Aug 25, 2023
Art holds a significant place in my life, serving as a profound response to the various ways life has shaped me—my perspectives, interactions with the world, and my connection to God, others, and self. These experiences have laid a foundation that drew me towards the natural world, animals, and various approaches of artistic expression.
Life comprises both blessings and challenges, each contributing to the breadth and depth of my existence. Adversities have been part of my journey, a journey that today, in our heightened awareness, acknowledges the detrimental impact of abuse and bullying. Contrary to the notion that children effortlessly bounce back, those who have weathered such hardships understand that healing requires a deliberate choice. In my case, this was facilitated by a discovery of choice, catalyzed by divine grace and mercy.
Amidst the challenges of my childhood, art became a sanctuary. The creatures of my neighborhood wild and domestic were my companions. I began school at a younger age compared to many of my peers. This may have contributed to the bullying that developed. In the first grade, I encountered name-calling that bewildered me. I did not understand. Tears flowed, stemming from the puzzlement of their intent to harm. This incident set the tone for my grade school years, leaving an indelible mark.
Paradoxically, this adversity also laid a creative foundation. Turning to art—painting, drawing, pastels—I found solace in rendering animals. They had become my community. As a child I covered the walls of my bedroom with photos and articles of animals. I immersed myself in learning all I could about the earth’s creatures. So much so that I often felt a palpable connection to their essence—their movements, emotions, and presence. This affinity with animals juxtaposed my awkwardness around people, a sentiment that endured through my public education.
Romans 8:28 from the Bible resonates with me, affirming that all experiences work together for good to those who love God. His Divine benevolence encourages repentance, fostering healing and restoration. This healing begets compassion and empathy, qualities that mature over time. I find that these challenges have been turned into catalysts for personal growth. Today, I recognize the value of these experiences, as they have contributed to my identity. Yet, this doesn't condone mistreatment, it overcomes it. I interpret this as the transformative potential within adversity.
My journey is one of choosing life, discovering life, celebrating life. It is an ongoing process. I invite you to accompany me on this journey, hoping you find resonance and enjoyment through my artwork and stories.