Call for Sayings

OK, people, can I have your attention please? (That was said in my best Tim Gunn voice…)

I’ve got the paints out, I’ve got the easel up, I’ve got a space cleared and boards cut, primed and ready to go. What I need from you are ideas. Now, I can’t plagiarize or copy anything that I intend to sell, but clever saying and scripture verses and even hymns are not usually copyrighted- I have tons of visual images in my noodle already, but what I want to know is this:

What are some sayings or verses that you wouldn’t mind having on your walls?

Now, just a heads up, my bigger paintings are not inexpensive. I plan on doing some for Etsy that are in the 24” square range, and they should be around $250. (While this certainly is not chump change, it’s actually less than standard when compared with similar sized original work on Etsy). Keep in mind, these are original paintings and not copies, prints or lithographs. If this goes well, I may try and do some smaller ones for less-. But I just don’t know how to charge less for an original, hand-painted work of art.

If anyone knows how to get some prints made, I could then sell prints of original work for much much less- but I don’t have the faintest idea how to do that. Anyone? Anyone?

So, if it wouldn’t be too much trouble, give me words-some sayings and ideas you like and wouldn’t mind seeing everyday….

44 thoughts on “Call for Sayings

  1. One of my favorites is “Rest and Be Thankful”. Can’t remember who said it. Saw it on a bench in a church garden in Carmel and it’s been a favorite since.

  2. Here are a few (that I like):

    John 16:33 “…be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

    I can do hard things

    Stop dreaming and start doing

    D&C 6:23 “…What greater witness can you have than from God?”

    Last verse of “Reverently and Meekly Now” (85), because the words express it so simply:
    At the throne I intercede; For thee ever do I plead.
    I have loved thee as thy friend, With a love that cannot end.
    Be obedient, I implore, Prayerful, watchful, evermore,
    And be constant unto me, That thy Savior I may be.

    Qualify yourself to have the Spirit with you each day

    (I think I’m just in a Sunday mood!)

  3. I would commission you for any one of these — seriously. So if one strikes your artistic fancy now or six months from now, please e-mail me.

    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.
    –T.S. Eliot

    Either of these from Yeats: Song of the Wandering Aengus

    I WENT out to the hazel wood,
    Because a fire was in my head

    Though I am old with wandering
    Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
    I will find out where she has gone,
    And kiss her lips and take her hands;
    And walk among long dappled grass,
    And pluck till time and times are done,

    From Emily Dickinson:

    It’s all I have to bring today –
    This, and my heart beside –
    This, and my heart, and all the fields –
    And all the meadows wide –


    Hope is the thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul,
    And sings the tune without the words,
    And never stops at all,


    We never know how high we are
    Till we are called to rise;
    And then, if we are true to plan,
    Our statures touch the skies—

    From Rumi: The cloth God weaves doesn’t wear out.

    Any line from this poem from my wedding — first or last last one works:

    You Reading This, Be Ready
    by William Stafford

    Starting here, what do you want to remember?
    How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
    What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
    sound from outside fills the air?

    Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
    than the breathing respect that you carry
    wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
    for time to show you some better thoughts?

    When you turn around, starting here, lift this
    new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
    all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
    reading or hearing this, keep it for life—

    What can anyone give you greater than now,
    starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

    –William Stafford

  4. I would love to have a painting of this in my kitchen:

    “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.” (Luke 6:38)

    I think I have a possibility for the next phrase fad. The choir teacher at my high school said it all the time, and after I mentioned it to someone in my ward, she had it done up in vinyl letters on glass…and it’s all the rage, so I hear. Anyway, here’s the phrase:

    Seek to bless, not to impress.

    Honestly, I’d buy anything you paint. And $250 is not too much. Yes, it’s a chunk, but I’m willing to save up.

  5. I’ve always loved the Hinckley quote:

    “In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.”

    I don’t know about copyright and whatnot and it is a tad on the longish side. But I like the last part, especially: “Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.”

    OK, I just googled that quote and apparently every Mormon on the planet already has it in vinyl lettering. Sorry!

    Also like this one from Marjorie Pay Hinckley:

    “The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it.”

    I think the full quote says something like she could either laugh or cry, but she’d prefer to laugh because crying gives her a headache.

    So basically I’m zero help, but at least here are some words of wisdom from the dear Hinckleys for those rough days!

  6. Okay, didn’t I send you a website a month ago with all sorts of different non-copywritten quotes????????? Yes, the many question marks is my way of saying it loudly 🙂

  7. first, I think you can take your original art work to Kinko’s and have prints made. I know this was an option about 10 years ago. Perhaps still?

