New York - AMS 2007 - The Video

Check out some footage from our awesome trip!

The video part of this footage was shot right after our group photo in the median of Times Square and after we had seen Hairspray. We were walking down the street in Times Square to get back to our buses...

New York New York

I just got back from the big apple and had a blast with my daughter Caroline and her 8th grade class. The Sheraton where we stayed in Newark, NJ didn't have the greatest of wireless internet service as I had hoped after lugging my laptop with me in order to blog my trip as it happened. Turns out there wasn't hardly time anyway with every moment planned or any moment wanting to pass out of exhaustion. It's great to be home having had no bad incidents. Thank you to Mrs. May, Mrs. Black, Coach Bailey, Coach Walton, and Coach Fuqua, our awesome tour guide, Michael with Junior Tours and all involved for a wonderful time! Here are just a few activities that were on our itenerary:

Chinatown Shopping
Mamma Mia
Rockefeller Center
Madison Square Garden Tour
Mary Poppins
Metropolitan Museum of Art
5th Avenue Shopping
Madame Toussards Wax Museum
Ground Zero
Empire State Building

Caroline and Me at our first stop: Chinatown! On a mission for cute bags!

Dolce & Gabanna were the hot things out on the street. Coach and Prada were the hot things in the back rooms!

I loved all the color and symbols of current fasion. These are bead strands that I found so interesting...also souvenir statues of liberty.

One awesome thing about this trip is that we saw a Broadway show every night we were there. The first night we saw Mamma Mia, an awesome tribute to the music of ABBA. This was my 4th time to see it! It is awesome! And was the kids' overall favorite. We also saw Mary Poppins and Hairspray which were both awesome as well. I love Broadway!

Caroline and some of her friends out shopping--their favorite NY activity

A Renoir--I thought it was my sister's painting here in the Metropolitan Museum of Art since she painted a version of this painting when we were younger and it looked exactly like this! Claire, you should have seen it!

My highlight was running into Annie Leibovitz and having her snap a quick shot of me at Madame Toussauds! What a treat!


Off to New York City!

Today is the day! Headed to the big apple with a bunch of 8th graders for their class trip, except I am not riding the bus. I weezled out of that one--I'm flying. Yes! It will be a nice, inspirational getaway for a few days. Please pray that the 3 buses carrying our precious children will make the trip safely. Pray that us Moms who are flying will get there safely too. Can't wait to see my favorite building there--the Chrysler building. Love those gargoyles!


Friday Night's Concert!

My good friend Steph shot this great shot of Jason Gray and this is us with him after the concert!

Jason Germain of Downhere and me--shot by Steph. ;)

Jason Gray was in concert at the The Rock worship center in Huntsville last weekend for the Wide Eyed and Mystified tour. It is always a treat to experience his music and hear his testimony and how he totally glorifies God with his gifts AND weaknesses. If you are not familiar with Jason, you should really check out his music--it is really awesome.

It was great to be introduced to 2 other great bands, Circleslide and Downhere. Many wonderful men who play and sing so passionately for the Lord. Is there anything more attractive in this world?? I have been listening constantly to my new Downhere CD since the concert and I have really grown to love these guys. They totally rock!


Enroll in FUN!!

Read more info in the WORKSHOPS section on my site.


Saturday, May 19th:
Adult Beginner Painter
10-2 with a lunch break
Supplies included

Monday - Wednesday, June 11-13
Kids Art Camps!
Kids ages: 5-7 : 9am - 10:30
Kids ages 8-15: 11am - 2pm
Supplies & Snacks included

Friday & Saturday, June 15-16
Adult Beginner Painter
Plein Air (Outdoor Painting) & Studio
Supplies included

Let's Bring Sara Groves back to Alabama!


House Portraits!

Check out this beautiful home in Huntsville that I am about to paint! I am so lucky to be able to paint such awesome works of architecture like this one. I'll post an image of the painting when it's done!


WhistleStop Festival!

Today I attended a press conference for the WhistleStop Festival where they unveiled my painting. Ta da! The festival is coming up May 4th and 5th and is gearing up to be an awesome time--music, bar-b-que, children activities, etc. It is one of the biggest bar-b-que festivals in the U.S. The festival supports the EarlyWorks Museums which include Constitution Village, the Depots in downtown Huntsville. You may have attended it before under the name Rocket City Bar-B-Que.

I was asked to paint a painting that would be used for a commemorative poster. I was thrilled to be asked since this is the first year that they will have had a poster artist! The press conference was done right--they know how to get the press there! They served an awesome buffet of bar-b-que, beans, an awesome slaw salad and a tasty key lime CAKE. Not pie, but cake. Well, you can only imagine--all the news stations were there along with some radio stations. Julie Slaten and Dorothy Havens have been great to work with on this project. I thank Patrick Chesnutt for recommending me!


Sister Grace in Concert Tonight!

If you have never heard our ministry, you can tonight! We will be singing (and playing our instruments) on the historical stage of McCandless Hall at Athens State University. Take some time out to enjoy and be uplifted by some great Christian music. Some songs will be familiar and some are our own originals. Hope to see you there!

7pm Tonight

Christ is Risen!

