" When it rains – look for the rainbows – when it’s dark, look for the stars. "
I adore this humble yet mindful little quote. Looking on the bright side of things is about finding the resilience to see the possibilities when others see the worst. The opportunities in situations others find soul crushing. That is why I have been painting Umbrella girls. They became my symbol of hope when all was hope had been lost.
When all Hope is Lost
My husband had nearly died, we lost everything we had worked so hard for, and even found ourselves with a newborn having to exit under the worst possible circumstances. WE had to sell everything we owned. My art studio, Johns tools, A bunch of our art, and even many of the larger kids toys then would not fit in the trailer we could afford too rent. I remember this lady who was hired to help us sell our things letting her kids drive around in my son and daughters Barbie cars that their grandmother had gotten them one particularly magical Christmas two years before. Play all over the castle my mom and I had handpainted for my eldest. Screaming its MINE No its MINE while I tried to hide my tears and keep my kids from seeing their toys vanish. We had worked hard, been good kind people and we had lost. I had though we had past that stage where a series of events could level us. But as many of you know it can happen to anyone. I left with my photo's, the documents and the family heirlooms we had been entrusted with. I had my husband thankfully still alive but still very ill and depressed.
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
So I ended up driving the 4,090.6 km to Houston , nursing my two month old, all the way back to Texas. I am the girl who never gave up. Who rode a 12 hand high pony to national recognition against full grown horses and adults. I am NOT giving up on this road. I plotted a course and made us get the geocaching stuff out. We looked at all the tourist stops, cached all kinds of adventures and found our way back to Texas almost like my family. Almost like myself.
All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my Angel mother.
BUT I have no paint !!! I have no canvases and really I am heart broken. But I am not willing to give up.I don’t even know why I was so determined. But I expect it’s those things that keep mothers going. My husband and my kids and needing to show them that things were going to be OK. I honestly was it a time in my life I didn’t know If I would ever paint again. Was I ready to start over.?! But as I got back into the swing of things at the request of my mother. Many of you know how she got me into painting parties as a way to get me out of the house. I started bringing the paint home and the canvas’s home. And just like it’s always been my art was there for me to see me through my hardest times. There were owls and sunflowers by van Gogh.
I can't just make a song people can dance in a club to... it still has to be real.
Mary J. Blige
And I managed to get a 30 x 40 canvas that was gifted to me so that I could sell a painting. I mean that’s what I know....Art. So I just took all that feeling and hurt and fear and I matched it up with my results and determination to see a better future. And I painted my first girl in the rain. And we hung it on the wall. People LOVED her. Two very important things happened I realized I could not sell her and I realized we needed to have a lesson on it. So I did an umbrella girl tight skirt good figure to tone streaky background for the rain. And not to be funny but she made a splash . See because she came from something real, something authentic , honest , and true it’s spoke to people who saw her!
Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.
Because they been through the rain to and they wanted to see rainbows and they wanted to see stars. As you know since this is become a huge trend and I’m really honored to of been a small part of creating it. Back in 2011 and 2012 there would have been no way to know that owls and Umbrella Girls would be so huge.
The way that owls and girls in the rain came from such a real place in me it’s how we should be as artists. But for me that first painting was the seminal moment when I remembered who I was. By now I have a collection of girls in the rain. Lessons and designs. My original girl ended up being gifted to woman I met name Sharron. She had survived a terrible assault and being set on fire as a young woman. She had seen her son murdered in front of her. Yet she was one of the strongest most hopeful people I ever met. And when she would look at that paining she would say that’s me. That’s how I got through. And I knew the paining had to be hers. I want her to have that in her life. And that’s how artists Are We generally see more than the money or the likes and follows. Because they’re real stories behind our art. What I paint is true for me even when it seems like a simple trend.
There is this lesson in the rain and in the dark. You have to make a decision about who you are in relationship to these things. Was I the perspective of possibility? When people paint my girls in the rain I’m hoping that some of what I got out of that journey, some of what it took me to survive and see through and find my positive future gets into them. Everything I do is so much more than my YouTube channel or my Instagram account or my Facebook. It’s real. The rain is real. But the umbrella is real to. This wasn’t just a streaky background I had put in a corridor of light to show the possible Future.
I think a lot about what happens to people that paint with me and the images I put in front of them in if I’m going to be leaving them stronger emotionally? More than that to Tutorial to me I guess it’s a lighthouse. All these paintings even after I’m gone will be in the world helping some other person back to her personal power. Some family Back into health and Joy
I’ve learned some things about myself. I’m tougher than I knew. I can face the storm and everything that comes for me and I will find the rainbow at the end of it. But even more than that I want to help other people behind me find that path through their personal storm. So when you do one of my tutorials know this is more than painting. This is more than views or legs or social media. This is you and me having a conversation about how strong you can be. About that you can get through your personal storm and find your rainbow at the end of it. I want to thank everyone of you for your time and your courage.