Oil Paintings

Friend Jane Greenway pulled me aside one day and explained the virtues of oil paintings. “They are pleasing on the eyes,” she said, “and they relax the mind. There’s something about oil that enhances the beauty of a home.” She and Patricia Woods gave me an oil of an old church and another of a small flock of sheep along a country road.

Since then, Katrina and I have slowly been collecting oil paintings. We don’t pay a fortune for them, so we have to scout around for moderate pieces.

On occasion I’ve bought inexpensive paintings from street artists overseas. I found the above (left) painting in Rome this fall, and we’re having it stretched and framed during the 60% off sale at Michael’s. It’s a little French bistro with a table ready for Katrina and me (I think we’ll have quiche).

One of my favorite Tennessee painters is Ken Simmelink, from my hometown of Elizabethton (www.kens-paintings.com). His Appalachian Autumn hangs over my desk at home, and his Roan Mountain Memories hangs in my office at church.

There are three small paintings in my study that I value more than all the rest. They were done by my mother, and they’re quite good. Two are of flowers, and the third is a seascape.

I wish I were a painter, but I can only try to paint with words. But when my mind tires of that, I glance around the walls to rest my eyes and relax my mind

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