Hello, friend! It’s always a little odd to talk about oneself; alas, introductions are typically a good place to begin a conversation. On Saturday, September 9, I will be leading breakout sessions at Mom Weekend at Camp Carl; so, I’ll be talking to you, moms, in this post. I’m a mom to one inquisitive, ingenious, and intrepid 5-year-old boy. If you are a mom of boys, you know that the world is one of endless wonder and adventure through the eyes of a little, albeit tireless, explorer. I am also an artist and an art historian. Taking my own mom’s word for it, I have been drawing and painting since the day I first held a crayon and a paintbrush. Creating beauty has always captivated me and I have come to view and understand it as a divine moment of creation. As a young adult, however, I came to the conclusion that artists starve. Hence, I thought I ought not to be an artist, so as not to starve.
I decided upon Art History as my career, and I pursued with great delight every challenge until I conquered my doctorate and earned a PhD. Perhaps your life has turned out exactly as you dreamed it as a little girl, exactly as you prayed it would be. Mine has not. A few years ago, I went through a devastating divorce which happened to come about at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The world seemed to have come to an abrupt halt; and as dramatic as this might sound now, at that time it felt like my personal world had suddenly crumbled. It was at the crucible of finality and newness that I founded my studio, Falcon Grove Studio (www.falcongrovestudio.com), with the purpose of reclaiming home as a place of safety, healing, and growth, especially for women who were suffering or recovering from abuse.
Today, to say that I am an artist wells up gratitude deep within me. It brings a smile to see that what the Lord ordains nothing can thwart. When He calls, He also makes a way. When He extends an invitation, He patiently waits for us to take our seat at His table, at the place He made just for us well before the foundations of the earth. As a mom, an artist, and even as an art historian, writer, and educator, I am blessed with the abilities to both understand a work of art and also to create one and share it with others. And that’s what I’ll be doing on September 9. I’ll be sharing how to transform the act of painting into an act of worship by focusing on the individual elements of watercolor. Watercolor can be a capricious medium. Some would say it is one of the most challenging mediums to work with. Some even say that watercolor is unforgiving. In my experience, however, I find that the process of creating a watercolor painting is full of surprises, and when we let go of the very naturally engrained impulse to control the outcome, then wonderful things happen right before our eyes.
Every instance of painting is an exercise of letting go and of living with an open hand. It is an opportunity to learn in very practical ways the spiritual implications of God’s Spirit dwelling in and moving through us. After all, the life of a watercolor is water, just as the life of a believer is sustained by Living Water. I hope you will join me at Camp Carl’s Mom Weekend in September. If you would like to sign up and learn more about it, you can click the link here. I look forward to creating a watercolor with you and to worshiping together.
— Ana-Joel Falcon Wiebe © July 2023