Friday, January 29, 2010

Featured Artist: Olivia Cannizzaro

"Cinque Terra" by Olivia Cannizzaro, copyright

"Tuscan Road" by Olivia Cannizzaro, copyright

"Italian Villa" by Olivia Cannizzaro, copyright

Artist, Olivia Cannizzaro

Artist Statement: Olivia Cannizzaro

I’m a 21-year-old artist from California. I draw portraits using graphite and charcoal pencils as well as paint landscapes in oil.

One of my favorite Bible verses is found in Matthew 25:29, “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance.” I love that verse because God is encouraging us to give our all in everything we do. It’s a promise from God to take us to the next level. He wants to give us more and more.

As each day passes, I’m seeing that verse happening in my own life as my art career unfolds. I know God wants me to be an artist. He has confirmed it so many times. Though I’ve always wanted to be an artist for a living, I was very doubtful. I’ve heard many of the discouraging warnings for pursuing art as a profession: “Artists can’t make a living off of their work,” and “only few can really make it without a 2nd or 3rd job.” It was really getting me down, but, I felt God saying “Don’t look at this through human eyes, look at it through My eyes.” Once I looked at it through God’s eyes, the doubt was gone. I focused on the truths about God- that He can do anything, nothing is too hard for Him, doors that He opens can’t be shut, He intends to prosper His children, He performs miracles right and left.

God put this dream in my heart and wants me to have an obedient faith-filled heart. Instead of the discouragement I felt from the “realties,” God had completely lifted me up into who He is. Realistically it may look bleak sometimes but God’s miracles truly are unrealistic- that’s why they are called miracles in the first place. God is able and willing, so anything can happen.

God reminded me of that verse in Matthew. I wanted to begin painting and drawing again so I could start my career. I didn’t have any canvases left and my oil paints were all old. So, I asked God to provide what I needed. I knew He would because it’s His will. He brought me my first customer, a dear friend. From that commission, I was able to buy a canvas and a new set of oil paints. It’s all I had, but I decided to put that verse into practice.

God used family and friends to bless me with everything I needed and more. He was continually increasing everything. God provided two big boxes full of canvases- a surprise from my dad. My cousin sent a large box full of art supplies. God has surrounded me with friends that are full of support. I need money to restock my supplies, enter shows, etc and God always provided me ways of making money. Within a few months God took me from painting a picture in my living room, to painting in my own studio. He was trusting me with the little that I had and truly began giving me an abundance.

I know this is only the beginning. God is going to use the gift He chose for me to connect me with other people so I can be a light and share His good news.

I hope this encourages you to remember to dream big when you are dreaming with God. All the “realistic” obstacles don’t stand a chance against God’s will for you. Remember who God is. I encourage you to trust God whole-heartedly with your future, dreams, success, and finances. Consider showing God how much you trust Him by giving part of every sale you make to bless someone in need. No matter where you are at right now, make the most of it. Give it your all, it’s God’s gift to you. He wants to increase His gifts to you. He wants to take you farther and farther up. Be excited for the artistic ministry and success He has in store for you.

To view more of Olivia's artwork please visit:


  1. Your words were truly angelic. Spoken as a prayer for all of us, who are trying to give this world a glimpse of heaven. One piece of artwork at a time...... Thank You.

  2. wow! Thanks so much for sharing that is truly encouraging in my life right now. God is good and he never disappoints.