“Nightfall in the Mangroves”
acrylic on 24 x 36 gallery wrapped canvas, 1 1/2″ sides painted black, wire hanger attached

The Roseate Spoonbill (pictured above) is one of my favorite tropical birds, along with the Florida Brown Pelican. My husband and I enjoy paddle-boarding and kayaking in the intracoastal waters where pelicans abound and where occasionally we spy a spoonbill.

The Roseate Spoonbill is a striking bird with its ruby feathers most apparent in flight. It is my blessing bird. Some people look for cardinals; I look for Roseate Spoonbills. They are wading birds and I’ve seen them in marshes, near retention ponds and in the salt water where we kayak and paddle-board. They feed in the early morning and evening hours and the Florida population often nests in the Mangroves. When I’m out and about and catch sight of a Roseate Spoonbill, I always feel as if God allowed it as a little blessing to my heart. He knows how much I enjoy seeing them!

In the early 1900′s the birds were hunted and prized for their pink plumage used for the construction of ladies’ fans. By the 1930′s the Roseate Spoonbill population dropped alarmingly until a law passed to protect them from hunting.

I’ve painted the Roseate Spoonbill a few times in watercolor but finally decided it was time to do a large canvas in acrylic paints. I’m quite pleased with the outcome. I placed the spoonbill wading in the Mangroves at nightfall. I imagine she’s just got her belly full and is heading toward her nest. Apparently I also imagine she’s a she. :)

I will be listing this painting in my Etsy Shop along with a few other newer pieces I’ve painted lately.

I do accept commissions and if you’re interested, I have an info sheet on commissions and pricing that I am happy to email.

RS on columnI’m making a bit of a change to my site. I think it’s important to reflect the season I am in and over the past few years I’ve moved into something of a “redesign” in certain areas of my life. It is a rare day that I do not create something – usually a painting. I paint in both watercolor and acrylics and my favorite is what I’m doing at the time! I’ve painted acrylics as small as 6 x 6 and recently accepted a commission for a pair of paintings on 36 x 48 canvas.

If you notice under my name up top, I’ve changed my website name from “Lessons From the Deep End” to “redesigned.” I’ll still share my thoughts on faith and living the Christian life but will also include more of my art and hopefully even some video blogs.

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Go Small With Great Love

12524054_1small things pinIn a social media world, it’s all too easy to compare yourself with the images of others who are doing bigger, better and brighter things. We virtually rub elbows with published authors, artists selling their work for THE BIG BUCKS, speakers who are world changers, and decor gurus instagramming light-filled images of dreamy interiors.

If I don’t stay on guard, I can quickly derail my own life with self-sabotaging accusations of inadequacy. You know the drill.

  • not talented enough
  • not smart enough
  • not young enough (can’t fix that!)
  • not on the ball enough

And all the other not enough’s.

I know better than to engage in this defeatist activity. I even wrote a Bible study about it! Still, the temptation for comparison is there. A few days ago I was about to dip my toe into the comparison cesspool when my eye caught a piece of clay propped on a shelf in my kitchen. I’ve been experimenting with air dry clay and formed a little heart for Valentine’s Day. I picked it up, again noticing its imperfections. It’s a little lumpy and the edges aren’t as smooth as I’d like. Even with its bumpy bits, I drew flowers on it with a Sharpie. It’s not hidden in a drawer, but on display! In fact, several times I’ve held and admired it and moved it from place to place…enjoying it.

In that moment, I remembered that just because something is small and imperfect doesn’t mean it’s not good. My small and imperfect may not change the world, may never attract the attention of a publisher, may never win an award or have a large fan base. Hey, I may never even find my tribe!  But I can still enjoy who I am and accept that what I have is enough.  That doesn’t mean I don’t strive to learn more and want to do more. It doesn’t mean I don’t have goals and dreams and aspirations.What it does mean is I have the option to choose joy in small and little and good enough for today.

A very wise woman, who was a world changer by any standard, said this:

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa

February is the perfect month to focus on the love. Love God. Love yourself. Love your neighbor. The scripture says we are to love our neighbor as ourselves and until you know how to love you, you’ll never genuinely love your neighbor. Think of ways this month you can go small with great love!

One way I’m going small with great love is through God Loves You Notes. You can read about it here. Guess what? I’ve only had two other people say they might join me. How’s that for small?! As Juan Pablo would say, “Eees Okay” because with every anonymous note, I’m going to pray for the recipients. It’s a small thing but I’m asking God to do a great thing in the heart of each person who finds a note.

Going small with great love may not change the world but it just may change me.




