I grew up surrounded by everything from giant canvases with bold brush strokes to meticulously embroidered handkerchiefs; quick music notes dancing through the air to slow poetic words floating away. There were light tables and shelves full of forbidden paint bottles, creative fairy tales and imaginary play. There was always someone around me creating and making.
Reflecting on my artistic journey fills me with joy as I reminisce visiting my uncle’s studio. I vividly remember the paint splattered floor, paint brushes here and there and a room filled with half finished canvases. I remember sitting by my uncle’s light table, looking up at shelves full of little jars of paint and rainbows of pencil crayons and markers.
While never allowed to touch, I would dream and pretend that I also worked in an animation studio. That dream has stayed with me to this day.
I also remember staying up very late watching my uncle and his university classmates meticulously make architectural models and him allowing me to make little trees. If I was lucky enough, he would even let me to spread some of the faux grass onto their masterpiece.
I would watch my grandpa carve little horses and other things out of branches, while my grandma recited poems she would make up on the spot.
But my fondest memories are probably watching my parents create. My daddy is a musician and so while he didn’t paint often, when he did, it was magic and in my eyes – perfection. I remember one day bringing one of his smaller drawings to school and trying to pass it off as mine. Needless to say, no one believed me.
My mom would craft and sew and craft some more. She would patiently teach me different types of stitches and simple crochet and though I enjoyed her tutelage, I always ended up drawing or painting.
By the time I reached high school, I was certain art would be in my future. While money earned from my part time job would of course be spent on make-up and such things, I always put some aside to spend while visiting the art store.
I always bought one or two tubes of Liquitex Basics paint. In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s still a box of my old paints sitting in the basement right now. It’s funny how seeing these tubes can stir such fond memories of my youth. It doesn’t hurt that I met the love of my life in art class. Well, truth be told, he was not really in my art class but would come and ‘hang’ out with his friend just to see me. Twenty five years and three children later, here we are.
The sad part of all this was that even though my teachers encouraged me to pursue a career in art and to apply to art school, teenage insecurities took over and I was too afraid as I didn’t think I was good enough to be accepted. After all, there were ‘real’ artists applying as well. I had also been in a competition to illustrate a book and came in third, confirming in my mind that ‘I was not good enough’. So I ended up taking general business in college and hated every minute of it. But life continued, I got a job, we got married and my art became a thing of the past. Well, kinda.
I would secretly paint pieces but never share with anyone or start a piece and never finish it. I missed creating so very much.
When our children arrived, I threw all of myself into being the best mom I could possibly be. I recall having read that art was a vital part in a child’s development and of course as a young mom, you want to do everything the ‘magic’ parenting book tells you to do. But it was more than that. I knew how much art had meant to me while growing up and so I had to expose them to art and share that part of me that I had been denying; part of me that was so precious and made me who I am today.
And so together we created. We created art with paint, with food, with clay. We created meticulous habitats for toy animals, we visited the zoo with sketchbooks in hand and would sit and draw for hours.
Art became part of my life again and I was slowly beginning to realize that not only had I been given a gift, but this gift needed to be shared.
So I started to teach art to children in a private studio and seeing the pride in their faces when they completed their project was priceless. Through teaching my children and other children, I learned that when creating, it’s not the final product that really matters but the process. The way children enjoy creating is something to be admired. They are not scared of making mistakes or taking risks and they are always, always proud of what they create. Unfortunately, the studio closed and so did my paint box.
Fast forward to a couple of years ago, when I painted this giant mural for church. This is when I knew this was my calling. I realized that I had been turning my face away from this beautiful wrapped gift from God and it was time for me to unwrap it, cherish it and share it with the world.
And I haven’t turned back since. My art now adorns the walls of our home and our families homes and I’m humbled to say, even some of your homes.
I was recently asked by Michael’s to choose my favourite brand and without hesitation, I chose Liquitex paint. To me, this paint has been by my side through my creative journey and it’s not just a tube of paint, but is symbolic of my story.
There are so many ways to use Liquitex products because they are inter-mixable and the colors match across ranges allowing you to layer tube color, paint markers, spray paint and ink, or even work wet onto wet with mediums. I painted this happy colorful pineapple for our daughter’s room. Fun, right?
