"The ART of sharing Joy"- A place to share stories of making someone smile when you shared your art.



  • My daughter, Avery who's in 3rd grade, tucked a dandelion in her lunch box after recess. When I saw it I asked her if it was for me. She replied yes. I gushed and awed that she picked me a flower. Avery replied, "I knew it! I knew it would work! I You were crying this morning and I knew it would make you happy." Her younger brother started kindergarten that morning. So yes, there were a few momma tears as my youngest is off to great adventures.

    Have we ever scoffed at someone's gift from the heart? This was a wilted weed. Something my husband tries to get ride of constantly in our lawn. But to Avery, it was beautiful. Have we let our own insecurities in our art abilities stop us from sharing it with others? I don't mean trying to get published or land a job. I mean a card, a simple picture to bring a smile to someone's face. I have found that no matter what I give, if I share it with all my heart, it always "works."

    I would love to have this as a place where we can share our stories. If anyone wants to.

    1- we all love to see each other's work. That makes our eyes happy!

    2- Happy stories make me happy. It's not a pat yourself on the back. Please don't think of it as that. When you see two people close by, even strangers, and they are laughing and having a great time doesn't that make you happy? same concept.

    3- It can give us ideas to help others.
    For example:
    My little one has a treasure that let's them know I will always love them.
    I can do that for my friend's fundraiser. That's a great idea.
    I never thought about painting a card for someone.
    Look, I made some laugh.
    My heart is broken for what they are going through, I was able to tell them I loved them through this drawing. I didn't fix it, but they knew I was there for them. And for one moment I helped.

    4- It can give others the confidence to try it. Like the dandelion, it doesn't have to be fancy. It doesn't have to take tons of time. "Made with love, not perfect"

    So, will you tell me your stories. How about when you have been the recipient? I love those too! I would love for artists (and everyone else who gives something from the heart) to know what an impact was made in someone's life. I think the best part of Heaven will be when we are allowed to see all the people that our little life helped. You do make a difference! Let's talk about it. I'll go first...



  • My sister-in-law had surgery last month. It was pretty major. It was to help with pain, yet the results of the surgery are life altering. And not in a good way. So spirits were pretty low. She was not only in pain physically, but pretty discourage about what her "new normal" would be.

    I had one hour while my kid was at practice to come up with something. I was going there later that day. I drew my fancy Coco Channel sister-in-law walking her two standard poodles while holding her other pup. It wasn't perfect. (I would love a redraw on this one.) However, it cheered up her hospital room. It made her smile. Even through the pain of surgery, she knew that I loved her so dang much. I left a piece of me in that hospital room. She could look up at it and smile about our silly times together and think about her fluffy babies that were at home waiting for her to get better.

    0_1535114081865_connie and the puppies copy.jpg



  • awww really cool. Whitney!



  • @eli
    I had a silly idea for a “poop” theme for the monthly contest here on SVS. A few of us had some good laughs about it. One SVSer thought it would make the joke go further and painted a picture of a dog pooping. For no other reason (maybe you’ll sell, cause you should. It’s freaking funny and a good painting!) and posted it for me and all others who saw it to laugh and smile!

    So there, you have a story you didn’t even know. A shared joke! That’s the best! If you have more post away. Will you post the dog here too?



  • I was talking with a woman in my church whose adult daughter had died two years ago leaving behind an infant daughter. The little girl (now a 3 year old) was spending a week and the woman was trying to find ways of connecting with the little girl. I happened to have a copy on hand of a self published children’s book I had done years ago so I gave it to her. The woman later reported that her granddaughter made her read it to her every night of the visit and reading it together was a special experience.

    I’m glad you brought this thread up because as an amateur, I sometimes wonder about the purpose of making art when it’s mostly for my own benefit but as you point out, it can still make a difference for others. That’s good for me to remember.



  • Beautiful!



  • @demotlj thank you so much for sharing that story. Your friend and her grand baby had a true gift of love from you. There was “nothing” you could do to help that situation. But there certianly was. Often times our children love certain books because of the way we read them. I’m sure that small child was able to feel the love of her grandma as her grandma felt your love in the words and illustrations. Who doesn’t want a friend to hold our hands as we do hard things. And you were “there” with her. Very tender story. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!



  • Thanks for the great topic. Here’s my story. A few years ago my nephew and his wife lost there first baby late in the pregnancy. This was hard on them as it would be for anyone. I have been working on a series of books I had recently finished writing.
    I decided to dedicate this series to there son. When I had enough of the artwork finished for things to start to make sense I showed it to them making sure the dedication page was at the end of the folder of artwork. When they reached the last page tears started to flow. They thanked me for remembering a life live for a very short time. Here is the title page.

    ![0_1535162174482_D056583C-14E6-44C3-837C-F38A27DB8EA3.jpeg](Uploading 100%)

    The best part is last month I was able to give a mock-up for two of the books to my sister so she can read them to her new granddaughter born to them just last month.

    On a lighter note, I have a book written I have titled ‘My First Bathroom Book’. To help in the potty training struggle. It is a rhyming book about how different animals might go to the bathroom. All in good taste of course.



  • @davidingalls what an incredibly sweet story. A dedication is quite the honor for their little guy. What a touching thing to do for your family. Pregnancy loss is so heartbreaking. They will always love that little one, and now they know you will too.

    Your great niece got to be one of your first audiences for your book! How wonderful! I know she’s little, but how wonderful! Is that child from the nephew who lost their baby a few years back?

    Potty training, let me tell ya, we can always use one of those! How fun. We will have to check it out! Next time make sure you include changing the toilet paper, ha. Tried to get Lee to do a poop theme for the monthly contest. I told him it would be a good idea.

