Boldness: push past the fear

As I write this, so many thoughts are flooding my mind about times in my life where I have been full of fear. This reminds me of my humanity, my frailty. I don't like that if I'm honest. I'm one of those people who likes to take a challenge head on, and conquer it...especially if you try and challenge me, I won't easily back down. 

Most of my life this did not describe me at all. Growing up I was always categorized as shy, timid, and quiet. I do still love to be quiet sometimes. In fact, I feel soooo refreshed when I get to just be by myself with a book, or my own thoughts, and just breathe in the quiet. Ahhhhhh, that's actually quite blissful to me, especially considering the season of life that I am in with a household full of kids! 

I think mainly hardship has taught me to be bold. Being laughed at, being told by someone you aren't any good at something, walking through death of loved ones, financial struggles, all of these things have actually made me more bold. The truth is, we all have fear in this life, and a lot of us have fear of what people think of us especially. I'm no different than anyone in this regard. What I am different in than some of you is that I push past my fear on a regular basis. I've realized the things that scare me a lot of times are the things I care most about, and the things I really want to see happen in my life! 

Especially if you are a person pursuing creativity in any way, let me encourage you with these thoughts today...

                          Is there anyone else in the world as bold as an artist? He creates a work and has the boldness to sign it, telling the world, "Look at this! I created it." And a singer, "Hear me, I am singing." And a writer, "Read this, I wrote it."      

Whatever you are pursuing, remember to push past the fear, and you will see you are capable of so much more than you first believed.                                        

Storms

It has felt like a long winter. I live in the balmy South and I can't say that winter is my favorite even though I tend to have a milder experience than most I am sure. This winter I have felt the lack of Vitamin D in my life, let's just say that! At the beginning of this year especially I have experienced the effects of all of the different "storms" I have encountered over the past five years. You can call it "seasons" or "storms", these are times that we all have to face. Whether it is the loss of a loved one, or times of high stress, daily relational challenges or health issues, we will without a doubt, encounter these tough moments. 

I was exercising this morning in our living room, as I do every day, and this painting caught my eye. It's funny how a painting will sit there for months and not talk, then all of a sudden you hear or see something new. This phrase wouldn't leave my mind, "Who do you turn to when you are in a storm?" For me, there is really only one place. My Father in heaven. He is the only thing that has truly kept me safe and sane over my years of hardship. My family and friends get me through as well, but no human has the capacity to truly help you at the heart level like the Father can. God be with you in all of your storms. Peace, friends. 

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AVA Gallery opening Thursday, September 7th 6-9pm

It has been a while since I've had the chance to update everyone! This summer has been so full with lots of painting, and entertaining the kids :)  I have been working towards getting into a gallery and I am happy to share I will be in AVA Gallery for the month of September. 

We went to some fun gallery openings recently that had a light and fun, party atmosphere and we felt it was only natural to do the same. Let's celebrate! Maybe with some popcorn and something fun to drink! Who knows what else we will surprise you with if you come?! It's exciting to have most of my work available to the viewing public, rather than just seeing it on your little screen. 

Come out this Thursday, and we'll talk art, or how you spent your summer, or I'll tell you about my crazy kids! :) 

AVA Gallery 108 S. Main St. Davidson, NC 28036

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Standing at your Door

This was one of those paintings that I just couldn't figure out. We all have those things, a song we can't seem to finish, unfinished books, lots of things in our life require so much effort it seems like we will never be finished. This painting represents the value of creating. The not-so inspiring moments that you trudge through and keep going. This is the majority of our lives. 

I started this painting in a completely different direction, to which I ended up scrapping and covering over in a different paint combination. Then, I didn't like my new color combination. Then I thought, maybe I should turn the direction of the canvas, so I changed the physical direction of it. No, that wasn't it. I put it back in portrait mode and kept painting. I painted from my heart. I went back to the colors that I love, the colors that are speaking to me right now. When I was finally feeling right about my work, I tried something new again. A new shape for me emerged. 

I'm not gonna lie. I didn't know if I even liked it at first. It stayed on my easel for a while in case I wasn't finished. My husband hung it on the wall one day and took a picture. Seeing it proudly displayed on the wall, in that moment, I was done...and I liked it! I try to work this way as an artist, to persevere, to keep creating when I am unsure, to work until I am satisfied. It's where the real work is hidden. 

Mineral, Fuchsia Monks, Mirror Glass

I wanted to take the time to explain several paintings to you. It's my intention to be a little more vulnerable with you all, and let you into a little more of my process. After all, it's what makes me who I am as a person, and as an artist. So, here goes...

