When I was asked to speak to a group of women about my journey as an artist my heart jumped into my throat and my gut reaction was to say “Wha? You’re crazy. No!”
But, I’ve found that this reaction usually means that God wants me to do it. He’s kinda funny that way.
Last week, I had the privilege of sharing a bit of my story with these beautiful women and then walked them through creating their very own painting of cherry blossoms. They graciously listened to me pretending to be a speaker and then we all had a blast creating beautiful pieces of art.
Though “speaker” will never be a title behind my name, I love sharing about finding real love and freedom through painful experience. It’s something all of us can relate to, going through hard times. But where my heart is, what I want to say with my artwork, is that we come out of pain with more joy and beauty in our lives.
It’s a transforming, life changing experience that doesn’t have to end in tragedy. It is Jesus Christ that I look to for this redemption. We look at, not only his teachings, but his life and see that he’s no stranger to pain, that he went through some of the worst of it, and came out of it, not just stronger, but victorious over death, evil, pain, sickness, injustice, and every thing that’s wrong with this world.
Out of suffering, joy. Out of ugliness, beauty. Out of death, life.
This is what Jesus is all about. It is one of the many reasons I follow him.
And it’s why I create art.
It was awesome to be able to share my story and then jump right into creating with these gracious women!
I walked them through, step by step, making this painting of cherry blossoms (shout out to Chinese art!), from the first brushstroke all the way to signing their names to it. It was a first for me, teaching in this way, but it was such a blast. We were having girlfriend time and creating art at the same time and I love how these came together! It was energy giving for me to see every single one of them getting into the paint, brushes and canvas, even though it was a foreign thing for a lot of them, and bravely diving into the color and strokes.
I am thinking about starting a program or class for kids in the fall with a similar set up.
But it’s hard to think about taking time away from simply painting, especially since all I have to give at this stage of life is about an hour a day, if even that. My fear is that I will be distracted and leave the studio again, like I did so many years ago.
I know you mommas understand.
But I don’t live by fear. I live by freedom.
With that, we’ll see where this goes…