Drawing in His Presence

Drawing in His Presence

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Oil and Acrylic on Canvas

I’ve just had a God moment. Some months ago, I painted this girl. I never intended to. I had no direction, and no reason. I just did it. While painting, I had difficulty concentrating on technique because of the emotion that was running through me. Upon completion, my husband came in and gazed at her. I asked him to title the painting. He called it “Aftermath”. It meant some things to me, but ever since I have had an unsettled feeling in the pit of my stomach. Even last night, sitting by the fire I looked upon her face, and thought of what she may have come through. I had that feeling in my stomach. I’ve questioned the Lord as to the reason for the painting and have heard no answer.

Until now. Until now! Just now, I was reading in 2 Samuel 13. Why now? I don’t know. God’s always on time. That’s what I know. The chapter tells the horrifying story of Tamar, the daughter of a high king; the daughter that dressed in finery and was a well throught of woman in those days. She was somebody. King David was her daddy. She must have been beautiful as she baked bread for her brother, Amnon. The story goes that he fell in love with her devised a deceptive plan, and raped her after she begged him not to. He did it anyway. Then, he threw her out and bolted the door behind her. She was so distraught that she tore her beautiful robe and put ashes on her head as she ran away crying for help!

To make matters worse, her other brother (half) Absalom instructed her not to take it to heart; because it was her brother who had done this. He told her to be quiet. Scripture says that she lived in Absalom’s house, a “desperate” woman. She had no more hope. No hope of marrying. No hope of having a life, or children.

Tamar would experience the “aftermath” of not only being violated but being “shut up”, and having no voice. She would live in depression as her very soul was now rooted in the vile, foul sexual immorality passed down from the sin of her father. She would live with the rejection which scripture says was worse than the crime. She would have no one to stand for her, or speak for her. She was hopless.

I’m reminded that the holiday season often times, brings such depression for those people suffering in the “aftermath”. My heart grieves for those that are shut-up for whatever reason...whether it’s guilt, shame, threat, or helplessness. I know that confession brings freedom. My prayer is that all of those that are afflicted with depression from a wrong done to them would find their voice, and find freedom. There are resources today to help with that voice. I pray that they are found! Amen!

Monday, September 28, 2015

"So, Her Dance Begins"

"So, Her Dance Begins"

Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas

     This painting was created during worship yesterday.  I began with a crazy background of acrylic which has applied with a credit card and paper towels.  It had not rhyme or reason to it.  I just hate to start a painting with a white canvas.  I love creating this way.  It gives depth and dimension that I can't create otherwise; or especially in the time frame of a worship service.  We are in three services now, so that allowed me to complete the painting.  I've been praying for a loved one for so long....Praying that she would come into salvation and healing of Jesus.  I believe she is!  She was present in the service and even recognized that this painting is her!  

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cry for Souls

"Cry for Souls"
12'x12" Oil and Cold Wax

     This was a "redo" of many layers of oils and cold wax and a failed painting.  I got in "the mood" and just finger painted my heart's desire...that of seeing the whole world come to know Jesus.  I know that is the desire of my Father, also.  Sometimes...as an artist you just have to let loose and do what is inside of you!  I think that goes for living the Christian life as well.  Just let loose, and let your Father heart be exposed!  This finalized as a finger painting of oil and cold wax and I'm pretty pleased with it.  How about you?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Inner Chaos

6"x6" Acrylic on Cradled Wood

     I always thought that retirement would bring solitude and lots of days sitting in the swing with my hubby.  I left the classroom of 29 years of chaos, thinking that swinging would be nice.  Can I just say that swinging now has a whole new meaning?  It's meant swinging doors, a house full of loved ones, sometimes swinging from the rafters, and a few of those dreamed about swinging times.  We've felt pain and emotional healing to be followed by love, and then more pain.  Thank God for Jesus!  I don't know how people do it without Jesus!  I keep hearing the song, "Through it all, through it all...my eyes are on you (Jesus)....Wow.  He brings joy in the morning, doesn't He?  He brings healing to the broken, and makes all things new.  I've discovered that life can really throw you some punches, but if your feet are on solid ground, you can find peace in little places among the chaos.  Eventually, it will all even out, and be okay.  What about you?  Are you in one of those storms of life?  Do you have your eyes on Jesus?  He is the only way.  
    By the way...my hubby just hung a new swing for me out in the back yard!  Those swinging days are coming!  

