Saturday, June 11, 2011

This month I was asked to be the featured artist at 31 CHURCH STREET GALLERY in Crestline.

I hope you will drop in this month to check out the newest watercolors and acrylics (summer fun)~

Thanks to all who attended the opening and came out to hear BRENT MCCOLLOUGH perform!

Blessings creative friends!

Friday, May 27, 2011



10-11:30 EACH DAY

MONDAY- JUNE 11 WATERCOLOR- BRING A PHOTO OF A HOME- (interior room or exterior)
watercolor process explained, perspective, we will do one together


WEDNESDAY- JUNE 13- ACRYLIC- ABSTRACT WITH PALETTE KNIFE 8 1/2X11 canvas provided or you may bring your own larger

THURSDAY-JUNE 14- COLOR COLOR COLOR! STILL LIFE WITH FABRIC DESIGNS INCORPORATED  acrylic (graphic design incorporated into painting)
8 1/2 X 11 canvas provided

Email at to register
All ages

We will also have a PARENTS PAINT PARTY on Thursday June 14 at 6 PM $30 includes canvas,
instruction, light refreshment (byob)

Call 205-914-2400 with questions.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


We are so excited that with the end of the school year and summer approaching, the Alabama Gulf Coast is celebrating its comeback since the BP Crisis.

The Hangout Festival in full swing on May 20-22 as well as Memorial Day will bring lots of people flocking to the shores.

Allison's work will be featured at a new restaurant in Orange Beach during the celebration weekends.

Rotolo's, a well established restaurant in Louisiana offering authentic Italian Cuisine opens in Orange Beach at 25755 Perdido Beach Blvd. (across from the new Hampton Inn) on Thursday, May 19.

Allison's paintings will be featured/for sale until June with 10% of the sales for The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. Drop in during the Hangout Festival and Memorial Day events for casual italian dining!

Allison lived in Gulf Shores just prior to Ivan and opened a seafood restaurant with her husband, Chad (CPA, Mortgage Broker) in Mt. Brook, AL. Chad still works locally with Kiva Dunes/ Ft. Morgan.

Allison, author of Birmingham Sketchbook, has many ties with the Gulf Coast, not to mention that she vacationed there from teh time she was small.

Last year she was a featured artist at the Orange Beach Art Center (be sure to check that out as you travel along Canal Road in Orange Beach, the mossy trees on the water make it a magical artists retreat and gallery space.

Her work is also currently at LUCCA Boutique-The Wharf. There you will find the GIRLFRIENDS SERIES. Be sure to stop in and tell Lisa we sent you.

Allison still says her claim to fame is her musician son, Brent McCollough, who got his start on the Gulf Coast's Sunny 103.7 at the age of 8 singing Piano Man.

Visit Allison's website at to purchase prints at Fine art or click HERE

and contact Rotolo's at or at 251-223-9104.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Learning from Others

As I noted, I had the opportunity to attend PAUL JACKSON's workshop in Ocean Springs MS. Paul has been a renowned watercolor artist for years.

I wanted to include his bio information from Squidoo because any description I HAVE WOULD NOT DO IT JUSTICE...but on top of it all...he is an incredible, down to earth person who loves teaching other artists to find their gift:

Paul was honored by the American Watercolor Society with signature membership at the age of 30. He is also a Signature member of the National Watercolor Society. Paul was the Grand Prize winner in the "Paint Your Way to Paris " competition and has been featured as one of the Master Painters of the World in International Artists Magazine.

Jackson's artwork has been on the cover of the Artist's magazine four times in recent years. Other media featuring Jackson 's work include: American Artist, Watercolor magazine, Watercolor Magic, Watercolor Artist, Forbes Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, NPR, CBS News, The Baltimore Sun, The St Louis Post, The Kansas City Star, and TWA's Ambassador Magazine.

Many of Paul's works hangs in private collections, but you can see some examples on display in museums and public buildings.

