Monday, April 11, 2016

NEW PAINTINGS: Fireman Nursery Paintings by Artist Whitney Madison

**FIREMAN NURSERY PAINTINGS**
By Artist Whitney Madison

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I just finished my new paintings for my friend, Trier (tree-air...in case you didn't know how to pronounce this BEAUTIFUL name). I have been so busy lately, and my friends have been busy building their families with these sweet little additions. However, I finally finished this little fire fighter's nursery artwork!!!

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The theme for this sweet baby's nursery is just like his daddy--being a fireman (see photo above)!! This sweet babe is blessed with two incredible parents. Mom is a nurse. Dad is a firefighter. Both are ridiculously strong and beautiful people, and passed on their genetics to their children. I was fortunate enough to meet Trier at my church in Colorado (she is my pastor's daughter). I felt like the Sunday weirdo when I first started attending the church, but she embraced me, and we found out we were both going to the SAME nursing school (within about a year of one another for graduation), and she's just a sweet, beautiful friend. 

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This is the first painting I made for Trier after the birth of her GORGEOUS daughter, Emberlin. She told me that her little girl is into Disney themes now, but Emberlin chose to keep this painting in her room even now that she is "growing up". That makes my heart happy. :)

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Trier and Kenny's new babe is a sweet little boy named Kaias. I have no idea where they come up with their awesome names for their family, but I love them.

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This painting was a cute little personalized piece for the nursery.

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After looking at the nursery theme and trying to come up with the artwork, I decided that the stars were my favorite part. When you have two parents who go to work and save lives--the stars are totally appropriate!!!! :)


Trier, you and Kenny have built a BEAUTIFUL family, and I love watching all of you grow in happiness, laughter, and love. Blessings to you all! I hope you like your paintings!!!! :)

Love, Whitney

Please visit my online art gallery at www.etsy.com/shop/arcticbarbiegirl

(: Custom orders always welcome! Please feel free to contact me. :)

CHEERS!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

**NEW PAINTING**: Nautical Hampton Nursery Artwork--Original Paintings by Artist Whitney Madison


I was recently asked to do three custom paintings for my dear friend's nursery. Nursery artwork is one of my favorite topics. I am a labor and delivery nurse, and I not only love helping bring these little people into the world, but I love to decorate their world as well!


This is a trio painting, and is in a Nautical/Hampton theme. I recently moved close to the ocean, and it seems almost ridiculous that it has taken me this long to do some nautical themed paintings, but they have arrived nonetheless! 


These three paintings are on 12"X12" stretched canvas. They are in an acrylic medium. They include my custom, signature handcrafted frames (which makes the frame size approximately 13"X13"). The paintings stand off the canvas, and are fun to touch! 


The whale and anchor paintings have the interior perimeter of the frame embellished with a patina and white grosgrain ribbon. The main colors are white/navy/patina (sea foam) green/gray. The center painting reads "Dream BIG Little One". All paintings are sealed in a high gloss glaze for protection, and they are ready to mount directly on the wall (with nails).


Perfect for your nautical nursery!!! This set ships for free in the United States.

To view my paintings, or place a custom order, please visit my online art gallery

Ooooh La La Art Gallery by Artist Whitney Madison at

(: CHEERS! :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

OH BABY!!! Original Artwork/Paintings for Laura Hart by Artist Whitney Madison


OH BABY!!!!

I was very blessed to receive a request a couple of weeks ago from one of my sweetest friends. She was requesting that I do the artwork for her baby's nursery--the babe she is still carrying, and making a sweet, loving home for.

This girl and I have some history. She is one of my Labor and Delivery coworkers. She is brilliant, beautiful, and one of the best L&D RNs I know. I was asked to do a painting for her nursery with her first baby--and that was awesome, but I also got to be one of the nurses in on her delivery of her sweet baby boy, and that was the REAL cherry on top!!!