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God Loves You Notes

love notesTurning Left Overs Into Love Notes

I was cleaning up my art table last week and had an idea for how to use a large piece of watercolor paper that I had practiced some lettering on. Rather than toss it in the trash, I used my cutter and made several small cards. Mine are 3″ x 4 1/2″. I added more watercolor to the front side…just brushing on color. After each card dried, I used a brush pen (mine is by Micron) and wrote “You are loved.” On the backs I wrote a simple message of encouragement.

love notes messagesThe Plan

The week of Valentine’s Day I will carry these cards with me as I run errands and anonymously leave a note here and there trusting that whoever finds it will be blessed by just the right word for their heart in this season.

It’s a random act of love. Do it anonymously without signing the card or indicating the source in any way.

Perhaps you’d like to do the same. You can make your own love notes with card stock, construction paper or watercolor paper like mine. You can also use unlined index cards in fun colors. Use markers, colored pencils, crayons, stamps or stickers.  Write a simple message on the back that will encourage a heart and let them know God sees, knows and loves them.

How easy and how fun this will be!

I’d love to know if you do this as well. You can follow me on instagram where I’ll be taking quick pics of the places I leave the cards! If you’re on instagram, why not do the same? Use the hashtag #Godlovesyounotes and tag me @melanieclarkdorsey. :)


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I Still Believe

christmas family bg edit

Yesterday during our Christmas Worship Service, I gave this testimony.

Six years ago our family sat where you are while the choir sang Christmas carols. As we listened to songs about the birth of baby Jesus, my son Andrew – my baby – whispered in my ear, “It’s not the same without you up there, Mama.”

It was the first Christmas I sat in the congregation instead of in the choir. It was the last Christmas we would spend with our 12 year old son, Andrew – the last Sunday we would worship together as a family of five.

Andrew was diagnosed with brain cancer less than 4 months before that Sunday – the 13th of December. Two days later, on the 15th, we kissed him for the last time on this side of eternity.

We prayed for a miracle. We did not get the one we prayed for.

But we did get a miracle of another kind.

Because of the miracle of a King becoming a baby, we know our son is with the King of Kings even now.

The same day we said goodbye, he said hello to the One in whom He had placed his faith. He entered into the presence of Jesus and was received unto the Father on the day we released him.

I remember six years ago being so hopeful that in the Season Of Miracles, Andrew would get his miracle of healing and life.

He did. When he exhaled his last breath here, he inhaled his first breath there. His paralyzed side was completely made whole. His smile was no longer crooked but bigger than ever.

There is a man named Bertrand Russell who claims that no one could sit at the bedside of a dying child and still believe in God. Mr. Russell is wrong.

I say, “How can you not believe when you sit in the presence of God as your child breathes his last breath here and his first breath there?

You may be praying for your own kind of miracle during the Christmas Season, when even the unbeliever believes anything is possible.

Whether you get your miracle or not, listen to me – God is still good. God is still faithful. God is still worthy of your praise and your worship.

A few months after Andrew went to Heaven, I cried out to the Lord in my pain and my grief. I told Him how we believed and prayed for a miracle. And how I didn’t understand what had happened.

Then He spoke these words to my hurting heart, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

I still believe. I still believe He heals. I still believe He saves. I still believe He is the Lamb of God. I still believe in miracles.

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New Designs & Pillows

There’s a BIG sale on pillows in my Society 6 Shop today! You can get up to $10 off and FREE worldwide shipping and if you order by the 14th, Society 6 says you’ll get your order by the 24th (within U.S. only).

Latest Designs

cardinal with scripturepink feathers pillow picbeside still waters pillow picbluebirds pillowA few less girly pillows

big leaf pillow black lab pillow faithful pillow feathers pillow feathers scipture pillow heron pillow piano keys pillow

red plaid pillow pic

I really like this one with the touches of gold.

poinsettia pillowBeachy

seagull beach pillow picI painted this watercolor for my grand baby girl’s nursery. She’ll be arriving in March!!!

crown bunny pillow picThese just make me feel happy!

pineapples pillow picfloral and dots pillow picI’ll stop now! All of the pillows are on sale today – 12/12 until midnight PT.


But be sure to check my shop on Sunday and Monday because Society 6 is running more sales on mugs, travel mugs and all home decor!

I’ve also got hard cover journals and zippered  studio pouches on Redbubble. Check that out too! Now you know what my family is getting for Christmas this year! ;)

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Keeping Busy Beside Still Waters

It’s been six years. We kissed our youngest child for the last time on this earth six years ago.

Tears burn my eyes as I type those words. My throat tightens. I dry my eyes and I swallow.

What is there to say that I haven’t already said since December 15, 2009?

