Thursday, December 29, 2011

Today is a gift

There are so many moments in our lives where we question why things happen. There have been times where I wondered "how did I get here?" and "why me?". I have been reflecting on this year, my relationships, my hopes and dreams. I have had the opportunity to see many of my dreams come true. I am married to a wonderful man. I have been blessed with a spunky little girl. I am able to not only create art, but to walk, paint, laugh and share my life with wonderful family and friends.

In the picture above, I am standing with one if my childhood idols. Yep, we are the same age, but Keasha was always two or three steps ahead and without her knowing made a path for me.

We met in high school at a science and engineering camp at Clemson University. She was so pretty and smart. She graduated from high school a year early, and then majored in engineering. She had her own car, I couldn't even drive yet, and a personalized license plate that some how spelled QT-PIE. And there was no denying she was.

Keasha auditioned for the Rally Cat!s dance team and I auditioned for the cheerleading team. We were the only two African American women on the field at times and there was always a little extra pressure for excellence. We both worked hard made our classmates proud.

We also joined the same sorority and with this new sisterhood, we became good friends. She was there the night of my first college heartbreak and she gave me the confidence to let him know it was his loss!

She was a professional cheerleader for the Charlotte Hornets, 8 years before I ever thought about cheering for the Falcons. But my time at the Falcons is what ironically proved to show how our lives would forever be connected.

While I cheered for the Falcons, I met very few players. I know that seems ridiculous, but I was more interested in my team, my art and my work. The few I did meet, I met through charity events. One of them was named Chris Draft. He was one of the players who really felt like he could use his celebrity to make a difference. I admired that about him. He really liked my artwork and is now one of my largest collectors. My painting, "The Journey", is the logo for his non-profit organization. He eventually was traded to Charlotte, but we would always check in with each other every now and then.

One day I looked at my phone and I had two missed calls. One from Chris and one from Keasha. It was obvious to me that they had met and wanted some background on the other. It was a perfect match made by God.

Over the years, Chris has gone from a collector to my extended family. I have watched their relationship grow in the best and worst of times. A year ago she was diagnosed with lung cancer. I flew to visit her last month and was able to catch up with them both. And they were planning their wedding! I wasn't able to get back to the wedding, but I was there in spirit and lent support to my girlfriends who were working so hard to make her dreams come true.

On Nov. 27, 2011 my friends were married. She died of lung cancer on Tuesday Dec. 27, 2011. Today I am heartbroken.

This is a sad story, but it's also one of hope. While we are here, we can love with all our hearts. We can live each day to the fullest and we can honor those who have touched our lives.

Cancer has taken the life of my husband's father, it affected the life of my father and many family members. I am going to donate a portion of proceeds of my artwork sales to help find a cure. Please keep Keasha's family in your prayers.

Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5 NKJV)

Have a safe and blessed new year. Let's make 2012 one that counts,
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas on the Bayou

Willow Bayou, Water color/Mulit-media on paper 8"x10" © Kristye Addison Dudley
Growing up my friends and I used to play in these little streams. We called them creeks. When we moved to Louisiana, we found these all over, but here they call them bayous. Just like creeks, you never know what you are going to find.

It's been so dry here that the bayou near our home dried up and all the animals left. There were no more turtles sunbathing and plopping into the water. No blue and white herons, no frogs and crickets singing at night. But just recently we had a lot of rain, and before you knew it, life returned to the bayou. And it was like a breath of fresh air and a reminder of the renewing spirit around us. Just in time for Christmas.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

A few updates for you since my last blog. I have signed the contract to be a part-time art teacher next year. I am so excited about the opportunity. My mother is doing well and hopefully she will be visiting us out here soon. KJ got to meet Santa, it was sort of a mess. She screamed in his face and then almost pulled of his beard. Of course, we took pictures anyway with Mark and I smiling as she cries at the top of her lungs.

On the art scene, the magazine Fabulous Floors is in Barnes and Noble and is featuring my artwork in a special section. (Very cool). There was also a second holiday opening for the art show this weekend. I was able to meet more artist and make new friends. We are geared up for the holidays and so thankful for the reason for the season.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday.
Love and blessings,
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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Winds of Change

Winds of Change, Acrylic on Canvas © Kristye Addison Dudley

It's been a great holiday week so far. I am getting tons of rest and working towards a new year full of personal goals. One of which is running my first 1/2 marathon. So far I have only gotten new shoes, but you have to start somewhere. I am so grateful for so many thing I can't even count them. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving Day. We spent the day with friends of ours here in Bossier City. They have a 2 year old little girl, who our 18 month old KJ couldn't get enough of and a 5 week old little boy, who has given my husband a little baby fever.

We did a pot luck and completely stuffed ourselves. I have been trying to make those left overs last as long as possible, I really don't want to spend this weekend cooking and cleaning up the kitchen any more than necessary. I have also been helping do graphics for a dear friend of mine who is getting married on Sunday. We are not going to be able to make it, but I will be there in spirit.

