I’m very excited about John’s Father’s Day gift. Usually he gets a nice lunch, and maybe some type of tool. I still might get him a tool (hello, Home Depot!), but I also wanted to give him a gift that would hang around for a while–literally–and show him my appreciation.
One of my favorite artists is Ruth Simons from Gracelaced.com. I literally stock Ruth’s Facebook page because:
1. She’s always creating something beautiful, and she gives us glimpses into the process.
2. She’s a work-at-home mom of six man cubs! And they are handsome!
Ruth has some SWEET Father’s Day art for sale in her store … but first, I wanted to share a little about her. I asked Ruth a few questions, and these are the answers:
Me: Tell me about your passion for art? Where did it start? How do you feed your passion?
Ruth: I think I’ve been interested in art for as long as I can remember. I was always drawing and imitating artists as a little girl. I never pursued it formally until my last year of college for fear that it was not the “acceptable” thing to do with academic scholarships and career-driven trajectory. It was freeing when I began to make choices about my life for the right reasons and for the purpose of glorifying God. When I stopped living purely for myself, I began sensing the freedom to express myself creatively; the creation of beautiful things is ultimately all about reflecting the Creator. How do I feed my passion for art? It seems that the more I study the what He has created, the more I’m inspired to echo it.
Me: You and your husband are blessed with six boys. How do you balance being a mom and being an artist?
Ruth: Balance isn’t always easy with a home business. However, because art is something I can share with my children, we pretty much paint together every afternoon during naptime for the little ones. Kids learn so well through imitation that just painting and spending time next to one another provides so much encouragement and inspiration for them. I do most of my work on the blog and for the business at night, after they are all in bed. I think, as with anything, you must pre-determine what your priorities are, and what your family culture will be. From there, all endeavors, aspirations, and interests fall in place as you make decisions determined by those most important factors.
Me: I love visiting your shoppe and picking up pieces now and then for myself. How do you choose what to paint?
Ruth: The artwork in my shoppe are usually things I created, not with the shoppe in mind, but with real people–including my own family– in mind as the recipients. I think I’m most inspired with the opportunity to bless, rather than the opportunity to showcase. Amazingly, when the heart is bent on blessing and making much of God’s Word and His glory…somehow he magnifies our giftings, and we get to participate in something much bigger than we set out to do.
Me: Finally … anything else that you want to share?
Ruth: If there is one thing I would share with any aspiring artist or lover of creativity…it’s that comparison and envying another’s ability is a joy and creativity thief. I’ve heard it said: If you want to write like C.S. Lewis, don’t imitate Lewis’ writings; instead, simply read everything C.S. Lewis read, and be inspired by what he was inspired by. Which is to say: We often find the greatest encouragement, inspiration, and strength, not by recreating something we admire, but finding admiration in what inspires all of us to proclaim that thing that is worthy, in different ways. That’s what I’m striving toward day by day, running the race of life…and my artistic journey…with my eye on the beauty of Christ, alone.
For Father’s Day:
Finally John’s gift in our home!
What is your favorite piece from Ruth’s shoppe?
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