Although Paul Jackson has an unequalled passion for watercolor, his creative genius has not been limited. In 2001, Jackson unveiled a 30' diameter tiger mosaic on the University of Missouri campus. Paul led hundreds of volunteers in assembling more than 420,000 Italian glass tiles for the project. Jackson 's painting, "Not Exactly Front Row Center" was recreated as the stage design for the musical "Porterphiles" at the York theatre in NYC. Paul has also thrice designed Easter eggs for the White House and he designed the Missouri Commemorative State Quarter for the United States Mint.

In 2008, Jackson was the featured speaker at the International Watercolor Masters Invitational in Lushan , China , during the Olympic Games. In 2009 he served as the invited juror for the American Watercolor Society's 142nd annual international exhibition.

Years ago I attended his first book signing. Throughout those years I continued to create acrylic paintings, using bright, fully saturated color but could not seem to get the effect I was looking for when painting water and glass.

This year, next month actually, I turn 45. While reading through my journals I was reminded of the impact Paul's work made on me, more probably then as a writer than an artist, when I lived on the Gulf Coast. My son who is now 17, was five years old.

After researching his whereabouts I saw that he would be holding a PAINTING LIGHT AND GLASS WORKSHOP near my hometown, not to mention on the Gulf Coast. I felt it was a GREAT opportunity to slip away with my husband (we have four children) AND fulfill a life dream...or at least something that had been giving me a huge "nudgin" over the years.

So I went. And since I returned home I have been transformed as a painter, even look at trees and leaves differently.

Two weeks after going to Paul's workshop, I guess because of the '45" thing, I attended an acrylic workshop taught by a fellow artist in my hometown of Birmingham.

She has a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT STYLE AND TECHNIQUE. I loved her texture and layering of color.

Once again, in my studio, I found myself looking at MY work in different ways.

HOW EXCITED I was to find an artist site called FINE ART AMERICA where not only can I sell my work, create a blog, a web presence, but
I can CONNECT AND LEARN FROM OTHERS. (Click on the title of this blog to go there)

The internet can consume us, I find myself engulfed in great ideas every day.

The KEY is to ABSORB influences from others but the CRUCIAL PART is to TAKE IT TO THE 'DRAWING BOARD/easel/pad" and

Blessings to my fellow CREATIVE ARTISTS. I look forward to learning from and sharing with you here and on fineartamerica.

Allison Adams

Thursday, April 21, 2011


It has been about a month since my workshop with Paul Jackson and watercolor has sucked me IN. (THE TOP PAINTING

The process is completely opposite that of acrylic, where you start with darks and add highlights.
With watercolor there is as much to the planning as there is to the process of building up from lights to darks.

I wanted to share a few of my latest. These photos will be updated when I actually scan the paintings.
(a bit of glare on the glass of one) but none-the-less....A NEW START.

This month I will be working on some architectural ones as I get back to my "interior design" roots.
I think back to how much I enjoyed completing my senior renderings when I was at Alabama. I had forgotten how much
time I spent with markers and colored pencils bringing spaces to life.

Sometimes to RE discover what you might have known all along you have to venture off into the WORLD to find your way back.

Oprah yesterday had a brilliant producer,Tom Shadyac (Nutty Professor and numerous other hits) who CHECKED OUT OF THE WORLD and into LIFE. He has done a documentary called I AM. He has given most of his millions away, sold his 30,000 sf home and lives in a little ONE ROOM house down on the beach...where he says he has everything he needs. His house was filled with nicknaks and furniture, paintings and closets filled with clothes. He said he was ADVISED to death. (had a live in house staff, a career advisor, a financial advisor). He tossed them all to live HIS LIFE.

How refreshing it would be to not have to spend time overseeing mundane "household organizing" and to wake up, hop on a bike (no more worry with these gas prices), and see where God leads you that day.

I was sold on the idea that I was to graduate college, get married, have 2.5 kids (boy first girl second), live in a nice home (with the right antiques~ which I rebelled and have NOT), drive a BMW (I opted for the 280ZX because it talked), collect silver and dress the children in french hand sewn gowns (oops is it EASTER? looks like we will be wearing JEANS AT THE LAKE).