Thursday, July 2, 2015

"Getting Ready"

"Getting Ready"
22x28" Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas

I rarely know ahead of time what I will paint during worship, but am always seeking and listening to the Lord.  (It can be a little nerve wracking to step up with no plan).  On Saturday night, I spread some color on a canvas with a cake decorating tool, just because I don't like white canvases.  I woke up at 1 am and began to pray.  I had no urgency or strong impression.  I kind of thought I might paint a worship dancer.  I got to church early and began to meditate as the worship team practiced.  I set out some colors based on a color wheel.  As I walked to the back of the sanctuary, the Lord told me to look up" fiery eyes" in my Bible.  As I did, I found the white horse, and I found him clearly on my canvas.  It gives me goose bumps as I realize that this came just after our Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriages.  I did not preplan or think this out.  I beg you to pray for our nation.  I believe that God is our Supreme Court, and His word is Final.
Revelation 19:11-16 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him wascalled Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes werelike a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had[a] a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean,[b] followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp[c] sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Serenity's Trail

"Serenity's Trail"
24"x36" Oil and Mixed Media

Whether it's lilac fields in France, poppies in Fredericksburg, tulips in Holland, or bluebonnets and daisy's in Sweetwater, Texas, this spring has been amazing.  I've walked this little half mile circle behind our house many times.  Never before have I witnessed the brushstrokes of God as I have this year!  We have been favored with beautiful rains, and the colors have come in wave after wave.  I love the early morning skies of West Texas. I couldn't help but sing to the Lord with such a thankful heart.  Sometimes, getting out into nature, God's handiwork does it's therapy on a weary soul. The peace and assurance sure does a body good.  Up to the left of this painting would be "the hill".  That's the one that my sweet husband travels in the mornings for his time with God.  One can see why.  I wish I would have painted that hill.  I guess that's an excuse for another painting.  I would appreciate your comments on this painti

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Blogger/Facebook Posts

I've been so frustrated because when I post to facebook, my latest blog image does not show up, and neither can I upload the latest image.  I googled it and hope to have found an answer.  We will see!  I also saw that it may take 3 days for it to go into effect.  If you are interested, here is the link.  Instructions:

The html code below needs to be added below the "head".  

<meta content='article' property='og:type'/>
<meta expr:content='data:blog.postImageThumbnailUrl' property='og:image'/>
<meta expr:content='data:blog.title' property='og:site_name'/>
<meta expr:content='data:blog.pageName' property='og:title'/>
<b:if cond='data:blog.metaDescription != &quot;&quot;'>
<meta expr:content='data:blog.metaDescription' name='description'/>

Wild at Heart

"Wild at Heart"
40"x30" Original Oil on Deep Gallery Wrapped Canvas

     I've been slowed down a little with some shoulder problems that have had me "strapped down" so to speak.  But, where there's a will there is a way!  I started this during worship one Sunday recently, and thankfully my easel is adjustable, and I can paint with my left hand!  So, it's finished and I'm pretty happy with it!  I've included the process pics to give you an idea of my process.  I'm also thrilled to announce that my work has been published in the awesome Visual Language Arts Magazine!  My work is on page 76-77.  Check it out!  It's beautiful, free, and eye candy!  I'm so excited to have gotten in!  Laurie Pace outdid herself getting this together this month!
Let me know what you think!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Answering the Call

"Answering the Call"
9"x12" Oil on Oil Canvas Paper

     Have you ever been so excited about the call of the Lord, that you just ran with your arms wide open, dancing right into the plans that He set before you?  I had a lot of fun painting this one.  I like the brilliant colors, yet the soft edges. 

 Isaiah 6:8 says,Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"  

     That's what I say, "send me", "pick me"!  What do you say?

     I forgot to submit this one to the Visual Language Arts Magazine, so it won't be in the publishing.  At least not the May issue.  

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Gathering

"The Gathering"
28"x22" Oil and Mixed Media
Not priced

     Oh boy am I having some fun!  I'm experimenting away and enjoying the process!  I love the mood exhibited by the body postures and the elongated shapes.  The colors were strategically  used in order to cause a "pop"!  What does it say to you?  
     Anxiously awaiting the May issue of Visual Language Arts Magazine, in which some of my pieces will be published!  Dreams come true!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


28"x22" Oil and Mixed Media
Contact me for Purchasing information

     What does it feel like on the other side of the battle?  Do you ever feel exhausted and beat up?  Bruised, scarred, and shaken?  I painted this after coming through several of those battles, and unknowingly just on the verge of yet another.  The covering of the Lord is my veil; my strength.  This is not a look alike self portrait at all, but one in which I hope portrays the essence of "coming through".  I hope you like it.  Don't forget to watch for my work that will be published in the May issue of Visual Language Arts Magazine!


