Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Bells Will Sound

This is a wonderful story written by my mother. It touched me in such a way that I had to create a painting of it. The original was created using gesso and sepia ink and measures 5x7. God Bless you and MERRY CHRISTMAS! James


Ilys was sure she was the last of her kind. As she gazed longingly back over the hills of Gogalea her heart sank knowing she would never come back. The others left some time ago in little groups or two at a time for safety, always with that same look on their faces. Ilys had stayed in her beloved Gogalea for as long as she could always hoping things would change.

Rising from her little perch on the tallest of the old firs she spread her wings, gave a last look and flew north.

After what seemed forever, she looked for a place to rest. There was a clearing below, however, not having ever ventured this far from Gogalea she was afraid to be in the open so she searched further and soon found a grove of cranberry trees – a perfect sanctuary and sure to be a source of nourishment for her journey. Hungry, tired and feeling very much alone Ilys went from branch to branch among the cranberry trees looking for just the right berry ripe enough to eat. Frost covered cranberries are the tastiest and being very good at berry picking she soon found the best one then flew to a nearby moss covered rock to enjoy her breakfast. She thought filling her stomach would take away the deep sadness she felt, however, it only made her feel worse.

Presently she was rested enough to investigate this new land. When she had first arrived she hadn’t noticed its’ beauty, but now it was clear to see she was in the center of a most lovely park or garden. At least at one time it was beautiful. Ilys, being a very curious fey, soon found herself wandering farther than she intended. As she was about to turn to go back to the cranberry trees she heard a sound she was all too familiar with. It was crying, but not like any crying she had ever heard. It was actually more like a weeping. Being sad and lonely as she was, she did not want to be near any weeping, however, she was drawn to the sound and as she approached her little heart went out to the distraught creature, whatever it was.

There behind a large oak sitting on a huge boulder, Ilys saw the largest and most wondrous fairy she had ever encountered. Never in all her life had she seen anything like it. Its’ wings were not at all fairylike, but more like those of a great falcon. Indeed they would need to be quite large as this fairy was as tall as a human. Ilys’ own wings were the size of a butterfly and iridescent like a dragonfly.

Ilys heart skipped a beat as she approached. She did not want to disturb the weeping fairy.

Suddenly there was a rustling of the huge wings as the creature was aware of an intruder and turned to look. Of course the intruder was Ilys and she stood frozen in her little yellow slippers as the wings reached full length in front of her. She couldn’t move! She wouldn’t move even if she dared. And indeed, this was a creature as no fairy ever had a more noble or fierce face and all at the same time.

As frightened as Ilys was at this moment her overwhelming sadness and loneliness caused her to speak out but in the most respectful way. “Who are you and why are you weeping?” cried Ilys in her tiny voice. The creature knew instantly that Ilys was fearful and tried to calm her by slowly lowering its magnificent wings. “Do not be afraid little one – I was unaware you were here in the garden and I had been feeling very badly. What brings you to this place?”

Ilys lost all of her fear at that very moment and began to pour out her heart to the beautiful creature.

“I am Ilys and I have left my beloved kingdom because there is no one left of my kind. It was difficult to stay being the only fairy in the land. The others had left over a long period of time since the humans in the land did not have imagination any more. They gave up all thinking about those things one cannot always see. At first just a few people didn’t believe in fairies or elves. As time went on and as more and more folks made things for themselves they started to believe in the things they made. These things became very important to them and soon the whole kingdom was impressed with themselves and the things they made instead of things that were already in the land. Time went by and all of the fairies gave up even trying to get folks to believe in anything but themselves. Fairies do not do very well where there is no imagination to tickle. So eventually all fairies left the land and I am the last. I am not sure where or when I shall see my kin again, or when I will be able to tickle someone’s imagination. I left Gogalea this morning after daybreak and just now I was resting and then I heard you weeping. Oh, I am so sorry to be talking about myself. You were weeping - and your wings! I have never seen a fairy such as you.”

Actually Ilys was very amazed that the creature seemed so interested in all she had said. After shifting its wings a bit the creature explained:

“Greetings Ilys and welcome to the garden. I am not a fairy at all, although some get me confused with the world of imagination. I am so sorry you had to leave your homeland and I understand your sadness because in my world much the same thing has happened. Unlike you, I am unable to leave this land because I am responsible to guard the gates of the garden. What I have seen from the gate is the cause of my weeping. The king of this land gave the people the whole garden to enjoy if they would just work to take care of it. At first they enjoyed the garden and the work and all its wonderful bounty but before long weeds started growing and the people argued who would weed the garden. Folks were too busy saying how the garden should look all the while not noticing more and more weeds were chocking even the great white oaks that grow around the garden edge. In the center of the garden stands a bell tower that would chime the most beautiful sounds each day, morning, noon and evening. As the day would progress the chimes would be an encouragement to the people in their work. But the people began to complain louder and louder trying to be heard over the sweet music of the bells, until someone finally put a stop to the music altogether by cutting the cords that rang the bells. The bells were also there to be a welcome call to those outside the gates. Without the bells no new folks came to be welcomed and soon after folks died off and now there are only a few weak people left who are not tending the garden very well as you can see. Even the fruit trees blossom early and produce no edible fruit. I weep because my king is sad. I weep because all that could be good is going to waste and I am the guarding angel and there is no joy in my work.”