    And for the quotes:

    God rarely does for us what we can do for ourselves.

  8. “Be Still My Soul”

    never suppress a generous thought

    I think if you want to find a nitch also you can do some painting with the titles to primary songs. I know as soon as I have money I’m totally comminssioning you to do some for my kids rooms. My son’s favorite song is “Teach me to walk in the light” also I am a child of God. I’d love to decorate my kids rooms with those.

    For my kitchen KISS “meaning keep it simple stupid” hee.

  9. Anything by Pres. or Sister Hinckley would be a big seller right now.

    I like what his father told him when he was a missionary-

    “Forget yourself and go to work”

  10. “Consider the lilies of the field” Matthew 6:28
    “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:30
    “Here am I; Send me.” Isaiah 6:8
    Something from 1 Nephi 8:10-12 to go with something from the tree of life vision
    “Adventure is worthwhile.” Aesop (he has lots of fun sayings)

  11. I hope it’s okay I’m commenting… I came across your blog from Julie’s (I thought your blog name was too cute to not peak!).

    I love phrases from songs. A favorite is “I hope you dance.” -and really all of the verses that go with it. I’ve been planning on putting it in my daughter’s room, but now maybe I’ll have to wait and see what you have. Can’t wait to see your finished products!

  12. The tender mercies of the Lord are real and that they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. – Elder Bednar (my mom has this on a sign- I assume from Deseret Book)

    1 Nephi 11:17 – And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.

    D&C 6:20 – I will encircle thee in the arms of my love.

  13. I hold no illusions of this “saying” making it on your list, but here goes:

    “Life’s hard. It’s harder when you’re stupid.” – John Wayne

  14. I love the scripture, “Doubt not, fear not.”

    And if you can figure out how to make prints, that would be fabulous! Otherwise, I need to wait to own your fabulous artwork until my husband finishes grad school 🙂 !!

  15. Tracy,

    Talk to Gabby at Design Mom..she has done prints of some of her graphic designs. You could also inquire at any of the Esty stores she has highlighted over the months, they would know too. I have several “prints” from some of those…

    Sayings… If mamma aint happy, aint no body happy.

    My mistresses eyes are nothing like the sun

    Some ships sail east
    Some ships sail west
    With every wind that blows,

    But it’s the set of sail
    and not the gale
    That determines
    where she goes…

    No putdowns, this is a safe place (this is a print out that is always in our home… it helps remind us to speak kindly to each other).

  16. I wasn’t sure if you wanted to do the niche church market..

    My suggestions, do a few paintings w/ brown or asian children in them (if you can). I will post them on the intl adoption boards. You have NO IDEA how hard it is to find paintings/prints that reflect our families… seriously.

    A cute series of kids w/ the alphabet letters could be fun… or any thing like the bird prints and flower prints that are currently at PBK’s… (and you could even do the fabric cut and pastes…)

    Design Mom has a pretty good compilation of some of the best of the things that are “on trend”. You are so talented you could do anything…

  17. “A neat house has an uninteresting person in it”-Anon. I live by this one!
    “A mother’s love liberates” – Maya Angelou
    “A happy home is but an earlier heaven” Just about every member of my husbands family has one of these in different designs. Except us, we’re rebels.
    “Anywhere is paradise; it’s up to you” -Anon
    “Wherever you go, go with all your heart” – Confucius
    “While I breath, I hope” – Latin Proverb
    “Our strength grows out of our weaknesses” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    And my personal favorite, sure to be a big seller:
    “Mo is the most awesomest ever”

  18. Oh, these are all SO GOOD! Thank you all- I have a million ideas floating through my head.

    @Bek- I will absolutely try and incorporate some mix of races in the children I paint. Through the blogs (and in my life), I’ve come to know many families with adopted/step/interacial children- and I’ll keep that in mind.

    @DGS- you better watch it! I just might paint that one for you. You sure you really want that on your wall??

    @2X- send me the link, woman!! I’d love it.

    Everyone, I love all the sayings, both poignant and funny, and once I double-check the copyright on them, I can get started. Thanks again, everyone. I really, really appreciate you taking the time to share your ideas with me.

  19. I’ll have to think about this some more, but right off the bat I thought of the last two lines from a John Denver song. I’m not sure what the copyright rules are for that kind of thing since you’re not recording it or anything, but who knows? Anyway,

    “Reach for the heavens and hope for the future
    And all that we can be and not what we are.”
    -John Denver The Eagle and the Hawk

    I also always loved this line from the hymn With Humble Heart “That I may learn from vaulted skies. . .” There’s obviously more than that to the song but I always that that little bit was such a wonderful image.

    I’ll think about this some more and return again.

