Sep 16, 2010

The Rickles Family

At long last I have just delivered the mega painting I've been working on for about 4 months now. The Rickles family, one of the best looking families you'll see. This was a gift to my sweet friend Peggy who worked with me for 12 years and was my right hand. She has been a huge influence in my life as one of the sweetest and most loving Christian women I've ever met. She has made coconut or strawberry cakes for me for every birthday and Christmas for the last 15 or so years and has been there for every sad or happy milestone in my life. I'm forever indebted to her for blessing my life. I know she was Heaven sent. This painting is to go over her mantle in her beautiful new home and is 45 1/2" wide x 34 1/2 high". I was so tickled that the colors blended beautifully with her room and that she was so happy with it. She's the little lady in the center. What a great mother and grandmother for her children and grandchildren. What a joy to be able to do this for her.

Sep 9, 2010

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    Sargent Fil by tina swindell




September 2010

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Aug 31, 2010

Misha - Another Arizona model

I recently finished this piece that I started at the workshop in Arizona (see below).  Misha modeled for us for about 3 hours.  She was a very pretty young girl with a terrific voice.  She and I had to do an accapella solo for the class.  I'm afraid hers was MUCH better than my quick verse.  She looks a little solemn in this pose but the lighting on her strawberry blond hair with the blue was very nice.  I hope I did her justice.  I'm currently working on a family portrait of a very dear friend who insisted I could do a family of 10.  It has been quite a challenge although it is a beautiful family.  Hopefully it won't be too long until I can post that one.
More later!

Wishing you Joy!


Aug 13, 2010

Finally Finished "Fil"

Such a joy to paint "Fil" our Hopi Indian model at my Arizona workshop (see that story below).  I've finally finished him but the photo doesn't do it justice.  Oh well, until I can get a better camera and find out more about lighting it will have to do!  On to the next project!
Stay tuned! Tomorrow night is the "Dragonfly Ball" at the Burningtree Country Club in Decatur with my band, "The Valley Cats".  Life is good!

Jul 24, 2010

Arizona Workshop - What a week!

I have had a wonderful time this week in Prescott Arizona with my friend and fellow artist Glennis Black. You just can't imagine how magestic those red rocks of Sedona are...that was about an hour drive...well, that is if we hadn't gone to Jerome first.  Jerome is an old copper mining town turned artist colony that would have been really neat had the galleries and shops been open : )  Never mind we took 157 curves, sharp curves, in 12 miles on the ride up. Yep, that's with me driving about 150 of those.  If you know me at all you know what a scaredy cat I am.  You would have been proud of me though.  I did finally have to pull over and let Glennis experience it.  What a roller coaster.  It was gorgeous though.  BUT, what we were here for was a 4 day portrait painting workshop with Chris Saper and oh my goodness, I can't believe how much I've learned...not only about painting portraits but the whole business.  I'm so excited to get back home and put some of what I've learned into practice.  Thanks Chris for a very in-depth study and for all the excellent information.  I really should wait until these are finished but I did want to show you what I've been working on.  We had some great live models to work with and I especially enjoyed our Native American model.  His skin tones were wonderful to paint plus he was kind enough to share with us some stories about his native Hopi culture.  I'll post these again when I have them completed.  Please do comment and let me know what you think! 

Apr 18, 2010

Next Saturday - Paint with me!

Yes it's beautiful outside today!  I'm going to get out and plant some seeds, plant some impatiens in my shady backyard, worship God and his magnificent creation, open the windows and let the crisp Spring air flow through the house, celebrate a birthday and take a rest from the rest of life.  All the while I'll be looking forward to next Saturday morning's "Coffee, Tea, and Painting Therapy" session which will be at the home of Cindy Griswald - address is 17567 Martin Dr., in Vestavia subdivision.  Take 72 W and turn left on Lucas Ferry Rd., take the first street on the right (Jeffrey St.), keep going until you see Martin Dr. on your right, go through the 2 way stop and Cindy's house is the first house on the right facing Martin Dr.  The house number is on the mailbox.   Can't wait to see her home and enjoy some food, friends and painting this landscape scene which was furnished by Anna Tominack.  Take a 4 hour break from your Spring chores and join us to enjoy learning something new! All supplies are furnished and it's only $45 per person.  All you need to do is sign up using Paypal over to the right on this blog or e-mail me at  There are spaces available so sign up today!

Apr 17, 2010

On Writing....

