Sandi Hester

Paintings by Sandi Hester

Category: Other

VIDEO! Sketchbook Ideas

I did a video on a sketchbook I did for a friend as a gift for Christmas – check it out to get some good ideas for a sketchbook, to see a little bit of what is in this sketchbook and to see my totally messy studio (it’s that time of year that the studio stays looking like it exploded). Hope you enjoy it and expect to see more videos coming – I plan to do more videos in the upcoming year and hope it will be a more common feature on my blog, youtube channel, and instagram (@sandigrady1). Come find me on those other avenues and subscribe to get updates of new things.


Self Portraits


Sandi Hester, self portrait

Sandi Hester, oil

Sandi Hester, oil, self portrait

Sandi Hester, oil, self portrait

Sandi Hester, oil, self portrait

Here are a couple of self portraits. All through history artists have used themselves as subjects to paint or draw – sometimes to portray or “say” something about themselves, but I think often it’s just because it’s a free and available model – I know that’s the case for me. In the past I’ve dressed-up in something I’d like to paint and had Grady take pictures of me around the yard or sitting at a table reading or drinking tea – just so I would have a figure to paint under the lighting I liked. So, it has nothing to do with being interested in self – but having an available subject :)! Hope you enjoy these! The first one is a sketch I did in less than 5 minutes today!

Oil Pastel Sketches

Sandi Hester, oil pastel

Sandi Hester, oil pastel

Sandi Hester, oil pastel

REALLY enjoying these oil pastels to sketch with!

Art Sale & Open House

8×8 oil bar

Some of you are saying, “It’s about time!” I’ve been saying I’m going to have an art sale since spring. Well, I’m FINALLY having one. Many of you have been asking to see our house too so we’re going to do a combo – art sale and open house. We’ve designed a colorful, unique, salvaged house – a one of a kind. We love old things so we built a house to look like a 100-year-old farmhouse. We used as much salvage and old stuff as we could – our floors are from the 1800’s, we have several old doors, every door knob is different, old lighting, etc. Here’s a picture of our little banquette in our kitchen – built for just the two of us (the walls are painted in chalk board paint – I’ve got writing and pictures all over them…)

The sale and open house will be Saturday, November 3rd from 1-3:30. I have LOTS of art. I will be selling my watercolor prints and lots and lots of my original oil paintings. All my original oil paintings will be framed and ready to hang on your wall OR wrap to give as an original Christmas gift. I know I haven’t shared many of my oil paintings on the blog but I’m hoping to post more before the sale so you can get a sampling. Above is one of my little birdies in oils (not the best photo of it – some glaring – took it too fast). I had a friend see some of my birds early on when I started painting in oils and she said she’s going to buy all my birds – so if you want one you better get here before Steph does :).

Feel free to pass this information along to anyone you think may be interested. Here are the details…



1:00 – 3:30 PM


(we are about 12 minutes from Rivergate and about 10 minutes from Nashville)

Since this is a post about the art sale and open house of our home I thought I would wrap this post up with sharing two paintings I’ve done of our house. Here are two from the pond side – for some reason I really like painting this view…

8×8 oil

8×8 oil

Cooper – All Grown Up

I haven’t shown you any pictures of Cooper since he was a little pup so I thought I’d do a quick post of some of his “grown up” pictures. Some words that describe him are: fun, lazy, and a big goof ball! The pictures capture a little of that. His favorite things in life are frisbee, sleeping, going running with his dad, and giving big sloppy kisses to EVERYONE. The last picture is of him snuggled up in my lap while I’m having my quiet time – he makes for a good table :). Click on any of the photos to see them larger.

Another Vegetarian in the Family???

These were taken a while back – Cooper is much bigger now but I thought these pictures were cute and wanted to share them with you.





 Today is Grady’s birthday!!! I just thought I’d take a moment and share a little about why I love my man so much. He’s the BEST husband EVER – way more than I deserve! He’s smart, insanely handsome, funny, fun, humble, selfless, loves me like crazy, always puts others first, a great provider, a great fisherman, a great skier – actually he’s great at everything he does, did I mention how good-looking he is??? I love you like crazy Grady – I don’t deserve you at all but am so thankful to the Lord that He gave you to me. May we have many more blessed years together! I hope you have a VERY BLESSED DAY!!! (He’s NOT going to like that I put these pictures of him on here :)).

Meet The Newest Addition…


to our family – Cooper! We started looking for another dog about 6-7 months ago. Grady thought since we were buying property we needed a bigger dog 🙂 – I jumped on the chance to get another dog. So I started researching larger breeds that don’t shed (since I have bad allergies) and that are laid back – I didn’t want a large spastic house dog. We came across a rare breed that seemed to good to be true. Cooper is a Korthals Griffon – also called a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. They are hunting dogs that are low shedding, love people and children, and are couch potatoes.

