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Give it ALL away.





Once again, it is the close of yet another year.  Whatever it is that this year has brought your way, I trust it has made an impact on your life for the better!

 

2023, in my book, will forever be known as the year of patience and perseverance.  It has been quite some time since I have experienced a year that broke me off like this one!

 

The difference maker between this year and the other challenging few in my distant past is my deeply rooted faith in God. I can see the narrative of a victorious overcoming taking place in my life, even as I write this.

 

For the past couple months, I have questioned the idea of telling this story but the encouraging words of one person have resonated with me. My hope is that by sharing this story with you it will connect with you in its own unique way.

 

This year, I was one of ten artists in a group exhibition called, “Tacoma in Seattle”.  You can read more about it here

 

Preparing the work for the show began three months in advance, which I thought would be ample time.  Yet, with very tight margins in my schedule the work developed at a slower pace than I had originally intended.  Now I am not one of those artists that stresses out about finishing my work.  I have so much experience at this point that my confidence makes it nearly impossible to get in my head too much about all the things.  Knowing others, I understand how blessed I am in this regard.

 

The time that was spent in the studio working on that collection was fulfilling!  I had the bay door open, the sun shining and worship music blasting in the headphones. I was praying over the work, talking to God about the show ahead and setting my intentions on seeing the body of work become a testament to His goodness, faithfulness and glory.

 

What I had not counted on was what he’d say back.

 

One day while working on another project and reflecting on this new body of work, he spoke to me and told me to “give it away.”  I felt a wave of emotion begin to take hold of me and I set myself to meditate on what it was that he meant by that.  Give this new collection away?!  Before the show is going to happen? At the show??  After all the work I have poured into it, really??  Had I not been so embroiled in the weeds of my daily responsibilities; would I have fully grasped the importance of the direction the Lord was taking me in?

 

On August 11th & 12th, the two-day art exhibition at River Gallery in Seattle went off!  Despite the stressors of my life at the time and the coordination of logistics, I was so excited for the showing!   Many great friends were in attendance, but it was having my family there that was the highlight of the show. It was showing my daughter, through action, that whatever it is that we decide to commit ourselves to can be a success. She will never forget that show. In all it was a jam packed two days and by the time I made it back to the house that Saturday evening, I was exhausted.  I hopped into the shower, the very place that God shows me many great visions and ideas, and unsurprisingly he spoke to me.

 

“Give it ALL away.”

 

I started to cry.

 

I knew what He meant. But EVERYTHING?! All the artwork I have ever produced???

 

The idea was so offensive but to my surprise, as quickly as the waterworks began, they shut off.  Immediately I felt a weight lift off my shoulders.  It was as though the clouds of my foggy vision had parted and the light started pouring through.  It was all beginning to make sense to me! 

 

I had lost my way.

 

Over the course of the many years chasing this dream, the slow rot of adulthood had taken possession of my mind. I was not creating art from a place of love, but I was creating from a place of necessity.  It tainted my work, robbed me of my joy and infected every circumstance surrounding my art and the Lord knew this.  He was setting me free; He was healing heart.

 

Initially I didn’t tell anyone that this had happened, one day I just started randomly posting confusing stories on Instagram or obscure posts on Facebook to spark engagement around my work.  It became a fun game to figure out how to give my paintings away without being too blatantly obvious about it.  It was so fun to see people’s reactions as they realized I was just giving them a piece.  It was invigorating and exhilarating!  By far the best payment I have received for my work up to this point!

 

Since the latter part of August, I have given away eight paintings in all with a monetary value that is well in the five figures. Yet, none of it matters, what matters is that I am filled with a joy that is far beyond what money could buy! 


Praise God!

 

As we transition into 2024, I have set more audacious goals for myself and the work that I am to create.  As far as selling my work is concerned, until the Lord tells me otherwise, it looks like there will be more joy as we move forward into the new year!

 

More than anything I want to make my artwork available to all sorts of new audiences.  I want my work in more homes, more offices, restaurants, hotels, galleries, public spaces and churches!  Also, I want to collaborate with people across various industries.  Architecture, real estate, interior design, fabrication, fashion, finance, entertainment, music and of course artists to name a few.  


Before we cross over though, I want to extend a personal debt of gratitude to each one of you.  It is your faithful support, encouragement and engagement that is the fuel that keeps the fire of this art thing alive!  I so look forward to seeing you all on the other side and may God bless you abundantly in 2024!

 

Happy New Year!

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