When my sister and I started talking about her husband Tim’s 60th birthday party, my hair stood up on end– and I’ve got a lot of hair–it was only a month away. My sis being a terrific supporter, said “how about a painting”? Hmmm, that would mean I’d have to paint it, get it framed and ship it to Virginia. In my mind I was seriously considering an easier path with less risk, like a personalized t shirt.  Anyway as the conversation progressed, we started to narrow down the playing field: landscape–no, still life, no, abstract hmm.

Her suggestion: a baseball player! Tim, years earlier, had his own radio show called “Talk’in Baseball.” She sent pictures of Tim’s favorite players. My heart sunk. A figure and worse a baseball player, what I know about baseball could be stuffed into a golf ball. Plus…dum, da, dum, dum, it was totally out of my comfort zone. The obstacles of time and subject matter intimidated me, which is why I decided to accept the challenge!

I said an internal “yes” to my doubts. I’ve learned that the more I place myself in accountable positions that are slightly uncomfortable–I grow! Now I’m not saying I like having deadlines or doing things I really don’t know how to do. I have found out that I could accellerate my learning curve by making mistakes. I’m not a brain surgeon, so no one will die if it doesn’t work out. I’m learning to overcome the “I can’t” and failure label. If I make a mess, well, I’ve made a mess, it’s all a learning experience.


Comfort and fear are fantastic fences that keep me right where I am. Comfort doesn’t take you to the next level, comfort is momentary happiness.

The other reason I chose to risk this painting was that my brother in law stepped up to the plate and ran for the U.S. Senate with no real experience in politics. He didn’t win, but the risk changed the direction of his life and his mission. He and my sister have birthed One Generation Away:  www.onegen.org

Risk has a way of expanding our horizons. Do you approach your challenges as an adventure? Do you cringe when faced with a new project? Try reframing your thoughts to “how does this strengthen me?” Challenges can be a blessing and an opportunity!

As it turned out this painting was a joy, fun, and I’m ready to do more of them! I’d love to capture your favorite: whether it’s your child, grandchild, soccer, baseball, hockey, golf action player, etc. I’m open. We can have a terrifc 11 x 14 ready for Christmas. It’s unique, better than a computer game or laptop and it will last a lifetime. Give me a call so we can create together.



Tim Donner · November 21, 2015 at 7:35 am

Well, as the recipient of this remarkable work of art, where to begin?!? It is utterly stunning. I placed it in the room where I both work and relax, and can hardly take my eyes off it. The depth and power of it amaze me. It is far from just another impressionistic portrait, but my hope is that you will continue down the path of impressionism, for your skill in that realm is now fully revealed in this painting…about a subject of which you know nothing. But one thing you do know about is love – and that is evident in and through this memorable work.

    Laura · November 21, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Gosh Tim, thanks. I’m glad my enjoyment in painting this for you is evident!

Leesa Donner · November 22, 2015 at 6:05 am

This is an amazing painting. When my husband first opened it up he thought it was purchased from one of those baseball specialty stores because it was so good. When I explained that my sister was the artist oohs and aahs went up all over the room. People gathered around and couldn’t get enough of this painting. There is something truly special about it. Perhaps it is because it is mixed with all the emotions you described above. I never would have believed there was any fear involved in this painting what so ever had you not told me. It is bold. It is beautiful. Just like my sister.

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