Gotta Love Summer....

Summer means really balancing work and family since my girls are out of school. And knowing how fast they grow and that my older 14-year old Caroline will be starting high school in 2 months is mind-boggling. So, I'm just taking it all in--the joys (and annoyances-ha!) of motherhood. My younger daughter, 10-year old Sarah still loves to chalk on the driveway. I love her precious sketches--she is such a talented artist! One day this week while at Wal Mart I passed by the little area of Crayola products and found some giant sticks of chalk and couldn't resist buying them. These are some of Sarah's masterpieces below.

Yesterday, I was taking Caroline and her friend Walker to the doctor for a camp physical and they were acting out some weird thing they saw on the web, and laughing hysterically, and it was driving me crazy. This is the video that they were mimicking...Now, I get it! It's pretty funny in a cooky way...


Macbook Pros are so cool!

Video iChat totally rocks when you're an identical twin living a thousand miles apart from each other! Thanks, Apple!! Claire and I are really close, and to discover this mode of communication where we can see each other in real time and talk is unbelievable! We just stare at each other sometimes. This screenshot is of Claire and her daughter Olivia...Just had to share! Be blessed!


Painting Painting...

Last night at 10pm, I challenged myself to start one last painting for my show coming up on Friday at Dragonfly Gallery in Fayetteville, TN. Carl Gleghorn, gallery owner (and FYI: former Aubie at Auburn University!) was scheduled to come this morning to pick up my work. So I started it and finished at 2am this morning. (The gazebo painting) Felt like old times in college when I had to pull all nighters in order to get studio work done. But today has been rough trying to be energetic--I'm no collegiate anymore! haha So these are scenes of Fayetteville--my signature funky expressionistic take on the beautiful downtown square. They are going to be on exhibit starting Friday at 5pm. Come on down to Dragonfly Friday night--I would LOVE to see you!

Click image to see them bigger...


Beautiful Madeleine!

The Greatest Workshop Students!

Last weekend was my first workshop to kick off my summer workshop season, and it was amazing. Ten students! I usually cap it off at fewer, but I had so many sweet people wanting to attend. They were such a blessing to me--reminding me how much I love to teach. We had an intense workshop for beginners. They learned about brushes, canvas, painted a color wheel, then each chose a photograph to paint a painting from. They did a fabulous job--every one of them! Enjoy some of the photos...

A new Hunstville student, Beth Mosier--she painted some awesome pears...look at the intensity in her face!

Her good friend Christie Hoffman painting so fast her arm is blurry--working on an abstract. Christie is already a talented painter...

Sandy from Birmingham did a fabulous job on her frog--don't you think?

Group shot of my students working hard!

The grand finale was when Guy McClure GAVE me a painting he painted of my BLISS magazine cover (from 2001). He did a fabulous job making me look prettier. haha! I'm thrilled to have Guy back in Athens from living in Prvidence, RI for many years. He is one awesome guy--very kind, cultured and talented. His mom was my first grade teacher too--LOVE her.

One happy painting teacher :)
Thank you--all of you who attended--you were great!

Look for my next workshops on my site in the workshops section.


Awesome Art House

Last night's Art House was faaaaaaabulous!! Thank you to all who came and shared themselves with one another through music, through photography, through painting and through being art/music lovers. It was so awesome meeting new people and professionals in the same field as me!

The food and drink you brought was fantastic as well. We heard from fine musicians along with my band Sister Grace and members of the band Redwood Hill playing awesome bluegrass on their upright bass and banjo! The beautiful floral arangements were done by L & G Home and Wedding Decor--I don't know that I've seen more beautiful arrangements....My friends Marcia and Joy get the "came from the furthest distance awards"--Marcia came from Gadsden and Joy came from Birmingham. Art is such a wonderful thing to celebrate in the midst of all else going on. This sentiment reminds me of one of my favorite quotes. It's by George Bernard Shaw, "Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable." Thanks again everyone! Look for the next Art House to come again soon! Be blessed.

Redwood Hill with singers Mark (of Tortilla's Blanco) and Leslie, my assistant.
And also, Stephanie Fenton of Sister Grace adding her guitar.

Awesome flowers by L & G Home & Wedding Decor!

My friend model Marcia Whitaker from Gadsden (shot by Carla Swinney)

Joy Dorriety and me--Joy came from Birmingham!

The best name tag last night! :)

My friend Carla Swinney and her friend Brennen, who played drums for a song!


