. . . to Patricia H. Rushford's Art Gallery
On this page, I've shared a number of my paintings, art quilts
as well as my story.
I don't ever remember not being an artist. What I do remember is a father, who dispite his poor health, used to cut out pieces of pressed board for me to paint on. He encouraged me to enter art contests and even bought me art books meant to teach me the craft. I also remember never having money for art lessons. As an adolescent, I used to save my babysitting and berry picking money to buy art supplies. Usually canvases and oil paints.
I don't have any of the artwork I did as a child except for one oil painting that I couldn't part with. It hung in my son's room until he left home and then I hung it in various places. It now hangs in my office. I'm thinking I may need to find a home for it and right now my new great grandson Carlisle seems the perfect choice. Then again, maybe Maddie, my oldest great granddaughter would love it since she is quite the artist and craftsperson herself.
Or maybe I'll keep it for a while to remind myself of how important it is to never lose sight of your creativity. It was a hard lesson to learn.
My artistic self blossomed as I continued to paint. In highschool I took a drama class and became an actor. I worked on sets, played the lead in a number of productions and became a five star Thespian. Then came graduation and dating and working for a living. I lost the time to create.
Eventually, I met the guy who swept me off my feet. My soul mate--and we married and had two children. I returned to school and became an RN. Then I worked at being the best nurse, mother and wife I could possibly be.
But something was missing. I couldn't seem to live up to the expectations I'd placed on myself and my lie seemed overwhelming. I fell into a devastating depression and couldn't escape on my own. My doctor simply took me out of my chaotic world and put me in the hospital for a short rest.
I was devistated. How could I be depressed? I, a Christian woman, who can do all things through God who streghthens her. The I am Woman song I thought I could sing with gusto became a wimper for God to do something. And God did do something. He sent my pastor with a book on healing.
In it, I realized how far astray I'd gone. I was trying to live under my own power instead of allowing God to empower me. I remembered that I couldn't buy my salvation through hard work, but through dependence. I'd forgotten that all I had to do to be loved by God was to be. Not DO. It is like the love a parent has for a newborn. The child just lies there and is adored. That's how I came to see God's plan for my life.
I came to realize that in my desire to be the best and do the most, I'd lost a part of myself. I'd ignored the part that needed to create. The artist. When I came home it was with the understanding that I would take time to be the woman God created me to be.
I went back to work part-time and loved my children and my husband. But I also brought art back into my life.
My first step back to creativity was to work with ceramics. I made dozens of beautiful things. I learned a lot about ceramics and eventually turned to pottery. With money I'd made from ceramics, I bought a wheel and kiln and over time the glazes and chemicals used to make the glazes. I became a production potter and loved it.
I loved the feel of clay in my hands and how it reiminded me of God molding and shaping his creations. I wrote poetry and prose about my journey back to the light and to the life I had left behind.
The Master Potter
He is the potter, I the clay
He holds me in his hands - centers me - encircles me.
Like clay, I am weak and shapeless without the sustaining power of thepotter's hand.
If I resist, my life becomes turmoil, my impurities overwhelm me.
If I submit he takes control.he opens me, molds me.
I begin to take shape and form. I am real, full of like in His Holy Spirit.
Then again, if I resist, I become worn and weak.
I may break for my walls are thin and transparent as thee finest porcelein.
I know that to survive, I must submit once again to the Potter's loving hands.
There I find joy and peace and a sense of being close to God.
One day while I was molding a piece of pottery and distinctly felt God calling me to write. I had already written some poetry, but this was more like a life changer. I resisted at first but agreed that if this was really a message from God, I would comply. I went to a writer's conference because I knew it was where I needed to be. I began writing in earnest and now have more than fifty books to my credit. Writing is a craft, a creative outlet, but I've always maintained the need of my spirit to play in various art forms. I continued to do pottery until a few years ago. I recentlt took up water colors and now use acrylics and oils as well.
Today I am the artist God created me to be. I write, I paint, and quilt and knit and crochet. My days are full and if I have a frustration, it is that the days are seldom long enough. My house is too small for a dedicated studio so I transformed my dining room to serve as a quilting and painting area.
Since I've dubbed this my art page, I suppose I should stop chatting and place some of my paintings and works of art on display in my Art Gallery. And below these are my art quilts.
These first several quilts were born out of my deciding to join "Thread Tales" a group of quilters who read a book and then create a quilt from something they read or something that touched them in the reading.
I hope you enjoyed browsing through my creative world.
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Revised April 2017 by Patricia H. Rushford