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?







Saturday, November 21, 2015

LaUnDrY dAy!!!!!! A Breakup Blog



I've always been someone who has been somewhat cautious about airing out my laundry on social media. I usually only divulge enough information to keep light conversation going, or show pictures, etc. However, the other day was the first time I have talked more "openly" about my private life on Facebook. I guess I finally just reached a point where I needed to. I needed to bounce some frustration off innocent bystanders--and my Facebook friends delivered.

Actually, I felt much better after initiating the topic of my recent breakup on Facebook. I didn't do it in my actual status, but I did in the comments on my status (so those who were morbidly curious had to dig deeper to find the grit). I had posted a status last week about how excited I was that the Cute Alaskan Man was coming into town and we would be celebrating my birthday (I posted in my status, "I'm going to Disneyland!!!--because while my boyfriend was here I wanted to celebrate my birthday at Disneyland with him). Then a few text messages and a phone call changed everything, and before he ever actually flew here, the follow-up status on my Facebook merely said, "I guess I'm not going to Disneyland." 

I have some awesome, and curious friends, so I decided to elaborate as to why that was the case in my comments--and you responded exactly how I thought you would. Why? Because that is exactly how I responded when told that my long distance boyfriend, who I hadn't seen in over two months, was cutting his 4-day trip to L.A. short so that he could fly back up to Alaska in time to attend his 4-year old nephew's birthday party (the 4-year old that lives 5 minutes away from him, and he sees as frequently as he desires). 

Some of my friends have followed this relationship roller coaster for years. I have been told by multiple people, multiple times that it is time to move on. I'm sure he gets the same thing--nobody has been particularly supportive of our relationship, and everyone has had plenty to say about it--either to our faces, or behind our backs. Perhaps because they don't know the details of the intricacies, and how hard it has been to hold it together in the first place, or because NO RELATIONSHIP SHOULD EVER BE THIS HARD.

The NO RELATIONSHIP SHOULD EVER BE THIS HARD part, is probably very true, and I could've settled with some "easier" guy, ended up in suburbia making him dinner, had a nice double income, and settled for a very predictable life. However, that sounds dreadfully boring, and is totally not my style. I will say that there is part of me that desires that. It's about 15% of my entire being, and I can't talk the other 85% into being that normal. I guess once I lost myself to domestication with my marriage, and became totally unrecognizable to myself in the process, that once I broke free I never looked back. I have always been a renegade of sorts--until I got married that is. During my marriage, even my own sister was like, "What happened to you? I don't even recognize you anymore,"

And it wasn't because I became a Stepford wife. I did have a husband who was a workaholic. I never saw him, and my main form of entertainment was my two twin toddlers. I went through a horrible phase of feeling useless--like I had no purpose in life. I felt trapped. He was hardly ever home, and when he was, he was just a roommate. When the twins got old enough to go to kindergarten, I decided to go back to school for nursing so that I could establish a true career. At that same time, he decided that he was going to go back to school for his Ph.D. in Geology, and then our worlds just parted ways. He had his agenda, and I had mine, and they did not mix, and were not compatible. We had no common goals--we only cared about our individual goals. Nothing was going to get in either of our ways, or thwart our efforts--including one another.

After our mostly friendly divorce, I reclaimed myself. I finally started recognizing myself again, and the strong woman I used to be was back. I never wanted to let go of that. However, although I have not let go of all of it, I have compromised more of myself than I ever wanted to in effort to maintain my current relationship with the Cute Alaskan Man--and there have been many times I felt weak again, and unrecognizable. *blech*blech*blech*

For years I have dated the Cute Alaskan Man--almost 7 to be exact. That's nearly a decade of being with a man who "loves me tons" but refuses to commit to me. I've gone back and forth on the whole commitment thing (ie the idea of marriage again). I had a "commitment" once, and that piece of paper is just that. It's a binding contract that entitles you to half the person's shit if there's not a pre-nup in place. Oh, and it means they will "love you forever". *scoff*gag*hack*splutter*

Back to the Alaskan...

There's always a reason he can't move forward. He doesn't want to leave his family. He loves Alaska. He hates my attitude when he pisses me off, and he doesn't know if he can live with that. The excuses change depending on the immediate circumstance at hand, but there are a million excuses nonetheless.

He recently attended the wedding of one of his friends in Alaska who met her boyfriend online, was a many states away from him, met him in person once, and then married him. Not that I'm saying I would ever want such a circumstance for myself, but in the 7 years we have been dating, everyone has moved forward except for us. It doesn't look super awesome. As a matter of fact, last New Year's we were at his brother's house. His friend is military and was in town for the holiday. He had brought his girlfriend home to meet his parents, and a few months later they were engaged and then married. His sweet girlfriend (upon just meeting me) inquired about my relationship with him. I told her we had been dating for 6 years. She said, "I'm sorry--did you say 6 years?"...to which I turned to the Cute Alaskan Man and said, "Yes--why don't you go ahead and elaborate."

**GOOD ENOUGH TO DATE--JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO MARRY**

It's been a bit of a ridiculous ride. Love makes you do stupid things. I've gotten perpetually frustrated with this man, likely broken up with him over 30 times in 7 years, and somehow end up back with him time and time again. I should probably get a CT scan or something to make sure I'm not functioning on a partial brain, or genetic testing to make sure that I'm not developmentally delayed in some way that makes me continue in the same stupid pattern.

