March Drawings and Book Pages, Part 1

These items are part of a new series that will be featured in several locations during the month of April.

First, I am excited to announce that I will be joining the artists represented by Braselton Gallery. As part of this new partnership, I will be participating in the semi-annual Braselton Antique and Artisan Festival April 22-24.

On Saturday, April 30, I will be at the Gainesville Chicken Festival‘s ReHatched Market.

I hope you can stop by one of these locations to see the work in person.
























Track Braselton Gallery updates and new art on their Facebook Page


Daily Drawings 2.9.2016: Female Eastern Bluebird

This is a rough preliminary drawing for a couple of upcoming series of work I am planning. The initial concept is for a small series of mixed media works on repurposed book pages. More advanced paintings of various song birds will develop as time allows.

This drawing is an example of what sometimes happens for an artist. Basically, we have a mental image of how things look and it sometimes overrides the actual subject. When teaching drawing to students, I always emphasize the need to draw what you see. They typically react by looking at me like I am a fool. The truth is, though, that you have a simplified and often idealized mental image of things you see often. These simplifications are manifested in your drawing if you are not focused on the subject. When working from references, the issue is compounded.

When I started on the subject of the Eastern Bluebird I was excited. They are one of my favorite song birds. In fact, I see them nearly every day now that I live in the country. When I sat down with my references, I didn’t give much thought to their being drawings rather than photographs. Once I completed my color study, I realized there were some discrepancies in the shape of the bird’s head and distribution of color.

A couple of days later, I saw some bluebirds flitting around the yard and realized the color was also off. The actual birds are a beautiful and rich indigo color, rather than the almost neutral blue in my study.

Mistakes, if you want to call them that, are no big deal in the studio. There is always something to be learned and skills to be developed as an artist. I personally have a rather drawn-out process that involves a lot of thinking and sifting through images or researching background concepts before starting a painting. I also like to see a progression of artistic development in my work. For this reason, I post the rushed and inaccurate pieces as often as the finished art. I also enjoy the juxtaposition of preliminary drawings with completed paintings so the viewer can see how a concept changes via medium or artistic development.

Consequently, I will post updates to this drawing as they are completed and links to finished paintings. Art is a process of growth, skill development, and creative expression. It is fluid and developmental for those who are focused on personal growth and advancement. This series is a window into my personal development as an artist. I hope it will inspire others to develop their own creativity.

Daily Drawings February 1-7

The main image for this post is the base layer for a new series I am working on for the upcoming ReHatched Market at the Gainesville Chicken Festival. I am using book pages from salvaged pulp fiction to create a series of bird themed art. Each piece will start with a line drawing on a book page. Additional layers and mixed media will be applied as inspiration dictates.


BE Banner


This bald eagle and banner is an artistic rendering of a metal bas-relief in a local historic district. I am planning to use this design on a series of tavern-style signs, as well as in the Book Pages series.

BE Sketch


This is the preliminary sketch for the featured image in this post. It is a simple line drawing of a bald eagle. My main focus here was catching the spirit of the bird and conveying the strength and integrity it embodies as our national symbol.
Though there are a couple of minor issues in scale and anatomy, it’s a pretty solid sketch. I will use it for graphics and the base image of future paintings.



Daily Drawings Series

In 2016, I have set myself the goal of working full time on my art. One of the ways I plan to do this is to establish a daily drawing schedule.


So many times, when I go into my studio to work, I find myself wandering around fiddling with stuff until I get focused. As one would expect from an artist, my studio is crammed to the gills with stuff – piles of notes and images, ongoing projects, supplies, piles of projects that I need to get started on, reference materials… in general, chaos. Though all of these items need to find a home instead of cluttering up the place, they do nothing to add to my creative process directly.

It is my hope that redirecting this energy into a daily drawing will have several benefits for my growth as an artist. At the very least, it will force me to spend time drawing; which I enjoy a great deal. In addition, it gets me on here, posting regularly and interacting with (and hopefully growing) my audience.

Because my fine art is very contemporary in style and typically politically motivated, I think this will be a good way to engage people on the meaning of that work. The daily Drawings give a foundational background to my skills as an artist and provide interest for those not particularly committed to supporting ideological art. They also give my viewers an idea of the process behind the more complex fine art pieces. Every painting begins with some kind of sketch, either in one of my many art journals, or in a sketchbook – all organized separately on themes with notes and references. Yes, I’m a little compulsive.


I also find that I just need time to think before I start working. A great deal of thought and research goes into every painting, both before I begin and throughout the creative process. I need to get into my own head before I start painting. I also need to master the subject matter so that references become less important and a personal style develops. I feel that this makes the work stronger and more compelling to the viewer.