  20. Faith…makes things possible, not easy.

    James 1:17- Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.

    My husbands grandfather use to always tell his children growing up and his children would etll there children-
    ‘The Hard Is The Good’ I have no idea if he made that up, or if it is really from somewhere.

  21. Another single word comment: Remember
    My husband engraved it on my wedding ring, is my favorite word, and there are so many moments in life to remember.
    I would love one of your amazing paintings with this…

  22. Wow, everyone has such deep thoughts! My thought was no where near that profound…Tracy M started off with the Tim Gunn voice and I immediately thought of Christian’s “That is so FIERCE!” Not sure how that would look on a painting though… 🙂

    I have always liked the word Eternity. There, that was somewhat deep, wasn’t it? 🙂

  23. Don’t know about copyrights or anything, but I’ve always liked
    “We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty.”
    -Joss Whedon

  24. Be still, and know that I am God.

    Full purpose of heart

    Wisdom is the principle thing: therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting, get understanding.

    O be wise, what can I say more?

    Those are scriptures. Some others:

    I hear the chorus, it is a grand opera,
    Ah this indeed is music–this suits me.
    – Walt Whitman

    I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains. I do not wish to go below now.
    – Henry David Thoreau

    Do you believe in something beautiful?
    Then get up and be it.
    – Ted Leo

    What is essential is invisible to the eye.
    – Antoine de Sainte

    A fool to worship just light
    When after all, it follows night
    – kd lang

    Tell me whom you love, and I’ll tell you who you are.

    Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.
    – Walt Whitman

    Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.
    – Walt Whitman

    Every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
    – Walt Whitman

    Some dark ones (they crack me up, I like to do them in cross stitch):

    There is hope, but not for us.
    – Franz Kafka

    In the battle of time and the battle of will,
    It’s only hope and your heart that gets killed.
    – Patty Griffin

  25. Hi…Just found your blog. I’m really enjoying it…Looking forward to becoming frequent…Just have to say…I loved your Tim Gunn voice – totally made me crack up!

    OK for your word or phrase…a simple word that has so many meanings…

    PS…feel free to visit me anytime at

  26. Here are some I considered doing for my little guy’s nursery:

    Imagination is more important than knowledge.
    — Albert Einstein

    Special things come in small packages

    Live Simply, Laugh Often, Love Deeply – this is a little overused

    A little dirt never hurt – makes me think of the wonderful Norman Rockwell paintings

  27. Tracy,
    I have always loved your artwork, you are so creative.
    I contacted my husband’s aunt who used to paint and get prints made. He wrote a huge novel, about how she got the said prints. She lives in Souther California.Let me know if you want her contact info to talk to her more about it.
    These are her words.
    “I went to a place that does graphic arts. And they do Gilcee prints.
    The paintings that I have put on canvas that looks like the real thing
    is photographed then printed on canvas and then sealed and sprayed and
    stretched. It usually cost about $100 for set up. and then they
    charge for artist proofs to get the right colors. Then they charge
    for each copy and for the stretching and then for the sealing and
    spraying. After that the set up fee is waved. But the artist proof
    and so on is charged. If you want a paper print or Gilcee( a fancy
    name for fine paper prints.)that you can then mat and frame. Then they
    scan it There is a one time set up fee also. A artist proof which you
    approve; That is not charged again if you have reprints in the future.
    Then there is a printing charge and you can have about any size made
    and the charge is about $100 per large sheet. And you can get more
    than one print on a sheet depending the size of course.

    Now there is a way if you take the painting to a really good printer.
    One that does huge printing, blue prints etc. They can photograph the
    painting and then print to the size you want. Have them put it on a
    heavy paper like a card stock.
    Then the reprints cost very little. I just have the main photo and
    they can enlarge or shrink it. You can just have it xeroxed if it is
    13×18″ or what ever size they can print. You can start in the phone
    book and make calls and go see samples. Gosh I know where and how
    here. But it is hard to tell someone else. What size and medium is
    the painting?

    I found that unless I wanted a lot of prints or more of the same thing
    in the future I could paint an original cheaper.”

  28. I just saw your latest painting on etsy and decided to come back here and share a suggestion for a one word painting.

    I’m a piano teacher and would love to have an TracyM original of this word for my studio:


  29. Always liked this one…don’t remember where I heard it. I embroidered it on a pillow for myself in high school when I was going through a hard time.

    Every ending is a new beginning.

    I know its cliche, but it really is inspiring for me.

    Love ya!


  30. “By small and simple means do great things come to pass.”

    It covers so much. So much that goes on at home doesn’t look important on the outside, but it is the most important of all.

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