Deception Pass in Washington State

Posted in acrylic, Art, Christian Art, landscape, Painting-a-day, trauma on March 1, 2018 by Sue Costa


This large acrylic painting, “Deception Pass,” sold on Saturday. I am very happy to report it went to a good home; luckily it fit in her car. Honestly, I thought everyone in Texas owned a pickup or SUV, but I reckon there are a few others left. Lol!

This piece was done with (long) filberts, I like Isabey 6088 series specials. Now, you gotta remember to hold them with your index finger on top (kinda like a fencing stance, as I was taught). I also like to change-up the angle and grip to a 9-to-3 o’clock brush angle, I call it, “view my watch” grip for bolder strokes… shhh… don’t tell anyone. My advice for today, put the stroke on and leave it, NO Noodling! Leave it, means, leave it, don’t touch it again. Very tempting to correct it, I know, I get that… but don’t. You’ll thank me later. Nothing kills a painting faster, as it quickly becomes overworked. That, my friend, is unfortunate, but truth. Not every painting makes it, but give it a fighting chance by keeping its stroke energy. If it loses its energy/excitement, I call it, “death by overwork” you might as well gesso over it and start again. Sometimes they can be resuscitated with some energetic strokes but not always. This painting is an example of that. It’s not technically a winner but the colors and energy of strokes are okay. There’s always next time.  If you simply cannot live with a painting the way it is, I would recommend waiting and looking at it again another day, turn it upside down and look for the problems. They should jump out at you. If you must change it and don’t want to completely repaint it, I’d give it another go around after it is dry. Note to self, remember stop before you think it’s done. Just my opinion, of course.

Be creative! Live well and Love well! Art and creativity are gifts from God that we can all have, just takes “miles on the brush” and time. Thanks for visiting with me today and viewing my art! If you like what you see, you can subscribe to receive my painting postings (every now and then) directly to your email from


Between the Trees

Posted in abstract, acrylic, Art, art at Grace, Austin Art, Christian Art, landscape, Mixed media, Painting-a-day on January 17, 2018 by Sue Costa


Here is the latest work, “Between The Trees” (48×24″ canvas) it’s a mixed media collage. Currently at Grace Covenant in Austin TX. This has some of my favorite small bits of papers hiding under layers of paint and mediums. The photo above is a close-up segment. Doing these types of work helps me to focus on healing and spiritual growth. As always, experimenting with line, color and form as well as praying and practicing gratefulness are a part of my art process. I am grateful for excellent friends who care and check-in on me. Grateful for beloved family, near and far. Grateful for this moment… And thankful for you, because you took the time to view my art today.


Have a blessed week! Stay warm if possible.

a Guitar Memory

Posted in abstract, Art, Austin Art, Christian Art, figure, Mixed media, Painting-a-day, trauma with tags , , , , on November 30, 2017 by Sue Costa

IMG_5728-JP-Guitar_smOne of my favorite art pieces of JP, this piece reminds me of his amazing musical talent. I think I did this in 2013 and it’s by my front door. The materials and process of this art went as follows: watercolor washes were placed on Arches text wove (it holds up well to water mediums), then a bit of soupy stamping, Black Charcoal pencil (or Schwan Carb-Othello pencil) and General’s Charcoal White No558, it took multiple steps and dry time to get the base. I didn’t worry about where the blue and dark colors fell, I wasn’t sure what I would do over the watercolor at all, until I decided to do JP. The haphazard location of color and multi-layers of scribbled charcoal in my opinion just adds texture and defines the figure image, keeping it very loose, which contributes to it’s overall appeal.

It’s hard for me to believe that just over 4 months ago I sat in the doorway of his room on the floor listening and watching him play, composing music and now he’s gone. We visited together that way, I listened to him play guitar or keyboard.  He liked me to hear what he was doing, interested in my opinion even though I know very little about music. He worked on things that were Russian sounding instrumentals, very beautiful. JP was amazingly talented, and is greatly missed. In addition to his amazing mathematical mind, sports skills and funny personality, he could also draw quite well, in fact, excellent at almost everything he did. I liked that he looked at my studio paintings in process and discussed them; he enjoyed art and discussing the abstraction of design and color, also a favorite discussion of mine. I miss him very much, a beloved son.