Laura sent me a picture of her nursery, and sent me some ideas of nursery artwork that she liked. She has not seen these paintings until now, so I'm hoping I didn't take too much liberty with color/content/etc!!! These paintings will go in the nursery below. I love the horizontal paint on the baby's wall--and the colors are fabulous!


The following are the paintings I made for this room. I took some liberty and peppered in some light sage greens, soft yellows, and some navy blue highlights to add a pop of color and some definition.


This sweet little elephant blowing bubbles.


LOVE--the reason we live.


And this cute little tree.

Laura Hart--I love you, Beautiful Girl!!! You are an incredible woman, and this baby is such a blessing, but is also SO lucky to have you and your sweet husband as parents (and that awesome big brother!!!)!!!

XOXO
Whitney

Please visit my website to view my paintings at

www.etsy.com/shop/arcticbarbiegirl

Custom orders always welcome!!!

(:   CHEERS!!!  :)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

CHEERS Original Painting by Artist Whitney Madison

 CHEERS!!!
Original Painting by Artist Whitney Madison

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This is an original painting that I made to CeLeBrAtE my love for LIFE, LOVE, and CHAMPAGNE!!! I think champagne is the the most beautiful, fun, exciting, and BUBBLY beverage, and it is my absolute favorite (besides Fiji water, and Perrier). 


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There is just something very HaPpY about a delicious glass of golden bubbles! This painting is a mixed media painting on a 12"X24" canvas. The base paint is an acrylic Sahara gold metallic medium, and it is texturized in my signature style. 


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I used many different shades of gold throughout, so the color variation shifts and is pleasing to the eye. I used authentic gold leafing to accent the hand-sculpted bubbles that stand off the canvas. There are also gold micro-beaded embellishments flecked throughout, and the entire painting is highlighted in a sparkle gloss and high gloss glaze, and sealed for protection. The painting is on a stretched canvas that requires no framing, and is ready to mount directly to the wall.

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This painting is perfect for any room, and fun to touch! A classy convo piece :) Celebrate, and decorate with everything you have to be thankful for! Shipping is free in the U.S.  :) CHEERS!!!  :)

(Custom orders are always welcome--just drop a message to me on Etsy in my inbox, or on this site in the messages)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Watch Me Whip, Nae Nae, and Praise the Lord (A Blog About Perceptions of Proper Forms of Worship)


"PRAISE THE LORD!"

I don't know how many times I've said that statement in my life--either as an expression of relief, happiness, joy, or sarcasm (at least I'm honest).

I usually get really excited to fly home to Colorado, and attend church at my regular church with my children. This weekend was no exception. As I was talking to one of my friends later in the evening, he asked how church was today. All I said was, "OK."

As he prompted me elaborate further, I actually admitted that I was a bit disappointed with this Sunday's service. See, I have attended this church for quite some time--years as a matter of fact. I love my church, and adore my pastors. It's a very...how shall I say..."enthusiastic" church. Some of us are more enthusiastic than others. I enjoy the energy of the worship and praise that happens there, but I have always participated the way that I participate in worship in any other church--my own way. This does not include trying to fit in for the sake of fitting in--either with words, actions, or going through the motions.

So why so disappointed this past week? Since I have been attending this church, I have now counted three times that I have sat through sermons on ways to worship, and sat throughout the service feeling somewhat lectured on how to worship properly (if there is such a thing). This week's topic was about showing praise. I have no issues with praise. It is a great, and intense manifestation of your faith, appreciation, and true acknowledgment of the power of the love and grace provided by God and Jesus Christ. Praise can be very moving, and intensely emotional. Some people are tearful. Others are more vocal with their praise, sometimes offering the quintessential "AMEN!" after agreeing with something that was said during the sermon. Some people sing loud during worship songs. Others look at the words on the big screen during the songs and process the message of those words--which happens to me a lot--I also don't sing if I don't know the words/tune to a song, or if it's a song I've never heard before. Not always ideal, but true. I like to actually survey and process some of the lyrics before I just toss them up to Heaven all willy nilly. ;)

But to come back full circle with the convo here, the topic centered around the idea of showing praise through raising your arms up in the air and using them to glorify and praise God. At the beginning of the service, they showed a video which was actually pretty hilarious about all the different ways you can show God praise by lifting your arms/hands up in the air. The video is below--and it's worthy of watching...