Next week I am starting to refocus my career. I will start training to become an art teacher for our gifted and talented program for elementary and middle schools here in the area. It's a wonderful program that hires professional artists to teach within the schools to children who show an aptitude for the arts. Sometimes, the work in "artwork", can get sort of heavy.  I hope that I am able to share my knowledge with the students and they can renew the playfulness simple joy of creating.

For the first time I will be putting my artwork first in my career. I will create (paint/sculpt/design), teach and freelance for a living. Change is sort of intimidating, but I know that my path has already been laid out for me and I just need to have faith and let God lead me.

Be blessed,
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

That's what friends are for

 "The Team" Acrylic on Canvas 30" x 24" © Kristye Addison Dudley
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Last Friday, the opening was great! I met so many kind and talented people in the art community and I was surrounded by our new family of friends here. It felt so good to share my art with them and receive positive feedback. Since art is so personal, art show openings tend to make me feel a bit like I am standing exposed in a room full of judges. But luckily I made it through without a scratch. The next morning, I awoke with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude.

As I mentioned in my blog last week, I "Remember when..." I used to go and visit friends at the drop of a dime. Being married with a little one, makes that spontaneity a bit less spontaneous. But, because of my amazing husband I was able to catch a last minute flight out of town to go and visit with some girlfriends that I have really been missing. So Saturday morning, I got on a plane and flew back east to visit for two days.

I started crying before I even left the house, I missed my baby and my husband immediately. I finally stopped crying on the plane. The poor guy next to me probably thought I was sick with all that tissue. I pulled it together, just in time to cry the rest of the weekend. Back story, once I start crying I can't stop. I can cry at just about everything, I cried praying with friends, I laughed so hard I cried, I cried during the veterans tribute during halftime the football game on Sunday just thinking about my husband's possible deployment next year. I mean really, the waterworks just keep on coming! But it kind of felt good to let my guard down, and luckily I was surrounded by my girls who give great hugs.

Baby Shower/Girls Weekend a 2005

My girlfriends from college used to have a "Girls Weekend" every couple of years. We took time to reconnect and were able to encourage one another with our relationships, our children and our dreams. We don't get to have those big weekends as much, but we do our best to stay close. We even watched one of our girlfriends receive her Doctorate from Harvard via the web. We always do what we can, and we know that we are always with each other in spirit. I think we all need that kind of team in our lives. The type of people who cheer your successes as if they are their own. I am so fortunate to have old and new friends that are so giving and loving.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. (John 15:12-17 NIV)

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Back in Business

Well after 5 years, I am going to be in my first show! This photo is of me setting up. The show is in a unique place here in Shreveport called mainspace @ artspace. It's an exhibition space for local, regional and national artists. This juried show includes 17 artists and is an introduction of sorts for me into the arts community here. Everyone has been so nice to me the "new girl" and the opening is this Friday.
 If you live in the area, there are more details on my site, and I would love to see you there.

The space is unique, the walls are black, 12ft tall and each artist has a tall column to show their work. I submitted quite a few works, but the ones showing first are the ones that looked the best together in the space. I am also showing my hand painted pillows (that's what the white shelf in the picture is for). I will post more photos from the show later.

I have been thinking a lot about time lately. How to get the most out of it, how to be more disciplined with it and how to enjoy it. I just got off the phone with a friend of mine and we were talking about the last time we saw each other and all of our friends getting together. Because I live far from my college friends, it's hard to stay connected (even with Facebook). Sometimes we have to just make the time.

So I am getting back in the business of getting my priorities in check. There are so many "I remember whens...", that it doesn't even feel like "I ever...".
Like the following: I remember when...
  • I used to run a mile each morning before work
  • I used to dance for over 6 hours a week (Zumba a few times a week will work just fine)
  • I used to get really dolled up and stay on top of the latest fashions (who am I kidding, I would rather be in yoga pants 24/7, with no make up, but I do like getting spiffed up) 
  • I used to travel to see friends and family at the drop of a hat
  • and so on, and so on

Many things have changed for me to not be able to do all of those things, but I could TOTALLY do some of them. But it's so easy to make an excuse as to why I can't. So if you have some "I remember whens..." that you have been putting off. Let me know and maybe we can cheer each other on to get them accomplished. One of mine is seeing family and friends more frequently. And that is the first one that I am going to take care of. I have booked my first spontaneous plane ticket to reconnect. Hopefully it's the first of many new adventures for me.

Be blessed and send me your updates,
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Rejoice always

Leap of Faith - 6ft x 6ft Acrylic on Canvas © Kristye Addison Dudley
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Last weekend I participated in a charity benefit at my church. It was for breast cancer awareness and pay tribute to survivors in the community. There was a great turn out, and I was one of the vendors on hand to share my work. I met so many wonderful people.

I donated a print of "In the Huddle" To the speaker. Her story of her life's trials and tribulations was astonishing. But her spirit of thanksgiving was inspiring.

