Let me tell you a story of God stirring the pot!
In a world where we can send an orbiter in and out of the rings of Saturn, it blows my mind that we cannot get clean water to every person on this planet. With that in mind and becoming ever more mindful that this God-given talent should do more than decorate living spaces, I set out on a mission a few years back to find the right organization with which to partner through the sale of my art. (As some of you know, half of my proceeds support clean water wells in third world countries, especially Africa.) I found and am happy to partner with Samaritan's Purse whose teams do just that, bring wells with clean water, along with Biblical teaching to those without this commodity that we take for granted. So brisk art sales translated to support for clean water and with that, health and hygiene.
But last fall there arose a problem as The Artisans of St. James, NC, through which I had been selling my work, were rather suddenly without a gallery. Where would "those proceeds" come from? I'm not exactly well-connected in the gallery world and I'm definitely not a sidewalk painter!
Last Fall, I took a chance and entered my work in a "Holiday Boutique", a 2-day festive Christmas Show here in Southport. This spring, the Artisans began to have short term exhibition and sales, first on the patio in front of Tommy Thompson's Restaurant and then in the new pavilion at Woodlands over Memorial Day weekend and last week on the veranda of the Reserve Club as part of the 20th birthday celebration of the Town of St. James! Brisk sales at all 4 venues!
In the spring I was fortunate enough to make it off the wait list to become part of the Associated Artists of Southport at Franklin Square Art Gallery where my work is well-received and again sales have been good.
We can add to those opportunities, the welcome reception my alcohol ink classes have had as I introduce alcohol ink painting to beginners and challenge those with more experience to hone their new found skill. My third class has a few more spots open, if anyone out there is ready for an advanced class!
It is with a grateful heart for these opportunities and a huge smile that I tell you I am once again in the business of helping to bring clean water to those without! I am a blessed, happy camper indeed! (But not as happy as those who will get clean water be when my next donation is made!) God is so good! All the time!
So what do gardening, long walks and painting have in common? Probably nothing at all to the casual observer but for me each of these is a special time of introspection and appreciation for the beauty around us. Time to hone that attitude of gratitude for all the blessings we enjoy.
This year the garden is enjoying a purple and yellow theme and I will plant almost any flower that meets that requirement. How much fun to choose simply based on color and then finding a suitable location for its lighting needs! Gladiola, calla lilies, irises, yellow blanket flower, verbena and a host of others whose only claim to fame is their color!
But the best part of the day is leaving my home at sunrise, to greet another day in that first light, to see just what it is the Lord has in mind for me on this gift of a new day, the gift they call “the present”. Living in the moment takes great intentionality for me … I tend to live an event or two into the future, multi-tasking my way through the day if I’m not careful. I must continually rein in those tendencies in order to live the moment at hand, to savor its beauty and not miss its unique qualities.
Painting and the joy I get when someone else finds delight in one of my creations, is like the best of both of those worlds above. Color and the dance it does with light as I allow the medium du jour to move my hands where they need to go, music filling my studio as I enter the world of color, texture, line and value.
So what do these 3 have in common? Probably this: each feeds my soul and makes me who I am … a sojourner, loving and living and to God be the glory!