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Finding Courage

Updated: Dec 19, 2022

Your Light Has Dawned (Free Shipping on all Prints in the U.S.!)

It’s been almost two years since my last newsletter. So much has happened during this time that I’ve struggled with what to write. Despite my tendency to want to hide during seasons of hardship, I’ve come to realize that our most personal struggles are also the most universal: anxiety, trauma, financial struggles, broken relationships with family, addiction, depression, violence, the loss of a loved one, prodigal children, cancer, abuse, job loss, marriage difficulties, PTSD, chronic health challenges…

Because we live in a broken world, there is no hardship that is so personal that others haven’t experienced it, too. I know I am not singular in my struggles. They don’t make me weird, weak, a bad artist, or even less of a friend. They just make me human. So here I am being human, trying to figure out what to write when life throws so much at me season after season that it’s hard to sort it all out. So I’ll just share one thing that has helped me get through the last twenty-two months. I tell myself two words daily:

Be. Brave.

The Testament (Free Shipping on all Prints in the U.S.!)

I don’t know what bravery is to you. To me it’s a lot of different things, depending upon the day. Bravery is continuing to paint even when I’m afraid its going to look awful because I haven’t figured out all my values, or I wonder if I’ll get the right colors to convey my vision. Other days, it’s having the courage to show up when I’d rather hide, working on my website, or applying to a high-pressure art show. At times being brave means giving myself grace when I’m unsure of the next right step. Sometimes being brave means continuing to paint and draw, even when I’m questioning my career choices. The days that I’m my bravest are the days when I show the people in my life through my words and actions how much I love them, even though it means risking getting hurt.

What does being brave daily look like to you?

  • Updating your resumé

  • Tackling that project you’ve been putting off because you know how hard it’s going to be

  • Giving a gentle answer when it’s tempting to respond with a verbal bite

  • Applying to job after job after job in a tough economy

  • Taking that daily step to achieve your best health

  • Asking for help

  • Being the first to extend forgiveness in a hard situation

  • Getting out of bed (some may laugh, but I’m serious! There are times where life is so hard that if you can get of bed to face the day, I call that a win!)

Kintsugi in the San Juans (Free Shipping on all Prints in the U.S.!)

I don’t know what being brave looks like to you, but I do know this—every one of us has a choice. We can allow ourselves to become overwhelmed by fear and seasons of hardship (sometimes very loooong seasons!), or with each new day we can choose to be brave. Choosing to take daily steps of courage may not change our situations, but it does have a way of changing us and molding us into more compassionate, resilient, and faith-filled people.

Recently, I finally had the courage to open my own online store in my website. Along with that, I’m also asking for your help. Could you please share the link to my work with the people in your life—whether it’s people who need stories of encouragement, who love art, or maybe whose home or office walls could use some extra TLC? One of the hardest things of being a full-time artist is getting my art and its stories in front of people so they know my work exists. I need your help to make that happen. Thank you!

You’ll find the artwork featured in this newsletter for purchase in various sizes under my “Reproductions” tab, along with a further explanation of giclées. Also included on my website are some original artworks for sale.

Thank you for journeying with me,


Autumn Joy

Salvje (Wild) (Free Shipping on all Prints in the U.S.!)

I Choose Hope

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