"All Encompassing Lion of Judah"
28"x22 Oil on Canvas
"Warrior Spirit"
9"x11" Oil on Oil Canvas Paper

     These are a few more of my warrior series.  The Lion was painting in 2014, and he is still one of my favorites.  Someday, he will be sold and will take up residence in someone's home, but for now he  hangs as a gentle reminder of Jesus, and what he does for me.  He is both gentle and fierce.  The GREAT NEWS is that I just got notified that some of my pieces will be published in the May issue of Visual Language Arts magazine!  It's a dream come true for me, and the personal email from the editor will always be a treasure.  Look for it coming soon!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Deliverance Warrior

"Deliverance Warrior"
40"x30" Oil on Gallery Wrapped Canvas

     Have you ever felt like you were in a war zone?  Well, my family certainly has been!  I created this piece while doing spiritual warfare for a loved one.  Every energetic line was a decree, a cry, or a prayer.  Over the past several months I've found myself painting in a series of warriors.  Thankfully, the battle belongs to the Lord, and one way that we fight is to stand our ground for truth and what's right.  I've enjoyed these vibrant colors and the large canvas.  I've experimented with different brushes to cover the canvas quickly, as these paintings are done during a worship setting, usually at church and sometimes finished in my studio.  
Ephesians 6:12
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Warrior Dance

"Warrior Dance"
10"x8" Oil on Canvas Paper

     This isn't the greatest photo of this painting, but it is a great painting.  This one started out very abstractly.  It also started out with nothing in mind except painting.  I find myself always asking the Lord what he says..."what, Lord...what"?  Sometimes I really have to dig deep and search.  This was one of those.  The very moment that I saw the little bright spot at the top left, I knew!  I knew where I was going with it.  It was so exciting!  There was no striving, no fretting.  I knew.  Isn't that great?  The colors blended for me, and it just clicked.  
     My mon posted the following comment, which is worth taking note of: 

 It is a war between God and Satan and we are in the middle. We need to learn how to war in the Spirit. I learned how to do that in 1996, when Genny and I fought a war of the spirit of death, over my brother. We won and he is still alive today and has lived longer than statistics say he could live. Sad to say most Christians either don't know this and/or don't know how to do it.(And there is a way of warring in the Spirit during praise and worship. I've done that also.

     We are Warrior Dancers!  Are you?


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Free to Be Me

"Free to Be Me"
20"x16" Original Oil on Stretched Canvas

     Sometimes as an artist and probably in other areas of life as well, we tend to try to fit ourselves into a mold; one that we think we should fit into rather than the one that God made for us.  The other night, I was in a painting mood but had nothing in mind to paint.  I had nothing started so nothing to finish.  But I knew that I had to paint.  I took a canvas and squished out my favorite oil colors and began.  I just began to paint. I love painting dancers as I imagine myself dancing before the Lord.  I didn't grow up dancing like many other girls, and my body isn't quite the ballerina type.  But sometimes, in my studio, all alone I dance.  I've studied many photos of beautiful dancers and some are buried into my mind.  They are so free!  That's me, sometimes late at night in my studio.  Free.

     I've been invited to feature my work in the http://www.theworshipstudio.org.  I think I'll start with this painting.  What do you think?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Social Media Help

     I'm so excited!  I just discovered ifttt.com!  If you need a shortcut to posting to all of your accounts, this is the place to go.  I learned about it from artistshelpingartistsblogtalkradio.  You can create your own recipes so that if you post in one location, it will automatically post in other locations.  What a time saver!  Check it out.  It's pretty user friendly.

Go when "He" says go, and stay when "He" says stay

"Cloud by Day, Fire by Night"
28"x22" Original Oil on Canvas

     Sometimes, you've just got to rework a painting a little.  I'd looked at this for a couple of weeks, trying to decide how to add some heaviness to the bottom without making it muddy.  I think I accomplished it.  I got to thinking about how the Israelites would stay in one place or move out according to whether they had cloud coverage or a fire to go by.  Wouldn't that be something, if we could all be so tuned in to the Holy Spirit so that we would only act when we had the leading?  It seems like I go in seasons of this; seasons of being tuned in and seasons of needing to tune in.  What about you?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

"A Mother's Blessing"

"A Mother's Blessing"
8x10" Oil

I know there are so many of you out there that have lost your mother, and need inner healing.  I found this blessing on this website:

I pray that you can take it in and receive into your spirit, the Spirit of Truth and Blessing.

