The Elusive Heron (Foto Friday)

I have a son-in-law who insists that everyone is entitled to one irrational fear.  He uses this to justify screaming like a girl over spiders (even small non-hairy ones).  I’m going to morph his philosophy to add that everyone is entitled to one irrational quirk.  If you know me well, you may say I’m stretching the point to only own one….but that’s a different post.

I love herons.   There is no reasonable explanation for this quirky fascination.  They are muddy-colored, drab, and odd; but I love them.  I’m fascinated by them, and am determined to get some wonderful photos of them to use for painting.  (The fact that you haven’t seen a heron in any of my work gives you a clue as to the drift of this post).

Fortunately for me, Oklahoma is loaded with herons and egrets.  Unfortunately for me they are all camera-shy.   Egrets look like white mini-herons.   I’m getting desperate enough that I include them in my photo attempts.  The only problem with egrets is that they hang out with herds of buffalo and longhorns. My family isn’t thrilled with me sneaking into the herds.  They think I have thrill issues.  🙂

The bottom line here is that I have hundreds (yes literally hundreds….and no I won’t bore you with them all) of lousy heron pictures.  What’s worse is that they are mostly of their back ends as they fly away from me.




Or I catch them at some awkward angle…..


At this rate I think I’d better go to the zoo and decide to feature a captive bird in the paintings.  🙂 Meanwhile I’m still chasing herons, and hope you have a great weekend.


I was reminded today of how very thankful I am to have so much of my voice again.   I am about 8 months out from the surgery that damaged one of the major nerves to my vocal chords.  It was an unexpected outcome.  I woke up from surgery with only a hoarse whisper, and as the months progressed I saw very little improvement.   Eventually, I got a robot-like voice and a laugh like Donald Duck had in the cartoons.  Many people and their churches prayed for me, and I am so grateful.

It was unbelievably isolating, and actually more frightening than I would have imagined.  If I tried to yell for help…. no one would hear me.  If I wanted to go through a drive through….they didn’t know anyone was there.  In a crowded room, I couldn’t contribute, because I just couldn’t be heard.  I have to say that my experience gave me so much more of an appreciation for people who struggle with any kind of disability.  People don’t mean to be insensitive, but it seems to be an unfortunate reality that if you can’t keep up….you get left behind.

The title of my blog ended up unintendedly ironic.   The title has to do with my very sincere belief that artists and their artwork have a very definite message, and that they need to be aware of and are responsible for that message.  The irony was of course that I had lost my voice, but hoped to still speak through my art.

This week though,  my mom (who lives far away from me) said my voice finally sounds like me.  That is tremendous victory.  Every week she’d call and every week I’d hear tears in her voice, because she couldn’t hear me.

I’d say it’s at about 80% of what it was.  I sound a little interesting when I sing… and there are pitches and tones that are pretty much absent still.  BUT I can be heard, and I don’t sound like a robot or a duck anymore.  I doubt if you met me on the street if you’d have any idea that my voice wasn’t normal, it sounds that much better.  🙂  I can even yell.  🙂  So today I am just amazingly thankful.  God was so very gracious and kind to restore what was damaged; and the small view I got of what it’s like when you can’t keep up makes me pause, and remember when I see someone struggle.   I have about another 4 months where the nerve can continue to regenerate (according to the surgeon), and we’re of course hopeful and prayerful for the return of the other 20%.

Hope you have a wonderful Sunday.  To all of you that prayed and above all to God who answered….. thank you.

art classes

I love creativity and imagination.  In art however, just as in writing or music or any other creative endeavor, ideas without skills just leads to frustration.  One of the things I am very blessed to get to do is teach art classes for the local homeschool coop.  Now that school’s back in session I thought I’d share some pics from a few students that were willing to share.

Drawing 1     These kids had the task of drawing an elephant upside down.  Turning their reference upside down forces them to draw what they really see rather than what they think they see.  These are just a couple of the students and their work.



Drawing 2 is a color class and they are just starting to work with the intricacies and frustrations of colored pencil so I only have a couple of photos of fruit to start.

DSC_0019DSC_0020DSC_0022     Hope you enjoyed this glimpse of my student’s work.  I look forward to sharing more in the coming weeks.


after the store….and foto Friday

Tyna and I opened our Etsy store the beginning of August.  You can find it at www.etsy/shop/TybiStudio .   It’s been an undertaking for us to get enough work together to launch a shop and we appreciate everyone’s words of encouragement and support.

We are both working consistently in our studios, but at a much slower pace.  I am first of all a homeschooling Mom, and with the beginning of a new school year my schedule inevitably turns to other things.  Tyna is a young mom with little ones, and this season of her life is a busy one.

The blog will have a broader scope in the coming days and weeks. So often we think of art in a very narrow way, like a picture that you can hang on the wall.  However all of life expresses art and I want to share that.   I’m also looking forward to hosting some guest bloggers….

As for foto Friday…. I am a transplanted Okie…. originally from NY.  Rodeo is NOT something we do up there.   I love the fact that it IS something we do down here.   These photos are from my sons Micah and Joe.

065   Fort Sill always kicks off the rodeo with a demo of an old fashioned cannon salute.  Micah caught this one just as it fired.

DSC_2590  Joe caught this one of the ultimately disappointed cowboy.   It never ceases to amaze me how angry these horses get at even the thought of someone sitting on their back.

Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend.

Cats Cheat/ Escape From the Zoo


© 2013 Debi Coleman

This is the latest in the Escape From the Zoo series.  Since kids always have complicated games that have no rules that make sense to adults, here we have marble hockey with the cats versus the birds.  The large tiger is intending to make use of his tail,  which is of course against the rules.  Hope you like it.

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