Before we got Cooper I took my niece and nephew to the pet store to pick out a toy to give Cooper (they’d never been in a pet store so they were fascinated). Of course Hannah would have bought the whole store for him. Here she’s giving love to the “snake dog” she picked out for him and Aidan liked the “snack” aisle (that didn’t surprise me :)) and thought this would be a great treat for Cooper. That’s NOT what we ended up getting for Cooper though :).

We have fallen head over heals in love with this little guy. He is a snuggle bug and a lover boy – he loves kisses, rubs, and snuggling. He’s VERY laid back! And he is beyond cute – seriously good-looking.

The breeder lives in Iowa and were kind enough to meet us half-way. So Saturday we hit the road and met up with them at a rest stop (the happy new parents below). We were on the road ALL day (5:15am – 6:30pm) but it flew by for me :). Cooper slept in my arms the whole ride home. This breeder is top-notch and has 3 more pups (it was a very large litter) if you’re interested let me know and I’ll hook you up with them. You can click on any of the pictures to see that cute little face larger. I’m sure you’ll be seeing paintings of this little guy soon – he seems to like to pose for the camera and hopefully for his artist momma. This little guy is a real blessing to us!

Chirp Chirp

Since this is a bird post I wanted to take the opportunity to share another Christian artist who I stumbled upon lately and was BLOWN AWAY with – seriously you’re going to love this guy and the symbolism that’s in his paintings is over the top good. This is one of my favorites – PLEASE click on the link (the high lighted words) and check out his interpretation of the last supper – read the symbolism below the painting – go, do it now!… ok is that good stuff or what???!!! Here’s his website if you’re intersted in reading and seeing more or purchasing some of his work. I know 2 of my friends who will LOVE his work – Susan and Tina this will bless you I know!

You probably won’t be too intersted in seeing my stuff after looking at all his great stuff – I’m not even intested in seeing my stuff after looking at his! But here are 3 more sketches I did in my bird series.

Missing Molly…

A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal. Proverbs 12:10

Our little girl of 7 years is no longer with us – she has left a huge hole in our hearts and home. She filled a bigger spot than Grady and I realized. Most of you know that we can’t have children – the Lord has closed my womb, for whatever reason He has called us, for now, to be childless and to have spiritual children instead. The Lord blessed us for 7 sweet years to have Molly to some what fill the need (in me especially) of holding and caring for a little one – she was our “baby”. Even though she wasn’t fond of kisses or being held she “put up” with me covering her in sugars and holding her as often as I could. She eventually loved being snuggled with and that was something I loved doing with her – we both kept each other warm.

Molly is a stone making machine – a bladder stone making machine that is. Schnauzers are prone to bladder stones but Molly created them WAY too quickly. A few weeks ago she had to have surgery to remove 8 stones and 2 of them were severely blocked and stuck. Two surgeons had to work very hard on her to get them removed – it was an intense surgery. Unfortunately there were complications after her surgery – she wasn’t getting better – she was getting worse. After MANY visits to the vet they found out that there were serious complications and she wasn’t going to recover from them. We had to make the very hard decision of putting her down. We spent one last long and heart wrenching night with her to say our goodbyes. She was in such pain I was glad she wasn’t suffering any more but man oh man was it hard to say goodbye to that cute little thing. She was a great dog and she was a precious gift to us for those 7 years. I’m thankful to the Lord that He gave her to us. Ok, at this point I can’t see the screen because of the tears… I think I’ll get on to the pictures – a little tribute to Molly.

These next two are my all time favorite because we should have named her Bissell or Hoover or some vacuum name because she cleaned our floors – she worked like a little mop with that beard of hers. These two are shots I got of her after cleaning the floor and ending up with a dorito chip on her nose :).

This is Molly with her best doggy friend – her cousin Madison. Neither one of them were fond of other dogs but strangely they loved each other.


These were her two favorite places to be – snuggled up with her daddy or snuggled up in her bed.

 And lastly, me and Molly the first week we got her. You sure are missed Miss Molly – we loved you dearly!

