“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24)
I've come across that verse countless times, though I can't say it ever truly resonated with me on a personal level—until a few weeks back. It was one of those moments when a priest's suggestion hit home. He advised me to delve into the daily readings by actually reading them in the bible, explaining how it provides a broader context for understanding the central passage. Reading the verses that come before and after the main one offers a clearer picture of the whole narrative. It seemed logical enough, so I thought, "Why not give it a shot?" With this verse in particular I’ve usually seen it phrased "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit." Okay, that doesn’t really say much to me. I love to garden. I love plants. But yeah, I wasn’t seeing how this applied to me. When I looked it up in my Ignatius Bible it was the wording ‘it remains alone’ that just sunk deep into me. I understand ‘alone.’ I’ve been pondering this for weeks now. Such a simple change of a few words and wham! I’m convicted and understanding something the Father has been trying to get into my head for a very long time. And by long, I mean years.
I’m an artist and I’m an introvert. Strangely enough, I find myself thriving as an artist, and as a person overall, when I'm in the company of others—especially those who share that creative gift. Of course, I do cherish my quiet moments to recharge; that's when my introvert self gets her fill. However, if I reflect on it, much of my journey has been led by the introverted side of me. I’ve been terrified to venture out on my own. Really put myself and my art out into the world. Be vulnerable. But truth be told, when I cocoon myself away, I can't expect much growth. It's like trying to plant seeds in barren ground.
That verse from my Ignatius Bible really hit me in two significant ways. First, it served as a reminder to break free from my own constraints. What I mean is, even though I fully recognize the value of those quiet moments that recharge my social batteries, I can't let them rule my life. If I do, my gifts will not grow and serve as God intended, and my well of creativity might be severely limited or eventually dry up. Solitude could become my constant companion. I've had my fair share of detours, stepping away from graphic design and art multiple times, sometimes for years on end. I've even ventured into entirely different fields, only to find myself wondering what the heck I was doing there. While I've undoubtedly gained knowledge and personal growth in these other pursuits, they weren't where the Father truly meant for me to be. He's been patiently waiting for me to return to His intended path for me.
So, this blog post right here—it's all about getting personal, giving you a glimpse into my world. Just ignore the faint clamor in the background; that's just my inner introvert voicing her concerns (loudly). I've managed to declutter my studio bench and resurrect some paints (well, the ones that haven't turned to a solid blobs yet). Lately, I've been on a YouTube spree, absorbing all sorts of art techniques. I've even started tinkering with the supplies I have on hand. My game plan is to eventually create art with a Catholic theme, but I'm taking some warm-up rounds, trying to figure out my approach before I take the plunge.
Another realization that has struck me is the idea of sharing some of the techniques I use to uncover antique Catholic and Christian artwork out there in the world. I'm even thinking about showcasing some of the original pieces I've curated in the store. Keep an eye out for that upcoming post, it's in the pipeline.
Meanwhile, for this week, I'm engrossed in refinishing a stunning piece of furniture for some friends. Yes, you guessed it—I also happen to have a knack for furniture restoration! If you're curious, check out my work over on Instagram at Salvation Furniture Restoration. It will be updated shortly.
In my creative endeavors, I've been toying around with a Gelli Plate, layering paint upon paint in a symphony of colors and textures (see image below). It's a wonderfully messy and joyous process. Catch a glimpse of this journey on Facebook and Instagram under Studio Lams.
Exciting news on the art front too—I've introduced a few fresh products to the Sanctus Art Gallery, and there's more to come! I've recently stumbled upon a fantastic lined notebook complete with a pocket. How perfect is that? It's something so many have been asking for! My mind is a whirlwind of ideas for what lies ahead, and I'm excited to share every bit of it.