I am an artist. It’s been a journey to believe and say so. After earning an art degree at Appalachian State University in 1985, I put away all art materials and confidence for the next 32 years. It was a different time for artists, and I left the university convinced I was not an artist.
Those 32 years held good and bad times, and I truly discovered if you are not fulfilling your divine design and purpose there are treasures inside you that stay buried never coming to light. And things start to die. Yet I also discovered resurrection power, grace, goodness, and mercy had indeed been chasing me down all the days of my life.
The morning of January 1, 2017, I woke up, literally from a night’s sleep and spiritually, as from a coma. I heard Holy Spirit speak to me, “I performed supernatural surgery to restore you to your original design. I created you to create, and for so much more; you are an artist.” That day shifted everything in my life.
In one day I knew what I had to do and began. As a young girl I painted in the dirt, then I painted in the clouds. I discovered paper, then wood would hold my creations. I expressed creativity in song writing. I was not a rule follower. I always wanted to blow down the boundaries. But as time went on, I found no advocate who knew what to do with one of Jesus’ wild ones. I pressed on best I knew how, earned an art degree, and then entered the 32-year creative blackout.
A supernatural spirit and soul surgery took place that night in 2017 and I awoke, physically and spiritually, a new creation. I bought art materials the next day not knowing what in the world to do with them. I began with pouring paint onto canvas and making marks with whatever tools I found around me. I was like a child playing in mud.
"Creating from my awakened spirit is the closest I get to total freedom in my true identity while still restrained in this human body."
All of 2017 I spent seeking new relationship with my Creator and receiving new life; giving myself permission to explore who I was created to be. All of 2018 I spent on actual explorations driving across California, Oregon, and Washington. I took thousands of photographs, walked hundreds of trails and dusty roads, and sang new songs with the rivers. In 2019 I set out on a journey across the United States. I’m still on that journey having driven, parked for varying seasons, exploring my creative voice in Arizona, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. The awakened journeyers I’ve met along the way have inspired and encouraged me beyond my wildest dreams.
In October 2019 I attended a weekend artisan’s gathering in Asheville NC. That weekend shifted my life’s course yet again. While there I met some of the family who founded Milan Art Institute (John & Elli Milan). I took one mixed media workshop and was transformed again. By the end of that year I had enrolled in their one-year Mastery Art course. I learned more about art, techniques, artistic skill, and how to create out of my unique voice in that one year, 2020, than I did in my entire four years at university. Not only did I come to believe I can do it, I believe I will do it. I am doing it.
My paints, papers, canvases, and camera accompany me wherever I journey and, in the summer of 2021, I was blessed to establish my first stationary working art studio in Fancy Gap Virginia.
My work studio is a simple Mennonite shed, 12x28, a mere 336 square feet, which I finished and filled with the colors and textures of my soul.
It is my current sanctuary of creativity and exploration. It graces the landscape of a cow pasture on family land. The vision includes a tiny farmhouse, wildflower garden, vegetable garden and small orchard; a postage stamp of an even greater vision yet to be created.
I've only just begun...