He STILL Sets The Captives Free…


The painting above has nothing to do with this post – it’s just there because this is a painting blog. There’s no way around it – this is going to be a long one. Go get a cup of coffee and sit down and let me tell you about what my Jesus did today and please forgive the many typos my proofer is busy. All I can say is that my cup overflowith. I got an e-mail from a friend with a list of opportunities to serve in the community last week. There were two that stood out to me and I responded to the easier of the two. I’ve been praying and looking for ways to look outward and serve instead of inward lately. So since this door opened I thought I would see if the Lord had anything “inside” for me. The opportunity was to go to an assisted living facility and paint nails – easy enough. So I e-mailed the contact person (Gayle) and told her I was interested in helping. Her reply was that she already had enough help. I went back and forth on if I should tell her I was interested in the second option. The second option was a call for a “special person” (sooooo not me!) to sit and read and talk to some Alzheimer’s patients in their final stages of Alzheimers. The patients are in the basement of this facility behind locked doors. Ugghh – not sure if this is for me or not – were my first thoughts – this may be too much for me – can I do this??? After praying I responded that I was interested in helping her on Fridays. She sent me a pretty detailed e-mail about what it consisted of and told me it was a position for someone who was called to do this. We e-mailed some more and decided I would meet her up there today and “test the waters”. I’ll be honest – I was nervous. I wasn’t sure if I was up for it or not. But the door was still open and I thought I would go in and see if the Lord wanted me to stay. Gayle told me she spends a lot of time in prayer before she goes so that let me know I needed to do some serious praying before I went today too. For some reason this morning I wasn’t nervous at all. My prayers consisted of asking the Lord to give me His love for these people, to help me not turn back because of my flesh, and to be with me when I went into the “dungeon” (that’s what I was imaging it to be like). My first blessing was in the parking lot meeting Gayle. I knew this had to be a special lady if she was doing something like this. Come to find out she is Tina’s (the one who first sent me the e-mail) mother-in-law. As soon as I met her I knew I was going to like her – there was a kindred spirit. After we were led down the elevator and taken behind locked doors we met some of the ladies. We sat down and the only way I can describe what happened next is that the Spirit showed up. My throat started closing up, a large lump grew in my throat and my eyes turned into living wells. I lost it. For those who know me know this is not a normal thing for me – I’m not a weepy person. I got myself together quickly but I immediately loved these women. My heart hurt for them and went out to them. I couldn’t wait to love on them for this short hour (which turned into longer than that because we were having so much fun with them). It’s been a while since I’ve laughed so much. Our time with them started by Gayle pulling out her big bag of stuff she’d brought for us to do with them. Sarah (aka the resident thief – you’ll see why in a minute) shouted when Gayle pulled the bag out – she said something to the effects of – “there’s my bag! I knew it was somewhere” – she basically accused Gayle of stealing her bag. When Gayle proceeded to pull play-dough out of the bag Sarah said, “my bag had that in it too!!!” I guess to affirm that that was HER bag. Gayle then asked one of the ladies (I can’t remember her name but she was quite unforgettable) if she wanted to play with play-dough. The elderly lady shot Gayle a horrible look and said, “Did you just tell me to go to hell? Well you can go to hell too!” I lost it!!!! Gayle said, “no I didn’t say that!” One of the ladies walking by told her to not talk like that. She wanted to know why and I told her that can hurt people’s feelings when you talk to them like that. Gayle told her it also hurt Jesus’ heart. The lady replied with, “Did He tell you that?” Gayle said, “Why yes He did.” “Hmpph” was all the elderly lady replied. I knew the day was going to be interesting after that. The whole time was filled with one conversation after another like that. These ladies were a hoot! We had the best time with them. Irene was one of the ladies sitting by me. My heart is still hurting for her. She is bound up by fear. She’s like a scared little bird who jumps at everything. At one point she started to eat the play-dough and Gayle and I both told her NO at the same time. I considered going “in” after it but thought to myself that I was pretty sure you wouldn’t die from eating play-dough, well next thing I know Gayle IS GOING IN!!! I just knew she was going to loose a finger! She came out with all her fingers in tact thank goodness. If this post wasn’t so long I would tell you the funny stories about the baby doll Gayle brought and many other funny things. Well, the hour and a half flew by and it was time to clean-up and go home. Marianne (the sweetest and cutest little thing) couldn’t find her glasses so we started looking for them. Earlier Sarah had stolen them and we had to make her give them back – so I figured Sarah had taken them again. I went to Sarah and told her she needed to give Marianne’s glasses back. That didn’t work so Gayle told her we needed her help to find Marianne’s glasses. Next thing we know she was pulling them out of her pocket and gave them to Marianne. Sarah comes over to me and tells me she really doesn’t need them that much any ways and doesn’t it feel good when you can help someone who’s in need J. It was all too abundantly good. I am going to miss those sweet ladies until I see them next week. In an hour and a half my Father gave me His love for these sweet ladies and “set the captive free” if only for an hour and a half. These ladies were first held captive by the walls of their minds and now are held behind walls of brick and mortar. Only my Jesus can set them free from both and bring Light into the dark places. I can’t wait to meet with Him again next week in the “dungeon” – a place of forgotten captives who my Savior dearly loves and wants to bring joy into their dark world.