“Move forward,” said the little voice.
I looked up expecting to see someone, the voice was that audible. Move forward? Glancing around the room to confirm that I was alone in my studio, I quickly acknowledged the little voice as divine inspiration. There’s no denying it when God starts a conversation with you!
“But, move forward, now? I’m in the middle of my art project, God.”
It was late December on an endless Florida-blue-sky Sunday. I was blissfully absorbed in painting my latest saltwater batik. God could see how much fun I was having, right?
A puzzling sensation started to tug at my heart. Maybe God just means I lost track of time and should move on to something else. Like going outside to enjoy the beautiful sunny day.
“Close it out.”
“Wait a minute…close out this painting? You mean finish it up? But I’m having a great time today, God.”
The puzzling sensation that had been tugging at my heart only a minute ago began gnawing away at my resistance, until my attempts to deny it gave way.
“Surely you don’t mean close it out completely, as in close out my art business? (gulp!) That’s not what you’re saying, God, right??”
The silence that followed spoke volumes to my heart. I made a shift right there, agreeing to surrender to that little voice. Over the next several weeks, the message settled in over my soul. Day by day, as I reflected on that Sunday and prayed for guidance, the meaning of the message became clear.
To explain what that meaning is, I’d like to share a bit of the backstory with you. Opening my art business in early 2017 was in response to a gift I received at the ocean. I felt inspired by finding the presence of God in the natural beauty of the sea, to the point of joy bubbling over. Scriptures and songs poured out from my heart like blessings. A tide of grace!
One day, the little voice called to me over the roar of the waves, “Go home and paint.”
I called back in disbelief, “I can’t paint! I can’t even draw very well. You want me to do what?”
“The blessings are gifts for other people.”
Wait a minute, how was that going to happen? Nevertheless, trusting that the how would come to light later, I raced home and began to paint. It delighted me to notice how each painting captured a nature-inspired verse as its theme. Just for fun I wrote the blessing on the back.
As I began to offer this artwork for sale, a pattern quickly developed. A customer would be inexplicably drawn to a particular painting; once they discovered the scripture verse on the back they would say, “Oh, now I see why!” or, “You’re kidding, that’s my favorite quote!” or simply look back at me, speechless, exchanging a look of knowing. The blessing was meant for them. Beautiful!
As 2017 rolled on and I worked hard to grow my fledgling art business, my focus shifted from facilitating a flow of blessing to expecting a flow of income. My creativity diminished. What started out as a creative spiritual flow became a trickle by Thanksgiving.
Fast forward to that Sunday last December, when the little voice called again. Perhaps it had been calling me all along, and yet it took time for me to listen. Today I am fully embracing the message and can encourage myself, “Move forward, Mare. Don’t be afraid to close it out and hurry it up!”
This is where I stand, ready to let go of my artwork, to let the blessings flow out and move forward. I trust that God has something else in store for me. Letting go of the old will leave an empty space for the new to flow in.
Therefore, I am putting all my original art pieces on sale!
Please look through the SALE ITEMS below. (Mobile viewers, let me know if you have issues viewing the info.) Feel free to make me an offer on ANYTHING on the list! Remember, I want these blessings to flow out to YOU! Until I hear from the little voice again, my plan is not to stop painting entirely, but rather, to pull back from the business side and let the blessings flow out. My website will still be up. I plan to keep painting for private commissions. I will add new pieces to my PORTFOLIO page from time to time for you to enjoy.
Thank you for encouraging me over the past year. It was a wonderful adventure!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace! (Romans 15:13)
These items are temporarily for purchase directly through the SHOP page at each link. Please contact me with any questions at email@example.com or (812) 371-1787.
All 12 original saltwater batik paintings, $10-$25. Details and purchase information at SHOP/ORIGINALS/Batiks
All 3 cold wax and oil paintings, $20-$25. Details and purchase information at SHOP/ORIGINALS/Cold wax & oil
How about a puffy 12x12 Blue Crab pillow? I have ten AT COST—only $15. Details and purchase information at SHOP/ORIGINALS/Batiks/Blue crab pillow
iPhone 6/6s phone case, Blue Crab design AT COST—only $30. Wrap-around bright neon green borders make it easy to find in your bag or purse. Details and purchase information at SHOP/ORIGINALS/Batiks/iPhone case
Beautiful handmade 4x6 greeting cards AT COST—only $2 each. Many nature themes, ocean pics, animals, flowers, holidays. Details and purchase information at SHOP/ORIGINALS/Batiks/Greeting cards
“La Tour Eiffel” 8x10 mounted batik photo plaque, $10. Details and purchase information at SHOP/ORIGINALS/Batiks/La Tour Eiffel
(*Items with my PORTFOLIO designs, produced through the Fine Art America site--shower curtains, bags, mugs, towels, phone cases, notebooks, 5x7 cards, prints, etc.- will continue to be available at FAA prices at http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/3-mary-parks.)