On painting and writing and looking for God.

Long before I published novels, before the internet and websites, I painted. I painted murals for hire in people’s homes, furniture, and basically any surface I could find to which paint would adhere. In addition to just plain loving the feel of a brush in my hand and the glide of paint across a surface, I need to keep my hands and heart working as a way to make sense of the world, and as a catharsis for my life long battle with PTSD-related anxiety and depression.

Since shifting my writing focus at the first of the year (I’ll be starting my Ph.D. in Nursing at Purdue University this summer/fall–Boiler Up!–see original discussion here.)), I decided to try oil painting as a (re)newed paint medium for my creativity. I always thought oil painting was for the professionally trained artist, or for artists who were actually “good” at painting. That may be true, but I’m diving in anyway.

One thing I’ve realized is how similar finding my voice in painting is to finding my voice in writing. I stop and start paintings like I stop and start stories, becoming frustrated that my work doesn’t “look more like hers or his.” At the same time, I’ve been checking out many books on painters and painting from the library, and I’ve learned that many great painters were not formally trained. Even those who were (and are) struggled with finding their painterly voice, too. And while my art might look awkward or crude to some, I am embracing my tendency toward contrast and heavy black lines, quirky animals, and blocky representations of figures and nature.  As with words, I’m learning to tell my own truth the way I see it through lines and colors, and my style will likely change and grow.

This blog post features some of the newest additions to my Etsy store. I hope they bring you joy as we celebrate another new spring and all the colors of new life. And I hope my (re)newed adventures encourage you to try something new, too. We live in a world that aches for love and truth and beauty, but they are out there. 

Look for God all around you, friends. Then look for a way to reflect what you find to others.

In this season of Easter, I am drawn to Psalm 19:1, 6-7 (The Message Version):

“God’s glory is on tour in the skies… God-craft on exhibit across the horizon….God’s Word vaults across the skies from sunrise to sunset, melting ice, scorching deserts, warming hearts to faith. The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together…”


Have a blessed Easter and spring, friends!

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