I am a third generation painter. My father is a painter, as was his mother before him. Painting has always played an important role in my life. My training came along side life training. I remember learning about points of perspective, and proportions of the human body, just as I remember learning to ride my bike and dancing ballet. Every school project became an art project. In fourth grade, I made a life size statue of George Washington for a history project. and in middle school, my presentations were shrink wrapped and displayed as fine art. Creating has always been second nature to me. It is a treasured bond that I share with my dad. As I have grown older, creating art has also become a way for me to connect with my heavenly father.
In 2014, I had the privilege of doing some artwork for a fundraiser hosted by Elkhart General Hospital in Elkhart, IN. During this time, there was a tragic shooting that took place in our community. In response to this, the hospital asked if I would paint a memorial piece in memory of the shooting victims. It was my great honor to create an art piece entitled “A Three Stranded Cord”. The monument represents the strength of our community during that hard time. It shows that with love, hope, and unity, our community is like a three-stranded cord that cannot easily be broken. This was my first time painting for hurting people. The experience opened a door in my heart and gave me direction for my artwork.
Shortly after the memorial dedication, I was asked by St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka, IN to begin painting their oncology unit. When I began, I didn’t realize how much this project would impact my life. As I have watched cancer patients view my artwork, I have seen them gain hope, and determination to keep up the fight, and this experience has greatly inspired me, offering me my greatest fulfillment as an artist.
When people are sick, it is important that they get out of bed, walk around, and have a renewed hope, and inspiration for life. Art can do that.
When people have lost someone dear to their heart, it is important that their memory live on, that others remember their life and are inspired. Art can do that too.
Art can offer hope. It is an inspiration of life. It can soothe the soul and offer healing to the hurting in way that words cannot.
As I dip my brush into the paint and I make brush strokes across the wall., it is my prayer that those who see my paintings are able to see God’s heart for their life, that in the darkness of cancer, His presence is known and His love for His people is felt. This is why I paint.