BFL Champions Weekend

So what does Body for Life have to do with an art blog?  Plenty!
The Tennessee Body for Life group hosted a Champions' Weekend this past and what a fabulous time it was.  Over a hundred  people came from as far away as Australia, South Africa, England, Canada and all over the US to share motivation & inspiration and enjoy the company of each other.  Several in attendance had earned the designation of "Champion" and received the leather jacket and check from EAS, but everyone there was a champion in their own right. 
The BFL program teaches us to set goals and push ourselves toward a healthier being over the course of a 12 week challenge.  Almost everyone  who has accepted and completed the challenge finishes with much more than a smaller waist line and bigger muscles.  They find a new person inside as well.  One who is stronger emotionally and spiritually. That carries over into every aspect of your life.
Bill Phillips, the author of Body for Life, says that while it appears to be an individual sport it is actually a team sport, because when one succeeds, everyone succeeds.  Everyone cheers the others on and that was very evident this weekend. 
Richard shared his amazing story of dying twice at the age of 38!  Talk about a wake up call!  He totally changed his life-style and now is healthy and fit.  Denise shared how important it is to be strong and take care of yourself in order to set an example for others.  Her motivation was her teenage daughter who suffers from luekemia.  She competes in triathlons. Mac, a truly inspirational man, told me that I was an inspiration. HA! His words sure made me think.  I am often more of a negative influence and I would prefer to be an inspiration.  He reminded me that we never know who is we might inspire.  That was my hour of decision, to get off my duff and clean up my act.  It is time to  get and stay fit.  I've completed BFL challenges in the past successfully, but hadn't committed to it as a LIFE style.  Now is the time.

Stephanie Workman was the brains and most of the brawn behind this successful event.  She and her husband Don, along with some other TN BFLer's presented Porter Freeman, every BFL follower's idol, a print of my "Hour of Decision".  Porter  walks the walk and talks the talk of  BFL and is a true friend and encourager to everyone who tries.  He is also a Civil War buff and has a lot of the attributes of The Old General.   I was thrilled that he liked the print.

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Early Autumn

What a difference a few days make!  Last week our temperature was in the high 90's and today was in the mid 80's.  The evenings are in the high 50's and that crisp morning air certainly  feels like autumn. 

I love the clear blue skies that accompany fall.  Contrasting the blue to the yellows and oranges of the dried fields makes for lovely complimentary color schemes.

Lately I have been working on figurative paintings in the studio.  While I enjoy painting anything, portraits and figuratives are my favorite.  I'll have to post pictures of them when I get photos done.  In the mean time, I'll feature "McNeil's Crossing" which shows the colors of early fall.  This original oil painting measures 16x20 and comes in a lovely wide plein aire frame. Price is $750. 

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Summer's End

Better Times
It is hard to believe that this is the first of September, the unofficial end of summer and only 4 months remain in the year.  It means that I have got to get BUSY if I am to accomplish the goals I set.  One of those goals is to do more painting on location.  I've used the excuse of the weather being too hot, but that is changing, so now I need to just do it.
The painting shown is "Better Times".  As we approach this Labor Day holiday may we mindful of all who labor to provide for their families. 
This original oil was painted from life on a linen canvas.  It measures 20"x24".  Fine art giclee reproductions are also available.  Contact me for information or to purchase.

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Proud Nanna

Cherokee Sunset
I am so proud of my 7 year old grandson, Cooper.  His photo of "Cherokee Sunset" won first place honors in the youth division at the Grainger County Tomato Festival Art Show.  He was excited too! 
A couple of weeks ago we were on the lake bank at dusk and he wanted to take pictures.  I showed him how to operate my Canon Rebel and he started snapping away.  One of the advantages of digital cameras is that you don't have to worry about wasting film.  I was amazed how well several of his photos turned out.  He seemed to have a knack for good composition.  It made me think, perhaps we all should rely on our instincts more often rather than trying to analyze things to death. 

Just a few days after Cooper's photo excursion, this tree fell.  It had been dead for a couple of years and finally a hard storm did it in.  We all had to morn a bit as it has been the site of lots of fun for Cooper's Mom, Uncle Greg and numerous neighborhood kids.  When the lake level was high, they would climb up the branches and dive in or swing out over the water.  That is, until they saw gar fish swimming around. 

I will be at the Virginia Highlands Festival in Abingdon, VA August 2-7.  Stop by booth #1 in the big tent near Barter Stage II and see me.

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