Colossians 3:23-24
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
Photograph by Katy Rose Photography
I didn't set out to be an artist. Though I always enjoyed sketching and coloring, I'm not sure that artist ever made the list of things I wanted to be when I grew up (maybe because everyone knows you can't make a living as an artist; author, ethnobotanist, and musicologist are all so much more practical). I grew up on a Minnesota dairy farm, running wild after wildflowers, armed with camera and tripod. In college I majored in Languages and International Studies, with minors in French and German. I worked in the college's theatre costume shop, whereupon I gained much practical experience in garment construction and alterations. And because I had extra room in my course load senior year, I took drawing, painting, and Russian just for fun, three of my favorite courses in Undergrad.

However, it wasn't until I did some color pencil drawings for the Thursday Girls, a group of prayer warriors who love Jesus, that my art took off. The pictures weren't on actual drawing paper or covered in fixative; they were simply each a wildflower (with one or two exceptions when garden varieties were necessary) chosen specifically for that person and representative of what I saw in them. For one, a jack-in-the-pulpit: a teacher at heart, and not fitting into the mold the average person's perception of a flower. For another, a black-eyed Susan: always bright and sunny and cheerful, who can thrive even in the poorest of soils. For a third, Indian paintbrush: a willing tool in the hands of the Creator, who can build anything, physical or spiritual. There were probably a dozen total. It's thanks to these ladies and their encouragement that I began pursuing art in a more professional capacity.

No one is just any one thing. I am an artist, but I am also a seamstress, a musician, a writer, a student of wildflowers, and more things besides. None of these abilities came instantly; they all required a lot of work, practice, and failure mixed with success.  But some of these--especially drawing and playing the piano--when I started doing it not from obligation or to please teachers, but for the joy of what I was doing and to please God--that's when the shift from being well-practiced to being actually talented happened. God gave us the talents we have, and using them honors Him; but I think using them for Him is an act of worship that He honors all the more.

Ye Early Drawings for the Girls: Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Black-Eyed Susan, Indian Paintbrush 


No one is just any one thing--from a family of generations of farmers, you'll also find painters, cartoonists, pianists, poets, storytellers, wood carvers--all manner of artists to have influenced me. Credit to my college professor Po-Lin Kusuth for teaching the art of drawing what is actually there instead of what we think should be there, as well as how to use color pencils effectively. More credit yet to Girls' Group for your encouragement and Godly teaching and years of laughter and tears. And most credit to God, without whom I'd certainly not be drawing.