This was painted as a live demonstration at a Kirkwood United Methodist Church Women's Retreat in May, 2016. "Hello! My name is Jane McDowell and I am a recovering artist!" For a long time, I didn't know that I was an artist. Artist block is a formidable thing - the mind freezes - the blank canvas so intimidating - a scary place to place the first mark. I decided to use a blank black canvas. It reminded me of the story of creation in the Bible. My story is how the Holy Spirit was present in my life, slowly nudging me to remove my art talent from under the proverbial bushel basket. I compared my fears with the darkness on the face of the deep (when my art talent was still hiding in the dark!). The lights in the heavens became equated with the sparks of creativity that emerged as my art. The spiral of the marvel of galaxies is repeated in the spiral of a chambered nautilus. It represents for me the path of my artistic and spiritual life - step by step, returning, repeating, but ever moving, growing, expanding horizons. To wallow in the darkness of self-doubt is really to reject the blessing of art that God has gifted me. The rainbow and bright light of salvation blasting out of the nautilus is the present - life full of promise and hope. It is my permission to create - to expose myself, be vulnerable and real. Today, I can admit that I am an artist!
I am a graduate of Parkview High School in Springfield, MO. This is what the school looked like when I went there. The sun would come in through all these windows (which did not open!), making it pretty hot. The school has changed a lot in the 50 years since I left.
Today I participated in the Riverfront Paint Off 2016 in St. Charles, MO. The theme was Main Street. I enjoyed painting this historic building.