 My dear child… I know that the Scriptures command you to honor me; and I want you to know that you will honor me best by becoming and being all the Lord intends you to be. I ask the Lord to richly bless you. 
 I ask the Lord Jesus Christ by the power of His Cross and Blood to set you free now from any harsh or cruel words that I said... especially the ones you keep remembering over and over...I am so sorry.
 I ask the Lord to set you free from heart injuries you sustained from me or from others in whose care I placed you in. I ask the Holy Spirit to set you free from: heartache, disappointments, dreads, grief, or rage you cannot resolve. 
 And I’m so sorry for any other struggles I may have caused you... May you be healed from being ignored by me...or smothered by me. 
 If I ever made you feel less than or not good enough…I am deeply sorry and ask you to please forgive me. May the Lord set you free from working so hard to please me when nothing ever would. May the Lord set you free from trying to get from me what I never had to give you...I’m so sorry.
 May the Lord set you free from blaming me for failing you...not because I need that, but so you can be free to grow;… to receive;…and to achieve;… to be creative in ways you have not yet imagined... 
 May the Lord give you all the things I was unable or unwilling to give you.
May the Lord guide you in ways I never could and grant you peace. 
 May the Lord free you from any of my grief, fear, terror, anger, dread, and expectations you are still trying to live up to. 
 May the Lord free you from feeling that you have to always be perfect.
 I pray that God will help you to see that the hurt and pain I caused you came from my own childhood. It limited me, and I am so sorry if it has limited you.
 I pray that God will remove from you any belief that you were not wanted… or loved.
 I pray that you have no doubt that you are the gender you are supposed to be.
 Please forgive me for not nurturing you. I pray that the Lord will release you from any unhealthy bond that you may have with me… I want you to keep all of the good that came from me, and give the rest to God. 
 My precious one…I love you. I am so proud of you. I am so glad you were born.
 Be released now to be the person that God created you to be. Be free…my love…and live!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fire by Night in Progress

     This is in progress, and my painting today, number 13 of the 30 in 30 challenge.  I started it during our Night of Worship at Emmanuel Fellowship.  It may be quite awhile until it is finished.  I'm feeling my way through the foreground area, and waiting for the sky to dry before advancing.  I don't have a clear idea of how to handle the foreground.  This is merely the transparent underpainting.  I'm working on getting the value correct as well as the mood.  Stay tuned.

Monday, January 12, 2015

More Favorites

     Just doing a tad bit of sketching with a pen and adding a bit of color to satisfy my Sketchbook Skool assignment and my 30 in 30 day painting challenge.  This one is number 12 for the 30 in 30.  These Rodan+Fields tools really are my skin care favorites.  I use them faithfully and have loved the results that I've gotten.  Not only can I see the difference in my before and after photos, but I can feel the difference!  Hop on over to my page and have a look!  Click on the "Getting Started" at the top left and take the interactive tool test to see your prescription for change!  My Rodan+Fields page

Saturday, January 10, 2015

My favorite tools

     It's going to be awhile till I get back into my studio to paint.  This will have to serve as painting...with ink.  Number 10 with the 30 in 30 day challenge and catching up with my Sketchbook Skool assignment.  Cant' wait to get back to these tools.

Friday, January 9, 2015

SketchBook Skool

     I'm so far behind on my sketch book skull lessons, cleaning out closets, getting ready for tax season, and my Rodan+Fields business needs attention.  I'm very tired.  That means I'm not up to problem solving on my latest oil painting.  This little sketch is going to have to suffice and kill two birds with one stone:  number 9 of the 30 in 30 challenge and my homework for sketchbook skool.  
     I love this set of pens.  I think I would have done better if I'd had my nails trimmed.  Long nails and these pens don't go well together.  I love drawing with ink now.  It releases the perfectionism thing that plagues me and causes me not to draw as often as I should.  I kind of like this little Strathmore multi media sketch book.  The pages really don't wrinkle and you really can water color, ink or cut and paste.  I made myself a little watercolor on the go palette using an Altoid can.  I think I'll be sketching on the go more often, now.  