The next day we went to the church of a family friend. The pastor is discussing a series on joy. And the message was right on time. One thing that I find myself constantly battling with is keeping my mind focused on pure and simple joy.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

I pray and I give thanks in all situations (not just for my blessings), but sometimes I let things temporarily steal my joy. The pastor gave us some homework for the week. First he said write a Thank You note to someone who has helped you or that you appreciate. The second was to sing songs of praise this week. Right away I started thinking of who I can thank, then I started thinking of songs.

Yesterday's song was "Smile" bt Kirk Franklin. Today's song is "This little light of mine". It just makes me smile and KJ likes it too. This weekend, I set up for my first art show in 4 + years. The show opens 11/11/11 at Artspace here in Shreveport, LA. I am so excited to share my work and meet artist in the community.

I wish you a joyful week. And I am so thankful for each and everyone of you.

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Saturday, October 22, 2011


 Intuition - 30" x 40" Acrylic on Canvas © Kristye Addison Dudley

Do you listen to those voices in your head? Do you sense danger by feeling the hairs on your arms stand up? Whatever your signal is that keeps you moving in the right direction that's true intuition and the higher power moving in your life.

Earlier in the year I went to a women's retreat where we were discussing being anointed, transformed and redeemed. We talked about discernment and getting clear path from God. One of the speakers talked about the difference between "Good ideas and God ideas".

That really stuck with me. I sometimes feel my head is going to burst with ideas and I don't know which way to go. Sometimes I hear clear next steps and then things usually go smoothly. But other times, I go on impulse and things always take more effort, cost more money and require more work than if I had just followed my intuition and waited.

This painting was created in a time of stillness, when I was waiting on direction. I am in one of those head spinning times now with so many blessings and so many decisions (family, work, art show planning, graphics projects and publications). I wake up at night to write in my journal so I can sleep in peace, hoping that clarity will come with the rising of the sun. I have faith that it will.

Blessings always,
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Friday, October 14, 2011

Growing Up and the East Coast Dudley Tour

 Growth - 16" x 16" Acrylic on Canvas © Kristye Addison Dudley
I've got some great news! I was just accepted into a juried show here in Louisiana.  There were 17 artists selected and the Holiday show runs from November 11 - January 7. I will also be showing work at a benefit for Breast Cancer later this month. This painting "Growth" will be one of the paintings for sale at the show.

We just returned from a 2 week work/vacation. I say work vacation because, I was on vacation the first week and worked remotely the second week. The rest of my family was on vacay the whole time. It was a wonderful trip. Here's how the East Coast Tour worked:
  • Bossier City, LA to Athens, GA (with a stop in Alabama overnight)
    - The beautiful wedding of my dear friends Angela and Chris
  • Athens, GA to Atlanta, GA
    - Great time with friends and family. I could have stayed a week and not seen everyone I wanted to. KJ also got to go to the Georgia Aquarium. I could post a whole blog on that trip!
  • Atlanta, GA to Charlotte, NC
    - To celebrate my mother's birthday! Great time, we also went to the park everyday and took KJ to Discover Place, a science learning center for kids (it was wayyyy cool)
  • Charlotte, NC to Clemson, SC
    - My 20th High School Reunion. It was so great to see my dear classmates. KJ spent her first full night away from us with a babysitter, and a great time was had by all.
  • Clemson, SC to Spartanburg, SC
    - We went to our previous home church for service and caught up with our pastor and his wife and so many of our close friends there.
  • Spartanburg, SC to Sumter, SC
    - A visit to Mark's mother. Sweet Miss Amanda had a blast with KJ. And we set up her computer for skype. Now she can video chat with all 10 of her grand children.
  • Sumter, SC to Augusta, GA
    - This was a last minute stop to visit my Aunt Jackie. We were passing her home on our way to Bossier, so we just decided to see her too!
  • Augusta, GA to Atlanta, GA
    - We stopped for the night, due to a 4 car accident in Atlanta. Sweet Dreams.
  • Atlanta, GA to Bossier City, LA
    - We are back at home and in the flow again, renewed and ready for the next trip.
So if you read all of that we went to 5 states in two weeks. We made lots of stops and really just chilled out. KJ grew so much while we were gone, that some of her clothes don't fit anymore. I loved spending so much time with her. She really started "talking" and even started singing a new song that she made up.

I have been reading a lot about faith lately. One of my friends was even writing about it this week. Faith is like our East Coast Tour, we just drove and knew that God would make a way for us. We didn't worry about our schedule, we just hit the road! So, I guess like KJ, I a grew a bit on our trip as well.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Mac Life

copyright Johnathan Mak

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important." - Steve Jobs

With the passing of Steve Jobs I am thinking about how Apple has been a part of my life. I was introduced to Apple by my father, a self described gadget man. He thought that Macintosh computers were the coolest thing he'd seen. He thought it was important that I learned how to use all sorts of computers including IBM, Texas Instruments, Commodore 64 and of course a Mac.