WHO ARE WE? And what else could we do with all of this STUFF.

I gave away a pair of jeans the other day to someone who looks far cuter than me in them...she was so appreciative..been evicted from her apartment. Turned her life completely around and is on fire for God. She just got a job and was precious in an outfit she put together from a thrift store. (plus some SEVEN jeans I had inherited from my sister). (Mom recently expressed her concern that I HATE TO SHOP). Must have been all those KIDDY CORNER TRIPS that turned me off every year before school started.

I have cleaned out my closet ONCE since I was 18 (moved it quite a few times (average of once a year since college) but never threw much out. When I lived in Gulf Shores my sister came to help me CULL. We threw out ball gowns (used for the countless MUNT-GUMRY functions), and a long leather coat (still wish I had that one...think my ex husband's wife coveted that one and the worn Louis Vuitton bags I was tossing-I let her have them) (yes, quite ironic I know). I still have a blast every month when I get my IN STYLE magazine and can go in and pull out SOMETHING that is similar...even though it might be from 8 years prior!

But I wonder, WHEN DID I BECOME THIS person who follows the fashion trends, who bought two BMW's? who dresses up when flying "just in case" (still never figured out in case of what) (lessons drilled in my head by former "influences")

This past weekend, Chad and I were at Talladega, in our RV for two nights (parked beside his dads luxurious motor coach)...two glorious out of a duffle, with a fridge and a cooler, no kids, no worries, no dress code, cowboy boots and jeans, music, a full moon. I wasn't even really a racecar fan, even though one of those drivers was in our hunting club. But we happened upon two tickets for the front row at the starting line and I have to say, even with scrapnel (sp?) flying and engines blaring enough to make my ears hurt, it was another of those experiences I will never forget.


Someone asked me recently, "don't you wish you had saved your money when you and Chad did all that traveling to Europe (twice), Costa Rica, California, Miami...wherever else some "event was taking place"?"

My response was "UH NO, so that we could have watched it slip away in an account when the stocks went down? Because Chad and I are BOTH and would have invested similarly to the way we EAT, TRAVEL and RELAX. It would have been high risk and GONE."

After our camping hiatus, we came home to a house that has been house-keeper LESS for two weeks, not to mention the mess the kids made while we were away...the dogs tracking in and out, grumpy attitudes from lack of sleep.

As my oldest son plans for college, wishing for a career in music, I see what a GREAT talent he would be as a doctor. Everything, including his AP Biology grades (and the fact that he LIKES it), say so. Yet I have to step back and say, what will that do to the person God made who at 8 years old knew he could create incredible music and proclaimed "I want to be a praise and worship leader".

Only time will tell, but for now...I am saying FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS! Because no matter what, whether at midlife or later...


I know I intend to dig out and dust mine off~



Monday, March 21, 2011

Paul JACKSON LIFE changing WORKSHOP Details

Ocean Springs, MS, along the Gulf Coast was the site of the latest Paul Jackson "Painting Glass" Workshop.

I have been wanting to attend one of these workshops since the day I took my 5 year old with my mother in law to see him speak in Pensacola. He had just written his first book. Today my son is 17.

I shared a photo with Paul of that first meeting.
Someone there told me, " could be doing that same thing! Don't wait too late to master it."

That workshop, which stretched this acrylic painters mind in ways I had never thought possible, confirmed what Paul told me after he and a friend had perused through my website before we met him for dinner that night.

"You know, you are a watercolor painter trapped in acrylics. Go back and re-do some of these in watercolor!"

I attempted to follow along in the class and each time my bold strokes had me LAYERS ahead of the class.

He would say, "Everyone layer this layer...Allison, sit out of this one or you will be finished before ME".

And I am glad I waited. Every stroke he took with his brush clarified why he is the youngest person to be allowed in the
most prestigious watercolor societies.

He has a technique like no other. His work sells on the LOW end for 10,000 a painting, the high end, 240,000. YES DOLLARS.

