"The grace of art is that it thrives in broken soil." - Jennifer Trafton
I first realized my love of crafts when I was in the 1st grade. I vividly remember sitting wide eyed and eager in my Sunday School class as we learned to make “Jesus sandals” out of nothing but cardboard and yarn. I was so amazed that simple, every day items could make shoes! They may have only lasted a couple of days, but I pranced around the house in them like they were the greatest, prettiest shoes I'd ever owned. Then, when my kids were young, I crafted with them. I remember the waxy smell of their pink crayon box, the smooth feel of the manilla paper we colored on, and the sound of chalk against the sidewalk. But while my kids eventually stopped crafting, I never did. I haven't stopped creating things ever since I made those silly little sandals! I've made custom scrapbooks, costumes, jewelry, wood signs, art - you name it, I've attempted it!
Fast forward a LOT of years.....
My mom had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and was swiftly getting worse, but I saw how much joy the things I made brought her. When she stopped being able to find her room, I started making her customized wreaths or painted signs to hang on her door to help her find her it (and it worked!). We'd spend hours outside coloring, the fidget blanket I'd made her resting in her lap.
These things brought us both a little much needed joy during a time of great sadness and stress.
When my mom passed away August 2019, I grieved like I never have before. There was horrible pain with that loss. And a funny thing happens when you lose a loved one. Your world is completely shaken & comes to a crashing halt, but everyone else’s doesn’t. It was a period of my life where the Bible verse “pray without ceasing” was so very real. I talked to God throughout my day already, but this was a more desperate cry. Even though I was so grateful she wasn’t suffering and confused, living with the cruel effects of Alzheimer’s, it hurt all the same that she was no longer here. I was sad. I was lonely. I was hurting. And everyone else was just continuing along with life as usual, while mine would never be the same.
Above photo: Tricia Robinson Art and Willow Tree Angel
After some time, I started painting again. I couldn't explain it, but something just pulled me to it like a moth to a flame. It was a month or more before I realized it was helping me heal. I came in from my full time job and even though I was tired and stressed, I was excited to paint! It was relaxing, and I could paint whatever I wanted and it didn’t even have to make sense. It’s the PROCESS of creating, not the end product, that matters.
One day while I was painting, the window open and the birds chirping, God gave me the clearest vision of hosting women’s events where I would teach them about how healing art can be. Not just the art, but how it’s His grace that brings us healing. For me, art is just an expression of His grace.
I'm not sad or upset if my finished product is oddly misshapen or not good enough to show anyone. Sometimes, even we feel that way...that we are odd, something is wrong with us, we aren't good enough, not smart enough - the list goes on and on. But God has uniquely created each and every one of us. How do we dare tell Him, the ultimate Creator and Artist, that His creation isn't good enough? That he made a mistake?
I don't have an art degree, but you don't have to have one to create beautiful and meaningful art! I am a Jesus follower who wants to use my gifts and what I have learned to help ladies see the beauty of creation.
I'm not teaching art techniques, I'm teaching women to carve out a little time for themselves to relax and create something that matters to them! I'm providing experiences for them to unplug from work, schedules, and the aches and pains of life. I want to create experiences where they can join alone and feel comfortable, or join with a group of friends or coworkers and unwind and have fun together. I promise this, they will find support, encouragement and a great time! So, join me in the pursuit of making art and finding grace in the process.
Deb Brown | Art & Grace