It wouldn't be so bad if he constantly wasn't telling me that moving forward with me is what he wants. But I never quite make the grade. The key piece of info that he has left off of that is that he wants to move forward--just not necessarily with me unless and until I am capable of checking all his boxes. This would include, but not be limited to me wanting to be an Alaska resident, have gone through behavior modification courses, and modify my life so that he never has to be "uncomfortable" or homesick.

When he called the other night, I at first was sympathetic to his disappointment that he was going to miss his nephew's birthday party by being here. I told him I understood that he was disappointed in missing the party. Although I understood that he would be bummed out to miss his nephew's birthday party, I also had not seen him in over two months, and this trip was only supposed to be 4 days long. I guess I selfishly felt like I deserved all 4 of those days, and that the toddler could take a number. Especially since this is a 4-year old who will likely not remember down the road that his uncle missed the damn thing, or at the very least, will forgive him for missing it.

Our text conversation continued, and it hit me like a ton of bricks in between texts. I suddenly realized that he was buttering me up. He was using frowny face emoticons about missing the party, and saying how disappointed his nephew was going to be. However, what he was really doing was trying to make me feel bad for him so that he could cut his trip short with me to attend the party. Once he had my sympathy, his next text said, "Oh thank goodness...the party is on Sunday! I can leave early and make it back for it...you'll just be sleeping anyway because you have to work that night." Not a direct quote, but a paraphrase that is spot on.



My head exploded. He just played me. He manipulated me into feeling sorry for him, and was banking on me feeling so sorry enough for him about his little toddler party that cutting his trip to L.A. short became ok. Apparently after nearly 7 years he doesn't know me well. I have a very low tolerance for bullshit.



I got played...like a fiddle. And then I blew up.

In true Cute Alaskan Man form, after I imploded, and exploded in rage, he played victim, and basically said he couldn't ever handle being with someone who could become so "enraged" so quickly. I definitely said some things, but when you have been through what this man has put me through FOR YEARS there are a few things that might roll off the tongue with little, if any effort. And I was genuinely hurt. And I'm tired of him hurting me.


7 years. Within that 7 years I have had to leave the state I love and have had to leave my children as a full time parent because I can't afford to live there on what they pay, and with the inconsistency with my work. I feel like a man that truly loved me would've stepped up, gotten a job in CO, and tried to make it work so that I did't have to uproot my entire life. However, he only offered to move to Colorado one time in the first 4.5 years we were dating--and he showed up with a duffel bag, spent 11 days on my couch, and was so homesick he had to leave. Sucks to have to be away from your family, doesn't it?!?!?! After everything I have been through with having to leave my family for work--cry me a river. I get the missing family thing, but sometimes you just have to be strong.

My job in Colorado went south. I had to find an alternative. I got licensed in California and Alaska--the two highest paying states for nursing. Alaska jumped at my resume first. I moved there. I did not move there for him, but I did move to Wasilla, Alaska to be closer to him. He always claimed one of the reasons we could not move forward was because we didn't know what it was like to date from the same state (we had been long distance dating for 4.5 years). So I commuted--1.25 hours each way, on shitty Alaskan roads, so we could "date normally" for two years. But it still wasn't good enough.

So...IT'S OVER!!!

There will always be an excuse as to why we can't move forward. I told him that one thing he has taught me is that talk, and commitment are cheap.

SO I WENT TO DISNEYLAND!!!!!! (by myself)

I almost didn't, and then I thought--why the hell not??? I just had a birthday. I had no one here to celebrate it with me, and DAMMIT!...I'M GOING TO DISNEYLAND!!! 
(It is, after all, only 35 minutes up the road--which is a new concept to me and kind of freaks me out a little...it used to be a major destination/vacation).

I got to the park, and immediately I felt EXCITED! I felt like a little kid! They have the whole park decorated for the holidays, and this is the first time I've seen Disney during the holidays!...AND IT IS AWESOME!!!

I decided at the gate that I should probably buy a year-long passport. One trip is over $100, so considering my kiddos are going to be here multiple times over the next year, and I will be escaping to Disneyland on some of my days off, IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT! 

Then I got in the gate, and found out that all of my parking is now included in my pass, my meals get a 15% discount, and every gift shop item is 20% off. MONEY WELL SPENT! 

I was like a little kid (by myself) all day--only I had no little kids to haul around, so I made some damn good time going around Disneyland! Let's do a ride tally...

*Pirates of the Caribbean X3
*Haunted Mansion X3
*Splash Mountain X2
*Matterhorn X1
*Indiana Jones X1
*Riverboat Ride X1
*Fireworks display X1
*Disney parades X2
  *Thunder Mountain X1
*It's A Small World X1

Not bad for a day at the park!--especially during the holiday season! I never made it over to California Adventure--I thought the winery might send me a get well card or something. Actually, being a loner/loser is the way to go to Disneyland. They have "Single Rider" lines all over the park, and you get in immediately, and IT.IS.AWESOME!!! However, there were three of us girls in the "Single Rider" line tonight at Indian Jones, and as the ride attendant said, "Alright, single ladies, you may go ahead", there was a group of gay men standing in the crowd that busted out in Beyonce's "All The Single Ladies". It was priceless, and made us laugh. ;)

I also think that holding a season pass will open new doors for me romantically. There were a lot of cute men holding doors and gates open for me today. Granted, they all had name tags on and got paid to do so, but nonetheless...

Anyway...I've gone from the most miserable place on earth, to the happiest place on earth ALL IN ONE DAY! I feel kind of bipolar. I think I might go back again today and do California Adventure! Might as well--no sense in sitting around crying in my Cheerios.

Cheers to new beginnings.

:)













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! :)