Why You Should Save, Celebrate, & Share Your Art

I met Pearl Allard through another writer friend. Pearl had driven a fair distance to be at my friend’s release party. And I knew right away I had met someone special—loyal, creative, and a kindred spirit in finding the beautiful in the not always pretty.

It’s a privilege for me to introduce you to her, and I hope you’ll love Pearl as much as I do. And, for the record, I didn’t know how much my little comments meant to her and I certainly didn’t she was going to write about it here. I’m still blushing 🙂


They were a lifeline from heaven; number twos drew me to Number One. How I don’t know, but those pencils were the only light during the darkest time of my life. I was desperate to see something, anything good, groping through blackness. Sketching brought meager solace.

I drew to learn to see. To cling to beauty. To escape. Though my soul anguished under the weight of oppressive darkness, I held a flicker of light. Something living, and good, still lurked when I looked at my imperfect rendering. It sparked hope—and guilt came galloping on its heels.

I made this. Is it wrong to feel this happiness? Surely it’s arrogant to enjoy it—an idol?! Confusion and shame bullied joy and kicked it to the ground. Best to give all the pieces away, don’t remember them, don’t talk about them, and for God’s sake don’t enjoy them.

That was the same summer my aunt asked me to teach art to my home-schooled cousins. Their remote dwelling in the woods, at the end of a long, dusty lane leading to a lake, was my sanitarium.

I pored over the material late into the night—the lament of the loons drifting in through screened windows—soaked it all in, and wrung it out teaching with an enthusiasm I hardly understood. The spiritual parallels bubbled out and over—probably way over the head of my three pupils, the youngest only eight.

Treasure-hunting in the nearest tiny town’s second-hand shop unearthed an ancient-looking leather clutch. I carried my pencils in this work of art and pretended I was an artist. Was it wrong to pretend? A girl of twenty? It was time to grow up.

It was time to admit that creating art, if you could call it that, was a gift given to be re-gifted. Wasn’t that why we each have certain abilities—to give joy to others? I signed my name and didn’t look back—the recipients’ smiles an acknowledgment I’d successfully given happiness away.

Art was something I left behind, never perceiving its full value or purpose.

Fast forward nearly two decades.

I hunched over my toes, digging into the comforting softness of pulverized, timeworn rock. The gulls were quiet and the wind gentle. It was a rare day of warmth on the Oregon coast. The endless expanse beckoned a glimpse, but my view focused opposite.

I observed my mother snapping away, capturing the beauty of her gleeful grandchildren with her Nikon D810. A stranger approached her, pointed to the camera, and motioned to her and the children. She smiled, shook her head, and continued shooting.

Later she joined me on the beach towel and slipped her camera back in its bag. As we watched tentative kites rise and dip she said,

“I laugh when someone asks, ‘Do you want to be in a picture, too?’” I shifted to face this wealth of wisdom. Out of the corner of my eye, I glimpsed surging waves crashing at their assigned limit. “I tell them, ‘I’m in every picture.’”

Something clicked.

Earlier that day, I did two somethings I’d never done before. I snapped a photo of a drawing I’d done years ago (and given to my dad). And, on a whim, I shared it on social media.

I’d long since given up drawing. My formal teaching consisted of two junior high classes. Artist was a word I wore like a child playing dress-up. Drawing had simply been an exercise in staying alive—a clinging to shreds of beauty in the overwhelmingly ugly.

The comments shocked me—especially one by Janyre Tromp, an author, artist, and editor I respect. Her comment validated my effort to capture beauty and ignited the thought to begin again. But there was more. Like two key puzzle pieces, Janyre’s comment and my mother’s wisdom helped me see the bigger picture.

A new thought surfaced, so precious I was afraid it might pop like the bubbles on the foaming shore—

I just have to get over myself. Because—the reaching tide of the Pacific blurred—

Because I’m God’s living artwork—creating art. God is already in everything I create.Tweet This

He’s in every picture.

So as you fumble through your art, attempting to recreate the beauty you see, don’t overlook that ultimate Beauty has already recreated you. You are a priceless masterpiece designed to showcase the Master Artist’s power and love. Since it’s all about Him, you have permission to enjoy the art God is working in and through you. It’s ok to enjoy the works of your hands because they’re really an extension of His.

God is in every picture.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8a (NKJV)


 

Pearl Allard is happily-mostly-aftered to her hero of thirteen years and is a stay-at-home mama to two crazy-wonderful kids in Southwest Michigan. She blogs weekly at Look Up Sometimes, nurturing Son-followers to embrace grace. You can also reach her on Facebook or Instagram.


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11 thoughts on “Why You Should Save, Celebrate, & Share Your Art

  1. Beautiful post, Pearl, just like you. Thank you.

    I struggle sometimes, I draw back, afraid to put my work out there. I get weary and wonder, do they hear me? Do they care? Does my work matter? I compare myself to others and their great and noble works. But then I remember, I’m not promoting myself, I’m promoting Jesus. We are His masterpieces, albeit a work in progress. Who am I to question how Jesus chooses to form me? Our call is to glorify Him with whatever gifts He graciously bestows on us. We are lamps for His light to burn in.

    For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 NKJV

    Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning James 1:17 NKJV

    Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your father in Heaven Matthew 5:16 NKJV

    1. Welcome, Rachel. Eph. 2:10 was part of my Bible study this week…apparently I need the reminding that God has specifically gifted me and I need to walk in those giftings! Did you know the word for workmanship there is where we get our word for poem? Isn’t that lovely? We’re God’s poem—exquisite in rhythm and rhyme, trailing out truth in metered perfection. Blessings to you think week as you shine the light of Jesus.

    2. Rachael, sweet warrior woman – you said it well. “We are His masterpieces, albeit a work in progress.” Yes, ma’am, we sure are. And I’m SO glad to be one with you. You encourage me to keep going when I need it. You keep going, too!!!

  2. This makes me so, so happy. Yes! He is in every picture! What a thought! I can’t tell you how precious this post is to me. Thank you. Thank You Jesus for opening Pearl’s eyes to this and having her share it! And bless her and Janyre for it!

    1. Hi there, Rebekah. I’m so glad the post encouraged you! God has uniquely gifted each of us for a reason and purpose. Without you and your gifts (and me and my gifts), the world is missing something it needs!

  3. I love your mom’s perspective, Pearl– “I’m in every picture.” And what a precious gift those pictures must be to the family. I like the application of how God is also reflected in His art–us. Thanks for this post!

    1. Welcome, Emily. I think Pearl’s mom such a fabulous response as well. I adore her perspective…especially since I tend to be the photographer in our family, too. But really allowing our work to speak for itself without feeling the need to clamor for attention. It’s fabulous 🙂

    2. Emily, what would we do without wise women in our lives?? And you are one, too. Thankful for the wisdom you share in your writing and the art you display in living for Him. Looking up with you. 🙂

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