I was so blessed to have the chance to be taught by him and to be a fly on the wall in his class.

The painting I finished in the workshop was a delight to attempt and I bid to buy the original he did. I will hang it alongside the print he signed for my son when I met him over 12 years ago.

While in Destin with the kids later in the week, I attempted one on my own. It was from a photo I took while in Savannah for the SAVANNAH BOOK FESTIVAL, in an antique shop window, light pouring in.

It represents a meshing of two events that have forever changed my life during this (what I call) YEAR OF DISCOVERY as I approach 45 ~(and what others might term midlife crisis number 2) yet THIS ONE A BIT MORE STRUCTURED :)

I don't know what the years ahead have in store for me, but I can say, creatively, I am ready for them!

I hope you enjoy the journey and perhaps you too can visit a Paul Jackson workshop, or attempt that knitting class, photography exploration, write that novel or memoir or whatever it is that you have been putting off all of these years.




Monday, March 7, 2011

Dolphins Wash up On the Shores

This weekend I will be painting on the Gulf Coast.
I am saddened by what is happening to the animals,
the condition of the sandy back yard at my families beach home....


All we can do is hope and pray that God will have mercy on our
treasured Gulf Coast.

Happy Mothers Day to the Mother's Having to be Fathers


Every year
as children bustle about
buying cards, presents, making cakes,
I take the day off.

Oh, I have plenty of fathers,
just no urgency
to celebrate any of them
on this particular day of the year.

There is the one who
created me,
a wandering nomad
still perched in the hills
of Southern California.

After 40 years he calls me,
or had my cousin tell me to call him,
“I’ve been praying the Holy Spirit over you
since the day I tossed out the bottle”.

A relief that was
after the stories I had been told
about the man I “should never let
out of Pandora’s Box”.

The father who raised me
now lives alone,
crippled by the youth he so desperately
went out in search of.

He taught me everything I know,
an English professor,
stunt pilot, motocross champion,
his musical talent led him to a place
I could not bring him back out of.

A step dad of my mother’s choosing
says it was I who sent him away,
all my fault as I was the one to
discover his infidelities
in drawers, on cell phone bills, and tattered napkins.

So father’s day is to me
what independence might be to America
I have released each of them
to their choices,
a bustling of fireworks in a sky
created by the one Father
whom I know will never let me down. Allison P. Adams 2/14/2011

The Poem that Kept Me Up All Night- Cathy Smith Bowers

The first night on Ossabaw, we had the treat to be read to by North Carolina's Poet Laureate. Cathy Smith Bowers charmed us with her Southern voice and love for words and sounds.

I have provided a link to her youtube video reading. Enjoy..she is a HOOT!

After her reading, we went off on our own, to experience the sights and sounds of Ossabaw. That night I was up most of the night, writing this poem. After the workshop, we were invited to read aloud in the tent at the Savannah Book Festival.

Thank you Ossabaw and especially Cathy Smith Bowers for opening my soul.

Last night
a vault of memories opened,
North Carolina’s Poet Laureate
holding the key.

“I write poetry,”
she said,
“to save the few morsels
of tenderness I can remember
from my childhood.”

These poems
stitched from moments in time,
abiding images
she called them,
binding a thread of words
to be woven together
to make sense of it all.

I lie here at 5 am,
comets of moments
shooting through my brain,
a freeing of so many years
locked in the darkness.

The encroaching sun’s glow
illuminates thoughts
scribbled on my pad
on this cold
February morning.

A magical island,
unspoiled paradise
words and sentences hanging
among moss draped branches.

I have been here twelve hours,
a lifetime of words
cocooned within my heart.
I wish only,
to release them,
tiny butterflies of truth
set free into the wilds of Ossabaw. Allison Puccetti Adams 2011

Ossabaw Island RETREAT~ Savannah Book Festival

I recently had the rare opportunity to visit Ossabaw Island, just off the coast of Savannah for the first annual Savannah Book Festival Writer’s Retreat. Ossabaw is Georgia’s largest island and privately owned. :

We have all had that dream, that we might one day leave our mundane lives, just for a second, flee to to a magical island, find the writer, the artist within.

