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


  • SVS OG

    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!


  • SVS OG

    @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.


  • SVS OG

    @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!


  • SVS OG

    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


  • SVS OG

    @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.


  • SVS OG

    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!


  • SVS OG

    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”


  • SVS OG

    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.


  • SVS OG

    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!


  • SVS OG

    Anyone excited about the Christmas gifts they are painting/making for someone? There was a point where that was all we could afford to do. Now I get to really take my time on a few special pieces at Christmas. I’m super excited about the one I’m painting for my brother. I have a few more on the list too. Hopefully I can make it down the list.


  • SVS OG

    @Will-Terry , I would love to hear your experiences about this kinda thing on the podcast. Many of us are trying to get better as artists, but may never get published. Even so, I think finding the joy in your work during the learning phase is crutial. For me this brings the greatest satisfaction as an artist. When I can express how I feel about someone and they in turn feel it. When the work becomes more than just the marks on the paper.

    I LOVE all the professional advise. It’s rare to find people who really present that type of material in a way that is easy to understand and apply it. But.... I think a slight diversion every once in a while to the hobbiest isn’t a bad thing. Thanks!


  • SVS OG

    @whitney-simms I’ve done three paintings for family members and am giving them all with the caveat “Feel free to put this in a closet because next year I hope to be even better.” I am really fortunate however to have a wonderful son who specifically asked for a painting for Christmas to be supportive of my hobby. It was so sweet.


  • SVS OG

    @demotlj that's awesome your son asked for your artwork. I'm sure it will be lovely. I know the bird is turning out nicely. I love giving art as a Christmas gift. There isn't quite as much pressure. I made art for one of my brothers a few years ago specifically for his powder room. I made a piece for my dad last year to go in his office upstairs, but he liked it so much he put it in the kitchen. But isn't it nice to see growth over the years as we see work for years past. I'm sure they will be better next year, but I know they will also be good, strong, filled with love paintings this year too!


  • SVS OG

    Yesterday I had another special experience. I painting a friend’s dog and cat. This isn’t someone I’m super close to, but my heart was sad for her. She lost two long time pets within a month of each other. I told her next time I saw her I would have a painting for her. Of course I waited till the last minute to paint it. I didn’t think they turned out well at all! I mean, really not great work. I wasn’t even sure i wanted to give it to her. And i had no time to repaint it before she was coming to the house. Okay, she’s my cleaner, don’t judge. I’m a messy person.

    Anyways, she loved them. There were tears. And a million hugs. It goes to show that even if we are insecure about our work (this time it was warranted) people can truly feel that you care about them. It “truly touched her heart”. I just wanted to try and give her something to let her know I was thinking about her and this hard time. She had that cat and dog longer than I have been a mother! My oldest is 12. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose someone that has been part of your happiness for so long.

    So share away! A gift from the heart is always well received. (Well, probably, but it is always worth the try!)


  • SVS OG

    This is a great idea for a page Whitney. I started a Monster project a couple of years ago. I draw monsters according to kids descriptions and then post them on facebook. It's a really fun challenge for me and the kids love to see their monsters come to life as I interpret them. This year I cut a bunch of post card watercolor cards and painted them directly on the card and sent them to the kids. It's nice to use my art for something and I don't need to keep it so, this works out really nicely for me. I live in a small space with my husband (a fifth wheel) so I like to keep things small 🙂


  • SVS OG

    @Marsha-Kay-Ottum-Owen What a great idea! How fun to see their little creations come to life. I would love to see them. I really like 5x7s too. It is a great way to feel a sense of completion with that size. I bet the kids and people that receive your postcards are so happy. Way to bring joy to others!!!!


  • SVS OG

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    My heart is pretty heavy today. I did a portrait of my husband’s cousin who passed away on Monday. He was an amazing person. The life of the party and made everyone he met feel like they were his best friend. I usually only do these portraits when someone passes. It’s my way of dealing with loss and telling my family I love them.

    I was already working on my 22 feathers project when we got the news about Steven. My nephew Wesley would’ve been 22 on st Patrick’s day. He passed when he was 19. The feathers I was going to make into a fabric pattern. But more importantly I was going to print them and make them into 22 bookmarks. I was going to give them to my brother and sister in law. They would be placed all around. Kinda like an art drop. A way to spread all the love that Wesley gave shares with everyone he met.

    I’m kinda tired of sharing our family members with heaven. I know the plan. I know why. But my heart is broken for Jared’s aunt Estelle.


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