In 2007 I jumped off a cliff and decided to do a CD of some original songs.  Along came Sister Grace and a flurry of exciting things for us.  We've been sort of on stand by due to some events in our lives and I'm missing those days.  I'm wanting to dig out my guitar and get off on a tree stump somewhere and  howl!  I was reading a blog by Sara Beth Fair earlier this morning and was so inspired.  She's not only a gifted artist but an excellent and inspired writer.  It made me think of the time that I was heavily into writing for our CD and how close I felt to God during those days.  Some of the words that came were definitely gifts from Him and I felt inspired this morning to post this one...  thanks to my dear friend Whit who helped me bring this one to life, we need to do some more writing...
I Keep Calling Out Your Name 
Hello it's me again
I hope you’re listening today 
I've tried to talk to you before and you've ignored me
But I keep coming back anyway 
Seems like I would give up
But I'm you’re God and I am offering my love

I keep calling out your name
In your joy and in your pain 
All I ask is that you call back to me

I’ve always been your friend
I know the treasures in your heart
The stories gathered there 
And I've prepared some things 
That you've not seen so far 
Walk with me and believe 
And we’ll solve some mysteries
You know I am the source

I keep calling out your name
In your joy and in your pain 
All I ask is that you call back to me

I see you try and make it on your own
Saying you don’t need Me
But wouldn’t you feel better in My arms 
All it takes is you believing 

I keep calling out your name
In your joy and in your pain 
All I ask is that you call back to me

Tina Murrah Swindell Whitney Hubbs ©3/07

Apr 9, 2010

Lexi - Mom cried

At last I finished the big oil portrait I've been working on for a couple of months.  It's 30" x 36" oil on canvas.  I was working from a low resolution digital picture which made it very difficult to see the details.  That's ok, I just used a little artistic freedom!  I received a note from the person who commissioned the painting for his wife....she had tears, which he said was very unusual for her.  I was so thrilled that she loved the painting!  I believe she actually took the photo of Lexi on the beach and I was struck by the colors in the dress as well as the seagull and his shadow...not to mention the water.  Such a joy to paint. 
Looking forward to the next "Coffee, Tea, and Painting Therapy" session on April 24th.  Still looking for what I want us to paint.  Any ideas?

Apr 1, 2010

Save the date! The Valley Cats will be at Panoply Sunday, April 25th 2:45

Hope to see you in Huntsville on April 25th.  Our band will be performing on Sunday afternoon at 2:45, April 25th.  Hopefully it will be a great time to get out and enjoy some fine art, food and music.  Mark your calendars!

Mar 27, 2010

Slideshow of Today's Painting Class

Today was such a beautiful day!  We had a wonderful breakfast at Robye Andrews new home and embellished our somewhat plain photo model into something beautiful!  Sorry if you missed it!  Enjoy!

Mar 17, 2010

The Simple Way of Love

My sweet niece Marla Delong has written a beautiful book that is a must have.  Her quotations are so well written and the depth amazed me. I'm so proud of the way God is using her and her dedication to serving him.  The site is under construction but you will be able to order soon using PayPal.  Meanwhile, e-mail me at and let me know if you'd like a copy.  They are $25 each.

Do you honestly believe that you are loved?

This simple little book is a warm, grace-filled, thought-provoking invitation to taste and discover what it means to live deeply loved in a relationship with God.

Read it in twenty minutes, but be changed for a lifetime.

“The Simple Way of Love” is a visual parable of what it means to dwell in grace. The dialogue between art and words will take you on a journey to the inward places of your heart that will challenge your innermost beliefs and help you discover the secret that can deeply transform your life.
The Simple Way of Love

Mar 13, 2010

Check out "Click Chick!" and the Valley Cats

My sweet friend Stephanie Fenton (also my sister in "Sister Grace")has started a new blog called "Click Chick!" and she is taking some excellent photos these days! She had some most unusual and interesting characters to photograph last night!  Well, it is true!  She has posted some photos of "The Valley Cats" from our photo/video shoot last night.  Check out her blog but please, continue on to some of the other things she's been posting and check out some of the links from there.  Special thanks to Steph, Deon Hargrove from Railroad Bazaar, and Tom "Sound Doc" Macgruder for using their special skills to make us look good last night!  Well, they did the best they could!  We'll be posting the video when it's ready. 

Mar 6, 2010

Who would have thought....

