My First … Personal Milestone Chalkboard

My First...

For those of you with kids starting school, check out our chalkboards that you can use to create Personal Milestones.



‘ROCKIN Day With the Blue Birdy’!

Ricky's Bird

As I was scrolling through my Facebook Feed I came across a painting by Ricky Gagnon.  As I continue with my posts,  you will find out just how much I love Ricky's work.  I love the vivid reds, blues and yellows that he uses. These are colors that for my entire life I have been told that you can't put together.  Then I found Ricky's work and I felt this flood of happiness, because here was an artist that was not afraid of what was or was not proper.  If I had the money I would have Ricky Gagnon's work all over my house and if I could convince him, I would have some outdoor work also.  Here is a beautiful photo that Ricky took and made extraordinary!

ricky's bird Becky Wylie

Ricky was challenged to paint the photo on the left "Ricky Style"  Here is what he had to say.  Here is the finished painting that I posted with the original photo you wanted me to Paint Ricky Style. I changed everything but the color and position of the bird because that was the best part of the photo. The challenge was to create a colorful and abstract background but to keep the bird the focus of the piece and still have the beautiful color stand out.

Here is what the challenger had to say. The impromptu photo was enjoyable, but certainly lacked composition elements, and didn't have much that was attractive beside the birdy. The painting integrated everything, balanced the composition, and changed from 'pretty nature photo' to 'ROCKIN Day With the Blue Birdy'!

I could not agree more. Ricky adds a depth so that you can appreciate the Blue Bird.

The challenger had this to say about the original photo by Becky Wylie. She does something almost every day, and I was attracted to this for the remarkable blue of the birdy. Becky also has many fine photos which are much better than this. I hope that even folks outside of Joplin will get to know this globally-rare area – the Wildcat Glades.  Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center ,


You can find more of Ricky's work at

Check out Phillip J. Mellen's interview with Ricky at