Ilys was spellbound as she sat listening to the angel and finally inquired, “what if there was a way to get the bells repaired? If they could ring again throughout the land perhaps your job at the gates would make you glad once more. New people would come to the sound of the music of the bells and they would want to stay and grow the garden once again. Do you remember the tunes the bells played? Perhaps between us we could find a way to get the bells working. All it takes is hard work and a little imagination.”

The noble and fierce face of the guarding angel suddenly changed to a silly grin and he decided at that moment to put forth his best effort to fix the bells. Although it was winter there would surely be folks who would hear and answer the call of the bells. The weak people already living in the garden could become strong again with all the work that needed to be done to get ready for new workers. The king would be delighted, the garden would grow and the work would be good work for all.

Ilys and the angel set about weaving a strong rope from the vines that grew up chocking the trunks of the great white oaks, leaving them to grow in strength. The ropes would be attached to the bells in the tower and the guarding angel who knew the music by heart, would ring them one cold winter night very soon just in time for the King’s birthday.

Ilys never flew any further north.

Copyright 2007, SUSAN BROWNE

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I am having so much fun creating these little guys. Each one of these little paintings is an original created with sepia ink and gesso on mat board. Just how little are these little Baby Brownies, aka BBs, they are 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches and they sell for $25 each. I've turned into quite a baker with these brownies and there are more in the oven. I will try to keep you posted as much as I can. Here are a few samples of some.

Here is a link to the gallery were I post these daily, BABY BROWNIES . Well, that's all for now. God Bless you all. James

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I am so inspired!!!

There is so much joy inside me right now. I've recently started creating little "one of a kind" paintings using sepia and gesso (my two secret ingredients for all my work....shhhh, don't tell anyone). I have to share them with you because I am having an absolute blast! There is one below that I just did this morning, also, there is a link where you can see the others, and there will certainly be more. They all have to do with friendship, what would we do without loving friends. God has a special way to make a heart smile....He certainly has made my heart smile. God Bless, James

Some others can be seen and purchased here...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

We've been blessed.

A night of dreams and wonder makes hearts, the unseen things ponder.

Ethereal voices to open hearts speak, young souls listen as they seek.

Into one such night let us take a peek.

Twas a midsummer night as a brown-haired lad and a lass with golden tresses, walked the woods near each of their homes. The air was clear, charged with magic, and the sky was full of heavenly lights. It was hard to tell where the earth stopped and the heavens started. But for the trees, which rooted the imagination to the ground, all would be blended into a mass of shadows and twinkling lights. A night of mystery, tinted with premonition.

His home on one side of the sea, hers the other. Each one walking beneath their country sky. Two places, one sky. Two hearts, one wonder to behold eight short hours apart.

Slowly all the lights grew dim as the sky above the lass filled with the brilliance of a rising full Moon. As the glowing orb rose above the earth, a face within the light appeared. A pair of charcoal eyes opened with a blink and a cheery voice said, "hello".

Leaning on a sturdy branch, up in her favorite tree, the young girl warily looked up into a smiling face and replied with a hesitant, "hi".

And then the Man in the Moon began to speak. " O lassie young and fair, to you I have a message to share. Someday to a far off land you'll go. Young children are to be placed into your care, but that's not all that will happen while you are there. In this land you will meet a young man whose life you will share. On one distant night your hearts will become one as into his eyes you stare." With that the eyes did close and with a knowing smile the Man in the Moon did set. But the message she heard she would never forget.

Slowly all the lights grew dim as the sky above the lad filled with the brilliance of a rising full Moon. As the glowing orb rose above the earth, a face within the light appeared. A pair of charcoal eyes opened with a blink and a cheery voice said, "hello".

Sitting on a sturdy branch, part way up his favorite tree, the young boy curiously looked up into a smiling face and shot back a rather shaky, "hi".

And then the Man in the Moon began to speak. "My young friend, to you I have a message to share. Some day a young lass will travel to this land. Her love and yours will be bound with a marriage band. She will light up your life as the sun does me and that glow will illumine the hearts of others as from you both it does flow.

With that the eyes did close and with a knowing smile the Man in the Moon did set. But the message he heard he would never forget.

A night of dreams and wonder makes hearts, the unseen things ponder.

Ethereal voices to open hearts speak, young souls listen as they seek.

