Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. ~ 1 Peter 4:10

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Next Steps

photo by Leithcote on Flickr

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
~ Martin Luther King Jr.

I’ve loved creating art for as long as I can remember. The act of drawing, painting, and using “found treasures” to create something new and beautiful has always given me a feeling of contentment, fulfillment and joy. As a child I loved being creative and exploring all I could about art.

My "Crayon Apron"...a birthday gift - age 6

Receiving my first easel, drawing pad and portfolio - age 10
All throughout school I took art classes, continued to explore all types of art and even had my first art show in High School. I was inspired by life that was happening around me; my friends, growing up and learning what it meant to spread my wings and fly.

Retrospective Art Show - Senior year of High School, 1994
Created a Beatnik Coffeehouse with two fellow art students.
Artwork by Jennifer Snellings 1994

Artwork by Jennifer Snellings 1994

Watercolor painting by Jennifer Snellings
Created in High School (1994)
Inspired by my father who passed away a few months earlier

I went on to focus on my love of art in college and graduated with a degree in Art Education and a certificate to teach grades K -12. I remember my first day as a school art teacher and feeling so excited to share my love of art with my students!

My classroom - Aubrey Elementary School, Aubrey Texas


In 2003 I entered a new chapter in my life and I began the journey of motherhood. I stopped teaching to stay home with my daughter and really focused on her and lost my art for a little while. A few years later I rediscovered it again and started painting with a new found passion. My art became even more of a necessity in my life; a way to not loose myself in all of my other roles that were equally important to me, but focused more on caring for others. My art became a way to nurture my soul, a place to let out the musings, dreams and thoughts inside me. I learned I have to make time to create. There is an emptiness that comes with the absence of creating and I feel it when I haven’t held the paintbrush in my hands for a while. When I care for that part of me I’m better able to care for and nurture the ones I love.

Painting in my studio
 Recently, I’ve been feeling more and more that I need to take the “next step” with my art; I’ve felt God’s urging to start a new chapter in my artistic journey! I feel like my purpose is to not only create it, but to send it out there into the world to hopefully make a difference. It is scary to me to take this step. All kinds of fears creep in…the fear of failure, of rejection, of being hurt. My art is personal and of course I want others to embrace it! But, regardless of my fears I want to step out in faith and see what happens, scary as that may be! I want to be brave!

For awhile now I’ve dreamed of setting up my own online shop that features my paintings. I’ve been inspired and encouraged by so many other artists, many like me who are wives and moms, who have ventured ahead and created this amazing world of online shops and blogs. I’m so excited, grateful and humbled to be a part of it! Such amazing opportunities we have before us now!! I don’t want to miss this chance I have been given!

Each year I love to choose a word to be my “One Little Word” for the year. A word that inspires me, motivates me, and helps me to focus on the goals I want to achieve. This year I’ve chosen the word Fearless.

Fearless –adjective without fear; bold or brave; intrepid.

I want to be fearless in moving forward with my dreams and not allowing the doubts, worries, uncertainties and reservations to seep in and render me unproductive. I want to be fearless with my painting and stretch, grow and gain new grounds as an artist. I want to be fearless with my goals and aspirations, embracing them and taking chances, moving forward and creating a different place in my life than where I am right now. I want to take that first step even when I don’t see the whole staircase!

"Create" mixed media painting
by Jennifer Snellings
 Making art is part of the fabric of my soul, my being. It is a gift from my Creator, the One who made me, and is there to be nurtured and explored and used for His glory and purposes! I’m so excited to see what the future holds! I hope you’ll join me on this journey! That you will follow along and perhaps be inspired to fearlessly embrace and move forward with your dreams as well!! I’m so looking forward to it!

Happy creating!


wyanne said...

Jenn...I really enjoyed seeing your pictures from way back when. And I especially enjoyed your art show from high school. You are a very talented lady! Fearless... I will be reminding you of that quite a bit! Hope you guys are safe and warm and the bad weather isn't effecting you too much. Love, Wyanne

mystele said...

wonderful!!! i know where you're coming from, and you can do it!!!

Donna Heart said...

Hey Jen! Lovely blog post - and photos - oh the photos!!! I love looking at old photos and what a treasure to have thos ones of you when you were young! I love your word for the year too, you can't go wrong if you embrace that one! You go girl - you have everything you need to reach your dreams, you just have to do it!
x Donna

Dana Barbieri said...

Dear Jennifer,
You are so talented! I really loved this post. It REALLY spoke to me today. I could of written alot of it myself. :) I am wishing you a "fearless" year! I can't wait to see what unfolds for you. :)

Jane Davenport said...

JEnnifer! Jennifer! Jennifer! I Loved your story. I am going to go back and read it again. All the photos...fantastic! I am so glad to get to meet you a bit more through each post.

Nan said...

I came from Wyanne's to visit and I've really enjoyed visiting your blog. Your story is so inspiring and your word makes me want to work harder! Thanks, Nan

Tina Burke said...

Beautifully said, and I can relate to so much of it! Especially where you wrote: "There is an emptiness that comes with the absence of creating and I feel it when I haven’t held the paintbrush in my hands for a while. When I care for that part of me I’m better able to care for and nurture the ones I love." YES!

Your word of the year is a great choice. Congrats on taking this first fearless step, and putting yourself out there. Enjoy the journey!!

(PS I love your toile apron). :)

sonyamacdesigns said...

Congratulations on your homeward journey ...

sfd said...

Looking at your art I honestly can't see anything for you to fear, your art is beautiful :)
I hope your fearless journey is full of happiness, you go for it girl!:)

Veronika (http://www.constantworkinprogress.com)