Creating something uniquely yours is a wonderful experience. Sharing it with the world, however, can sometimes be daunting. I imagine even the most experienced among us get a bit of stage fright right before presenting their latest work. As a result, I am a big believer in artists supporting one another. Today it is my very happy pleasure to introduce you to some of my favorites. Each has touched me personally through their exceptional talents and I'd like to repay their kindness with a little shout out.
First, Let me introduce you to Holly Irwin. An incredibly talented artist from Georgia who took time out of her very busy life to heal my heart this past Memorial Day weekend, the 10th anniversary of my precious sister Brenda's death. Every Memorial Day thousands of motorcycles descend on the DC area to pay tribute to our Veterans and those Missing In Action. Called "Rolling Thunder" for the sound the motorcycles make along the highway, it is an awesome and touching display of patriotism and support. It is also a very loud auditory reminder of the day she died. This year, the drone of the cycles was particularly oppressive so I escaped by searching Pinterest for textured paintings. Up popped a piece by Holly. It was a breathtaking painting of three young women huddled together, striking in their resemblance to my sisters and I. Entitled "Together Again" this painting is a visual promise that someday we will indeed be together again and I'm certain I was absolutely supposed to see it that day. I reached out to Holly to purchase a print. Because of the holiday, I wasn't expecting a response but she answered immediately and offered to send me greeting cards of the painting. The original had sold and no prints were available. A week later, a package arrived containing four cards. One for my Mom, Dad, sister Anne and I. What a treasure. The kindness Holly showed me through the beauty of her talent healed my heart a little bit that day and I am incredibly grateful to her. You can find more of Holly's work here. Please visit her website, I promise you will be happy you did.
Up next, Len Hughes, a very talented potter from desertNOVA in Arizona who helped me lift my mother's spirits after a season of incredible challenges. In the past 10 years, my dear 83 year old mom ( the amazing Shirl) has buried a beloved child, moved completely across the country twice, endured two knee replacement surgeries, a broken pelvis and battled breast cancer. She has faced each new challenge with grace and courage. While bed bound after her pelvic break, she made friends with the bossy crows that would sit outside her window and "talk' to her through the glass. Named Amos and Annie, they have become a constant source of companionship and entertainment, calling to her in the morning for peanuts and looking down at her though the skylight in her bathroom as she brushes her teeth. She loves these bossy crows and they bring her great joy by introducing her to their babies and leaving her bits of brownie on the patio table as a thank you for her generous peanut supply. When I discovered Len's beautiful Raven mugs, I knew I had to get one for sweet Shirl. Though the bird is technically a raven, it's close enough to be perfect for my crow-loving mama. Sadly, they were sold out. I contacted Len and she told me she had one almost finished and kindly reserved it for me. I couldn't believe it when the mug arrived. The colors, the pattern, the precious black birds and tiny red flowers- absolutely perfect. Len believes that when people purchase mugs from her, they end up with the perfect match created just for them. I believe it, wholeheartedly. This mug traveled across the country from Washington DC to Washington State wrapped securely in my purse. My mom cried tears of happiness when she saw it. Do yourself a favor and visit Len's shop and find your perfect soulmate mug.
Last, but very far from least, I am beyond excited to introduce you to All About Art Gallery in Bald Head Island, NC. Admittedly, I often keep most of BHI a secret because I am a bit selfish when it comes to my happy place, but I can't not share the joy that is All About Art. I popped in there this past summer during a time when my world felt a bit heavy. I often seek out art when I need a reminder of the beauty and kindness of the human spirit. Unbeknownst to me, it was closing for the evening, but the owners Sue Prendergast and Joyce Nelson graciously welcomed me and took me on a tour of their beautiful gallery. It was the highlight of my summer and an instant mood lifter. There they introduced me to the work of Barb Scalia. Seeing her work was like a homecoming. Something settled in me when I studied the colors and textures of her paintings, a perfect representation of joy and hardship in each one. Barb's life has not always been easy, yet she finds the beauty in the ordinary-something which resonates deeply with me. I still get teary eyed thinking of it. I am certain I was supposed to be there that very day and it is a memory I truly treasure. I went back again later and spent a very long time soaking it all in. This gallery is full of exquisite art- all very unique, all incredibly inspiring and life-affirming. I am saving my pennies for an original Barb Scalia painting but for now am content to have a photo of it as a screensaver on my phone. I cannot wait to get back there in November. If you ever get a chance to visit this gallery, do it! (Just please save a Barb Scalia painting for me)
Time and time again, the art world rises to heal my heart and soothe my spirit at exactly the time I need it. It is why I am passionate about sharing it, talking about it, creating it myself. If you have a creative soul in your life that brings you joy and healing, please share their work with others. It will mean the world to them and to those with whom you share. Have a wonderful day!
.....and for more spirit lifting art kindly visit our gallery
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