Now that I have the crow concept firmly established, I am moving on to birds of prey and songbirds. Beginning now, I will be posting one drawing per day from the series. On days when it is not possible for me to work on a drawing, I will pull from my art journals and sketchbooks to share the drawings behind completed paintings or post mixed media projects that include drawing.


Eventually, I hope to have enough drawings to offer them for sale online and at festival shows. To anyone reading this, please take the time to share and stop back in when you can to see what is new. Thanks in advance for your support and please leave feedback!


Silence of the Lambs


This drawing is in response to the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act. What a lovely title. It almost makes you feel like they’ve done something to make politicians less corrupt. What they’ve really done is tell you who you can support and how much you can give them. Don’t be fooled by the tripe about getting the money out of politics. The guys with big money on both sides can find ways around something as insignificant as a little law. They already have in most cases. All it really does is make it harder for the little guy who’s trying to follow the law to exercise his right to free speech and to vote.

Making politics more transparent and less driven by money is a load and we all know it. There’s not much else to say. We all know these guys are just trying to stay in office and keep anyone new off their turf. People who break the rules under one system will do so under any system. Legislation doesn’t change that, it just makes things harder for people who follow the law.

The imagery in this drawing illustrates the red tape of government regulation silencing the people. We do this to ourselves when we continue to vote the same people into office year after year because of party loyalty. This is just one more reason I support term limits and hope to see third party philosophies become more popular. Completed – 2007
Medium: Charcoal and ink on paper
Dimensions: 24w x 24h x 1d

Additional blogs regarding the First Amendment:

The Fairness Doctrine Looms on the Horizon

The Fairness Doctrine Looms on the Horizon, Pt.2

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and FreedomWorks. Her articles and interviews have been published at Blog Bytes , Big Hollywood, and WND . Mrs. Byrd’s conceptual art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

How to Exorcise Conservative Thought in an Artist

This painting was inspired by several conversations I have had with other artists. The first reaction I face when describing my work and point of view is shock. Disdain or anger quickly follow. My impression is that I have no right to be conservative and that I am breaking some unspoken law by creating political work from my point of view. I suppose open-mindedness only applies to ideas that conform to the status quo. The next thing that typically happens is that I am quizzed on the minutia of American History facts and dates. Inevitably, I will not know a detail and then I am proven ignorant. This is the point at which I usually learn that the other artist used to be a professor and, therefore has an unfair advantage over me. So much for acceptance of opposing points of view. Or common civility.

I find these conversations inspirational, because they lead to all sorts of wonderful imagery. This painting was executed very quickly and I enjoyed every minute of it. I look forward to doing more work in this style. – 2008

View more art in this series on the Art Community page.

Medium: acrylic and vine charcoal on wood panel

Dimensions: 14w x 26h x 4d

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and FreedomWorks. Her articles and interviews have been published at Blog Bytes , Big Hollywood, and WND . Mrs. Byrd’s conceptual art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

The 3rd Annual Folk to Fine Arts Festival and Expo

I am currently in the process of producing small works for the upcoming Folk to Fine Arts Festival in Commerce, Georgia March 7-9. Please check back with this post periodically to see new work that will be for sale at my booth. For now, here is a collection of paintings and merchandise I plan to have available.

In addition to my own art, I will have copies of my husband’s book, drawings by Kate Barnett,  and fine art prints by Ashley Norfleet and Christina Butorac.


The Light of Day, by James Byrd


Drawings by Kate Barnett



Fine Art Prints by Ashley Norfleet


Nursery Prints by Christina Butorac


Hand of Liberty Fine Art Prints by MachinePolitick


Art Prints


MachinePolitick Art


Harbinger #1

Medium: Mixed Media on Wood Panel

11″ wide x 16″ high x 2″ deep

Completed: 2014



Revolutionary Halo #1

Medium: Mixed Media on Wood Panel

11″ wide x 16″ high x 2″ deep

Completed: 2014


American Crow #1

The American Crow

22″ x 29″, Oil and Acrylic on Wood Panel, $325

Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath

22″ x 32″, Oil and Acrylic on Wood Panel, $375


Let Them Eat Cake

17″ x 26″, Oil and Acrylic on Wood Panel, $225


The Bread and Circus Crow

6″ x 12″, Acrylic and Mixed Media on Wood Panell

Sold at Folk to Fine Art 2014

Some Men Just Want to Watch the World Burn

Some Men Just Want to Watch the World Burn

Acrylic on Skate Deck, $150

(Social) Justice

The Revolutionary Halo of (Social) Justice

30″ x 40″, Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, $600

** You can learn more about this painting, and others in the series here. If time allows, I will have mixed media pieces and sketches available for purchase.

