Creative Sweet Spot
I love how the Lord is moving through the creative process and providing art to those He loves. I also love how He ministers to my heart during the process. Last week our oldest daughter was offered and committed to university! Yay! It was so exciting and occurred to me, it could have been very sad for me years ago. But God. He has been transforming and establishing a future beyond being a mother and I know where He would like to me to go once both our daughters have launched. How liberating and exciting – both for the girls and myself! There is a lot of JOY in our home right now and we are incredibly grateful.
formulated in my mind, one I HAD to bring to fruition. When my eyelids sprung open at 4am last Friday, I knew it was time to create. WOW. The love that flowed for the woman I believed this piece was for was tangible and arrested MY heart. If I’m honest, I would love to keep this piece for myself! I trust God will bless my new friend with His presence when she receives the work of art... I get to ship it TODAY!
I want to rest in this sweet spot, not just in this new art endeavor the Lord has led me on, but in life. Isn’t that the prayer for all of us who know Jesus? Last night I was blessed to be a part of a master mind call with other Christian artists. I listened to some of their frustrations and concerns. Wouldn’t you know? I was able to encourage them! I know what it is like to want to be all in and be off in timing with the Lord. When attempting to pursue art full time eight years ago, it was a major flop. But God didn’t yet have my whole heart; He wasn’t yet flowing through me for the sake of others as much as He does today (Lord knows He can flow some more!). But God…AGAIN! He has been so faithful, merciful and patient. He is now the one connecting to others artists, encouraging us to rest in Him, and do everything for His glory to fill the earth and for Jesus to be known. And the bonus?! We all get to join together in person next March. I already see hugs and tears of joy all around.
Thank you for virtually spending time with me today by reading this post. I want to encourage you to spend some time resting with the Lord today. Nestle into the sweet spot. I sense He has some things to share with and through you as well. It may not look like a work of art, perhaps your words, song, dance, comedy, or service in your community, small group, or church home is where He would like to flow and create and build His Kingdom. Rest with Him to find out and then get to steppin’ (said with love ;) ! We want to see your divine creative passions and offering come to life right here, right now. Blessings!
Imagine with me, you have been asked by a gal you have only met in person twice to create a piece of art for a gal you have never met. You listen to your new friend’s friend share the God given dream the Lord shared with her years ago, that has since become a multi-7 figure company (true story!). Imagery and Scripture begin dancing around in your mind. A prayer formulated. Uniquely fashioned artwork created. Then? The opportunity “arises” (God always orchestrates the best of gifts in His perfect timing) to personally deliver the collaborative piece.
This past week has been so full of joy! Creation of another work of art, delivery of two additional pieces, and a Kingdom assigned road trip to personally deliver another piece to a gal I have never met! Talk about adventures with God. If anyone believes this Christian walk is dry and boring, we need to chat. It is anything BUT!
Before I headed to Nashville Tennessee, our youngest daughter asked if I would toy around with an image she had on her heart. “I see a shell in the sea. It is dark all around, but when the shell is opened, a pearl with a lot of different colors bursts forth light and causes the darkness to go away.” Honestly, I felt a little pressure with this request, but I said yes. I could sense she needed to know if I could create something just as unique for her, as I had been for other women over the past several weeks.
This was a piece He had especially for her and she may not even fully grasp its meaning. Thank You Jesus! When I sent it to her, I was nervous. She is so intellectual and sometimes frank in her feedback, I didn’t want to get it wrong.
“Aww thank you”. No punctuation…no emojis!
“Is this what you had in mind? Be honest…”
“I would say it’s pretty spot on”. Again, no emojis or punctuation, not even a smiley face. I would take “spot on” to mean her vision had been captured and created. Go Holy Spirit!
It was exciting to share what God is doing with gals during a church service I visited at the Belonging Co. in downtown Nashville. Holy Spirit was even nudging the gal I was chatting with to get back to her own craft of woodworking and to incorporate it into her Seeds of Destiny ministry. Woot woot! Later, my phone conversation with a gal from Minnesota convinced me God knows exactly what He is doing and when He connects His family in creative ways, there is something SPECIAL. Having never spoken before, we were like sisters sharing what God has been doing – praising and thanking Him for His goodness.
A little more time to go before the delivery, I headed back to the Frothy Monkey. Hot cup of tea in hand, I basked in the afternoon sun, relaxing in the warmth and glory and sense of peace that accompanied this sweet place of goodness in the Lord, “Thank You. Thank You for allowing me to do this. Thank You for blessing others through this gift. You are GOOD.”
God always knows what He is doing. I imagine this first assignment with Jaime, is just the beginning and I am eager to see what God is up to. Following the six-and-a-half our drive home, I looked forward to spending time with my family and delivering more art. Lion of Judah is nicely settled into its new home and my longtime friend seemed over joyed with her investment. Garment of Praise, a commissioned work, also made its way home. Its new owner exclaimed, “Love Love Love it!!!!!! Thank you so much…” My pleasure sweet friends, my pleasure.