Thanks for visiting my art blog today! Blessings to you and your family as you prepare for Christmas.

Design and beauty are everywhere… breathe it in!

New Horizons

Posted in abstract, Art, Christian Art, landscape, Mixed media, Painting-a-day, trama with tags , , on November 9, 2017 by Sue Costa

If you think for one second God is not working, I’m here to tell you… HE IS!  Yesterday as a divine confirmation of how much God loves me, an old friend who I’ve not seen or heard from (since high school German class) that’s probably 38 years y’all! … sent me an email out of the blue saying the whole family is praying for my healing from the loss of my son, JP.  God is so amazing!!

I had done a piece long ago called “God is Close to the Broken Hearted,” He is proving it to me now, when I need it most. Thank YOU! To those of you who’ve prayed for me and my sons. We appreciate your prayers! Talking with some folks at our artist exhibition group on Tuesday night I realized, I am just stepping into a new chapter, the story isn’t over. I have just been encouraged, so I want to encourage you. God is near and He hears you.

This is a close up of a section of a new painting (original size is 12×36″) mixed media. I had a vision of southwest landscapes, it reminds me of a waterfall and rock cliffs. The perspective is looking up which is more noticeable in the whole painting, but I like the close details pictured here.

I wanted to share something I remember reading from Ann Voskamp on her blog, I’m paraphrasing because it’s been a while, so forgive me Ann if I get it wrong…  “Drink water. Especially the living kind. Thirst for Him more than anything else.” I like that.

Finishing up with summer

Posted in Painting-a-day on October 27, 2017 by Sue Costa

IMGPainting_JpFishingThis painting is done of a memory of JP fishing around Volenté road, a small creek off of Lake Travis. Just a faded memory of me and him. It doesn’t really look much like us but just the thought of remembering how hot it was here in Austin, sitting, sweating, and watching a bobber… Overall a great memory. (Acrylic on canvas, 14×12″) Now at HCBC Austin balcony gallery.

After the Storm

Posted in Painting-a-day on September 22, 2017 by Sue Costa


I have several new works this fall. I have been working towards this abstract style as experimental works. It helps me explore new color palettes, marks and line work which have a “landscape-ish” or natural feel. I like to play with color “temperature” differences, using light to enhance certain areas. All very exciting. This acrylic mixed media painting will be at Hill Country Bible Church for the Fall Art Opening Reception Friday, September 29th, 7 – 9 PM. Come visit with local artists, and enjoy music from “Just For You” jazz band, refreshments served. Please come for the reception, it is open to the public and free. It makes for a great date-night or art outing with the family. There will be small art give-aways to early comers! Thanks for viewing my art today!

Blessings! Sue


Posted in acrylic, Art, Christian Art, Daily painting, Painting-a-day, trauma on August 9, 2017 by Sue Costa


This 16×20″ flat, chunky acrylic painting is an emotional expression for me; I placed myself seated on a train, the facial expression was taken from a selfie taken after I discovered infidelity and betrayal in my marriage which was followed by a painful divorce.

“Life is ugly, messy and disappointing at times. This passage is a venture of humanity; an important journey to becoming real, authentic and mature. As we experience pain, whether loss of relationships, jobs, betrayals or other events, God uses all those things as a growth path for us, to bring us closer to dependence on Him, to really trust Him. Only through pain and hardships are we able to distinguish joy from sorrow.”

I wrote that interpretation which went on the wall with it when it was exhibited.  This interp is really hitting home now with JP, my oldest son’s suicide less than two months ago. I doubt I’ll ever understand the reasons behind that one. It’s probably that he was just thinking that life was just too painful. Whatever the reason, it has left a wake of great pain for me personally. If I could, I would say to him, “Don’t you know how loved you are?”  So, I say it to you, “You are special, you are loved.”  Don’t believe the inner critic who tells you you’re not worth much or you should have done something differently. We do the best that we can at the time. God is love. Don’t give up. Believe that grace works. Forgive, love your people, live with thankfulness. Live life full.

Thanks for viewing my art today! Be blessed!

I’ve included a link to a this organization for suicide prevention in JP’s honor, you can read more about him here.   American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (JP Costa)