So this video was the precursor to the Sunday sermon. Then the sermon followed. There were at least three to four times where my pastor said throughout the sermon (and I'm paraphrasing), "I just don't understand why people would choose not to worship this way". Then he started to go over possible reasons for not worshiping with hands up in the air and with arms open wide. Maybe people were too shy. Maybe they didn't want to feel silly. Maybe they were too cool. Maybe their arms were tired. Maybe they didn't have arms. Actually, I made up those last two, but I could definitely see that he was perplexed as to how anybody could possibly consider their worship good enough if they didn't go all out, and go through the motions of what I felt was being deemed the only acceptable method of praise. I mean, really, everyone knows if you don't worship with your hands in the air that you are a mediocre Christian, right? It says it right there in John 3:16.5--"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life--unless you believe in Him but don't sing worship songs with your hands in the air, then it's all over."

Please don't confuse my sarcasm with blasphemy--that is not the intent. However, everything after the -- in that bible verse was all made up by me. Shocking, I know.

But the whole thing did make me uncomfortable--just like the previous times I've had to sit through similar sermons. The worship team took the stage at the end of the service, and we had all been heavily encouraged to show our praise properly prior to leaving the service, so if you didn't raise your arms up you were likely going to look like a giant butthead. I felt like it was our last opportunity to prove that we were obedient to the message in the day's sermon. And I didn't do it. I can only count on one finger how many times I've ever raised my arms or hands up in public worship--and that was a very special circumstance that was between me an God.

So why do I have to be such a rebellious jerk face of a Christian? It's actually not about that at all. And if my pastor reads this, he can officially have his mind blown because I'm about to answer the question that perplexed him throughout yesterday's service.

The reason I do not raise my hands publicly to praise my God is very simple--that is the motion that I go through, and have always gone through when I am having my most intimate, one-on-one moments with God. It is private to me, and it is sacred to me. That is the one thing that I have, in the most desperate or fantastically precious moments of my life, that is between me and God--and I'm not willing to start using it for other purposes just because someone tells me I should.

Have you ever had something that was amazingly precious to you? Have you ever had something that used to be precious, used it frequently, and then it became not as precious, or you just use it mindlessly because you truly are just going through the motions? My experience with precious things is that when they get over used they often times lose value and meaning--or as is this case with me with public arm raising and public praise, the sanctity that I have placed on that expression.

 I have no doubt that the people who are frequent hand and arm raisers in my church do it to manifest their utmost praise and worship to God. That's great for them. I'm happy that they worship and praise God in a way that they feel and choose to worship. I'm glad they feel comfortable enough in our church to praise God the way they choose. I only get frustrated when I am "expected" or "lectured" to praise that way, and alluding that anything less than that is labeled as mediocre. That was how I felt after the sermon yesterday.

When I told my friend how and why I was feeling the way I did, this is what I said, "This, in particular, is a sensitive subject for me. That is something I save for my most personal, intimate times with God when I am one-on-one with Him. I am not ever going to let someone tell me or make me feel bad that my worship is mediocre because I don't have my arms up, and I'm not going to let someone steal that intimacy that I have with God to conform to their ideas of worshiping properly."
To which he replied, "Good! You should never feel like you have to put on a show to fit someone else's vision of worship!" Then I said, "I do feel like it sometimes becomes more of a show than legitimate praise." And he replied, "It definitely can become that. I'm glad you are willing to be a rebel!"