If you see me out and about, be aware, I may be over the top giddy and joyful – and I have no shame in it! I am blessed to have five commissions on deck and another “would you mind”, creation. This place of operating right where God needs is overwhelmingly good! If you are interested in having your own uniquely fashioned for you piece, please send me a message and let’s chat. Christmas is around the corner and what a great way to bless folks with a gift without a doubt unique? Blessings!
The momentum continues to grow around this turn the Lord has led me to take. Since we last caught up, two more uniquely fashioned for you pieces were created, the first unique creation ever was delivered, and through an interesting chain of events I have the honor of traveling this weekend to deliver a piece requested by a gal’s friend. WHAT?!
During lunch with a new friend last Thursday, I was compelled to share the vision of what God would like to do through this newly resurrected artistic gift. I shared BIG vision elements and she was able to see it and BELIEVE with me. Towards the end of the conversation, she asked me to listen to a podcast where her friend shared a dream. Would I be willing to see what I could come up with? As I listened, I made notes. I saw images. The details began to formulate. Friday evening while the Fam was off for “Friday night lights” – I created. I could sense the anointing of God the entire time. I shared the image that evening. The response? “Oh Shanon! You are such a gift! This is beautiful. How do I go about purchasing it from you??”
Monday evening I was in the car, looked up into the sky, and saw a cloud formation of an eagle. I sensed the Lord say, “this is for So-and-So”.
Late yesterday afternoon I had the privilege and honor of delivering the very first uniquely fashioned for you piece. God MORE THAN OVERWHELMS ME by His love for others! There was a little dancing, mixed with a little whoo-hooing,
Yes, I trust God is in it – the entire time creating was so richly anointed, I can only conclude He is making a special delivery especially for His daughter whom He undoubtedly takes delight in. Or – I could be way off and wonder “what in the world did I get myself into?!”. I will share an update on how this plays out during next week’s art post. And to my girlfriend who would like my GPS turned on to track me and make sure I'm not abducted - I will text you location updates ;)
Friend, I HAVE to encourage you. If you sense something more, but feel it is impossible because all you ever experience is one battle after another, press in and press on! Press into delighting in the Lord and press on towards the mark of His high calling! Fight like heck and don't give up when others are unable to celebrate with you. Celebrate with the Lord and delight in His blessing over you and KEEP GOING. Blessings!
It Is a New Season
Happy New Year! Ok, it’s the Hebrew calendar New Year, but we can celebrate it. Right?! Since sharing last week’s post on where God is leading and transitioning, it certainly IS the beginning of a new season. And wow, wow, wow – is He moving!
In the past seven days works have been sold, new pieces have come to mind, folks have requested uniquely fashioned for you pieces, and new connections with art enthusiasts are being made. I’m over here like, “Go God!”
For those of you who saw the Lion of Judah piece shared on social media last week, the design has officially found its home! Last Friday, a gal (not just any gal, but longtime friend J) reached out to me expressing her interest, desiring a quote. The digital art is currently being shaped and fashioned to become a 16 x 20 printed canvas. I cannot wait to have the piece installed and believe God is going to bless her family’s home in more ways than she imagined.
That same day, I had a unique vision while taking a Friday evening drive with my hubby to the old area we used to live in. There was a large tree whose roots were made of water, completely fed by the River of Living Water we read about in Scripture. As I went into Saturday, there was an urgency to capture a first draft of the image and make it reality, shown here. I’m not 100% satisfied with how this watercolor on ink looks, but that’s ok. It is one iteration towards where the final piece will finally arrive. The cool thing? God later confirmed this piece was on His heart for me to create by leading me to the following Scripture this past Tuesday:
Tuesday of this week on my lunch hour and then in the evening while my family was off with homework, training and soccer, I was able to work on a design for an online friend and huge supporter of the devotional content God has shared through my life the past few years. She had shared an idea she hoped to one day experiment with. I then experimented with what she shared, prayed, envisioned, and forwarded the piece.
Admittedly, the abyss between sharing and response is probably the most nerve-racking part of this process Holy Spirit has been revealing to me. I just don’t know if I am way off base, or right on… Apparently I was right on. She responded, “Oh my goodness! That is awesome. What did you do it with? Digital or paint? How much does a piece like this cost?” After sharing the requested details, she decided to purchase the piece uniquely designed for her. What a blessing!
Interest in this process is growing. Other folks have inquired regarding the uniquely fashioned for you pieces. As I pray and press in to what might come together for each person when I have a moment to create, I grow giddy. I sense God’s heart not only for the piece, but for the person. That is special! I am honored to be a part of His blessing others in this very unique way. It also excites me to know art enthusiasts are intrigued when the flow of how the pieces are coming together is communicated.
Once a piece, like the Lion of Judah piece, is sold, it is no longer available. There is a portion of the process that makes the whole experience even more unique (it is so distinctive and personal I am going to keep this bit of the journey under wraps as long as possible). I believe this gift within the gift connects one particular piece to one particular person, and that exclusivity will be honored. If you are interested in a piece you see in my online portfolio, or interested in having a uniquely fashioned for you piece created, please send me a message to set up a time where I can hear the vision you might like to have captured. Blessings!
God's Glory & Art
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.