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Study on color

     I keep reminding myself that it's "paint something each day", not "complete something each day.  This will have to satisfy my Number 8 for the 30 in 30 challenge.  I've worked it out in my mind all day...trying to figure out what I had in mind for the foreground, and colors to set the mood that I was feeling for this painting.  I'm very tired today, so I think that is influencing me.  I desperately need a day or two off in which nobody needs me.  It seems the older I get the more I'm wanted.  Not sure that is a good thing.  I feel very weary right now.  I know that God's mercy is new each morning, and I am so glad.  I'm calling it a night, and heading to bed a few hours early.  Tomorrow will be a better day.  Maybe the Lord will drop in me, the thing he is saying in this painting.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

"Fire Come Down"

     This is my Number 7 of the Leslie Saeta 30 in 30 challenge.  Of coarse, it is a long way from being finished.  I wonder how many house this one will take?  I'm a worship artist, and tonight was our Night of Worship.  This piece is a 28X22 oil on canvas, taking shape.  I will post the progressions.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Crossing Over #2

"Crossing Over"
Oil on Canvas

     This is my Number 6 of the 30 in 30 challenge.  I'm calling it complete, and hope that it is.  I would like to dedicate it to all of those who have lost loved ones. For those loved ones that knew the Lord, crossing over is a beautiful experience!  May the love of Jesus and His Peace run like the river, right through your soul.

Monday, January 5, 2015

"Frilly in Pink"

"Frilly in Pink"
12"x12" Oil on Wood Panel

     I didn't forget to paint on this 5th day of the 30 in 30 challenge.  But, I almost forgot to post!  It sure takes time to do all this posting! Most of my art has a spiritual nature to it, but this was strictly working on technique with transparent oils followed by opaque.   I thought I'd finished this painting, but after looking at it for awhile, I realized it too, needed a little lunch.  The teal sure punches good with pink.  This was painted from a fresh peony.  That poor flower is dead now, and still sitting in my studio.  I contemplated painting the dead one.  I still might.  Peonies are not easy to paint, in my opinion.  I like the little daisy's that frame this one.  How about you?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

"Center of Attention"

"Center of Attention"
Oil on Canvas

     This is my #4 of the 30 in 30 challenge that Leslie Saeta is sponsoring. http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/2012/12/thirty-paintings-in-thirty-days.html 
I painted this from fresh flowers in a workshop taken with Nancy Madina.   Here is a link to her blog:

     I thought I was finished and signed my name.  But, you know when you set it aside to dry, step away from it for a few days, things can change.  It must have.  I knew there was something bugging me about it.  It just seems too bland or something.  I was playing with this teal color in another painting, looked over at this one, and wha lah!  I knew it needed a punch of teal.  It is much improved now.  I must have gotten my camera just a little crooked because I've inspected the painting and the vase is not really crooked.  (Whew).  I know I'm going to add a touch here and there before I call it good.  When I do, I'll take a better photo in good light and post the final painting along with a link to buy.  Thanks for looking!  I would also appreciate a like on my Facebook fan page:  Jay Neal Art!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Crossing Over #2

"Crossing Over #2"
Oil on Canvas 14"x16"
In Progress

     This is number 3 of the Leslie Saeta 30 in 30 Day Challenge.  I did this painting in a large full sheet Yupo with Alcohol Ink and decided to try it in oils.  I've painted this bridge no less than 4-5 times.  First, I had the perspective wrong.  Then, I had the colors and lighting wrong.  I've toned down the water and still will do a bit more.  The bridge is more to my liking, and I've changed the tree in the foreground quite a bit, adding some texture.  I worked on the sky to give it more of an atmospheric look, and overall I'm liking it more and more.  I welcome any suggestions that you might have.  I've been painting in oils for about 8 months, so have lots to learn.  

Friday, January 2, 2015

Not a Starry Night

"Not a Starry Night"
20"x16" Acrylic Canvas
Contact Artist for Purchase Information

     This is number 2 of the 30 in 30 day challenge with Leslie Saeta.  I determined that this go around, I will paint daily if at all possible, even if it means just working on a piece rather than putting myself under the stress of having to finish a piece each day.  Just releasing myself from the pressure allowed me to consider reworking some things, finishing some things, or doing some studies.  This is a reworked piece using a very well used canvas with many layers, topped off with some pouring medium.  I considered working on it some more, and taking out some of the bottom part, but decided to leave it be and call it good.