Easter Sunday was beautiful! Although freezing! The coldest Easter I've ever known. But Jesus' glorious resurrection could not be stopped this Easter just like the original Easter. The scriptures are fulfilled. Death has no sting!

Sister Grace couldn't resist a picture in front of our church's beautiful Resurrection Cross. Creating this beautifully embellished cross is a tradition in our church where the children in our church family bring fresh cut flowers to decorate the cross Easter morning, symbolizing the fresh rebirth of our risen saviour. The Easter story is one that creates a rebirth in me each year. Have you let Jesus have a rebirth in you?

Blessings to you!


Happy Anniversary, Baby!

...got you on my min-ind!!! 17 years--that's all I can say! Wow. Hard to believe, but 17 years ago today Todd and I tied the knot. This is my favorite image from our wedding photos--in the prayer garden at my church right after the ceremony. We plan to celebrate tonight with dinner at Bonefish Grill--can't wait! I love you, Todd!

Good Friday

Yesterday was Good Friday, and I suppose it was the meaning of Good Friday that set my mood for the day. By late afternoon I just couldn't decide what to do with the 2 hours of "free" time I had, and the Lord led me to visit my mother. Deep down I think I had a longing to share with someone my grief over my Lord's death--and that's what we did. It was awesome to be able to share that! What I want to share with you is a painting I painted several years ago inspired from an etching by the great Gustav Dore who has created many beautiful etchings depicting Jesus' life. This particular one is of the people taking Jesus from the cross to be buried. I love the peaceful look of Jesus' face, the strength of the men, and the grief that Mary has--a really moving image. This is a Good Friday painting. It is 5 feet tall, 4 feet wide and hangs in my dining room. The photo below gives you a sense of size as it hangs in this 2-story area. Be blessed today--this weekend as we experience Christ's awesome sacrifice for us--for me and for YOU.


Michael Buble's New Release!

Mr. Buble has a new album coming out! It's titled, "Call Me Irresponsible." Last night I was on the way home from my studio really late from painting. When I left, my exterior sound speaker at the front door of my building serenaded me goodbye with Michael Buble singing "Home." Love that song! I melted. Well, once in the car, I turned on the radio and listened. A minute later, I thought, "That sounds like Michael. Is it????? A new song!???" I turn it up loud. "MICHAEL HAS A NEW SONG!!!" Was I excited! You've got to catch the song "Everything"--it totally rocks! It is so fun, sweet,and, well-- sexy. That's Michael! His new CD comes out May 1st. You can preorder it here for a cheaper price if you want. I can't wait! (squeal!)...PS: Todd likes him too. ;)

Come to the Garden!

This is Holy Week, and today of this meaningful time of Lent is the day that begins the agony of Christ, my savior. Many of you know that my daily reading of choice is Oswald Chambers' My Utmost For His Highest, and in today's reading Oswald talks about the agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, referenced in Matthew 26:36-46. This passage really humbles me, bringing tears to my eyes as I know that I do to my Lord what the disciples did to Him in His last earthly hours He was with his disciples, his followers, his best friends at a time of temptation. Jesus desired the support and prayers of His disciples!

The scripture is this:

36Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go over there and pray." 37And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch[a] with me." 39And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will." 40And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, "So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." 42Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done." 43And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45Then he came to the disciples and said to them, "Sleep and take your rest later on.[b] See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand."

And then, Judas, one of the 12 disciples betrays Jesus, leading to Christ's crucifixion. I do this to my Savior every day. I get too busy to pray. At a crazy time in our world, our society, He cries out more than ever, pleading for me to serve others and bring them home to Him. I ignore Him by being too busy, too shy, too uncomfortable to share my testimony---with too many excuses.

I may never fathom what Jesus did for me on the cross, but I CAN understand it. I feel it. Do you? My prayer for you is that you will know the unfathomable love of Christ for YOU. Yes, for YOU and for me, for ALL. Know it more than ever.

Understand it tonight by attending a Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday service at a local church. My church, First United Methodist Church in downtown Athens has a truly awesome service tonight at 7pm. Please come!

The beautiful image for this post is by Joe Farace--that I found in an email right after I posted this. Hope you don't mind if I borrow it! It reminded me so much of how the Garden of Gethsemane might have looked. Lovely image, Joe!


One Fun Gal!

Laura Mould made for one hilariously fun photo shoot last week! I had the pleasure of spending time with her and her sweet mother--they are both beautiful, shooting some Senior photos of Laura. We shot some fun stuff in the studio, but with the warm weather and blossoming wysteria--we headed outside! There is an awesome spot that has those gorgeous lavendar blooms not far from my studio where the blooms have blossomed some 100 feet high. It is amazing! God's artistry on display for sure. I hope to post a short video from this shoot. My assistant, Leslie shot a quick one so we could document Laura's ease in front of the camera. She was awesome. It's rare to find such a beautiful young lady, full of life, joy and so comfortable in her own skin. Laura, you rock! Thanks for so much fun!

Are YOU a 2007 Senior? Don't miss out on a great opportunity for YOUR unique shoot with Carole! We are having Senior Saturdays May 5th and May 12th. Only 5 sessions available each Saturday. It's going to be alot of fun! Email to find out how you can "earn" credit toward prints if you book and also get a friend to book with us!