I have wanted to travel since I was a little girl growing up in the small town of Bedford in southern Indiana. I loved the exotic music and colors of China and longed to experience them myself. It wasn’t until the first time I ventured out of the United States to the UK and Ireland in my senior year of high school that I realized how much I loved experiencing other cultures and seeing the small details that make up a city or landscape.
It was a very touristy trip however, and although I enjoyed the 12 days of “culture,” it wasn’t what my heart was after. In college, I was able to go to China for five weeks, and my love of travel bloomed even more. I started painting some of the patterns and scenes I had experienced there. Along with my artistry, that trip ignited my passion to bring the love of God to all peoples.
After I graduated from college, I did a mission trip called The World Race, which is though an organization called Adventures in Missions (AIM) based out of Gainesville, GA. It is an 11-month mission trip in which the participants backpack through 11 countries. I was privileged to volunteer with local ministries and nonprofits as I lived with locals. While on my 11 month journey, I started to learn how to use my art to help and inspire people by painting murals, playing Pictionary to teach English, creating thank you gifts, and speaking prophetically into others’ lives.
The latest six months of my life, I've chosen to spend in Mijas, Spain at G42, a Christian Leadership Academy, living in community with other believers. While attending the academy, I intentionally took time to seek out the details around me: the blue pots that lined the white washed walls of the pueblo’s cobblestone streets, our local hangout spots like La Bodega del Pintor and Blue Chair, and the patterns of the tiles in the doorways and on the stairs.
I paint the things that many people often miss in order to celebrate the small things and nod my hat at the artists who created some of the original items. Sometimes I like to take different pieces from the things I see, like a pattern and an object, and merge them together to create a new image. Being able to bring the places to people who can’t travel is a joy for me.
I am always working on new paintings, and I plan to start doing collections from each of the countries I have traveled to. I would love to travel more and tell the stories of the people and places I meet. Maybe one day I will.