When I was young I went through a lot. An alcoholic father told me how worthless I was, but the words of the Bible, of God, told me just the opposite. My faith helped me find value in my life, and has been a big part of my creative world.
For me, words and art were always equally important. I wrote stories and poems as a kid as a way to express myself and also to feel safe. I drew pictures that went with the stories I wrote, and even if I didn’t put words onto my art back then, they were there in spirit, always guiding the colors and images I created.
(From my first book, The Difference Now, 2004)
My aunt calls it using your creative gifts. It’s connecting with God while you create, putting out original, new ideas and art that can help other people feel joy, get through pain, and honor their faith.
Even though art was always an important part of my life, it wasn’t until I discovered mixed media that I truly felt like an artist. I conjure up an image after writing a poem or reading the Bible and suddenly there’s a painting in my mind waiting to be uncovered. By placing the layers of papers and paint I uncover it, sculpt it, until finally the painting takes shape and I build up new layers to bring the image to life.
In the process, I find myself reflecting on the words, finding deeper meaning in them as I paint. Words and images will always be equally important to me in the art I create. They have helped me move past the pain and sadness of my past to enjoy life’s beautiful ways, to see the good in the world, and to love and accept love in return.