I'm not trying to be difficult. I usually am by nature anyway, but in this instance, I am really not trying to be a pain in the butt. However, I'm pretty protective about my intimate moments with God. I wouldn't invite the public to view any of the other intimate things I have done in my life (I think they call that porn), so there is no invite to view my private expressions in worship with God, either.

I think that we can pick, and pick, and pick at ways that we can all do things better when it comes to our church life. However, I feel like we should support each other through our relationship with God--regardless of what that looks like, and regardless of personal opinion about how it needs to be. I  would bet that I am not the only person who disagreed with the topic of yesterday's sermon, and I'm not the only person who didn't throw my hands up in the air during the last songs to conform. I didn't get the lemming gene.



  PS--if you showed up to church yesterday at all, you are doing better than the vast majority of the Christian populous. Just be yourself, and PRAISE THE LORD! ;)

PPS I still love you, my pastors. Just let us get our God groove on our own way, k?







Tuesday, September 15, 2015

THE KEY New Original Painting by Artist Whitney Madison

THE KEY



I recently read a book that had an entire chapter dedicated to keeping a representation of your dreams in front of you. The idea being that if you had something tangible to look at and remind you of the goal you are working toward, you are far more likely to achieve it because it is at the forefront of your mind.

This painting, "The Key" is symbolic of those goals/dreams. Keys can be such beautiful, and amazing things. Even as babies, our parents gave us plastic keys as toys. They represent the power to unlock, to discover. What do you dream about? What do you need a key to unlock? The words on this painting leave room for you to fill in the blank. Do you need the key for happiness? The key for love? The key for wealth? I personally want a key to a beach house in Kauai--that is what my personal key represents. ;)

This painting is done in a mixed acrylic medium on an 11"X14" stretched canvas. It includes my signature handcrafted frame in a black sequin high gloss. The key is centered on a light sand colored background, and it texturized to stand off the canvas, and fun to touch! The entire painting is coated in a high gloss glaze for protection. The frame of the stretched canvas mounts directly onto nails, and is perfect for any room. Chic, stylish, simple, and intriguing, this painting is certain to turn into a conversation piece. Free shipping is included.


Please visit my online art gallery at www.etsy.com/shop/arcticbarbiegirl to view more of my paintings, or to place a custom order. Cheers! :)



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

California, Here I Come...


I think the actual lyrics to the song are, "California, here I come. Right back where I started from..."

Which is totally appropriate for me because I was actually born in California! Only it was northern California--in Eureka. I think they have a Banana Slug Festival there every year. My place of birth lacks the normal "California" image. But I'm a legit Cali Girl nonetheless!!!

So yes...I'M MOVING BACK TO CALIFORNIA! I moved from there when I was like 3 months old, so they have probably been wondering where I am! How in the world did I decide that I was moving to California from Alaska? I'm glad you asked. So I will tell you.

I left Colorado two years ago, and moved to Wasilla, Alaska. I came to Alaska for work. Work in Colorado was unpredictable and slim--I was being put on call nearly every week. Some of you might ask why that is a problem. When you only work three days per week, and you lose one of them on a regular basis--your bank account begins to notice.

At that time, I was licensed as a nurse in Colorado, Alaska, and California. When work became slim at my hospital in Colorado, I thought that taking a job at a different, busier hospital, would help. So I went to work for one, but it didn't help. And I was put on call every week--again. I knew that I couldn't make ends meet in Colorado as a nurse specializing in labor and delivery. Some of you might say, "But you're a nurse! You could get a job in any area of nursing!!!" True, but the only thing I went to school for was so I could one day specialize in labor and delivery. I would not have gone to nursing school for any other field. I'm not that enchanted with nursing as a whole. I don't enjoy any other field in nursing, and I've always said that if you don't like your job as a nurse, then you shouldn't be a nurse. It's too personal, and your human interactions are too important to not like your job. My calling is labor and delivery--and I LOVE it.