I have done that, in a magical place called Ossabaw Island, a private sanctuary just off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, only accessible by boat. No cars, no television, no phones, except those bootlegged in, and only if using Verizon did they work.

For four days I and three other juried writers immersed ourselves in the craft of writing, digging deeply into our souls to extract nuggets buried within, dormant for most of our lives.

We were invited by founder of the program, Tony Morris, a poet and professor of English at Armstrong Atlantic State University. He brought with him a wealth of talent: Beverly Donofrio who penned the novel that brought Drew Berrymore as Beverly’s character to the big screen in Riding in Cars with Boys; Lenore Hart, with seven novels and a children’s book under her belt, Her lastest novel, The Raven’s Bride, being released in New York that very week; as well as the Poet Laureate of North Carolina, a darling Southern Belle named Cathy Smith Bowers, who turned each of us into a lover of not only the craft of writing but the sounds of letters and words.

As I approach age forty-five, it seems that something in me has been asking, am I finished learning? Is this it? Where is that novel that I have known brews inside me? A question many of us mid-life creative mortals ask.

I found that answer on Ossabaw, a discriminating place. To be allowed on, you must be studying the arts, science or contributing to the furthering of your craft. Artists visit here each year, and the only way to be a part of it is to be investing in yourself or fellow man.

There are no tourists, no boat tours, just 26,000 acres of pristine history to be explored. I found myself reflecting on my family’s heritage, that of timber. Here you can see where forestry practices stopped cold. Immersed among ancient live oaks, palms, magnolias, dogwood and wild azaleas are towering pines, all about the same age, maybe forty years old. Deep within the property is “The g-nomey tree” that stands gnarled and the Breakfast Tree has a twisted, table-like trunk. At the south end is the pride of the island, a tree nearly thirty feet in diameter with a canopy of over a hundred and fifty feet. This tree may have sheltered not only the Creek Indians who first settled here, but the patriot soldier, the planter and the children of the family that now owns it, the Torrey’s of Grosse Pt., Michigan. The final heir at age 98, still lives here in her summer home, a grand pink stucco fortress with soaring ceilings and beautiful iron work. She is active and knows the island backwards and forwards. Her story featured in Atlanta Magazine.

The family has gifted it to the state of Georgia as a wild sanctuary. Today she enjoys its final years of private oasis and shares it with strangers who quickly become friends. Ten miles of beaches divide the island from civilization, one are called the boneyard where hundreds of trees stand naked against sky and sand is particularly mesmerizing.

We bunked in the old hunting lodge, a quaint wooden two story building with massive fireplace and an updated kitchen. It was in the living room our writer’s minds were transformed, as each night our mentors would read to us from their own works. We immersed ourselves in workshops, revealed portions of novels we had brought with us, unveiling parts of ourselves, peeling layers of life, and weaving them into friendships I will carry with me the rest of my life.

These women, models of who I, as an “artsy type”, a creative person, might one day become. They were all older than I, by ten to thirty years, and life bubbled from each of their cores. Tony would sit crouched in the corner, a tree watching a nest of bees create honey from pollen made of words.

“We will never be the same,” Kathy would tell us as we gave life to our words, and like the flap of a butterflies wing, we sent creativity off into the universe, clear across the waves surrounding Ossabaw.

I have been back in my home now for only eight hours and already I have begun to fill the pages of my new journal. Words flow from my brain, spilling out, down my arm to paper. My computer has remained shut, the link of my fingers to my brain untangled, somewhat awkward, but no longer blocked.

Ossabaw and the treasures there, a pig named Paul Mitchell, who loves to have his ears scratched and his belly filled with scraps of gourmet fare, and donkeys that greeted us with deep calls each morning set the tone for a place where time stands still.