I have several paintings that I have allowed for some "white space." To me, white space is beautiful. It gives me the feeling that I can breathe, that I have room, and I can think clearly. In my life I am always longing for that kind of space. I love to reflect on things that you can't just see with your eyes, but things you feel, or things that are below the surface. So, white space started naturally making its way into my paintings. And, out of that space, something different emerges, and I believe you can see more clearly than before. That is where the jewels are hidden, and you find that things have the room that they need to grow. 

I have a series of paintings that I have allowed for a great deal of white space, and the shapes and color that have emerged from them is something that I see as a place of discovery. Like a builder who has to evolve blueprints and continually figure out the details, this is what I see emerging out of my "white space". There is a plan, but there is room to discover and grow and allow for new colors and shapes to emerge. 

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Folly Clouds

I have been wanting to start a blog series telling you all more in depth about the meaning behind some of my paintings. So, here goes...

 

I have always ways felt a strong connection with God, with myself, and with others every time I am out in nature. When I think about my life, some of my most favorite moments have been lived outside. Growing up, we were privileged to take a trip to the coast every summer. I can remember playing for hours on end, totally content with life, and soaking up every last drop. As an adult, every time I am there, it is much of the same feeling. And now, I can experience it all over again seeing it through the eyes of my children. 

I love seeing all types of landscape, in fact, if anyone out there wants to sponsor me and send me on a trip anywhere, I'd most likely take you up on it! But, seriously! I have always felt a special connection to the coast. I love the sprawling landscape of sand, & ocean as far as the eye can see. I physically feel grounded and so at home when I am there. In particular I love seeing the dramatic clouds that form. They appear larger than life and such a different view than the city. I deeply connect to showing natural things in a different way. I am not a realist painter, and I don't strive to be. I like to use color to convey emotion and give the viewer a new interpretation on something ordinary. So, this is my interpretation of my love for the sky and the beach. 

A few years back I painted a painting called "Cloud and Birds", (you can view it here on my website). It was my first painting that showed my fascination with the beach. Since then, I have continued to explore this theme, and I am sure there are more to come. 

 

 

Look to the Sky

"If our hopes and dreams seem to be experiencing disappointment right now, it simply means that they are being purified. Every hope or dream of the human mind will be fulfilled if it is noble and of God."  Oswald Chambers 

I read this quote today and it was balm to my soul (and it also helped me finish a painting I had been working on). When you have gone through dark times in your life, disillusionment & disappointment can easily become your closest friends if you are not careful. If you let your heart see past the darkness, there is always hope peeking through the clouds. LET yourself be encouraged today. Look to the sky. There is more going on in your life RIGHT NOW than you are able to currently see. 

 

All in the Clouds

I don't do this often, but I wanted to write a quick explanation of what this painting means to me. Some of you know my story, a story of pain and loss. A story of heartbreak, and dreams unrealized. A life of many happy things, but one that took a serious, tragic turn a few years back. I don't want to take the time to rehash all the details, but they involved the words "cancer" and "death". Some of you can maybe even relate. Since that time I have focused on redemption, restoration, happier themes. Those are the things I really like to focus on, and I find them most meaningful. But, you can't ignore seasons of darkness. They come and sometimes linger. Our best efforts cannot drive them away at times. Sometimes our prayers feel unanswered, unheard even. When I was painting this I felt some of the emotions of the past. It started off as one of my darkest paintings yet, but...slowly I felt to add a few lighter hues, touches of pink, grays, and white. Even in our hardest times we can see glimpses of better days. I like to think the best is yet to come! 

creativity inspires.

To create is one of the passions of my life, and I love to witness it in others. Lately I've been thinking about our choice as creators to see the beauty in someone else's work and let it resonate in you. There is competition everywhere, and it is easy to take on the mentality that what you do is either "not good enough", or "better than everyone else." I know that some comparison is necessary to grow, but it is often a thief of our self worth, and a thief of letting what someone else has created truly affect you. That's why I love art, it can truly affect you. Maybe sometime in the near future I will review a painter, or several painters for you that I admire, but this post was actually inspired by a recent meal I enjoyed. This meal was so thoughtfully crafted and expertly  prepared that I was in awe and inspired being able to watch them work. Thank you to the team at McCrady's in Charleston. It was such an amazing experience. 

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color.

I remember always having an affinity for color. "What color crayon do I want to use? What color shirt do I want to wear? Wow, those flowers are such a pretty color. The sky is a pretty color today." Those of us who are artists probably think these thoughts more than the average person, yet I think we all notice color. Color is a language. It is an expression of emotion, an opportunity to say something without having to use words. It's one of my favorite forms of communication, and a passion of mine to communicate through color. No, I don't always know exactly what I am "saying" when I am painting, but the very act of the paint coming through my unique hand and reaching my canvas is an expression in and of itself. I love to find my voice through color. It's something I will continue to explore and deeply matters to me as an artist. It's something I want to impart to my children, and to the artistic community at large.  

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