When I was about 5 years old I discovered this picture of my entire family other than me.  I remember Mama was at the kitchen counter, probably rolling out the dough for some of those daily home made biscuits we grew up on. I can clearly remember standing there just barely tall enough to see over the kitchen table and staring at that picture for a long time.  Then, the moment I became so upset at not being in that picture and ripped it in half.  My mother couldn't believe that little temper (which would later get me into lots of trouble). I guess I hadn't figured out yet that when the picture was made that family of brothers didn't know they were going to have a little sister come along.  Well, who would have believed it would wind up blown up on a huge screen at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville today when my brother, Roger Murrah, was honored in an interview as a legendary songwriter in the Hall of Fame's "Poet and Prophet" series.  I went through lots of emotions and memories listening to the words of his songs and to him talk about his life, his songs and the journey that brought him to this well deserved place of honor.  I'm very proud of my brother.  Songwriting and the success he's had is not something that happens over night.  He's spent countless hours honing the art and craft of writing and struggled through many years to see that dream come true.  He's been a huge influence in my life and I'm so thankful to have shared an ounce or two of the success he's had and to have been a part of that history he talked about today.  Way to go bro!  Keep a-kickin'! 

Mar 5, 2010

Let Hope Shine in Your Work

I wanted to share a newsletter I get with you.  I thought this was very encouraging and I want to continue to strive to let Christ's light shine in all that I do.  I hope you will find encouragement here.  You may want to subscribe to the newsletter too. (The photo is a preview of the portrait I'm currently working on.  I'll post again when I'm done.  It's a full body 36" x 30" oil....I love painting!) 

March 4, 2010

Volume 5, Number 5

This is the bi-weekly e-newsletter you requested from the National Women's Department, to bring an encouraging perspective to the hectic lifestyles of career women and working moms.

Let Hope Shine in Your Work

by Kristin Huffman

I remember when my first-born child was beginning to chow down on real food. I tried diligently to introduce him to a variety of pureed vegetables, fruits, and meats, all in the appropriate order. But he had his definite likes and dislikes. He’d gravitate toward sweet potatoes, carrots, and pumpkin and refuse the green things. Being the firm, principled mother, I let him have what he wanted.

One morning he woke up and looked like he had a tan, one of the instant bottle-variety tans. In fact, he was orange. I carried him all over the house to look at him in different lights, but he was definitely orange.

In a panic, I called the pediatrician who quickly reassured me that the carotene in the orange veggies had changed his skin tone from the inside out. My son would turn back to his normal color if I varied his diet.

Since then, I can spot babies who love carrots. Their skin gives them away!

As I live and work with others, I have also learned how to recognize those who have Christ and His truth as their foundation, those who base their whole lives on Him. They shine from the inside out, exuding hope and confidence and joy even when work is tough. Keeping Christ at the center of our lives shows through to the world.

In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus describes what people look like who follow Him and put His words into practice. It’s a story about people who build houses. The wise man built his house on the rock—on a solid foundation. When the storms came, the house didn’t fall because of its strong foundation. The foolish man built his house on the sand, a foundation that fell apart when the storms came.

In our lives, Jesus lets us choose how to build. Will we trust in things that won’t last? Will we trust in strength outside of God? Will we be battered by the storms of life?

Or will we trust in Jesus and His promises? If we follow Him, live like Him, and participate in building His kingdom, that foundation will support us through any storm.

Living in this world is difficult. We face temptations and struggles and worries. But we can trust Jesus as our foundation. In our relationships, in our families, and in our work, He will show us the path we are to follow. We can stop and breathe and listen to Him with our hearts and minds.

As we make space for Christ, we ask Him to lead us. He will help us make the right decisions, use our gifts creatively, and trust Him for the outcomes. He even gives us the courage and determination to accept His leadership. We need to lose our fierce desire to do it our way, and let Him lead us, His way.

What a relief to know that He will be our strength and our hope—even when the world crashes in around us. What a relief to know that others will see this hope shining through us, from the inside out.

Reprinted with permission. Originally published as “Let Hope Shine in Your Work” on 03/2/10 at

To view previous issues of Women @ Work, click here.

Feb 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy -100 years today!

My sweet Daddy would have been 100 years old today if he were still with us.  God rest his soul.  I miss him every day.  I just had to do something to commemorate the occasion.  What sweet memories I have of a blessed childhood and living on the farm.   The old photo is of Daddy, my brother Mike and me....(I know, nice bangs)

Jan 18, 2010

Feb. 13th...Get Into Red..Sign up now!

Paint with us on February 13, 2010.  $45 per person for a 4 hour painting class.  We will be painting from life this time and this will be the "February" calendar pages for our calendars we'll do in December.  Beginners welcome!  Experienced too!  Hope to see you there (my house)!
Sign up safely and securely using PayPal on the column to the right of this post.
Enjoy your week!

Jan 11, 2010

What a great class!

Thanks to everyone who came Saturday. We kicked off the new year with a landscape painting for January. Great group.  Hope those of you who wanted to come and couldn't make it will join us Feb. 13th.  Sign up over to the right.  6 slots available!
Have a great week!

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