Hand of Liberty Print

The Hand of Liberty

Original Painting: 14″ x 20″, Acrylic and Canvas on Wood Panel

Sold at Folk to Fine Art 2014


Restore our Republic Now, Restore Liberty for our Future

Liberty for a New Generation

4′ x 5′, Acrylic on Canvas, $1400

Liberty Greeting Card

Card Type

Handmade Cards will be available in a variety of designs and packages.

The Hold-Up Artist

The Hold Up Artist

14″ x 26″, Acrylic and Charcoal on Wood Panel, $175


Silence of the Lambs

24″ x 24″, Charcoal and ink on paper,  $285

Spinning with the Winds of Change

Spinning with the Winds of Change

12″ x 24″, Oil on canvas, $175


The Jersey Girls and the Vile Business of Blood Money

Acrylic on board, $100


Don't Cry for Me Amerika
Don’t Cry for Me Amerika

Don’t Cry for Me Amerika

Mixed Media on Wood Panel; $550




My Scarlet Liberty

My Scarlet Liberty

Acrylic on Wood Panel


Effigy #1984

Effigy #1984

With the exception of editing typographical errors, this article has been left as it was originally written for MachinePolitick.

Effigy #1984

Completed: 2004

Medium: Mixed media.

Price $550

Dimensions: 37w x 18h x 1d

Notes: Professionally framed with conservation glass.


This illustration is a commentary on the overwhelming hatred of George Bush that seems to infect most of the liberal population. Granted, all politicians have opposition, but I can’t remember hearing so many people wishing someone dead as there are for Bush. I’m not his biggest fan by far, but we could and have done worse.

The level of hatred and overwhelming anger exhibited by these people reminded me of the Two Minutes Hate in George Orwell’s novel 1984, so I set to work making a visual representation of the phenomenon. I have personally had conversations with people who broke down and screamed “Bush is a fascist” when the discussion didn’t go their way. It seems to be a mania, or dementia, or compulsion to call a person a Nazi when you can no longer carry on a rational conversation. I guess the point I’m making is, it’s a little scary when people get so angry they can’t be rational anymore.

Accordingly, I used excerpts from the book that illustrate the point I’m trying to make. Each excerpt is accompanied with a graphic image that is a visual representation of the thought expressed in the novel. they’re arranged in a gritty, sequential art style that is supposed to make you feel a little edgy- the way those people make me feel when they start raving. I’ll be the first to say I’m guilty of the same behavior, but I like to spread it around a little. I tend to think all the politicians are the problem, and our government could stand a little less of itself.

A great deal of thought went into this piece and there was much research into the visual elements as well as the literary. The celebrity quotes are from a variety of sources and I didn’t document them as well as I normally would, but they’re out there if you look hard enough. The rest of the quotes and statistics are referenced below.


The Origin of the Double Standard
Michael Tremoglie    www.mensnewsdaily.com

Hate Speech from the Left
Jeff Jacoby    December 29, 2003 www.townhall.com

Like, I’m Psychologically Disturbed
Cal Thomas    July 29, 2003 www.townhall.com

1984, George Orwell
Excerpts from Chapter 5    www.online-literature.com

The American Psychological Association Psychological Bulletin Study on Conservative Behavior    www.wam.umd.edu

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com and a contributing writer at the Big Dawg Music Radio Blog, BlogBytes. Her art can be viewed at MachinePolitick.com

The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wraith
The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath  is the second painting in my series on the Occupy Wall Street movement. In the blog post, American Crow #1, I gave a little background on the movement as accompaniment to the first painting in this series. After many hours of reading articles and statements on the OWS web pages and related MSM articles, one thing stands out among the cacophony of demands – the idea that the world owes them something simply because they demand it be given them. This is the embodiment of the entitlement culture we have allowed to take hold in our nation. While politicians and elitists are most to blame for this development, we must also take responsibility for our own complacency. It is time to take a stand before our future is picked clean by these scavengers and rogues.

In this second painting from the series, I chose to draw an analogy to the Grapes of Wrath, by Steinbeck, to illustrate the natural outcome of irresponsible behavior and refusal to demand accountability of those who have created a system that preys on ignorance and envy. There is a lesson here for us in the way that history tends to repeat itself when people allow themselves to forget the past.The Great Depression was not an unavoidable tragedy and the government did not lift us up from the brink despair. Because this is not an historical essay I will leave it to the reader to educate themselves on the subject of the Great Depression and return to the topics of culture and propaganda more relevant to the art being discussed.

Like the Joad family in the novel, the OWS movement has set off for better opportunity and the fleeting promise of an easier life. In many cases, they are people who have become disillusioned by circumstances beyond their own control. The similarities quickly fall away however, in all but the reality that awaits them – that the government, it’s minions and those who have established themselves in the pecking order are in control and the needs of the people are not their ultimate goal. I would wager the OWS movement’s realization of their position as pawns is a long time, if ever, in coming. It is not by accident that they view themselves as victims.

