About five weeks ago I had an ad pop-up in my Facebook feed titled “Artists Rise Up!”. If you have read my first book or even the last devotional, you know the message to RISE UP has been on my heart for over three years now. This was one reason for uber intrigue. The other? I love art, creating it, viewing it, and watching videos. In fact, in 2011, I made a go of trying to be a full-time artist, but it just didn’t work out for me. Since then I have created pieces here and there, primarily for an exhibit in my hometown.
My guarded curiosity led me to sign up for the video series by basket weaver Matt Tommey. The day the video series kicked off, is the same day I received notification one of my “here and there” pieces had been selected for the cover of a local magazine's November 2019 issue. Was God giving me back my “Isaac”?
I had laid down my dream of being a professional artist six years ago, for the sake of my family. I stowed away my easel, paints, brushes and canvas, in order to focus on my career full time. The day I did so, my husband received an answer to prayer. It really seemed God needed me to give back to Him my artistic gift and trust Him. I did.
But what was this? This seemed out of the blue, sort of. God had been speaking to my heart of transition, change and so on. But I didn’t think it was THIS – getting back into creating art. As I listened to each video and connected in the online artist community Matt Tommey facilitates, new imagery flooded my mind. A piece I had on my heart for months, "Glory Bride", took more detailed shape as experimented with new skills on my graphics program. There was receptivity to the work I shared, and more importantly – spiritual connection!
Was it possible God could utilize art to reach others in a new and unexpected way through my life? As I pressed into Matt Tommey’s content, the thought came to mind to challenge myself with one hour prompts. As I listened to “Colors” by Josh Garrels, lines and colors and light danced around in my mind. I couldn’t wait to spend some time on my lunch hour capturing the vision.
Josh Garrels, he had recently played at Grace College near the Village at Winona, a quaint artistic community near where I work. The Village at Winona also hosts an art fair every June, and was the first art fair I had been a part of eight years ago. I then began to search for my old blog – ShanonsArt – on blogspot. There it was, my photography booth during the 2011 Village at Winona Art Fair! Viewing the pieces in the booth while listening to the lyrics of Josh Garrels:
Glory to the light
Glory to the throne
This is our story
This is our song
We're telling it slowly all life long
Of a Savior and what He's done
It's a mystery
The Lord had led me into a study on Glory two weeks prior to registering for Matt Tommey’s video series. Because of the video series, I was inspired to create another iteration of the Glory Bride. Because Josh Garrels had visited near the Village at Winona, I was listening to his music, feeling creative, and then created the above pieces within one day.
God has been piecing together another piece of His story in my life, and I am excited to see where He is going to move. I am also grateful to see how far he has brought me since stashing away my dream of being an artist in the attic – He has birthed within me a creative and unique vision, that I believe will point many to His goodness, glory and Jesus Christ. Stay tuned, Friends. Stay tuned...
Six years after laying down the dream of being a full-time artist, God is handing it back. Spirit shined and polished, the artistic gift will be a conduit to creating a variety of works intended to usher in God's glory-presence in any atmosphere, encourage through personalized works, and provide peace in the market place.