Friday, December 27, 2013

" wrath, remember mercy"

When Habakkuk the prophet implored God's intervention over the injustice he saw in the world he said this:
     O Lord, how long shall I cry and thou wilt not hear!  even cry out unto thee of violence and thou wilt not        save!  Why dost thou show me iniquity and and cause me to behold grievance for spoiling and violence          before me;  and there are that rise up strife and contention... the law is slacked and judgement doth never      go forth;  for the wicked doth compass about the righteous and therefore wrong judgement proceedeth.
I find myself crying out the same things.  Where is your justice O God?  Why aren't you doing something about the wickedness that has nearly devoured these children?   I wait for answers.

We are not Foster Parents this time around... We are "Alternative Caregivers as a Safety Plan".  Dylan and Cheyenne have been with us since mid-October. Dylan had been hospitalized with a fractured spine and pelvis, multiple facial bruises and tested positive for Meth in his three year old system.  Needless to say there has been an investigation; the outcome of which remains to be seen.  We have been dismayed to learn that the parents are entering into another "treatment plan" with DSS to attempt to get these children back.  We are hoping and praying for Court intervention and the placement of a Guardian ad Litem.  It will be harder for the parents to get them back this time - though not impossible... and that is what distresses me.

At 51, caring for two children ages 3 and 5 is not the walk in the park that it would have been when I was in my twenties... or so I think.  I am older (obviously) and hopefully wiser, so it seems that it should be easier, not harder.  But alas, I am used to a certain level of quiet in my house, and order in my day, and freedom in my life - so this new life we have is certainly harder than I thought it would be... it is a sobering reminder that my world has revolved around me for quite a while.

So the lesson that I am learning from Habakkuk as the nation of Judah also learned, is that I am part of the problem.  As Edmund Burke remarked so many years ago:  "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."  Therefore it is to my shame if I do not learn how to become part of the solution.  And so here we are;  turning our comfy lives upside down to do something good against the evil that has triumphed in these little lives.  It is not easy, and we are not doing it perfectly.  No applause is due us for sure... it is simply what must be done to hold the evil at bay.

What God told Habakkuk was that He would send the Chaldeans, a vicious nation, to take captive His holy people in Judah.  What?  Really?  And then the people are called to "Live by faith."  In other words, often God will allow things to get worse, sometimes much worse, before he allows them to get better.  Our job is to trust His ultimate goodness even in the face of so much bad.  Easier said than done, right?  Thank you to our "Emmanuel" that He is with us in this process;  or we couldn't make it... This I know.

And so I say with Habakkuk:
 O Lord I have heard thy speech and was afraid;  O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years,              in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy."

Yes, ..."in wrath, remember mercy." Amen.

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Peace Like a River"

"Peace Like A River"

Mr. and Mrs. Tom Tharpe

Tom & Jane Tharpe, with the Artist, me: Charlotte Murray                                                                                                               

Jane Tharpe commissioned an Oyster Painting for her River House.  Knowing that the painting would be hanging in a place where family and friends would gather inspired the title:  "Peace Like a River." 

Delivering a new painting to its new home is perhaps one of the most rewarding things I have done as an artist. 

I pray that their home would be filled with Peace, just like a River.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Become a "Friend of the Arts" because Art will be a friend to you!

     As a teaching artist I have found myself in some interesting spaces in order to share my craft:  storage units, large residential garages, small living rooms, porches, some nice professional spaces and most recently , the "Green Room" at the Palmetto Theater.  This Fall I will be teaching in the Stanley Cultural Arts Center:  A large, spacious, amazing space that is home to the Hampton County Arts Council "Friends of the Arts." 
     As I was preparing the space for new classes I was both excited and confused.  How can a space this amazing thrive without lots and lots of people and activities?  The short answer is that it can't.  The more important answer is the reason for this post, and it is a question: 
      Would YOU like to be involved in promoting the Arts of Hampton County?
     Perhaps it hasn't occurred to you that there is anything for you and your family in the Hampton County Arts Council... or maybe you already have a busy schedule, or maybe you just didn't know.  The Arts of Hampton County will only be as strong as the community that supports it.
     What I thought about most of all that day is how important art is to people, and especially to young people.  Art is a way of stretching the imagination:  something that all of us use every day of our lives.  
     Albert Einstein said:  Imagination is more important than knowledge.  Knowledge is limited but imagination encircles the world."
What he realized is that imagination is the fuel that ignites the knowledge we have; the education we take in, the ideas that are born in our heart.
     I share all this to say that you are needed by the Arts Council... but what you may not realize is that YOU need the Arts!  Call today to see what you can do to be a "Friend of the Arts" because ART will be a friend to you!
     HCAC 803-943-3100