Art Workshops!

They're filling up! My workshop this coming Saturday is full. If you wanted to do it and missed out, then don't hesitate to sign up for the next one that is a 2-day workshop. It is fit for beginners as well as for those who have had a class with me already. It's going to be very intense and offer more time to paint

Read more info in the WORKSHOPS section on my site.


Saturday, May 19th: FULL
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


Happy Mother's Day!

I hope you and your Mom had a great a mother's day--I did. My daughters gave me home-made cards (my favorite!) and a Michael Buble CD! They sure know me. :) How did you acknowledge the day today?



Tonight was fun. My band Sister Grace practiced tonight--we're headed into Ducktape studio with producer Johnny Sandlin (of that Muscle Shoals sound) again tomorrow to record our second set of songs for our first CD. Should be awesome! When we finished we went to Starbucks for a nightcap of decaf cappuccinos and banana nut loaf. Mmm. We had some nice discussion and had fun watching all the cute people coming and going. We are thrilled that our awesome town of Athens finally has a Starbucks. What is it about Starbucks? What makes us pay nearly $4 for a coffee drink--are we insane? You gotta know why you go--it's the feeling you have when you're in there. It's cool. It's hip. Why--I picked up Michael Buble's new CD while I was in there. How rockin' is that???

Cute girl who let me snap a pic:

Thank you to Sam who snapped this of us gals...

This is Sam--he makes great cappuccinos and lattes!

And so does Josh--he and Sam have visited my gallery downtown. Nice guys...

These are some of the reasons I like Starbucks. What are yours?


At Pictage's PartnerCon in Chicago

I love my partner Pictage! They are awesome in not only being a great lab for my discerning clients who expect the utmost in quality, but also in creating a rich community among its photographers. The past 2 days have been amazing. Claire and I have been in Chicago together rubbing elbows with so many icons (like Denis Reggie, a fellow Louisianian we found out, Mike Colon) in photography and listening to them share their secrets of success. Pictage is partners with the best of the best of photographers. My clients know about the Carole Foret/Pictage partnership. Come experience it for yourself!

Above is David Jay giving his talk about creating freedom in your life. He is awesome! Below is my sister Claire with the great Robert T. Williams who shoots globally for the likes of clients like King of Nigeria--you know, just common folk like that.

We've also been able to see some of the latest, cutting edge products in the industry. One new way-cool product is the shoot sac, created by Jessica Claire.

She has combined function and fashion in her creating of this camera bag--it's a basic black bag that holds a few lenses,and you can change out the flap out with different fabric flaps with choices of lots of hip fabrics. You know I'm all over that! It's revolutionary! I can't wait to receive mine.

Below is Kevin Swan, showing his new product. He has just launched a new company that produces great wedding books! KISS--keep it SSimple is the name of these books, and you can visit their site soon! These are Italian leather-covered, great looking books that every bride will want!

The greatest thing about coming to conferences is hanging out (networking) with some great photographers who have also become friends. Last night a group of us headed to downtown Chicago on the train to see the Blue Man Group. What a fun show! Have you ever seen their show--it's a treat for anyone but especially for me in that it is all about art, quirkiness and DRUMS! Gotta see them! Shaun Gordon, Kevin Swan, Andrew and Rachel of LaCour, Corey McNabb and Amber Holritz and Claire and I had a ball!

Andrew and Rachel Niesen have launched their new venture Shoot Q--a project management software for photographers. Shoot Q!

Below,Sarah Barlow (cousin to Barlow Girl gals) and her brother Andrew here, checking out shoot sacs with Jessica Claire--only red heads were allowed in this shot!

These folks are discussing some serious business deals--or probably showing off their apples--Fred Egan, Scarlett Williams, Jim Christianson, and Katie Thurmes.

The closing ceremony for the conference was given by Jeff Jochum--the director of marketing and sales for Pictage. He is also creator of Successware--my new project/client/bookkeeping software that I am still learning. This man is amazing! He's not only smart, but so personable and funny. Claire and I thought that ending the 2 days with a show of appreciation would be appropriate--our signature "bookend." Thanks, Pictage!


Upcoming Event!

Calling all artists: painters, photographers, musicians, writers, graphic designers, gallery owners, model/talent, past & current clients! Don't miss this fun event. Live music and awesome networking at my studio and gallery in beautiful downtown Athens. Featuring live music of my band Sister Grace (& friends) and Redwood Hill! RSVP by emailing and filling out the poll on the sidebar of this blog. Would love to see you! Click on the flyer below to enlarge and read.