So I had to go. And I had fired off a couple of job applications, and I heard from Alaska first. So I went. Some of you are probably like, "But Whitney!...you are dating the Cute Alaskan Man! You can't tell us that isn't why you ended up in Alaska!"

Yes, I can. I ended up in WASILLA, Alaska because of the Cute Alaskan Man. But I ended up in ALASKA because I needed a stable job, and they were the first to offer. If I had stayed in Colorado, I would've been eating Top Ramen under a bridge, and my pimpin' ride would've been a shopping cart that I stole from the local Walmart.

Anyway, I moved to Wasilla so I could be closer to the Cute Alaskan Man--who lives in Palmer, Alaska (right up the road from me). But the true impetus for me coming to Alaska was for work. Like Britney Spears says, "You gotta work, Whit!" Actually, I think she called me something else in that song, but it was all about me, nonetheless.

I started my new job in Anchorage, Alaska. I signed a two-year contract. They sent movers, packed me up, and north to Alaska I went! But it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Do not get me wrong--I have been super blessed to work at an amazing hospital, with as many hours as I want, and I have seen some wonderful things, and spent time with the Cute Alaskan Man. But it has been a long two years for me.

You also know that my kiddos were not uprooted to come with me, and consequently, I have worked tons of overtime to make frequent travel between Alaska and Colorado possible. I didn't even know if I would be able to make it to the end of my two-year contract. The first year was horrible for me up here--I cried almost every day. I was SO homesick. About halfway through my contract, I was SUPER homesick, and my ex-husband had just lost his best friend to cancer. All I could think was, "I'm stuck here, and my kids aren't here, and I could die tomorrow--and I just want to be with my family!"

I freaked out. I probably over-dramatized the situation, but the death of my ex-husband's friend really made me do a reality check. None of us know how long we have on this big blue marble. His friend was a divorced, international geologist. He rarely got to see his child, and all I could think was that the same thing was going to happen to me. And I couldn't take it. I wanted to be with my kids.

So I have worked, and worked, and worked, and not done much else this last year besides WORK. This is so I could fly back and forth between Alaska and Colorado to be with my kiddos. Well now my two-year contract is nearly up, and I needed to make my next move. I thought that move was going to be back to Colorado--but a harsh reality check revealed that wasn't going to be the case.

I started researching housing in Colorado. When I left, I was living in a beautiful 4-bedroom, 2.5 bath house. I have twin girls who are turning 13. They have to have their own rooms. I cannot put these two early teen wolverines in the same bedroom--they will kill each other. So, at the very least, I need a 3-bedroom place. I left Colorado the year that marijuana became legal. Due to the influx of people flocking to Colorado since the legalization of marijuana, they can charge whatever they want for houses now--and it has priced me right out of the market to move home. I cannot find a 3-bedroom place under $1750 that is not in "the hood". And that is a huge problem--because wages in Colorado have not gone up.

I crunched numbers, I researched housing, and I figured there might be one hope for me to move back home--so I applied to the highest paying hospital I could find. And I was offered the job! (Yay!) And then the lady who interviewed me told me that I would likely be on call at least two times every 6 weeks (BOO!). And she told me that was the nature of labor and delivery throughout the Denver/Metro area. And I knew it wouldn't work. Apparently people are too busy smoking weed to have babies.

I was heartbroken. The commute between Colorado and Alaska has been brutal. Realizing that I could no longer afford to live in Colorado was a real blow. I had looked forward to nothing else for the past two years. But it was a reality I had to face head-on.

So where to go next? Well, I work for a great company. I want to stay with them. I got on the internal career site for my hospital, and looked up what my options were. I had options in Washington state, Oregon, and California. I don't have a license in Washington, or Oregon (and it's a pain in the butt to get licensed--not to mention EXPENSIVE). So I looked at my options in California. I pulled up a map of Cali, mapped out all the hospital locations, and picked the hospital that is literally blocks away from the beach. SO I'M MOVING TO TORRANCE, CALIFORNIA!!! I put in an application for the position I wanted, and put in a transfer with my hospital, and I am California bound!

