Traveling on a Dime

Okay, it sounds funny, traveling on a dime I know, so let me back up a bit.  I once had a very good friend named Deb.  She was absolutely hilarious, beautiful, witty and an awesome wife and mother, etc…   She was a big believer and supporter in my art, and used to say to me constantly, “Oh the places you will go”, she even bought me the Dr. Seuss book.  When she got sick, and passed away 3 years ago, some of her very best friends took her 13 yr old daughter Chloe to New York.  It was a trip that Deb planned on making with Chloe, yet sadly, she didn’t make it.  😦  Her girlfriends took Chloe to Bergdorf Goodman’s and bought her a beautiful dress and shoes, then took her to a Broadway play, and had a wonderful evening.  In New York, they kept finding dimes everywhere.  They thought, “What is up with the dimes??”  They ended up looking up the meaning & it meant something along the lines of “a beloved one that has passed, is with you in spirit”.  Well, that blew them all away and nowadays, dimes are just special!

Fast forward to now.  In November, I received an email from an artist I follow named Nicholas Wilton.  He holds many art retreats and he emailed out that he was holding one in Molokai, Hawaii in January 2015.  My first reaction was, “Oh my gosh, that would be awesome”, my second, “I couldn’t possibly do that at this point in my life” (4 busy kids, family, pets….etc..).  So I dismissed it.  Later that day I went into my basement to workout, and what do I find on the floor?   Strangely enough, a dime!    I remembered Deb, and her comment to me “Oh the places you will go”.  At that moment, in my mind, Hawaii became a viable option.
I thought  a roadblock would be – what my family thought about it.  Me going to Hawaii without them and the jealousy that may cause (they all want to go to Hawaii!).  I couldn’t have been further from the truth.  My family was so amazing at hearing my wishes, and supported me and my oldest daughter said, “Mom, you need to just go!”  It caught me off guard and made me cry.  Many more supportive things were said from them, and it still warms my heart to this day. My husband at first wasn’t too eager about it, as he is fixing cars in the dead of winter, yet in the end he was in full support and knew that I needed to be with other like minded art people.
So I went to Hawaii, and met so many awesome artists (my people), and also had an amazing experience staying at the Hui’ O’olana.  The funny part of it, I didn’t realize it was an art retreat for abstract artists, and well….. I’m a realist artist.  In the end, it didn’t matter one bit and I learned a lot about my own craft through the direction of our awesome teacher and mentor Nicholas Wilton.

So that’s my dime story.  I still miss my friend dearly, yet she is still so alive in my mind.  And I truly feel like her spirit got me across that Pacific Ocean to paradise for a week, so thank you Deb!

Thanks for reading!  Lynn Garwood

Upcoming on March 13th, 2015 – the opening for a solo art showing at the Custom’s House Museum in Clarksville, TN.


Ahhh, To feel joy, when things around you suggest otherwise.  It seems as though that would be quite hard to do.  Yet have you been feeling somewhat normal, and someone tells a joke that you find extremely funny?  In that moment, you went from feeling neutral to happier, in an instant. What happened there?  Your focus was diverted off of neutrality to something you found funny.  Just like when a mother distracts her toddler off of something undesirable by giving them a toy. Refocusing my attentions gives me the power to feel however I want.  Today, I choose to feel Joy.  When my focus gets diverted by the other estimated 50,000-70,000 thoughts I think on any given day,(yes, that does include judging how others carry out their lives).  I choose to grab my focus back. Easy work? Ugh, no!  Simple, heck yeah.  The word of the day for me is……Joy.

Jagger is back!

Jagger is back!

In the making of “Betsey in the Sun” by Artist Lynn Garwood

Emmy 3 days old

Emmy 3 days old

The inspiration for the word “Joy” I chose for this painting, was my cat Jagger was still missing.  He left our house in August of 2014 one day and didn’t show back up. My heart was broken!  Two months later, I get a phone call saying that a mother had abandoned her day old kittens and would I mind taking one off  of their hands.  I gladly said “YES!”  In an instant, I went from sadness to joy.  We nursed the kitten, whom we named  Emmy because of the “M” on her forehead, and took care of her as you would a newborn baby.

Emmy 1 week old

Emmy 1 week old

I still missed Jagger terribly, yet Emmy  brought me great joy, and I wanted to continue to feel that. She grew up watching me paint, and is still mesmerized by it.  She will sit on my lap watching for hours.

The scene I chose for this painting is of my truck “Betsey Brown Clementine”, a 1937 Chevy Pickup that is in our front yard.  I load Betsey up every spring and summer with flowers, making her  the prettiest flower pot you ever did see.   Everyday I pull in and see her there, that brings me great joy and happiness.

Emmy 4 weeks old

Emmy 4 weeks old

Well…..through a bizarre series of circumstances, Jagger did find his way  home.  He was on the opposite side of town, being fed by a friend of mine, who didn’t know it was my  cat. So the painting was prophetic to me in a sense, and I am extremely grateful all is well and Joy lives on.

Jagger is back!

Jagger is back!

“Old Ford Flatbed”, in the works, by artist Lynn Garwood


Peace is the word in the underpainting


My name is Lynn Garwood, an artist living in Burlington, WI. In the summer of 2014, I painted “Old Ford Flatbed”, (36”x48” acrylic painting). In all of my paintings, I paint a favorite word or quote that has meaning for me. I believe words have a powerful influence in our lives, so I generally will choose a word that I would like to feel more of. The underneath word in “Old Ford Flatbed” is “Peace”.