Into another such night let us take a peek.

On the horizon the Moon started to rise as a young man with brown hair and a young woman with golden tresses, went for a walk. The air was clear, charged with magic, and the sky was full of heavenly lights. It was hard to tell where the earth stopped and the heavens started. A night of mystery, tinted with recognition. As each approached, they paid each other no heed, two strangers in a stranger place. Not far apart, each turned, side by side, to face the rising Moon. Each was lost in thoughts and dreams of days gone by. Slowly all the other lights grew dim as the sky filled with the brilliance of a full Moon. As the glowing orb rose above the earth, a face within the light appeared. A pair of charcoal eyes opened with a blink and a cheery, familiar voice said, "hello".

With resting arms on a fieldstone wall, two sets of eyes, remembering a similar night, looked up and a simultaneous reply was heard, "hi". Startled at the sound of the other's voice, two pairs of eyes turned and met and locked.

And then the Man in the Moon began to speak. "You both remember the night you talked with the Man in the Moon, this night as you look into each other's eyes, your memories and lives are becoming one".

With that the eyes did close and with a knowing smile the Man in the Moon did set. But a journey together just began for two not so unfamiliar strangers, who just met.

This wonderful story was written by a dear friend of ours, Don Hartle, and truly captures the love that Nadine and I share. It is a union made in heaven and we thank God most of all for the love that we share. Our love for one another continues grow as we grow old together.

God Bless, James

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Hello Everyone,

I hope that you are all doing well. It's been some time since I last wrote to you but I have been my enjoying time in the studio. I've been working on a book for some time now and some various commissions and every once in a while I've been able to squeeze out a painting or two. What a blessing it is to paint and what a pleasure it is to share these paintings with all of you. I have to thank God for this wonderful blessing. I only hope to continue to use the gift that He gave me and to use it for His purpose. I truly feel joy inside when these little images come to life and I hope that they bring a smile to your heart when you look upon them. God Bless, James

An afternoon stroll upon his towering walls,
this sophisticated chap well known for his falls,
will do nothing of the sort on this special day,
for it's High Tea with a his friend before he flies away.....

Well, I'm back to my Painting A Day paintings or at least I'll keep trying. This painting was created using watercolors on Arches hot press paper. It measures 5x7.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Song of Everland

Hello Everyone,

Well, it's been a while since I last wrote and it is nice to be back. I've been on the road doing shows these last few weeks and we just returned from our annual trip to Nadine's homeland, Germany. We had a wonderful time and as always my brush was flowing with the songs that are in my heart. Below is one of the paintings that I created while in Germany. I ,also, have to mention that I am deep in the magical book, "Phantastes", by George MacDonald and it has truly made my imagination soar. A must read!

"It was the song that I awoke to first when I discovered Everland. Everland is a place where dreams come true and where the imagination becomes real. It's where the child inside speaks. Everland, for me, is inspired by the heart and it is in my mind where it becomes so real that I see it. I thank God most of all for giving me the gift to paint what I see and most of all for His inspiration which is in my heart." ~JB

This original was painting using watercolor on Arches 140lb hot press paper. The original measures 6 1/2 x 9 3/4.

Monday, June 25, 2007

RIDING RUBY and a wonderful weekend.

Today, I returned back to my studio after spending a wonderful weekend with our dear friend, Don. He is like a brother to me and he has really been helping me grow in the Lord. The Christian walk is truly a pilgrimage and I am forever greatful that I have a brother who has helped me when I've stumbled. Don is also the creater of the "Tales Now Told" stories, which can be found here

On another note, I have another painting to share with you and I really enjoyed painting this one. It is called, "Riding Ruby". Enjoy and God Bless! James

Hinkle was a wee little lad, who was so small it took him days to cross the flowered meadow. One day, while resting upon a leaf, a beautiful hummingbird hovered nearby. Little Hinkle noticed something very strange about this hummingbird. Around its neck was a golden collar with two bells hanging from it. Hinkle yelled out, "What is your name beautiful one with the bells?" When the hummingbird heard this, it drew nearer to him and said, "My name is Ruby and my bells make noise so the other creatures can hear me. I am so fast and so small, that no one ever notices me". Hinkle replied, "Well, I noticed you and you are the prettiest creature that I have ever seen." Ruby suddenly became still in mid-air and said, "May I help you get across this meadow today, my kind friend? I've noticed that it takes you quite some time to make this trek and I have been given a gift of speedy flight. You are a kind heart and your gift is seeing the beauty from within." Hinkle climbed onto to little Ruby's back and together they soared through the meadow. As they were flying over a glorious patch of pink flowers, Hinkle noticed a glowing light that was traveling beside them. He suddenly realized that all true gifts are from above and that the Giver is the most precious gift of ALL.