I remember jumping from one computer to the next to play games and draw in the applications. I always ended up on the Apple! My father also liked the culture of Mac and when he retired, he was the oldest member of his local Mac Group. A group of computer lovers who would get together and discuss tricks and what was new with products.

Now, I find myself writing on my iPad, working on a MacBook Pro, calling on an iPhone, and watching movies with AppleTV. I listened to the speech Steve Jobs gave at Stanford, and I found myself nodding my head and smiling at his optimism. His strength of self and faith reminds me that we all have the opportunity to do something more with this borrowed time that we have.

RIP Steve Jobs


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

By God's Grace

By Gods Grace - 30" x 30", acrylic on canvas © Kristye Addison Dudley

We are on the road doing what I am calling the "East Coast Tour". Much of my family hasn't seen KJ since we moved away. Now she is 17 months old and full of personality (some of which are characteristic of all little toddlers).

We are driving from Louisiana to Georgia to North Carolina to South Carolina and then a 14 plus hour drive back to Louisiana. We are so thankful for this time with our family and friends. We can't see everyone, but we are seeing as many people as we can.

Today is my mother's birthday. I feel so blessed to be able to spend the next couple of days with her. Just a few weeks ago I was afraid for her life, but by God's Grace we are celebrating instead of morning.

My husband and I are also having some uninterrupted time to think. To really listen to the wind in the trees, hear the birds sing and just have our minds eye opened to life around us. We have been daydreaming about our careers and our family. And of course our next vacation.

The painting above was created using a West African Adrinka symbol."The adinkra symbols represent popular proverbs and maxims, record historical events, express particular attitudes or behaviour related to depicted figures, or concepts uniquely related to abstract shapes." More to come from this series. Email me if you are interested in the original.

Take care,
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Dance

The Dancer - 8" x 10" acrylic on canvas board © Kristye Addison Dudley
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This couple of weeks is a blur. We had a great anniversary. Mark took me out for a wonderful dinner and we reminisced and thought back over our lives so far and about our future.

For Labor Day weekend we started a "remodel" of our apartment. We are trying to be present and not constantly feel in transition. When we married we knew we would only be in our first home for three years. We didn't take full advantage of that time. We didn't really put down roots until it was time to leave. Although we are only slotted to be here for 3 more years, we don't want to make the same mistake.

We are making new friends, getting out and simply trying to enjoy the world around us. We aren't focused on what's next like we did before. What's next will come soon enough.

“Do not make a noise about tomorrow, for you are not certain what a day's outcome may be.”
Proverbs 27:1

It's so true. The Dancer in this painting expresses that feeling that I have when I am dancing with my husband, my cheer girls, or praise dancing at church. I feel most present and simply blessed. Sometimes distractions sneak in, but for the most part, if I truly focus on the joy of the moment and let the spirit guide me, there is nothing like it.

Dance like no one is watching and have a great week!
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Saturday, September 3, 2011

One Accord

My 4 year wedding anniversary was Friday September 2. We had a great date night celebrating and thinking about our lives and our little family. I met my husband at a wedding and two years and a day later we married each other.

He brings a harmony to my life that I can't explain. He is a true gift from God. I prayed for a man like my brother and my father, who was kind, liked to dance, loved the Lord and a few other things. I put my short list in a prayer jar and left it alone. About two weeks later, I met Mark.

We laughed and danced the entire wedding reception, and I thought "he was such a breath of fresh air". We exchanged numbers and talked everyday from that point on. He met everyone in my family, including my father whose passed away two weeks later. My life was changing in so many ways so fast.

Mark prayed with me and was able to help me work through the loss of my Daddy, since he had just lost his. We had such a deep connection, it was like we were in perfect sync, in one accord.

When I painted the painting above, I only hoped that a relationship like this was possible. That I would have someone to lean on who would lean on me too. Marriage is work, but it's the best kind. The kind of job that you jump out of bed for everyday knowing that the time invested will enrich your life. I can't remember life without him. I actually have started to put him in all my best memories, as if he had been there all along.

Love and blessings,

Friday, August 26, 2011

Act of Faith

© Kristye Addison Dudley
I just wanted to give you an update. My mother is doing much better. She is out of the hospital and with my sister. We have so many decisions to make, decisions that we have all put off for so long. But I do have faith that God will provide all that we need if we seek him first.

I have a bad habit of knowing what is right and veering off on my own. Then God puts people in my path to remind me of the straight and narrow. I have said it before, but I am so thankful for my family and friends. All of the love and support over this last week has help renew my spirit and my faith.

Instead of staying sorrowful, I have been able to look forward. I have been really hard on myself about where I am with my art career. But the truth is, I am where I am and that's that. If I am truly present, I am much farther along than I was last year, so I need to stop beating myself up and embrace progress. (Even if I feel a bit like I am moving at a snails pace. LOL)

I painted this painting above for a charity auction in Atlanta. If we have faith all things are possible. I am stepping out on faith next week. I am having all of my finished paintings in storage professional shot. That's right, I have over 50 paintings in storage! They are not being shown, they are not being shared, they are just sitting all alone in storage. It's time to let them see the light of day, and maybe they will find homes.

