I’ve been painting over 40 years… and if not painting, then I was crafting. I even remember making Styrofoam and sequin ornaments at my mother’s knee with white glue and tiny pins.
I painted all through my teens and early twenties (doing several commissions along the way) I basically “crafted” during my thirties as a single mother. As I reached my forties, I wanted to jump back into painting, but didn’t quite feel clever enough to pick the brush back up. I had spent the past fifteen years painting other artist’s patterns… I then stumbled upon Donna Dewberry’s “OneStroke” and her technique got me to pick up a brush again and paint without following a pattern… I have to say though that I did not feel fulfilled. I still felt I was copying others’ work.
Then five years ago, when I felt at my lowest… God stepped in and brought me to a yahoo group site where I met 5 extremely talented artist who were getting ready to launch their own website (www.ArtApprenticeOnline.com, or AAO) to teach artists of all levels…. I also met another group of Godly women (learning from AAO) who are always just a click away with spiritual strength to remind us of what God has created for us and in us.
Then in the last seven months, God brought me another opportunity to join together with various artists to form a ‘community of artist’ in historic downtown Madison, AL that we named 16 Main Gallery, where each of us have our studio. This has been a very large milestone in my life! In the last couple of months, I’ve become the Co-Director with another wonderful artist (Michele Lee) at the gallery. We seem to agree on most issues and things have run so smoothly. We’ve filled all the studios, more people are getting to know that we are there, and not a day goes by without someone saying how wonderful our gallery is and that there is a wonderful feeling or spirit about the place.
I’m surprised each day how creative I now feel. I don’t have to use a pattern anymore. Or be a “bottle baby” (where you have to have pre-mixed bottles of all the colors you want to use) I can now mix my own colors without much thought and have a confidence I didn’t have before. Many of my friends have since told me how much I have blossomed in both my personal life and spiritual life. I am truly blessed!
I have to say that the 23rd Psalm is my favorite and memorable scripture. It was the first bible verses that I committed to memory and could recite. It was a scripture I turned to in several low points in my life and it would always lift my spirits to remember that God was always with me. It again played a memorable part this past summer at my brother’s passing. My son was not aware that his uncle had passed, but he happened to put that scripture on is Facebook page that very afternoon a couple of hours before I gave him the news. God is awesome!