This is usually where artists list their accolades. I have none. I'm somewhat of an accidental painter. As a child I was artistic, but never thought to study art formally. It wasn't until I was finishing my bachelor's degree in Social Sciences that I had an elective to burn, and enrolled in "Painting for Non-Majors." I dabbled in paints for a semester (and loved it), but was soon on my way to studying for my Master's in Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, a small Catholic school in Ohio.
While there I had the chance to study for a semester abroad in Rome, where I couldn't turn a corner without encountering a great masterpiece. Quite simply, I fell in love with beauty. But more than that, I understood the power that art has to express ultimate Beauty, God himself. During this time I started painting more frequently, thanks to encouragement from friends and family, and traveled Europe as much as my studies (and pocketbook) would allow.
After returning to the States I completed my degree and started working. My heart yearned for Europe, though, and the beauty I had encountered there. Whether it was in a grand cathedral or a simple hillside town, I wanted to bask in its beauty. I wanted to be present in a moment that had passed. Painting was my ticket. It fed my soul. I soon began to pursue my passion for painting and took on that arduous task of producing small "daily paintings." Next I entered the world of juried art shows. After three years of this, the arrival of my second child made it clear that I needed to take a break from painting to focus on a new stage in life.
I am now a mother of three, and life has thrown us an unexpected curveball. After finding out the joyful news of my third pregnancy, my husband received the devastating news that he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Suddenly, my heart yearned again to express myself through painting, which would be a needed outlet. My old studio was now my daughters' bedroom and the paints had gathered dust in the attic. But now I have a studio space in a generous friend's house, and I am slowly picking up where I left off. However, my life has changed in the past few years, and my soul with it.
"Paint what you know." I have some wonderful inspirational photos to paint from my last trip abroad to Provence, but I am excited to see which direction I head in this stage of my artistic life. I imagine my subject matter will change to express the beauty God is showing me right now. I'm no longer the young traveler, sipping cappuccino's and chewing on medieval philosophy. I'm a busy mother of three little darlings who enchant me daily. I very recently lost my father to melanoma cancer, and plan on beginning a series of some of our favorite views from our hikes in the Cascade mountains of Washington State. It is a gift to his memory.
At the end of the day, I paint because I must. It is incredibly clear to me that this is what God wants me to do. I hope you enjoy this journey with me and my feeble attempt to reflect God's glory through painting.