I think I’ve said it all. Felt it all. Re-lived it all. Cried. Hurt. Grieved.

Often my last thought before sleep and my first thought upon waking are about Andrew. I miss him so terribly. How can it even be possible that I’ve survived this? Of course, I know how it’s possible. With God all things are possible.

This time of year is especially hard because his entry date to Heaven was December 15.

But I’m keeping busy. I paint a lot. I work on my home business a lot. I keep my mind on a creative project most hours of the day (and night). In fact, I think I’ve crossed the line into “work-aholism.”

And mostly these days I keep my grief to myself. Every once in a while it seeps out and others see it. They offer comfort and kind words. I’m thankful for that.

Yesterday the words from an old song sprang spontaneously from my mouth. I was painting a simple watercolor – a request from someone who wanted aqua and turquoise.

As I painted I thought of the still waters our Shepherd leads us to and I sang this song.

When I’m low in spirit I cry Lord lift me up I want to go higher with Thee
But nothing grows high on a mountain so He picked out a valley for me
And He leads me beside still waters somewhere in the valley below
And He draws me aside to be tested and tried in the valley He restoreth my soul     – Dottie Rambo

blue wc scan S6 beside still waters pillowThank you, Shepherd, for leading me through this valley and beside still waters where only You can restore my soul.

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A Little Bit of Christmas Decor

This week I’ve been decorating for Christmas! You too? :) I’m using a lot of my art work and pulling out less from my few storage containers. I just feel like something a little different this year.

wall christmas

on a narrow wall in my kitchen – I may just frame that a/c thermostat!

And guess what? No tree – unless you count the tree I painted on drop cloth. (I got the idea from here.) On a whim, I re-purposed a small canvas to paint Rudolph. Can you see his red nose?

christmas corner

in a corner of my eat in kitchen

Since we live near the beach, I like to incorporate a “coastal Christmas” and enjoy using aqua and shells intermingled with the traditional red and pine cones. Who says pine cones and shells don’t go together? After all, I live 15 minutes from the ocean and also have pine trees in my yard! It works for me. :) That star on the tree? It’s a starfish. ;) (not a real one)

table cmas

on my kitchen table

A couple of weeks ago I offered a free download printable. I hope some of you printed and framed my “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” watercolor. You can also find that print on various products here. Next week I’ll offer another free printable. It’s my way of saying thanks for your support through the years.

This morning I got an email from Society 6 offering an artist promo. I do not schedule the sales for my S6 shop but I sure like taking advantage of them and the free shipping is terrific too! And so you can take advantage of the lower pricing and free shipping, I’m sharing the link with you.

Here ya go!

Use this link in my Society 6 shop to get 20% off EVERYTHING + FREE worldwide shipping (free shipping offer excludes framed prints and canvas prints).

I’ve added new watercolor designs to the shop and now is a great time to do a little Christmas shopping for family, friends or for yourself!

My favorite items are the pillows and travel mugs. Oh, and I like the totes too!

There are three pillow sizes and you can order them as covers only or with the inserts. Here are a few I’ve created for Christmas.

pelican coastal pillow picBlack lab Christmas pillow picmake merry pillow pic

baby its cold birds pillow picAnd here are a few of my travel mugs.

butterfly girl t mug Abutterfly girl t mug B“Coffee doesn’t talk nonsense in the mornings. Coffee just gets me.”

flowers and dots t mug picfeathers travel mug picMy designs are on art prints, totes, pillows, clocks, mugs/travel mugs and rugs!

Remember to use this code to access the 20% off and FREE worldwide shipping (except on framed art and canvas art).

Promotion expires December 5, 2015 at Midnight Pacific Time. *Free Shipping offer excludes Framed Prints and Canvas Prints

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Cyber Monday on Society 6

cyber monday adjoy clock white picThe “Joy” clock is a reminder that joy can be yours every hour of the day!

$24 and FREE worldwide shipping today (11/30) until midnight PT

flowers in green striped vase pillow picThis modern floral print is available in art prints, framed art and a canvas as well as on a pillow or a tote

*pillow comes in 3 sizes (covers only or with inserts, outdoor fabric available too) and starts at $16.00 and FREE shipping today 11/30 until midnight PT

faithful mug pic afaithful mug pic bThe “Faithful” print with cardinal feather is available in an art print, a pillow, tote and in 11 oz. and 15 oz. mugs.

Pricing begins at $12 and FREE shipping until midnight PT tonight 11/30.

phone case dream pic“Dream” print available on a variety of products including iphone cases (or skins)

Begins at $28 and FREE shipping today until midnight PT

Check out all my other prints and products on Society 6!

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