Last week my wife and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. Below I tell our story in relation to her pursuit of and love for art.
Part 1: The Meeting
Seven years ago this punk girl entered my life. I’d seen her around church and learned she was in art school. When eventually we bumped into each other, we started chatting. We talked art—specifically, we talked Frida Kahlo. Talking to her was easy. That’s not my norm. Soon I got a call. She wanted to do some plein air painting on my property. Climbing the meadow behind my house, she planted her easel and got busy. By the time she was done there was paint across her hands and face. Two years later we were married. Paint smudges on the face are still the norm.
Part 2: The Challenge
Love of painting quickly transformed into love of collage. But she also desired to be a plein air artist. The two just don’t mix. At least that’s what I thought. This wasn’t the last time she would prove me wrong. She developed a system involving glass jars and mesh bags that allowed her to create collage landscapes on site, even on fairly windy days. Her brush would be filled with glue instead of paint. Instead of overanalyzing everything, she simply tries. And while there is failure along the way, in the end she accomplishes much.
Part 3: The Inspiration
Plein air continues to be her passion. But there’s a season called winter which puts a damper on that. And as she is constantly on the lookout for the perfect scene, there are times a phone is the only tool available. She’ll break out her camera and start filling her phone’s memory with reference photos. I enjoy taking photos of her taking photos to fill my own memory with her. For her inspiration is God’s creation. I know few of her pieces that are compiled only from memory or imagination. She is an imitator of the master Creator and honors Him through her creations.
Part 4: The Initiative
She considers a field, and collages it: with the brush of her hand, she plants her strokes (with apologies to Proverbs 31:16). She takes initiative. She doesn’t wait for opportunities to fall into her lap. She’ll regularly contact venues about showing her artwork and as a result the times are rare when she doesn’t have a show—often there are multiple solo shows at one time. She sets up her easel and collages live during receptions. She makes paper segments and sells them; she delivers canvas to the galleries (with apology to Proverbs 31:24).
Part 5: The Growth
And baby makes three. The pregnancy was not an easy one, but Zofran is a wonderful thing. She continued to collage, indoors and outdoors, creating the best pieces of her career. And she continued to hang her work all over the area. Pulling the car over to throw up on the way there wasn’t unusual, and she needed extra help with the hanging process, but she persevered because it was important to her and it was valuable to us as a family. And our (spoiler alert) daughter has the gift of a mother who will teach her that “a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)
Part 6: The Collaboration
Collaboration is the theme of any marriage. With ours it’s just a bit more literal. We create artwork together, we paint murals together, and we perform on stage together. She is married to someone who is very focused on one thing at a time, which means I can neglect giving her the attention she deserves. But those times don’t last long, for she is half of me—a beautiful, clever, artistic and loving half. And most importantly, we strive to collaborate in glorifying the one God who, through Jesus Christ, freed us from death and made us truly alive. Here’s to the next five years with my stunningly “fine” artist.