I have always believed that even if a painting is not sold, that doesn't mean it's a "bad" painting. It just means it hasn't found it's perfect mate. So I guess in the coming weeks I will start a "matchmaking" of sorts for my artwork. I hope they all find a loving home.

Again, thank you for all the love and prayers. Have a blessed weekend and I will be talking to you soon.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Crashing waves

"Crashing Waves" 8" x 10" © Kristye Addison Dudley

I have been having quite a week. I have felt like I have been riding on waves and being thrown and tossed around. From work, home and family it felt like a roller coaster. This past week my husband traveled to San Antonio for pre-deployment training. Although he goes to work in his Air Force uniform everyday, I still don't like to think about the commitment that he has made. My first cousin was deployed today, bringing the military life back into reality. Our plans for where we are going to live changed in an instant. And it seemed like there were challenges everywhere I looked.

While Mark was gone I found myself appreciating all that he does for us. KJ and I went on with our usual schedule, but each night we Skyped "Da Da". KJ started waving as soon as I brought the computer out. It really made the week go by faster to see his face and hear his voice.

I had been trying for days to get my mother on the phone. She is a bit of a busy body. Between church meetings, church plans and church she is hard to keep up with. I have tried not to worry about her every time I she doesn't pick up the phone, but this was different. She didn't return my calls either. My 3 siblings were going through the same thing. We all live out of state, so we called a neighbor to check on her. She had gotten sick and fallen. She couldn't get to the phone to answer our calls.

Later, when I did get to talk to her, her speech was slurred and incoherent. I remember the way my father sounded after his stroke, and I didn't want to lose my mother too.

She was admitted to the hospital and her glucose was stabilized. Her diabetes is something that she has sort of ignored. Parents are really hard to change aren't they? After a night in the hospital her speech improved, her laughter returned, and I heard my mother tell me she loved me. I said the same.

The sound of her spirited voice was the final wave that crashed into me. For the first time this week I was able to breath and let out the emotions of stress, fear and doubt. I was able to cry tears of joy.

This painting represents the changes we are constantly going through. Even when there is a dark moment, there is light and hope with each passing wave.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Using my hands - Going 3D

Hand sculpted ceramic figure © Kristye Addison Dudley
I have always loved working with my hands. From building mud pies as a child to painting, I really find that the creative process of making something feeds my soul.

The figures that I paint have always had a life of their own, but I have wanted to see them as 3D figures. So I just took a leap of faith and started to pull them off of the canvas. Small collections of figures like this, will soon be available on my site in limited editions. If there is a painting that you would like to see in 3D just let me know.

I find myself always driven to make things. I can't seem to find enough things do do with my hands. The trouble comes in when instead of doing, I start to think and plan about the details. The devil truly is in the details. I am going to search for some new projects for this fall. I have been wanting to try to make jewelry. Maybe that's next for my busy hands.

Blessings to you all,
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Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Southern View

At Ease © Kristye Addison Dudley
There are a few things about living in the south that are often talked about, but there are hidden rules that we abide by too. One of those things happened to me last week. In the south, we pull over for funeral processions.

I remember growing up and seeing the cars go by and not understanding why we stopped and pulled over on the side of the road. My mother would say, we are showing our respect to the family who lost someone. I never really asked why, I just learned this was how it was done.

This week while I was grabbing lunch, I saw a procession coming my way so I pulled over to the side of the road. I was kind of in a hurry, with a long list of things to-do, but for those few moments, I took some time to pay my respects to a family who had lost a loved one. I didn't know the family, but I have felt the loss. I took time to pray for them and for my family.

So in the South, we do lots of strange things. As a matter of fact we do a lot of things really wrong. We have a history filled with turmoil and hate. We are polorized on just about everything except for football and grits. But there are somethings about being southern that I really like. We smile at strangers, children learn to say "yes mam" and "yes sir" and we sometimes slow down long enough to see our neighbors as ourselves.

Luke 6:31
Do to others as you would have them do to you

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Iron Sharpens Iron

"Iron Sharpens Iron" 24" x 24" © Kristye Addison Dudley

Whew, I am tired.

But, I am the best kind of tired. My brain is tired, but I keep thinking of new projects to do! The commission shown was a purchased as a gift. My good friend Dr. Antwan Treadway wanted a gift for his mentor, Dr. Paul E. Gates, brother of Dr. Henry Lewis Gates. I found a scripture that gave me inspiration to create this work.

Psalm 27:17
Iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another.

We went through a number of drafts, and he selected this theme. The reflection of mentor and student. I have really found that using the palette knife and expanding my colors has brought an exciting dimension to my work.

This painting does make me want to reach out to people who have encouraged me along the way. There are so many people that have in large and small ways touched my life and helped me to grow.

That includes you. Thank you for reading my blog and sending your kind comments.
Until next time...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Inside - In the Huddle

Stephanie Blank (wife of NFL Atlanta Falcons owner),
"In the Huddle" 36" x 48" © Kristye Addison Dudley
In 2002, while I was a professional cheerleader with the Atlanta Falcons, I participated in a charity auction. Although I have drawn since I was a child, majored in fine art and received a graduate degree in graphic communications, I still found (find)  myself feeling insecure about my art. I think it's because when I share my work, I am not just sharing an image. I am sharing a part of myself. Exposing those things that most of us write only in our journals. My journals are there for the world to see and built by my own hands. When it's not accepted, it's like being personally rejected.  This was the first painting that I was publicly  displaying and I was pretty terrified about it.

First of all, when approached about the painting I said "I don't do Football players", and didn't think that my work would work for this venue. I started to think more about the nature of sports and less about the helmets and pigskins. I thought about the spirit of teamwork and the image of the huddle came to mind. The bright, bold and strong figures said everything that I was feeling, the painting was ready.

I thought "In the Huddle" was going to be in the silent auction. But on the day of the event, it was in the live auction. I was there as a cheerleader, greeting guests, signing autographs and performing for the fans. Right before the painting was to be sold, I was called to the front of the room, introduced as the artist and asked to stand next to the painting. I felt like I was up for auction too. I could see the surprised look on the faces of the fans. A cheerleader painted this?

Of course I am used to being pre-judged, as were my teammates. We all enjoyed dispelling the myths of our part-time profession. We all had day jobs! And after the game, and after the uniforms came off, we were back to our daily routines working and raising children. We were rarely recognized, kind of like Superman hiding in plain site.

The bidding started at $350. An NFL player and Mrs. Blank, wife of team owner, started a bidding war. The painting sold to Stephanie for $3500. I was in complete shock. The painting is in the permanent collection at the Atlanta Falcons Headquarters. Immediately following the event, I was asked to do shows all over the Atlanta area and starting sharing my work with collectors and the community.

It's a great testament to my winding path as a professional artist. I still find that my being a former cheerleader brings funny looks, but it's part of who I am. I started in Jr. High and cheered in college too. During my years as a college and professional cheerleader I was able to participate in countless community service activities and travel the world. My first trip to Egypt was as a cheerleader entertaining our troops.

During my time as a professional cheerleader the team consisted of a VP of a bank, a chemist, a chiropractor, a number of entrepreneurs, nurses, teachers, guidance counselors, and college students with a variety of challenging majors. I met amazing women, who I am so proud to know and are my friends for life. So, don't judge a book by the cover, or pom poms, a cheerleader may be in your midst.

Cheers to you all,

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Painting and New Website

Recent Commission, Acrylic on Canvas, brush and palette knife © Kristye Addison Dudley
This painting was commissioned for a wedding. The newlyweds wanted to have a painting made of their engagement photo. They walked through a beautiful park, holding hands stepping over stones that linked across a pond. I love the reflections of the figures and I was so happy to be a part of their new journey in life together.

Also, I have finally updated my website. The new address is simply
Let me know what you think.

Have a great day,

Friday, July 8, 2011

I Don't Believe He Brought Me This Far

 Commission for Mo'Nique (Oscar award winner) © Kristye Addison Dudley
Tonight I took some time to update my list of exhibits, collectors and charitable events. I was shocked when I saw them all together. I have really had some great experiences, met some wonderful people and have had the opportunity to share my heart.

This is one of those divine things that happened to me. My first solo show was in 2002. I was so excited that I sold a large painting. I was walking on cloud nine and trying to learn more about how to become a "real" professional artist while pursuing my graphic design career.

While delivering my first sale, my collector was in a meeting with a customer, but he told me to come and bring my book. He invited me in and introduced me to his customer. I was so surprised to see that it was Mo'Nique! She's a comedian, and won an Oscar for her supporting role in "Precious". She liked the work I was delivering and asked to see my work. 

She looked through my portfolio and said, "I'd like this painting, in these colors. How much is it and can I have it in two weeks?". I simply said the amount and that I could do it in two weeks and that a deposit could be paid by check.

This painting holds a very special place in my heart, but I still sometimes forget about these milestones I have had along the way. I find myself looking back and focusing on my mistakes and my mishaps as failures, when really they are just stepping stones. After all of those "failures" was a triumph. There were people around me to lift me up and encourage me. There was a cheering section of family and peers to remind me that the road was winding but not ending.

I am so thankful for the friends that God has put into my life. And for the angels that watch over me and my family everyday. "I Don't Believe He Brought Me This Far to Leave Me", great things are in store.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Relax and renew

Red chair in the rain - Watercolor and ink © Kristye Addison Dudley

I have spent the last week on vacation with my family. We are coming to the last day of our vacation and I am on a sun-sand-seafood-induced high. This was KJ's inaugural beach trip.

There was a "first" everyday. Her first time putting her little toes in the sand. Her first time waddling into the ocean and and then running back to me. The first time getting sea water up her nose and then laughing about the weird sensation. So many wonderful firsts. I love seeing the world through her eyes. I did find time to sketch, this one is from the one day it rained.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sticky Fingers Dudley

Figure Study - acrylic on canvas with palette knife © Kristye Addison Dudley

A few of our friends were in town last weekend and they were coming over to hang out. So you know what that meant...we had to straighten up around the house. It's so funny how we get in a habit of just moving things around without really getting organized. Then before you know it, everything is a mess a again. Our little toddler, aka "Sticky Fingers Dudley", has a masterful way of getting into EVERYTHING. Sometimes I just sit back and marvel at her cunning and acrobatic feats of strength to get to that one object that is seemingly out of reach. But more times than not, she finds a way.

Sometimes I get frustrated with the things that are out of my control, instead of just letting God take charge. I can learn a lot from Sticky Fingers Dudley. I can stay focused on those things that are right there in front of me and challenge myself to make the most of the things that I can control. Like keeping things away from Miss Sticky Fingers!

Contact me at:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My father's advice

Dock at Sunrise - Mixed Media - Watercolor and Photo © Kristye Addison Dudley
I was always Daddy's little girl. I was basically his shadow as soon as I could walk. He was an architect and a professor. I still consider him to be the smartest person I've ever known. He taught me to draw and see the world in a completely new way.

When it was time for me to choose a major in college he asked me, "What would you do whether you got paid for it or not?". I said I would travel the world and paint. So, I majored in art.

Now that my husband is a Daddy, I can see my little girl following him around! And already at 14 months she is a total Daddy's little girl. I can't be jealous of all the attention he gets, now I know how my mother must have felt. I am sure that he will be giving KJ lots of advice and I hope that she knows that one day she can live out her wildest dreams and fulfill her life's passions.

My Father's birthday was on Monday June 13, he would have been 78 years old. I miss him dearly, but his advice is always with me. Thanks for the great advice Daddy and Happy Father's Day to all the great loving Dads out there.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Whoomp There it is...

Magnolia Study 3 - Mixed media: photo enhanced watercolor, 8.5" x 11" © Kristye Addison Dudley
I used to be an exercise fanatic, but there's not as much time for it as I would like these days. Usually once or twice a week I get some time to go to Zumba (Latin inspired dance aerobics)! It really is a chance for me to let my hair down (or in my case let the curls loose!) and have some fun.

The music is great, the people are nice and for an hour I get to dance, laugh and sweat my cares away. Yesterday, after my class I got in the car and turned on the xm-Satellite radio. Out of the hundreds of stations I could listen to, my two favorites are 80s and 90s! "Whoomp there it is!" was playing on the radio and I had the best time doing my "totally awesome" car-karaoke!

For that short ride home, I was my good old goofy self. It's so easy to forget how to play. So I encourage you to get silly and "Whoomp" before you know it, you will be re-energized and ready to concur the world. Here is another study of the magnolias. I am really enjoying these studies. If you are interested in my artwork  Contact Me.

Love and blessings,

Monday, June 6, 2011

Family Day

The Dudleys 2010 - Photo © Gene Ho Photography

Saturdays at the Dudley home are pretty low key. Mark likes to take KJ for a morning run in the jogging stroller and I get to enjoy a peaceful morning of painting, projects and maybe work out too. I look forward to this little bit of serenity all week. Ginger, our shy tabby cat and trusted art apprentice, keeps me company in between her naps in the sun. Yesterday started out to be another one of those mornings until...we realized we were out of one of KJ's prescriptions that she needed for the weekend.

My husband, who is a man of few words, says "Are you coming with us?". The way he said it was innocent and sweet, he was really saying "Don't stay at home and paint alone, spend the day with us!" I immediately felt terrible and told him "Of course, I will come."

Mother's guilt is an awful thing, trying to balance precious family time and time to replenish myself seems to be a ball I am constantly trying to balance. But I am so grateful to have such a understanding husband. Part of the replenishing also comes from the lovely people who you work so hard for all week.
Detail Commission in Progress © Kristye Addison Dudley

So after we refilled the prescription, we went to the farmer's market in town. I met other artists who were selling there and I enjoyed watching KJ cover herself in sticky sweet Geauxsicles - gourmet ice pops (everything here starts with "Geaux" instead of "Go"). Then we grabbed some food and it was nap time for KJ and Mark (who never takes naps). Now was the perfect time for me to PAINT!! I couldn't wait to get in the studio. Here is  a detail of the painting I am working on. I am using mainly a palette knife and I am expanding my colors a bit. I really like where it's going.

It turned out to be a beautiful family day. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Taking the first step

Magnolia Study 2 - Mixed media: photo enhanced watercolor, 8.5" x 11" © Kristye Addison Dudley
Before being married, I lived in a cool three story town home in the Grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta. It had a huge garage that I converted into my studio and I painted some great work there and used it as a place to try just about anything creative. I worked in clay and built small sculptures, had a screen printing press, and more. It was where I really felt most free to explore and make a total carefree mess. I would turn up my music and let my paint (and myself) dance with the canvas. We sold that townhouse yesterday! But even though there were great memories there, I am happy to step into this next chapter.

KJ, my 13 month old daughter, just learned to walk a couple of months ago. She was very timid at first, but now she is trying to run. For example, we used to carry her out to the car in the morning, but now she wants to walk on her own. I guess that's just the way life is. Sometimes it's hard to take those first steps, but then with God's guidance, we are able to run on to whatever his will has in store for us.

Stay tuned, as this door closes I am so excited about what the future holds. The study of this magnolia is another one of those steps. I have always loved photography, and I have tons of it. So I am exploring new ways to work with it. I enjoyed using water color to bring life to this flower. It's a work in progress, but so am I.

Love and blessings,

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What's New in the Studio

Watercolor and Acrylic, brush and knife © Kristye Addison Dudley 2011

I am sure you have been wondering where the paintings are. Well, I am happy to report, I have been painting! I am currently working on two commissions. One is a wedding gift and the other is a gift from a student to his mentor.

Both are figures and feel very blessed to be creating them for my collectors. I really love commissions and the development process between myself and my clients. They provide photos, feelings, quotes or a general concept and I look for inspiration to transform that into a visual medium that can speak volumes to others.

While I am working on those I continue to work on smaller pieces too. This magnolia study was really fun (yes my work is fun). Since I am also a graphic designer, I have to sometimes force myself to loosen up and paint "outside" of the lines. I wanted to leave just enough of the form of the flower and the leaves to show the shape without taking away the airiness of the soft petals.

I hope you have a great week,

Memorial Day as an Air Force wife

This is my first Memorial Day as a military wife. I didn't have any expectations, in fact I spent this day staying away from the fan fair, no fireworks, or flag waving. I really didn't want to think about the sacrifices so many families have made.

My husband will be up for his first tour within the next year. It's hard for me to wrap my head around what he may be asked to do. But I am so proud of him and all of those who serve to protect and to liberate others.

Please continue to pray for our soliders, their families and for those who make the decisions that impact so many.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Life in Bloom

This week I have been trying to take photos of magnolias to paint. Each day while driving out of the gate, I see beautiful flowers in bloom. I say to myself, isn't that beautiful, I will have to take a picture when I have more time. Of course when I return, the flowers have wilted, been abused by the heavy spring rain, or they are closed waiting to bloom another day.

But early one morning I slowed down, I pulled the car over and took a photo of this flower still dripping with morning dew.  Why is it so easy to run on auto pilot than to actually live a meaningful enriched life?

These flowers remind me to live life in full bloom. Have a safe and wonderful Memorial Weekend and if you can, take the time to stop to smell the "magnolias".

Love and peace,

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Access to Art Around the World - Google Art Project

Amit Sood TED Talk
I have to admit that I am sort of a closet geek. I think I get this from my father, who always had at least 3 cameras and computers around him at one time. He even had some spy cameras. A little writing pen and another was hidden in his glasses!

Well I have not indulged myself as much as my Dad, but I do enjoy my latest gadget gift. For mother's day my husband got Apple TV for me (us).  I just figured out that I can watch movies from my phone on my TV. I am overjoyed.

I have been watching these great videos on my iPhone from TED. TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. These speaches are definately big screen worthy.  The one I have attached today is about Google's new art project.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Just Breathe

Road from Main House to Studio at Selah Ranch during retreat.
On the last night of the retreat, myself, Cathy, Jane and Lori (my new buddies in art) couldn't stop painting. So after dinner, we went back down to the studio space and painted until 9:45 pm! On the drive down I was also taking pictures.

For just this short time, I felt free. The only thing I had to do was create, play and breathe. I wish I could reproduce that in my everyday life. Maybe I can, I just need to start with breathing first, then I can create and play.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Latest Painting from Retreat. Acrylic on canvas, using palette knife.

Stepping out of the box and into the world

I am venturing out into the big world of blogging. I hope this provides and opportunity for you to get to know me and for me to get to know you.

I just returned from the most amazing art retreat and workshop at Selah Ranch with Texas Contemporary Artist Laurie Justus Pace. The weekend was more than just about painting, I had a chance to connect with some amazing women at the retreat. I really tried to step out of my comfort zone and try new things.

I have always enjoyed acrylic painting, but I tried oils. I love figure painting, so I tried a landscape. I tend to lean toward earth tones, so I painted with bold bright colors. The whole expreience has enriched my life and I look forward to building new relationships with my friends.

This was the longest amount of time I have spent away from my 1 year old daughter KJ. She is of course the most beautiful child on the planet in my eyes. When I returned home, my sweetie pie had two new teeth!!! They grow so fast. My husband was also very happy to see me after a weekend of chasing around a newly walking toddler.

More pictures to come from the retreat. Check back to see more