Introduction to my Artist Book “Don’t Give Up!”

"Don't Give Up" Doodle Flowers

When I made the decision to move away from creating original gallery art and start creating print art, it quickly proved to be a struggle for me.  I knew that I wanted to create my art in watercolor, but I didn’t really know what subject matter to paint.  My husband, and best friend, Tim, and I had many lengthy discussions about what I should paint.  I knew that I loved the whimsical doodle style of art and that is what I really wanted to do.

Tim would often talk about how every piece of art should say something to the viewer and every piece of art should have a story to tell.

Through our numerous discussions, Tim kept telling me that my art needed to say something.  He kept asking me, “what are you trying to say with this piece of art?”  I understood what he was telling me, but it still confused me.  I knew I liked the art and it made me feel good, but I really didn’t know what it was trying to say.

One day I finished a new painting.  As I showed it to Tim, once again, he asked, “what is this piece of art saying?”  Out of my total frustration with the question, I turned around, picked up a pen, and directly wrote on the painting the words, “Don’t give up!”  I then showed the painting to Tim and said, “There!  This painting is saying Don’t give up!”

That was the birth of all my art that was to follow.  I had found a way to create the art that I loved, and now my art had something to say.

I started putting the paintings on my blog and on Facebook.  I could tell that my art was resonating with viewers.  In the beginning it felt strange when someone would write a comment and say, “thank you for posting this today, I really needed it.”  Every single one of these comments touched my soul and let me know that my art was coming from a source greater than myself.

As I continued to create my art and post it online, I also started receiving emails from people I didn’t know.  People were sending me emails and telling me their personal stories of how seeing a piece of my art had given them comfort or caused them to stop and think.  Some of these stories were so touching they literally brought me to tears.  I am always so touched to receive these emails.

When I first started thinking about writing this book, I knew that I wanted to create a collection of my art along with the story of inspiration behind each of the paintings and what each meant to me.  I also wanted to include “pearls of wisdom” and words of encouragement to aspiring artists without telling anybody how to live their life or tell them what they should do.  Therefore, I decided to write a story about my life that could best exemplify the saying in each of the paintings.

Knowing that I was going to have 50 paintings in the book, my first thought was that I could never come up with 50 stories from my life.  As I began writing the stories of my life, I found myself enjoying them more and more as I would reminisce about the good (and  sometimes not so good) times of my life.

Whereas in the beginning, 50 stories seemed impossible, yet in the end I see that 50 stories barely scratches the surface of my life.

I hope that everyone reading my stories will find a little inspiration and/or motivation from at least one story.

Not every story in this book is a “life-changing” story. However, the combination of each story has created a great life.

Enjoy!

To read the story behind “Don’t Give Up!” – click here.

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