BAR-low Girl and -b-que

Tonight was busy with both the Bar-b-que judging at WhistleStop in Huntsville and with trying to get back to Athens in time to go to Soulstock and not miss Barlow Girl.

I signed a few posters when I got there. (I was the poster artist this year!)

Serious judging of bar-b-que chicken going on in this photo. All of it was great! But I had to be more discerning than that...I enjoyed meeting Bryan, Robert and Paige, fellow judges sitting at my table.

Here is some bar-b-que chicken to make your mouth water. The 6 pieces we judged were all laid out on a place-mat thing in order for us to judge them in turn on taste and tenderness.

Well, God made a way! I didn't get home from Huntsville till around 8:30, then I got my daughter Caroline and we headed up to Beasley Field to see what was left of Soulstock, and what do you know? Barlow Girl started at 9pm! Yay! What a blessing they were to the HUGE crowd gathered there. (There were thousands!)

Barlow Girl totally rocked! I am so proud of their ministry to young women and teens. They are captivating women--vessels for the Lord. Visit their site to learn more about these 3 women--they're sisters!

Today, Tonight!

So much is going on today as happens this time of year--you just have to pick which to do. Today is the WhistleStop Festival in Huntsville--one of the biggest bar-b-que contests in the U.S. with lots of family activities, bands, etc. Should be fun. I am a celebrity judge for major bar-b-que contenders, so come out and see me!

Tonight is SOULSTOCK in Athens with lots of great Christian bands playing. It is an awesome, huge Christian concert with free admission! Can't beat that. Be sure to make it out if you can and don't miss bands like Barlow Girl, Sanctus Real!! Wow! I hope to get there once I return from Huntsville filled up with bar-b-que! Be blessed!


What a blessing!

What a day! God is good--He answers prayer. I have been so overwhelmed lately with so many deadlines, but worse, with GLITCHES from email issues to ram issues with one of my new macs. It's been mighty frustrating! He really changed my tiring/frustrating day into a great one today. Today was a totally wonderful experience as I went to deliver my painting to Nancy who has been patiently waiting on her painting while she battles cancer.

I met her today finally! (We have primarily had an email relationship in working for this painting) She was a true inspiration and a beautiful woman! She kept pointing out the weight she's gained from chemo and her hair that's finally growing back, but all I could see was a strong, beautiful woman who is handling her battle with the utmost of faith in God and love for her friends who have been battling with her. I was blessed beyond measure today spending time with Nancy and her friends who one by one came in to visit and see her painting. They were precious--all of them captivating women: Nancy, Alma, Kim...

I praise God for bringing new people in my life the way He does. Relationships are powerful. There is nothing like spending time with people and sharing what is most important in life like we did today--laughing over coffee as we played with all the colorful wigs that Nancy has in her wig wardrobe. She even sent me home with one! Fun!

I left with my favorite wig that I tried on. (For some reason, later on my girls were mortified that I was driving around with this wig on, giggling, laughing--they were literally getting angry with me as I was having some fun driving down the road like this. Why don't they laugh at me anymore? When they were 4 they would laugh at stuff like this!)

When I returned to Athens, I went to see my own mother who started her chemo today. Please be in prayer for both Nancy and my Mom. They are vessels for the Lord in huge ways. Today reminded me of a song that I'm listening to by an awesome band, Downhere called "Little Is Much." The words go: "Little is much when God's in it. No one can fathom the plans He holds. Little is much when God's in it, He changes the world with the seeds we sow..." Moving!!...anyway, Nancy loved her painting! Yay!


Latest House Portrait

My commission work keeps me busy. Most people never see the actual work that keeps me in business--those custom paintings that I do for clients. These paintings go right out the door when done and people visiting my gallery rarely get to see them. This painting is for a client in Huntsville who is battling cancer, and I have really enjoyed getting to know Nancy while I was working on this for her. She sends out updates of her visits to MD Anderson. I have had Nancy in my prayers for quite some time. Tomorrow on May 3rd, it will be exactly one year since this painting was commissioned! I called Nancy today to schedule the time to bring it to her and to have coffee together. I can't wait to see her and show her the painting she has been waiting for so patiently. I cherish my precious clients and their patience! Thank you!