Advantages of living in California:

1.) Cheap airline ticket to Colorado from LAX. I can travel there as often as I want.

2.) Surfing

3.) I will be working for a busy hospital and can work as many hours as I need.

4.) Surfing

5.) I can fly my kids out when they have 3 or 4 day weekends from school.

6.) Surfing

7.) I am going to be about 30 minutes from Disneyland, so when the kids come out, we can go have some fun!

8.) Surfing

9.) I will be able to walk, or ride my bike to work.

10.) Surfing

11.) I will no longer have to deal with winter!!!

12.) SURFING!!!

Can you tell that I'm a little excited?

"But, Whitney!!! There are great white sharks in California!!! Aren't you afraid of getting eaten by a shark? After all, the water is colder there, and you will have to wear a wetsuit that makes you look like a seal on your surfboard!"

I've got it covered.


I have been researching shark deterrent surf gear. Some of you might think I'm a Sally if I'm willing to go surfing looking like a zebra, but I'm all over it. From the research I have done, sharks cannot clearly make out banding with their vision. This is why banded fish follow them all over, and they never get eaten. The shark cannot make them out to make an attack.


These are pilot fish, and they swim right alongside the sharks. The way they tested the shark deterrent wetsuits was to place a bait bucket, covered with the banded material, and one that was covered in regular black wetsuit material. The sharks could smell the bait in the bucket, but could not make out the location of the bucket to make an attack on the banded one. Pretty awesome! So you might make fun of me for looking like a zebra when I surf in Cali, but I will be the one who makes it in with all my limbs! ;)

Also, my girls told me they will surf as long as we sport shark deterrent gear. Although I cannot afford the actual brand name shark deterrent suits, I will be adorning our wetsuits with fabric paint, and call it good. The shark deterrent suits are upwards of $450+. I can buy a quality wetsuit for $100 and paint them myself. I will also band the bottom of our boards.

So, YES...MOVING TO CALI!!! And I'm thrilled. I'm ready for a BIG change. And if I can't move home, at least I can move to a state where I can catch a flight, and be home in two hours. Heck--that's nearly my commute to work right now!

"But, Whitney!!! What about the Cute Alaskan Man???!!!"

Look, I've known this man, and he has been my best friend for 15+ years. I've dated him for 6.5 years. We've had some bumpy ups and downs because of the complexity of our relationship, but we also have dated long distance for 4.5 years, and survived. I don't know what the future looks like for certain, but what I do know is that we are capable of dating long distance. He is supportive of my move, and is flying down with me to look for housing. He will remain in Alaska for now. All we are sure of is that God is the captain of our ships. We will end up together if we are meant to be together. Until then, we will be back to dating long distance. Heck, he has been out of state so much for his job the past year--does it really matter anyway? He can work from anywhere, so I'm sure I'll still see him a lot. Not as much as I do now, but we will figure it out.




"But, Whitney!!!! Aren't you afraid of getting subducted into the earth's mantle during an earthquake, or afraid a giant tsunami is going to kill you--like in the movie San Andreas?"

First of all--San Andreas is a strike-slip fault, which means the two blocks are moving past each other vertically. It's simply relocating California in a north/south direction (geology geek moment). I'll either be on the side of it that ends up in Alaska, or the one that ends up in Cabo (let's vote for the Cabo side of things). I'll be fine--unless it kills me. Look, we can't live forever, and I refuse to live my life in fear. If my number is up in a Cali earthquake, at the very least, I hope God let's me die by surfing on the tsunami wave.

Some of you might have seen my Facebook post the other day about buying 7 new bikinis. Now you know why. Time to pack up the snow boots and put them in storage. ;)

South!...To California!!!