As we spent our last day there, stranded for a few hours as we waited for Mother Nature to bring back the tide, we savored the day on the front porch of the guest cottage, pulled out Tony’s guitar and sang some Patsy Cline, listened to some of Tony’s originals. A great end to a glorious day of 70 degree weather and sunshine on this magical day in late February.

I will forever look at this experience as one that has changed my life. Like the events of 9/11 that turned my life on a different path, this will too go down as one of the experiences that made a difference in my being. Ossabaw, has told me, without a doubt, that I was born to be a writer. It is the core of who I am. It is what I do to “unleash the cobwebs- the fluent weavings of words that hide in there- in the soul I was formed from.”

I need only remember the big trees that lined the fern and palmetto framed paths, the old slave quarters that remind me of people who never got to tell their stories. And so tonight, I sit propped on the edge of my bathtub, my legs crossed, the sounds of my snoring husband drifting into the night.

I am home, the writer I was when I left, but now fully awake.

I thank Ossabaw for that chance to unleash the thoughts in the darkness, and bring them to light, that once released, live forever among us.

Allison Puccetti Adams 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I have been writing since I learned to hold a pencil,
in diaries, on walls, on sidewalks with chalk, in school.

I think everyone is a writer. It is just that some people write and some people proclaim to WRITE.

This week I am planning to become completely immersed in what it means to really WRITE.

I have written books, little poem-like creations, about the state of Alabama and it's unique places, about Angels, before
I realized exactly WHAT angels were and how I had gotten that one all wrong, although the illustrations Donna Jones created were absolutely phenomenal. Published those myself as a full fledged publishing company, complete with warehousing, distribution, order taking. I was it all. That was before POD. Those books followed me around LONG after I changed my name.

I have written for hire, wrote the history of Birmingham Alabama in 2400 words or less, a feat that without the theme of "everyone has a vision" would never have been possible. That book was a masterpiece (not necessarily the writing but the entire layout and design, big thick paper, a collection of artwork by the areas finest.) And it is now out of print because the publisher "moved on" to another project. A hard back full color expensive project, ditched because the promoter had other things to do.

And so it goes in the publishing industry. You try about 3 months for your 15 minutes of thrust for the book of a lifetime.
They wouldn't even give it 30 days, although the 50 artists and I vowed to promote it anyway.

The most recent book, a Christmas book, inspired after Rick and Bubba debated the loss of Christ in our Christmases. I illustrated it, magic marker and typing paper. I used it to test the POD theory, wondering, does this really work? And was pretty pleased with the response.

And I found that either way you publish, whether on your own, with a publishing house out of your control, YOU are the one who has to take this thing to where it goes.

So now, again, I am in new territory. I am embarking into the realm of fiction writing. I am traveling by ferry, leaving my husband and children behind for four days to immerse myself in the craft of fiction writing. Four of us will live on an island with three published writers (one who wrote "Riding in Cars with Boys" which became a movie) then I will be a student to all of the artists at the Savannah Book Festival. I think we even will be reading from our week-long projects.

A bit intimidating for most but I think I was made that personality who, even when I "post responses on Ashton Kutcher's wall" not really taking into consideration I am one of millions of his friends, says, hey, why not me?

And so I go there, with my manuscript that was submitted months ago, after being accepted,that has been groomed but not completed. And I think, why can't my Cay be on the big screen one day? Why can't she, as a singer, win a grammy for the songs I write on the pages of this book, even when I have never been able to get my own songs completed?

Hey isn't that what we see in Justin Beiber? Why can't WE ALL DREAM?

So, this week, those are the questions.

And hopefully, that little seed planted in my mind, as a 9 year old sitting in the back of my dad's English college classes, who circled all of the pronouns in his old English books just for fun, who has written every day of her life in diaries and notebooks, can pull together a novel that comes to life.

All things in life start as ideas, whether it is what you are eating for dinner or what you will wear tonight. Some ideas for people are just that, just as some writers just write. But then again....some of those who write are WRITERS.

That is what I have decided, at 45, I really want to be.

Friday, January 7, 2011


The last blog I wrote, had me wondering what rainbows might mean for me in 2011.

