loved doing these sketches for the Coll Family.  This is their house in McKinney, TX where they lived in 1996-97 and the 6th in my series of the homes they've lived in over the years.  

Like many clients, we have become Facebook Friends and I have gotten to know the family via photo's on social media.  Mario, their oldest of three sons is now an Aggie, all grown up, a good looking grad student with a bright future...  but about half way thru my sketch, after being so focused on the architectural details of the house did I see little Mario, just 3 years old, all bundled up and peeking out from behind the tree while mom took a picture of the house on a rare Texas snowy day .... and my heart smiled! 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Habitat for Humanity Auction Item

I am always grateful for the opportunity to donate a "sketch of YOUR favorite place" to our local non-profits fundraising events.  This sketch was done for the couple with the highest bid at the Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County Gala that was held last spring.  If you've read my "Meet Barbara" page on my website then you know that HFH is near and dear to my heart. 

In the next few weeks I will be posting a few of my "oldies but goodies" while I work on some murals for a new business here in The Woodlands... be sure and stay tuned for a sneak peak on that... then I will get back to business on The National Park series.  I still have a few more to do, so if you've got a favorite park, let me know and you may see it here in a couple of weeks!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Dry Tortuga National Park

Dry Tortuga is one of the most unique and interesting National Parks.  Only accessible by boat (or seaplane!) it is located on the last of the Florida Keys, 68 miles west of Key West. My husband and I visited here in March 2011, and had the opportunity to explore one of the islands, Garden Key

As a National Park, it was established in 1962, but it's rich history began in 1513 when Ponce de Leon landed here and gave it the name "Tortugas" spanish for turtles.  A little later, the additional "Dry" was added to warn sailors running low on fresh water that they would not find any there.  The United States acquired the island from Spain in 1822, establishing a lighthouse on the island of Garden Key and later, in 1846 began construction on the US Army Fort Jefferson as a base to control the ships entering the Gulf of Mexico. 

 The fort was huge, enough to house 1500 soldiers.  With 16 million bricks and 8 foot thick walls it was a fortress.  One of it's most famous claims to fame is that during the Civil war it became a military prison, with it's most  famous resident being Dr. Samuel Mudd, the doctor who helped John Wilkes Booth after he assassinated President Lincoln.  While serving his time, he saved many lives at Fort Jefferson during an epidemic of yellow fever and was pardoned in 1869.  Eventually the lack of available water presented problems and though construction continued thru the Civil war, the fort was abandoned in 1874.  

The park encompasses over 100 square miles, 99 percent of which is underwater.   I look forward to returning someday to explore the rest with my snorkel and fins!! 

Learn more about Dry Tortuga National Park at:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park
Established 1994

Soooo... I had never heard of Joshua Tree National Park, nor did I have any idea what a Joshua Tree was.  My daughter, Sarah visited Southern California and this national park a while back so I asked her about it...  her response was "you know mom, it's the Dr. Seuss trees!"  And so, forever imprinted in my mind is Thing One and Thing Two roaming around in the California desert, and then The Cat in the Hat popping out (Boo!) from behind one of these cartoonish trees!

With that in mind, I am taking a more comical and colorful approach to this sketch!  Seems a little bit more like "paint by numbers" than a work of art, but I had fun... and at the end of the day, that's what it's all about!

Learn more about Joshua Tree National Park at: