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Foto Friday

I’ve been intending for a long time to do some photography of rural Oklahoma.

So we headed out with cameras in tow to see what we could find.   The initial answer was nothing.  Apparently we need to think this through and have a plan.  We ended up driving through Cyril, Oklahoma and found an old railway station.


It was not particularly photography worthy in itself, but when you’ve driven all the way out there, you feel compelled to shoot something.


A certain photographer (who shall remain nameless) thought he could get an interesting shot by getting in an unusual postion.


I think he was aiming for something like this:


Unfortunately on hot days even abandoned railways have an abundance of tar on them.  I guess they don’t expect people to lay on the rails.   However, if you do lay on them and then unwittingly get in the car; it does bad things to the seat covers.  Like I said the photographer won’t be named, but I can’t help it if you recognize his picture.

After the tar issues were fixed we headed on to Cement, Oklahoma.  Never heard of it?  Well neither had I.


This is Main Street, quaint, old and relatively empty.   I spotted an old building at the end of the street, and headed up to get a quick shot.


We didn’t find much else and headed home.  I didn’t think to much about it until I was editing the pics and noticed the sign next to the building.  I zoomed in on it and my curiosity was piqued.


Jesse James museum?

I looked it up, and it turns out that this little town in Ok (pop. ~500) is home to Buzzard’s Roost, a hideout in the 1870’s for the James gang. In its rocks are carved signs and symbols which were supposedly to remind the outlaws where they’d hidden caches of money, ammunition etc.  In the 1930’s  a treasure hunter named Joe Hunter unearthed a tea kettle containing a suspected treasure map, a pocket watch, gold bar and some coins. The treasure is still unfound, and yes, even though I’d never heard of it, people are still visiting Cement Ok to search.


Experimenting is at the heart of most art.  The desire to push the limits of what’s been done before or to express ideas in a new unconventional way continually lures the artist.  Hence my recent fascination with collage.  Acrylics have some wonderful properties but most artists will admit that the colors have a tendency to plasticity, and the quick drying is both a blessing and a bane.  Collage is one way to give the colors greater nuance and depth.

I’ve used collage in a unique way in my latest two pieces, where the collage is actually the underpainting and a semi-transparent layer is painted over it to create the final image.

Here’s what I started with as the collage underpainting for “Dauntless”.

20140617_092024  The paper pieces are torn and adhered permanently to the canvas with matte transparent gel.  Texture is created primarily with a glass bead gel medium.  I love the way that the paint interacts with the beads, filling some of the spaces and leaving some of them with the original underpainting showing through.

I then began to paint the image over the collage using Golden’s open acrylics which in addition to having a longer drying time are also semi-transparent.


The final image “Dauntless”


© 2014 Debi Coleman

The papers, beads, and colors peek through to add depth, texture, and interest.

The other collage piece I’ve done recently entitled “Ephemeral” is shown below in two of it’s stages.  I forgot to photograph the initial underpainting.


But here you can see the second step where I’ve begun to paint over the collage with a semi-transparent layer of color.

The finished piece  “Ephemeral”


© 2014 Debi Coleman

For more artwork from Tybi Studio visit our etsy store at  http://www.etsy.com/shop/TybiStudio




Harbinger’s Haven





Meet “Harbinger’s Haven” © 2014 my latest triptych.

  People say artist’s blogs are boring.  I have to agree.  🙂  They tend to consist of “look what I painted” and…”so do you like it?”  posts.

To avoid boring those who are kind enough to visit your blog, I’m told that you have to give the inspiration or story for the painting.  I don’t think it’s always conducive to harmony to tell you who inspired me if I’m painting

moody, murky, and mysterious.

  So you’ll just have to guess.  🙂

Sometimes it’s just a chocolate deficiency,

and sometimes

I’ve been seriously “inspired”.


The story however, is actually a continuation of the original “Harbinger” painting.  Exhausted by the storm which the first piece heralded, the harbinger is now finally headed for home.  The ethereal light is an indication of the storm’s passage, and thus it is safe for the harbinger to return to the nesting grounds.

The image is made up of three gallery wrap canvases each measuring 10×20″.  The whole piece is at least 30×20″ depending on how much space you put between each canvas.  The sides are painted and are an integral part of the image.



Here’s a close-up from the center canvas.


See more of our work at www.etsy.com/shop/TybiStudio

Thanks for looking.




Why Does it Matter?

Today is Resurrection Day.  We celebrate an empty tomb after a gruesome crucifixion.

The significance begs to be understood; it is life changing.

  Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius,etc….they all died.

They are all still dead.  You can visit their tombs;

They are in them.

Jesus said He was the very Son of God.  His tomb is empty, because He is.

Jesus said He was the way to the Father.  His tomb is empty, because He is.

Jesus said that He gives eternal life to all who believe in Him.  His tomb is empty, because it is true.

The resurrection is real.

  The very men who fled in fear at His arrest, died martyr’s deaths declaring Jesus alive and risen.

If you’ve never read what Jesus actually had to say…. take some time this day, this month, this year and read for yourself.  Remember His words are validated by an empty tomb.  Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John in the New Testament for yourself.

Jesus is alive.  The tomb is empty.

He offers forgiveness and eternal life to all who would believe.

Read it for yourself and believe.

Happy Resurrection Day!

Learning to Win

Sportsmanship.  It’s the first thing that we try to teach our little ones when they start to play team sports.  “Don’t be a sore loser”.  And it’s true.  It’s hard to lose.  It is important to be able to do so with good grace and a cheerful attitude.  There’s no argument there.

I just didn’t realize until this last tournament how important it is to learn how to win.  I’m not talking so much about attitude here as I am about the experience itself.

  My guys team recently competed in a one day, double elimination tournament.  The schedule was grueling, especially if you came from the loser bracket.  We unfortunately lost our first game, which put us there.  If you end up in that bracket

 the only way to win, is to defeat every other team in the tournament,

including the one you just lost to.

The guys played back to back matches with no break, no dinner, no down time.  Every match went to 3 games (volleyball matches are best 2 out of 3).  They played and played and played and won their way out of that bracket.

Championship matches are best 3 out of 5.  Our match started at  8:45pm with 7 exhausted, hungry players facing off against a larger rested team.  We were frankly just excited to have fought back to be assured of second place.

And then something wonderful happened.

We won the first game of the match.

  There was a glimmer of a chance.


We lost the second….

won the third…

lost the fourth.

   It was now really late at night, and hungry had given way to famished.  Teenage guys do not miss meals.  They were facing the tie-breaking game.  A game to 15 instead of 25, with winner take all.

I called a time out at what was a 14-14 tie game…. and looked at players who could barely stand up, let alone win. But they were only 2 points from being champions.  We huddled, we prayed, we planned, we encouraged; and they went out to win 16-14. It sounds like one of those feel good movies, but it’s really how it happened.

So what’s my point?

For the rest of their lives these guys will remember that God has put more inside of them than they think there is.

They don’t have to lose.

 When it’s tough or looks impossible:

you pray

give it everything you have

and work together.

You can win. That’s a huge experience and a tremendous lesson.  How many times do we give up because the goal looks too hard or impossible?

Excuses are so easy.

Sometimes it’s just as important to learn how to win.

It was hard work, and that is the point.


Congratulations guys, you earned it.


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