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As a child, I entertained myself. You could find me spending hours playing with toys inventing stories and crafting a make-believe world. Even when watching TV, I spent my time drawing house plans, sketching eyes and noses, painting rocks and sand dollars, etc. Imagination and creativity were my best friends as most of my childhood was spent like an only child since my siblings are fourteen and sixteen years older than me. My inner world was vast.
As I grew, I got further away from creating. In fact, it was a hidden part of me. Then, after I got married in my late 20s, I started painting acrylics on canvas. I would take pictures from travels and try to replicate them. They were rough, but I enjoyed it.
In my 30s, I began using art as a therapy tool as my husband and I walked through a season of infertility. I found immense freedom in creating with broad strokes and bold colors. This is a period I started creating outside of the lines through abstract mixed media.
After my two miracle boys came into our lives (check out the blog), there was less time and head and heart space to create. So, there was a pause on my growth as an artist.
Who knew that when you hit 40 that the way you have defined life turns upside down? My forties have been years filled with humble growth. These pieces were birthed in the ways I grew spiritually as I learned more deeply about my own vulnerability.
In the Summer of 2019, I began experimenting with watercolor drawings and paintings. As both of my children were in school for the first time in the Fall of 2019, I found myself painting more and more, and I began to share those works with others.
Then, there was the year 2020. You know…the whole world shut down. Our world turned upside down because my husband’s health was at a very high risk. I went from both of my kids in school 5 days a week at a private school to being with me 24-7 for the next 15 months as I homeschooled them. I am an enneagram 7 that values freedom and spontaneity… You can see how my inner life might have been a little crazy. The thing I had said would never happen—well, it did.
Guess what I did with my loneliness and lack of options? I drew, and I painted. I grew as an artist through time and repetition. I dreamed of collages and buildings of cities. I connected with others through social media and art by painting special places in their particular city. I connected with them through painting their homes.
I did what I said I would never do again–I re-engaged an Etsy page that I had from 10 years earlier. I re-engaged with a different perspective and skillset. People wanted prints, and I needed a way to organize those orders. Guess what prepared me in a different way for business? A Rodan and Fields’ business that I have run for 7 years gave me the vision for creating quality prints, for charging what they are worth, and for using my time wisely.
The theme of my life is: “Jen, don’t say never cause you are gonna.” I am so thankful to God for gifting me with a small talent and then giving me time to grow in practice and skill.
This past year was HARD. This past year has NOT been wasted. I have grown in patience and understanding as a mother, a teacher, and an artist. I have met beautiful people from all over the country as I have become intimately connected to their homes as I paint. My boys have payed attention and have been interested in making their talents profitable. I even got the privilege of sharing my story on WBIR Channel 10 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Truthfully, I don’t deserve any attention or business I have gotten, but I am humbly thankful for it. Regardless of attention or monetary gain, I see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. The hope I have is from Him. The talent I have is from Him. The provision I have is from Him. You can read more of my thoughts about Him on the blog, but here’s the art you came looking for…
It was such a pleasure to paint these homes that represent places where children were born, places where new memories will be made, pictures of restoration and hope. You can also see the evolution of growth in the timeline from the first pics to the last.