At this time, our family cat went missing, my family was heartbroken and I too wanted to feel more peace in my life. The scene is staged in my backyard farm field in Southern Wisconsin. A friend of mine brought this truck over, because he loved it and he thought it would be a great subject matter for me. I love vintage trucks!!! This one is a 1937 Ford Flatbed. He left it with me for 2 weeks, and both night & day, rain or shine, I went out and photographed it in different settings. This sunset scene was my favorite and it felt the most peaceful. It took me about 3 months to finish this painting. I first paint my canvas many colors, so that I don’t have to work on a white backround. I then add my word of choice, and then eventually paint over it. My hope is, whoever views it will subliminally feel peace. My thought is, it could not hurt! 🙂 The good news is that our beloved cat “Jagger” did find his way home, yet not before the painting was finished. The truck was sold off right after my friend picked it back up.

http://www.lynngarwood.comme painting Old ford flatbed

"Old Ford Flatbed" 36x48" acrylic painting, 2014

“Old Ford Flatbed” 36×48″ acrylic painting, 2014

Vintage Signs – LOVE!

Being a former sign painter for over 25 years has built within me a huge appreciation for all forms of signage.  It’s on everything, driving down the road, lighting up our town, on every business window…  These days we have the high tech printing going on, where you can envelope a whole semi truck and trailer with a picture of whatever company it’s working for.


Peace Vintage Sign designed in Photoshop

When I started a sign business, everything was tediously hand painted, then progressed to vinyl lettering(think letter cutouts).  Toward the end of my sign career, I was involved  with the printing, and I used to say, “As an artist, it gave me wings”.  Previously, you would have to paint the picture on yourself, now you could just print it, and saved oodles of time.

My favorite types of signage?  VINTAGE!!  The old time feel, with the rough broken edges, that makes my heart sing!  Nowadays, I like to try and duplicate the look and feel of the signs.  They have a lot of software out there these days, that with a click of a button you can make it look like it’s 100 years old with scratched rusty metal, broken barn boards, etc… It’s no surprise to some of my camp that I would design these signs.  I don’t have to paint them anymore, now I can design it and digitally send it to my publisher, who then in turn prints it on metal, canvas, wood, whatever.  All the while, my fingernails stay clean  as a whistle.

grocery copy

Grocery Vintage Sign designed in Photoshop

As a fine artist, during the day I mostly paint photo realism paintings, yet I like to take breaks and that’s when i design vintage signs.  That is just fun for me!  Maybe I need to get out more. 🙂

Growth is NOT for Sissies!

Holy smokes!  Growth is not for sissies!  At this point in time and space I’m developing an art career.  I’ve been a quiet artist for quite some time, quietly raising my family, quietly painting away at night.  Here and there people would express interest in buying some of my pieces, and I would think to myself “I’m not ready yet, but someday….”  I wanted first to do the job at hand, and the job at hand was mothering.

Fast forward a few years, kids are growing up, and now I’m painting during the day as well.  I’ve decided its time to take it to the next level and try to become an artist who actually makes money.  I took a marketing course and boy of boy did this blast some bricks in my Great Wall of China brain.  I found I have some great resistances to doing certain things, like talking about myself.  (Your reading this, so check that off, done.)  Learning how to work with email responders and Search Engine Optimizers, Analytics……  I have entered a new language and feel as if I fell down a rabbit hole.

Growth doesn’t come easy for me, actually, it’s quite painful.  One of my friends says that if your comfortable, you aren’t growing.  So true, so true.  In this particular learning curve of the moment, lots of bubbles are breaking apart in my head, such as the fairytale bubble.  “One day, my agent will come and sweep me off my feet and take me to a castle and sell my artwork for millions of dollars”  NOT!  No prince charming agent in this story 🙂

I’m glad I’m going through this process, because it is helping me to pull on my overalls, grow up,  and start digging for success.  So I will gladly take my growth with a side of discomfort, and hopefully,hopefully………. the dessert will be sweet.

"Old Ford Flatbed" 36x48" acrylic painting, 2014

My latest piece, “Old Ford Flatbed” 36×48″ acrylic painting, 2014

Certainly Uncertain

If there ever was a stand out feeling in my life, it would be uncertainty.  It feels vague, yet heavy, and is like a big question mark with a side of struggle.  It’s an ever pervasive feeling that is woven right into the fabric of my everyday being.  I’m wondering often….

mindlessly doodling with no direction

~Am I saying or doing the right thing?

~Am I creating art that is worthy?


mindlessly sketching.

I’ve read that the feelings we are having right now, in this moment, are the most important ones.  They shuffle in our next moments of reality.  If I’m focused on how flawed someone is, I may likely act out in some form or judge them .  If I’m focused on how beautiful something is, then in the next moment, I will probably overlook someones flaws and refrain from judging their reality.  What can uncertainty bring?  It usually has me uncomfortably reaching for the next idea, or better feeling.  In other words, growing.

Writers write, singers sing, artists paint or draw their uncertainty, yet probably won’t show anyone what they came up with.  It might be messy and disconnected as far as art goes, yet I prefer rolling up my sleeves and  getting my hands dirty anyways, and yes, waste a little time.  It’s a lot more liberating than being frozen or stuck in myself.  When feeling uncertain, I will create bad art and tuck it away for reflection at a different time.  I typically will walk away from the piece before its finished.  More often than not, It’s usually telling me something of how I was living or feeling at the time.  The best I can do each day is ask for God’s direction and go with my gut feeling, and create bad art.