Before I go, I wanted to take a moment to say thank YOU for your encouragement and support through this journey. You have also played such an integral part in my creative growth, encouraging me along the way with sweet words left behind.
You believed in my gift even before I did and for that, I will be forever grateful.
Check out all of the Liquitex products in store or on Michaels.com. Liquitex is on sale for the next 2 weeks! Just check out the Big Brand Sale landing.
So much of your personal experience with art, I found myself nodding along. It didn’t matter how many people told me I was good, for some reason I took to heart the ones that were “constructively” critical and compared myself so much I stopped (for awhile at least). Thank goodness you picked up your brush again. You have blessed so many by that choice. Love you so much Lucy! And I loooove that pineapple! I’m a huge fan of the impressionist technique— the texture and the unexpected use of color always makes me so happy! Xo
cassie primitive & proper says
you are amazing! i always love seeing your artwork, and i wish i had it in me to do that.
Isn’t it sad, what self-doubt does to us? I like to visit your blog for the “eye candy”–it’s so beautiful, and you have a peaceful writing style. Don’t stop!
I grew up with lots of music in the house and many opportunities for quiet, imaginative play. I have tried to pass that on to my children and that’s been a source of great joy. Both children are creative and my 9-year-old daughter has a knack for art. Her art teacher at school has encouraged her and has held some art classes in her home for both of my children to attend–Lucy, it’s a true gift you give when you encourage children in this way–what happiness you bring to them!
Her Heartland Soul says
Gorgeous painting! You are so talented! I bought one of your cow prints for my husband! So we are one of those homes! haha
Her Heartland Soul
Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents with all of us. Love your new blog photo, too!
I love love love this post!! I’m so happy for you that you are doing this blog and your art! You are so talented and I’m sorry that when you were in school you didn’t go for it and apply to art school. But now, you are very inspiring! I hope some young person out there sees this and gets some strength from it to live their dream!! Keep doing what you’re doing! It’s so great!
Gail Plaskiewicz says
I love to look at your art! I went to a Catholic school and there were 40 kids in my class. My art work was always on the bulletin board. With 40 kids I figure they must have liked what I did because there wasn’t enough room for all 40 to be on the board. When they gave us an aptitude test in grade school mine said I should go into the arts. In high school I took 4 years of art and if I could have, I would have taken just art classes for 4 years. I love colors, colored paper, stamps, paint, glitter, beads, embroidery thread, sequins and ink pads. Like you, I love painting and coloring. They say God gives each of us a talent and if we don’t use it we loose it. I’m so glad we are both using ours!
Thank you for sharing you art journey. Your journey has been some what I have experienced ; I did not have people around me who showed artistic talent like you did. I have always loved art from 6th grade, Had art since 7th grade,
I have wanted to be a graphic artist. about a year or so ago I felt so strong that I was not using the God gifted talent that he has put in me. So I am going back to school for graphic art and I am fighting that battle that I do not feel my work is good enough. Your work is beautiful. Keep on using your God given talent and He will bless you and your work.
Love in Christ.
Isn’t it just so liberating to say “Yes!” to your Creative passion.
Good on you Lucy.
Thank you for your beautiful post!!! Makes me cry!
Lucy you are such a talented artist. I have been silently following your blog religiously for a while now and I find you to be such an inspiration. Your work very much draws me in and every time I click on a new bog post yet again I’m inspired. I actually recently purchased your seagull painting from Society6 for my house and I can’t wait to frame it and put it somewhere in my home! When I do I will share a photo with you. I’ve been a creative person all my life also but haven’t really taken the time to explore it properly as an adult. So now I am and I’m loving it and even if it isn’t everyones style or no one likes it, I don’t care. I like it and I feel happy creating. This story was lovely and so heartfelt. 🙂 Maria.
Love the pineapple and murals!!! Your art journey sounds like mine right down to the degree in business, hahahaa! Always I feel the need to create even when I try to override this feeling. Be well :0)
Lucy, I so enjoyed reading this post. You are amazing, but what is also amazing that there are hidden gifts in all of us and we need to take the time to find them and not judge ourselves or others. LOVED this so much. x
Sally Eichmann says
It’s really beautiful I like it can i share it to a facebook page with your name Actually I’m also an artist but not too expert I’ve running page to share a information about art and gain information with professionals
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