    Thanks for sharing your stories. I think sharing the stories is just one more way we can bring joy to others!



  • https://youtu.be/P8AOtF3NKZs
    0_1535383109922_miriam's hawaii copy.jpg

    One of my favorite moments as an artist happened last Christmas.

    I had set a goal to have a youtube channel. With that I wanted to learn how to record my voice over the paintings. I learned. As Christmas approached I had an idea.

    My mother-in-law passed away in 2011. We all adored her. She was the life of the party and wish miss her so dang much. My husband insisted back in 2008 that his mom record his great aunt and her stories. So Miriam, my MIL, drives a few hours to her great aunt's house and records their conversations. Of course that recording becomes priceless. We never really figured out how to share it with the family. Gen-xers and technical difficulty. Plus it was really long. Last thanksgiving Jared, my husband, and I went out of town. We listened to this recording on the drive.

    We heard Miriam describe this day. This perfect day. I remembered the photograph she was describing. Then AH HA! I can paint the drawing as she is talking and give a copy of the painting to the fam for Christmas. So all 247 people (not that many) gathered at my house for Christmas Eve. I played the video on the TV. One brother who was beside me asked who was speaking in shear disbelief that it was really his mother's voice.

    Don't you just feel like God pushes your art in a certain direction? Youtube, why would I care about making videos? I think it was for that very moment. And I still miss Miriam. I know I'll see her again, but I wish it was today.
    https://youtu.be/P8AOtF3NKZs



  • @whitney-simms Beautiful story and beautiful piece.



  • @whitney-simms That was a beautiful tribute! I'm originally from Hawai'i and the video transported me right back to my hometown shores. Makes me homesick. That's an awesome and memorable gift for your loved ones.



  • Can we mention awesome people that help us out! Last night I dug through a million different places and artists to find out what gold paint they used. I couldn’t find one post i was looking for that had it. I’m painting pink and gold unicorns for my niece. I did that think all artists hate... I asked an Instagram artist what paint she used. She has 13k followers and has quite the business running. Y’all, she sent me (dm) three video clips of her testing it out for me! How sweet was that!?!? Not going to name names (but it’s david malan’s wife and she’s adorable).

    This little compliments and interactions from artist that are established really put wind in your sails! I know they can’t do it all the time, so when they wave at ya and give ya an “at a girl” (or boy) it means a lot!

    And to all you guys out their that support me and other artists, THANK YOU! We all just want to make good art and every little word goes a long way!

    And Thanks @TessaW ! Glad I could take you back home for a moment!



  • So... I got this in my messages today on Instagram. It’s extremely humbling. I’m not someone fancy. I don’t have an amazing following or bring in tons of money. I’m sure we all have tons of artists we follow on Instagram. Is that how everyone else’s feeds look like? Probably not. To other people, we may be the only artist they follow. And maybe us simply making marks on the paper is enough to make others want to pick up a pen, brush, and paper. Super humbling, but pretty cool. .....

    “Hey I just wanted to thank you. You have inspired me to get back into art. Under certain circumstances I wasn’t able to attend art school and it really bummed me out and I quit art. Have been depressed ever since lol. But now I feel joy and the most happiest I’ve have ever been thanks to you-and my wife pushing me to follow my heart as cheesy as that sounds. But it’s true

    I know I have a lot of work to do, to get to where I was at a few years ago. But thank you for your posts, keep drawing and painting because you’ll never who you help out and inspire. So thank you

    You sparked an interest in art again”



  • 0_1536271877440_947B2519-E9F7-43D0-AF66-46A403576906.jpeg

    Had a really cool experience the past couple of days. My friend’s son is in the hospital. He’s got a major metal battle in order to heal his body and get well again. I really loved this time in the scriptures where the people “like dragons did they fight.” The people are defending the lives, wives and children, etc. I wanted to do a painting of a dragon with that quote.

    I’m not a dragon drawing kinda person. I was pinning reference after reference I order to figure out what “my” dragon would look like. I decided to call in an expert. A different friends son, Ethan. He draws dragons all the time. His work is great! He’s also the same age as the boy in the hospital. Maybe I can talk him into doing it for me. So on Labor Day, while we were all playin at the lake, I asked Ethan (who’s 13) to draw me a dragon I could paint. I also explained why. He graciously obliged and got to work.

    I completed the drawing by adding watercolors and the quote. I posted it on Facebook because I was awfully proud what one kid did to strengthen a stranger. The feedback was amazing! Some even wanted prints. I told them the background and said I would send them a digital copy for $10. I’m going to make some good prints and give them to Ethan along with all his money. What a great way to let him know what a great job he did. The encourage this young artist to keep going. Sometimes you give something with your heart and the Lord gives you a windfall for sharing.

    Hope the picture lets my little friend in the hospital how much we all feel about it. We want him to fight and know that he has the strength to overcome this!!!

    If the image doesn’t load from my phone, I’ll upload it from the computer.



  • I just want people to know that I care about them. Sometimes I don't really know what to do so I fall back on my art. It seems to cheer people up. When I think about times that are hard for me I don't always want someone to "fix it" I just want to know they care. There were times when just a simple visit when I was drowning in fatigue from taking care of the small kids. Last summer I had a really bad moment and my sister-in-law sent me some stupid cat GIFs right as I was pleading that all I wanted was a friend. Today, not a bad day at all, a friend sent me a picture of a painting she saw that reminded her of my work and my runner daughter. She didn't paint it, but how sweet it was to know I was being thought of. And my work reminded her of this awesome painting.

    I guess my point is, if you care about someone, let them know. And if someone tells you they love you, hold on to it and smile!