The Heart in my Art
Our heart is such an amazing thing, both physically and emotionally. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the heart as "a hollow muscular organ of vertebrate animals that by its rhythmic contraction acts as a force pump maintaining the circulation of the blood," but follows that with another definition describing the heart as "one's innermost character, feelings, or inclinations". According to one source, the KJV Bible uses the word "heart" 830 times. It is pretty evident that the condition of our heart is important to the heart of God and the faith of a Believer.
About 22 years ago, when my first child was born, I surrendered to the fact that my heart was in pretty bad shape. Not physically, but emotionally. I became fearfully aware of the of the sin in my life, and really didn't know how to fix it. I'd been a church-goer off and on since I was a teen-ager, but I didn't really "get it" because I hadn't spent any time personally seeing what God had to say about it all. So I started studying the Bible, and trying really hard to be a better person. But that was just it, it was so hard for me; hard to give up old habits, hang ups, insecurities and lifestyle choices. For the first time in my life, I felt really unhappy with who I had become, and completely helpless to change.
So in my weakness, I humbly prayed for God to change me. To show me. To teach me. I specifically started praying Ezekiel 36:26 "Lord, give me a new heart--a heart like yours". No, I didn't wake up the next day a changed person, but slowly I saw God directing me on a new path, and softening my heart to His ways.
Fast forward many, many years to how this relates to my art. I painted off and on for years, trying to emulate other artists work, and paint something to look just like a photograph. I took lesson after lesson learning to paint a heavy impasto look, but it was messy, smelly, frustrating and unforgiving. After teaching art to kids for a few years, I mustered up the courage to quit trying to copy a photograph and a certain style, and just create from my heart and what felt like "me". I had a desire to share with others the truths that God had been teaching me, so I started painting these little abstract hearts and putting scriptures on them, and that's when my "Heart Print" art was born. Soon, others started asking me to create their own special "Heart Prints", and it's grown from there.
Recently, I took a little trip down memory lane and found some pictures of my Heart Prints from years gone by--I started doing these in 2011. He's still changing me 20 years later, and so I keep doing them each year, sharing another little piece of my heart and journey. What He has taught me continues to grow, as well as my collection of new scripture inspired art to beyond a lot more than hearts. Creating custom scripture art for a specific event or someone's favorite Bible verse is still one of my favorite things to paint. I've created large custom wall art, small pieces for hostess, bridesmaids, graduation and more. I love that my art can share God's truth and be part of someone's special event or a reminder of their own faith journey.
You can find my most recent Heart Prints and other Scripture inspired art in my Etsy Shop, as well as HERE and HERE. If you'd like to learn more about creating your own beautiful textured pieces with collage elements, or to see how I incorporate worship into my creative process, visit my online studio HERE