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Beginnings in Encaustics

"Beautiful Truth", Encaustic on Board with Mixed media, 9 x 12
 This is my first attempt with the medium of Encaustics.  It is a wax based pigment that must be heated and fused.  I actually have no idea what I am doing, but had great fun trying it out.
"Oyster in Pluff Mud", Encaustic on Board, 8 x 8

"I sing because I'm Happy", Encaustic & Mixed Media on Board, 9 x 12

"Imagine Angels Unawares", Encaustic, 6 x 6

"His Eye is on the Sparrow", Encaustic & Mixed Media, 5 x 7

Discovery,  Encaustic, 5 x 7

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Somewhere over July

Somewhere over July...  
Since my last post I have had a short vacation with my husband in February and one week later we landed three Foster children... six months later the children have transitioned back to parents and we are transitioning back to only three of us in the house... it has felt sad and exhilarating, if that is possible...but I am finding my footing... especially today because I spent some time ALONE... something I haven't been in 6 months!

I took myself out to Hunting Island and enjoyed the sun, sand and surf.  Beautiful day!  And so inspiring... I was reminded all over again why I love the beach.  The Atlantic was refreshing and flecked with glittering sand and I just wanted to cry it was all so beautiful.

Since July 2011 I have been working on a series of Oyster paintings that have been, most of all fun, educational, and at times, have even been enjoying some sales success (yay!) I am also returning to my Nest series and have recently ventured into Encaustics.  I look forward to seeing where all of this is going.  

So, I'm back to making a new effort in art and hopefully in writing about this journey.  Thanks for joining me!  

Friday, January 20, 2012

Helllllloooooooo, 2012!

With the advent of a new year I am embarking on a journey toward the celebration of 50 years!  Wow!  it seems unreal and yet so right.  I have loved every age - but perhaps none better than my present age.  I am glad to be alive and consider myself blessed in so many ways.  Last year found me reading Ann Voscamp's book "One thousand Gifts" and I will never be the same.  So I am counting the "gifts" all of the blessings that come to me from God's ultimately loving hand... and "All truly is Grace." 

My husband, Dave, and I will celebrate 25 years of marriage this year.  For those of you who know us you are keenly aware that this has not come easy, and yet, what truly worthy feats are easy.  God is still in the "Miracle Business" and for this we are grateful. 

David Paul continues his work with his photography and working with Dave.  We are praying for that "Good Thing" from the Lord for him and look forward to the mysterious ways of God's Providence as He works in this area. 

My Art has gone through various stages in the past three years, from wildly colorful palms to Bird nests, to mixed media pieces about "Home," to oysters, of all things and now I have just completed a series of "Valentines" for fun.  I am having a lot of fun painting and am exited to say that my work can now be seen in five different locales:
The Gallery, Beaufort, SC

Eden Gallery, Walterboro, SC

Simple Gestures, St.Augustine, FL

Julienne's, Hampton, SC

Fletcher's Finds, Yemassee, SC

Here's to 2012!


Beginning Tuesday, February 7, 2012 I will be offering art classes at

My classic 6-Week "Discover the Artist in You" instruction includes:
  • Week 1:  Color Theory, Color mixing & Pre-Instruction painting
  • Week 2: Monet History; Brush Strokes & 2nd Painting
  • Week 3: Van Gogh History; Brush Strokes & 3rd Painting
  • Week 4:  Cezanne History: Brush Strokes & 4th Painting; 
  • Week 5:  O'Keeffe History: Brush Strokes & 5th Painting
  • Week 6:  Personal Choice Painting
 All Classes include:
  • Creative Prompts and Ideas for continuing inspiration  
  • Artist Tools and philosophy
  • Art Exhibition to Celebrate Accomplishments
Three class times will be available beginning Tuesday, February 7, 2012:
1:00 - 3:00  Adult Class 
4:00 - 5:30  Student Class (Ages 8-15)
6:00 - 9:00  Adult Class

Contact me at