About the Painting

The Grapes of Wrath

acrylic, tempera, oil, and glitter on gessoed wood panel

21.5″ wide x 32″ high x 3″ deep

completed September 2012


This painting is currently on display at the Helen Arts and Heritage Center. Please contact frances@machinepolitick.com for purchasing inquiries.

The Grapes of Wrath is the second painting in an ongoing series on the Occupy Wall Street movement. As discussed in previous articles, the crow is being developed as a symbol of envy, ignorance and thinly veiled violence in pursuit of an entitlement culture devoid of accountability and personal responsibility. The crow and the movement are scavengers on the droppings of the elites and harbingers of a future where our culture has been destroyed and replaced by dependence upon a corrupt establishment.

As the gluttonous dancing crow celebrates his ravages upon the grapes of his neighbors’ labor in the foreground of the painting, the world burns in the background. The flames are not evident yet, but the ruddy glow has discolored the storm-clouds that are building on the horizon. And, like the crow, the OWS movement is focused only on the short-term and immediate gratification of consuming something that they have not built with their own efforts.

Working sketch for The Grapes of Wraith from my first Occupy Wall Street art journal
Working sketch for The Grapes of Wraith from my first Occupy Wall Street art journal

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com. She is also a conservative political artist and blogger. Her art can be viewed at MachinePolitick.com.

American Crow Painting #1 Preliminary Photos

It has been quite a while since I have had the time to post on the blog. My personal life has been a whirlwind of activity lately and I have been making a concerted effort to spend more time in my studio than on the computer. Consequently, I have photos of new work to share.

This is the first in a series of paintings depicting the OWS movement, their demands, and my general opinion of them. I will refrain from posting any thoughts at this point as I am currently in the midst of slogging through their websites and news articles for research.

This painting currently consists of an acrylic under-painting on a wood panel. Hopefully the texture will show through most of the completed painting. I have set myself a strict goal of simplicity for this series in an effort to produce as many as possible and streamline the underlying message. Whether I maintain this goal or not remains to be seen, as I have an affinity for detail that mortified some of my professors at SCAD.

The gears are metallic acrylic and tempera and the text is china marker. The final layers will be in oils. I finally dusted off my oil paints and liquin this weekend in order to start on this series of paintings. I forgot how much I miss the smell of the paints and mediums. I haven’t worked in oils since my son was born, but I think I’m coming back with a vengeance on this series.

More photos will be posted as the paintings progress.

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com. She is also a conservative political artist and blogger. Her art can be viewed at MachinePolitick.com.

The American Crow Scavenging #1

American Crow Scavenging #1
American Crow Scavenging #1

Exhibit at Mable House Arts Center celebrates artistry, creativity of women

by Sally Litchfield sallylit@bellsouth.net

February 05, 2012 12:03 AM | 704 views | 0  | 7  |  |

Celebrate women artists at the Virginia Avery Memorial 3rd Biennial “Reflections” exhibition, sponsored by the Atlanta Branch of the National League of American Pen Women. It is at the Mable House Arts Center at 5239 Floyd Road through March 1.

Virginia Avery, who had been president of the National League of American Pen Women at the local, state and national level, endowed the show. She left a bequest for an exhibit open to all Georgia women artists in all mediums.

“The show offers something for everyone,” Mikki Dillon, chairperson, said. Various media by 50 women artists is on display, including paintings, sculpture, mixed media, photography, and drawing/pastel/printmaking. Eighty juried works, from realism to contemporary, were selected by juror Gail Wegodsky. There were 243 entries.

Wegodsky creates in oil and has shown at Marietta Cobb Museum of Art, the Mable House as well as a solo show at Oglethorpe University. She exhibits her work at Mason Murer Gallery in Atlanta.

“There is such a variety of subject matter and different styles that somebody, anybody, will find something in there that they will like and enjoy,” Dillon said. Among the local area artists showing are Ann Cockerill, Kathy Morris, Jennifer Nolan, Ronnie Offen, Lisa Schwendemann Smith and Mary Jane Warren Stone.

Dillon said the show is important because there are many women artists who still have to use there initials rather than their names in order to show. “Although it’s better now than it was when Virginia (Avery) was alive, (sexism) still exists,” she said.

The show offers an opportunity to see some women who excel in the art world. “Whether it’s people who have never been to an art show, there are things that they are going to really enjoy,” Dillon said.

Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (770) 739-0189 or visit www.mablehouse.org or www.atlantapenwomen.org for more information.

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal – Exhibit at Mable House Arts Center celebrates artistry creativity of women