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The Painting with the Two-Year Completion Time...What Took Me So Long?

“When you are anchored in grace…rooted in purpose…and aggressively pursuing your calling…you are BLESSED and UNSTOPPABLE.” -Billy Alsobrooks

Anchored. 36” x 36”. Mixed Media on Canvas.

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the mind of an artist before they create a masterpiece?

When Pastor Mike Todd of Transformation Church in Tulsa, OK revealed that the word of the year would be ANCHORED (2020), I KNEW I needed to illustrate what that meant for me. I was newly separated, headed for divorce, and entering a phase of my life that challenged everything I thought I knew, all at the height of a global pandemic.

By definition, to be anchored is to be firmly secured in position, or having a firm foundation..

For me, it meant I needed to be grounded in myself: in mind, in body, and in spirit; to make sure I had something to hold on to when I felt anxious or overwhelmed; to find what made me feel calmer, more at ease, and more sure of myself.

It meant making time for self care, and in that time allowing myself to draw closer to God, drown out all outside noise, paint, move my body more, and simply BE STILL; because in those moments I gain the strength I need to make it through each day as a mother, an artist, a teacher, a family member, and a friend.

Naturally, painting was one thing that helped anchor me and get through the troubling events that came with everyday life and the pandemic. But I had discovered something new...a love for yoga.

And while I had no idea how I was going to illustrate those things in an abstract way, I knew I wanted to include the image of an anchor. I then thought about a painting I did for a collector friend and owner of ACE Global Logistics:

Ace Global Logistics. 36” x 36”. Acrylic & ink on Canvas.

I figured I'd attempt to paint in that style. Over the course of two years, here is what I came up with (pardon the blurriness; I didn't take many progress photos of it):

I hated it. How literal and boring. HACK. And I left it alone for another year...

Fast forward to Spring of this year, and I had gotten back to a love of figure paintings (what's meant for you may temporarily go, but it always finds its way back...wink). I experimented with a few different ways to combine abstraction with figures in a way that was most authentic to me. Once I completed three small paintings in one of my newest collections, (Un)Boxed In, I knew this was the direction I wanted the Anchored painting to go.

Here are the first three figure paintings in this collection:

I thought about which yoga poses might best represent what I was trying to illustrate and decided on a bridge pose variation that I had been practicing. It is one that requires a great deal of being balanced, grounded, and stable...a great deal of core and back that is the start of a journey to new balancing poses. And trust took A LOT of practice to master and hold it!

And so it began...

I am still in absolute awe of how God helped me bring this piece to completion! From the seed of the Word, to the initial idea, to the execution...I never cease to be amazed at how "God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God..." (Romans 8:28). And to think, I almost gave up on it! In hindsight, the length of time it took to complete it is perfect. The things that essentially inspired me to create it were perfect. The practice it took to master this painting (both artistically and physically) IS PERFECT. And because I was obedient and kept going with the idea that began it all, I am now happily able to share it with YOU!

"When trouble came, it made me stronger...because I was ANCHORED." -Samantha Maree

What are the things that keep you the most grounded and anchored? I pray you make the time and the space to tap into them frequently so that you can continue to bless the world with all that you were created to be. And I pray this painting is a gentle reminder for you to remain intentionally anchored.

"This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary."-Hebrews 6:19


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