How do you find inspiration?

Years ago, my husband and I traveled to Peru. I went to some areas that I really struggled with, as the landscapes were stark and barren. It was in that moment that I decided to look for beauty wherever I went, no matter where I had to look or how small it would be. Now I find beauty and inspiration all around me, in the landscape of the countryside, in the eyes of my children, or in a beautiful photograph. Don't even get me started on Pinterest and the eye candy for artists at every turn!

What are you doing when you're not painting?

It depends on the day! I'm a mom of six children so I'm often getting my kids ready for school or making dinner or throwing dirty clothes into the washing machine. I'm also a painting teacher so once a week, you can find me in the studio at my local art store. I go off-roading with my husband, I draw coloring books for preschoolers and sometimes, I just like to snuggle with my Maltese, Max, and watch a good movie.

How long does it take you to complete a painting?

Hours and hours! Sometimes a painting just seems to flow onto the canvas and I come up for air to discover that it's finished. Other paintings can be painful to get into and complete, and I will wrestle through what the painting wants to be and my intention for it. If I really buckle down, ignore everyone around me and keep plentiful amounts of coffee in my studio, I can do four paintings a week. Sometimes life demands more of my attention, and it takes much longer to get a piece finished. A nice goal for me is to do two paintings a week.

Does music influence your art?

Yes!  A million times, yes! Painting, for me, is really a spiritual exercise. Every painting I do is done with worship music in the background. I love Christian artists like Hillsong, Rend Collective and Vertical Church Band. I'll often put on the Christian radio station and paint, while singing at the top of my lungs.

Take us through your day as an artist!

While I'm a painter, I'm also a wife, a mother and I'm running a business. My day starts early and the artist side of me needs to make some room, getting my little girls ready for school. After they catch the bus, I kiss my boys goodbye and spend time in prayer before I work on the business side, answering emails and doing paperwork. I usually paint in the afternoon, fully caffeinated, music cranked up loud. I live out in the country, so on days that I teach, I'll go into town early to run errands before heading over to the studio. I make dinner and after the littles are in bed, I crash on the couch with my menfolk and draw as we watch action movies. (Unless I can convince them to watch a chick flick, but that doesn't usually happen.) And I pick one day a week where I don't have plans and maybe get to sleep in, because rest is critical to enjoying intentional time to be present with my family and recharging for the busyness of life.

How does your personal story come out on the canvas?

I have started a series with no real intention in mind but just an idea of what I want to create. And as the painting starts, I discover what I want to say. I've never really considered myself a person who likes symbolism but my paintings have shown me otherwise! My most recently finished series became a story of sorts about dealing with some things emotionally that were hindering me. In doing some deep soul searching, I discovered that I was holding on to others' expectations of me or to bitterness and resentment. It was damaging to any growth I hoped to achieve, both personally and spiritually, and God has really helped me to let go of those things that hurt me. So that series became this theme about letting go.

What do you hope your audience gets out of your artwork?

More than anything, I want to be an encourager. I want people to see that they are loved, they have powerful potential within themselves, and that fear is a liar they can kick to the curb. I want people to look at my artwork and feel the image, deep inside of themselves. I want them to see beauty, but also see dimension and depth, truth and passion, and maybe find freedom where they had previously known bondage.

What are your future plans?

I am so excited for what the future holds! My immediate plans are to continue to grow and develop my voice as a painter, but I'm also excited about the idea of doing some product development. I think that people love to place beautiful things in their homes, and I would love my art to move beyond the canvas. There are so many options out there: clothing, dishware and coffee cups, notecards and stationary. So we'll see where that leads!

Will my artwork have that geometric fox covering part of the image?

No, the geometric fox head is just a watermark for copyright purposes. Your original, print or product will not have a watermark.