So we are coming to the end of the story and the end of the small painting challenge.  Here we have the three wisemen or shall we say the Magi.  They spotted the star and knew it would lead them to the new King of the Jews.  

Matthew 2 1-12 reads ”After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born.  “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Matthew 2: 19-23 Ends our story with 

“After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene”


What better time then now to pick up your Bibles and read the entire story of Jesus’ birth.  It’s a beautiful story to share during the Christmas holiday focusing on what the real reason for celebrating this special time of the year.

As we continue with the story we know that the angel Gabriel, delivered the message to Mary who was engaged to Joseph and that she was with child.  Joseph thought of leaving Mary but an angel visited him  during his sleep, telling him that it was true, Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit and would have a son who’s name would be Jesus and would save his people from sin. Joseph and Mary traveled to Joseph’s home town, Bethlehem to register in the census that Caesar Augustus had issued a decree for.  While there Mary  deliver her first born son, Jesus,  She wrapped him in cloth and layed him in a manger.  Now, while the Shepherds were in the pasture watching over their flock an angel appeared telling them not to be afraid and gave them the good news.Luke 2:8 -11 tells us ”In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock.  Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people; today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David.”


 Just a thought but why do you suppose the shepherds were the first to hear the good news?  Shepherds were not the rich and important.  They were just lowly people.  My thoughts are that the good news of Jesus’  was and still is for all people.  He is everyone’s savior if they choose to believe.  He is here for us while we are in our ordinary day, working or whenever we need him, just waiting for us to seek him.


The Shepherd is a 4 x 4 oil on canvas.  It is #9 of the small painting challenge, 

So as the story continues....Gabriel brought Mary the message from God that she was with child, but her  fiancé,   Joseph obviously found it hard to believe that she conceive through the Holy Spirit.  He planned to leave her but he was visited by an angel while sleeping explaining that he should believe Mary and take her for his wife and name the child, Jesus for he would save his people from sin.The Bible reads in Luke 2: 1 -7 “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to their own town to register.  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”

Baby Jesus , a 4 x 4 oil on canvas board, is #8 of the 10 small painting challenge.  

Artist Roisin O’farrel challenged artist to paint 10 small paintings to keep us painting during the Christmas season.  Luscious Pink Roses was my first painting.  It is the largest of my paintings. This one is framed and sells for $250

#2 of the challenge is Old Country Church.  This one is an oil painting on  4 x 4 board.  Sells for $55 

#3 is White Country Church, it too is on a 4 x 4 canvas board.  $55

Oh Henry is my #4 painted on a 6 x 6 canvas.  This one is already SOLD!  

#5 Christmas Tree Farm is another 4 x 4 canvas board. $55

Mary, a young Jewish woman of Nazareth was engaged to be married when she was visited by Gabriel, one of God’s archangels.  In Luke 1: 26 -35 we read  “ In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”  Mary showed bravery for the most important job in history.  She was there for both Jesus’ birth and when he took his last breath.  

 Mary #8 painting of Roisin O’farrel’s Christmas Small Painting Challenge 

Who was Gabriel and why is he important?  He  was one of God’s archangels.  Angel you say???  Yes, God used angels in the Old Testament to appear to humans who would not be able to see Him and live.  They helped Him give deliverance, revelations, and His judgement.  We know from reading the Bible, Gabriel was a messenger.  “And the angel answered and said to him. “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings.” Luke 1:19 He delivered a message to Daniel. “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.”  Daniel 8:16.  He also delivered a message to Zechariah in Luke 1:13 “ But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.“ Zechariah could not believe for he had prayed for a son a long time and now as an old man his prayer was being answered.  Again  a shocking message was told my Gabriel,  the Bible’s tells us that Gabriel delivered a message to a young woman, named Mary in  Luke 1:26 -2 “ In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.  The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you. Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.  You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”  “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most Highwill overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called  the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.  For no word from God will ever fail.”  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. 