Just as soon as my husband, daughter and I arrived in Breckenridge, COLORADO there stretched across the sky was a HUGE ONE!

My husband had just told me days before, that after almost two years with a SEAFOOD RESTAURANT, that we would be switching over to serving just GOURMET BURGERS when we returned after the holidays back to our Alabama home.

We had given it a go but just couldn't overcome the obstacles involved in coordinating delivery of seafood from so many suppliers in various locations. We had the best ranked crab cake in town (gonna keep'll be the CRABBY PATTY) but even with incredible reviews on our dinners, the price fluctuations due to supply were not letting us keep our prices reasonable.

I do have to say, I had just told my mom, "I am looking forward to going on a trip where Chad doesn't smell like fish everyday."
But I have to say, selfishly, I will miss the constant supply of fresh seared tuna, salmon salads and grouper once a week.

In Breckenridge, I stared at that rainbow, my first greeting (besides sliding smoke followed 18 wheelers attempting to inch down the icy highway towards Vail). My eyes became filled with a promise that EVERYTHING WOULD BE JUST FINE.

I have never been a worrier, and no stranger to change. The first 10 years of my previous marriage, we had moved each and every year to a new house, in four southern towns. I think I had been accustomed to change.

My husband Chad and I have been married 6 years~ going on seven this October. Isn't that when most couples experience an "itch for change" anyway? Thats the average I believe.

How relieved I am that we are making those changes together in a business. We have been in the same home for all six years, except for the year after we got married, to make room for the fourth child. We have put our change into travel, taking in new places, cultures, experiencing artists, food, lifestyles that the "locals" share. You will never catch us at a chain anywhere we go, something our kids are not too fond of. But they have experienced life the way the locals do, at least when they are with us.

Breckenridge was particularly peaceful because we included our 5 year old daughter in this Christmas vacation. She is alone with us every other year, as her siblings, two sisters and an older brother, go to their "other parents" in the even years.

After my rainbow, I searched for the thing that was underneath that glow of bright color...and noticed the artistry that lay all around me, in the mountains, the snow, the quaint villages basked in holiday lights and realized that it might be something creative.

I visited an incredible gallery there, the owner taking me on a tour of each of the artist's work.(Breckenridge Fine Art Gallery on S. Main Street) As I was about to leave, he showed me an artist who would be coming there to do a demonstration, from Russia. At the bottom of my blog, for about two years now, has been a painting of a girl, her head in her hands, I painted it fast, in red, using acrylics. I had always admired one like it in a magazine and decided to give it a try.

Here in front of me was original art by that very artist~Henry Asencio.

And so I stayed in that gallery for what seemed an hour, Ann Kathryn dashing back and forth, swiping mints from the desk, darting out the door with Chad at her heels as she would stomp in the snow. Time stood still as I studied the lighting, the brush strokes of these great artists. A husband wife team~ Michael & Inessa Garmash, who began together by accident, as their two year old had found a brush and created a signature scribble on one of Michael's works in progress. Inessa attempted to correct it and her husband was blown away. They now combine their two styles and create beautiful works together.

This year, I have decided to quit looking so hard for what is at the end of the rainbow and try to focus on the mist of color that I am standing in.

I want to capture the colors and places around me, the abandoned homes that stand on our roadsides, the small details that get overlooked, the places and times that are now.

And hopefully, somewhere, that rainbow will follow and let me know that I am on the right track.

I have been wandering about this year, taking time from devotionals, from our incredible church (except online) and half heartedly got through my daily bible reading.

As of today, I have been back on all 6 days of "bible a day"...and this week I start with some praise and worship music, maybe a Joyce Meyer episode, and try to get my 2011 headed in a direction that is looking more towards the skies and the signs that God is great, powerful and IN CONTROL of my life NOT ME.

He made each of us to be unique, with interests, and talents, and events that were in our lives that can either be sores or be utilized as tools to help us help someone else BREAK FREE.

In 2011, I am praying for you to BREAK FREE and find YOUR rainbow.