This original was created using watercolor on Arches hot press paper. It measures 5x7 and is a
vailable here

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Once there was a little troll named Truffles. He lived on the side of a rocky mountain, a land where not many would roam. It was a peaceful place, especially by the crystal clear waterfall. Truffles would often find rest in this place, for he needed rest from his long days of netting his most beloved meal....the blue dragonfly. "They are delicious and they are a plenty!" , he would often say, but little did he know that because of his "eating a plenty", there were only three blue dragonflies remaining on this mountain side, merely a triffle.

This original was created using watercolor on Arches hot press paper. It measures 5x7 and is available here

Friday, June 15, 2007


It was a special day for Digger, it was his birthday. Although, he was a sweet little mole with a great heart and an even greater giggle, there was no one to spend time with him on his special day. The problem was that he lived underground and not one of his friends liked it in the tunnels that he dug. He was sad and just before he shed a tear a little light filled his heart with joy. This special light was was truly a gift for the little mole and starred and starred into it for the rest of the day.

This original was created using watercolor on Arches hot press paper. It measures 5x7 and is available here

I missed a couple of days of a "Painting a Day", I was busy with my other work, but I hope you like this little guy. I'll have more tomorrow...God Bless, James

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Another day of painting today, a few thunderstorms, but all in all a peaceful day. I love to paint when it rains. The raindrops pitty pattering on the studio roof is music to my ear and an inspiration to the child within me. I think of things when I paint, but when the rain falls it puts me into even deeper thought. I'm thankful for the memories in my life and I'm thankful that God gave ua a memory to remember them. Today, I was thinking of Lady Darby, our wonderful Bassett Hound, as she is getting older, the thought has crossed our mind wether she will need a little red wagon. Here is my painting for today, it is called "A Helping Hand" and it is available here

Gilbert, the Gnome, is often seen lending a helping hand to the forest folk. Prickles, the little hedgehog, is no exception. Little Prickles had stubbed his toe weeks ago, but not realizing that his toe was all healed up, Gilbert pulled him along anyway in his little red wagon. Little Prickles didn't seem to mind at all.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I just returned from a wonderful art's festival in Buffalo where I met some great people. Nadine and I left on last friday and made a 6 1/2 hr trip in the heat and pouring rain (heavy downpours!), we arrived to the hotel and awoke to two beautiful cooler days with not a cloud in the sky.....and thousands of people came flooded the street for the show. I was hoping to get some painting done while doing the show but we were so busy. I've been doing shows for about 15 yrs now and I have to say that I never get tired of seeing the reaction of people who walk into the booth, sure I may get "hey look!, it's James Brown!, Hughhh!...I feeeeellll goood!, nananana!" but the smiles and the comments about the art itself is truly inspiring. I am very thankful for my gift and I know that I must use it the way God meant for me to use it. Yes, a smile on the face of one who views it....that's priceless.

Anyway, I did however, find time today to create a new painting and here it is, "TINY TUCKER" has come out tonight. The original is 5x7 and is available here

Good night for now my friends, James

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Inspired by Grace.

"It was beyond the moon in which she seeked her heart's desire, it was He who filled her heart with His Love."

I was inspired by God's Love today and I was in a special place when I was painting this image. I thought about how much God's Love has changed my heart. It was from the heart that I painted it. Many blessings to you all this day. ~James

"Beyond the Moon", (today's painting a day). The original is availabe here

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Painting a Day #2

Today was a great day! I woke up early and a new painting was in my head. I right away went to studio and didn't leave until I walked out with this.....

I painted this one in just under 4 hours and it is my 2nd "Painting a Day" piece. Mr. Browbark needed some grooming and this little elf was nearby to help out. The original watercolor is available here

*Some of you may have had trouble subscibing to this blog, there was an error and now it is fixed. So feel free to join! Thank you for all the wonderful comments. Take care, James

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A Painting A Day!

I have now started the "Painting A Day" challange. This should be a perfect place each painting I do each day. I finished the first one, so that's a start....right? It took me 2 hours to do and it is called "You've Come Back to Me". This poor old tree has been alone for some time and now his dear friend, the swallow, has returned to him. It's a beautiful thing to have friendships that last through time, that pick up where they last left off. Yes, friendship is everything. I hope you enjoy this little watercolor about friendship. It measures 5x7 and it is available if anyone is interested here

That's all for now. God Bless, James

Monday, June 4, 2007

One of my favorite paintings.

Before I go off to bed I thought I would share with you one of my favorite paintings that I created in Germany last summer. It is a place I would love to be as the heat of summer approaches. My dear friend, Don wrote a beautiful story about this painting here. It is called "Afternoon Tea". Good night!

My first post.

Hello Everyone! I'm new here and I thought that this would be a nice place to share a little about myself. I am an artist and I enjoy every chance I get to create paintings. This will be a place that I will share with you what I am working on. See you soon!