So you see, the angel, Gabriel, delivered the news of the most valuable gift we will every receive and what is so grand is this gift is for everyone who chooses to believe that God sent his Son, Jesus, who saves us from sin and to reign over God’s kingdom for eternity.  My wish is for you pick up your Bible and read the amazing stories of Gabriel this Christmas season and feel God’s presence in your life. Merry Christmas to you and your family!! 


Gabriel is # 6 painting of my  challenge to paint 10 small paintings this Christmas season! You can find my first five paintings



The Last Show

Artist, Linda W Clark of Victoria, VA was inspired and given permission to paint “The Last Show”, after seeing a post from her friend, Cindi @themustardseed205 on Instagram. Cindi shared that she and her family had gone and enjoyed the Kelly Miller Circus in the small town of Marble Hill, Missouri. The beautiful red white and blue photo she shared caught Linda’s eye, particularly since she knew at the time the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus had just held its last show in Richmond, Virginia. Linda completed “The Last Show” in 2017.

We have all been to a circus and enjoyed the faces of our children as they watched with excitement. This company, The Kelly Miller Circus, has been providing entertainment for nearly 80 years. The Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus provided the best shows on earth, but in 2017 after 146 years the circus closed its doors. Linda’s desire was to paint a beautiful red, white and blue painting to honor both companies for all the entertaining years they have provided for our families for so many years!

Around Labor Day this year, Linda posted her painting on Instagram. She received a message from someone that told her she loved it. After a day or two she received an email at her Creative Works website from the same person, Rebecca Ostroff. Rebecca stated she was the blond with the red coat that was in Linda’s amazing painting.

She wanted to purchase a print, if available. You can imagine how surprised Linda was! I’m sure Linda could get Rebecca a print. Rebecca, an aerialist, was the Ringmaster of the Kelly Miller Circus. She was also in the movie, “Water for Elephants” a 2011 Drama in which she was spinning by her teeth.

A few days passed after this email, then Linda received another message from Rebecca asking if the original painting, “The Last Show”, was available. If so, she said, then John Ringling North, II would like to purchase a print for Rebecca, and he wanted to purchase the original for himself. John Ringling North, II, one of the last of the Ringling descendants to own a circus, bought the Kelly Miller Circus in 2007. This painting was special to them, Linda was told, because it was the last show for Rebecca as the Ringmaster and for John, because he was the owner of the Kelly Miller Circus. John retired from the circus business and it now is under new ownership.

Linda shipped the painting to Ardmore, Oklahoma to arrive by time John returned from Ireland in September. Recently, Linda received an email from him stating, “I saw the painting yesterday and I think it is fantastic”. Linda also received an email from Jim Dexhimer stating, “I love your painting”, and he enclosed two photographs (one shown above) of John Ringling North II next to Linda’s painting of “The Last Show” on the wall.


Here we are finishing up August and I’m like.....where did the summer go??  It has been a busy summer for us because we opened up an ice cream shoppe, Timmy’s Scoops, as many of you may already know.  This has made it impossible for me to get any painting done and threw me behind in a lot of other things that I’m still trying to catch up!!


 September here we come!!  It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I did the 30 paintings in 30 days series!  That was a lot of fun and some of you enjoyed following along last September!! Maybe one day I will do it again! 


I had a couple of interesting opportunities this summer.  I exhibited at the Morena Bohemia Art Gallery in Old Towne Petersburg, VA and also in Chase City, VA twice at the MacCullam Moore Museum and Gardens.  All were a great opportunity and experience.


This week I am putting together a few pieces to have for the Blackstone Arts and Crafts Show on Saturday and Sunday, September 8 and 9.  I have a few small autumn originals and I will have my latest painting, Flower Bucket.  I just got in some new note cards and small prints!!  Hope to see you there if you are able.


One thing I am looking forward to is in October I’m taking doing a workshop with an arts from Ireland!  I took an online class with her and loved it so I’m sure it is going to be fantastic!!


In. November I will be exhibiting at the Christmas Bazaar in South Hill, VA and I hope to be back to painting very soon!!  Hope your summer has been fantastic!  Take care and hope to see you soon!!


Linda Clark